Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Beltran’

Surgery Places Beltran Back on the Shelf

January 15, 2010

The big “if” for the Mets heading into the 2010 season just got a little bigger. Centerfielder Carlos Beltran will most likely miss the first month of this season due to arthroscopic knee surgery. Beltran, hampered for most of his career with chronic knee pain, decided on the surgery after receiving a second opinion from Dr. Richard Steadman. Not from Dr. David Altchek, the Mets team physician.

In addition to Beltran’s inability to participate on Opening Day this season, he could very well face legal ramifications from the Mets front office for bypassing a third opinion. Mets assistant GM John Ricco admitted publicly that the Mets organization was disappointed with Beltran’s decision for surgery and argued that they were not afforded the opportunity to proceed otherwise.

With these latest developments, back-up outfielder Angel Pagan and prospect Fernando Martinez will most likely see themselves in a much bigger role than was originally expected.

Even though the calendar year says 2010, it sure feels eerily similar to 2009. Stay tuned.

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For the Mets, It’s A Win Here and A Win There

August 15, 2009

Since Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran was placed on the disabled list on June 21st, the Mets have won nineteen out of forty-seven games. With such a dismal number of victories, my only guess is that it has made them appreciate greatly when the outcome ends in their favor. As optimistic as the Mets may be feeling right now after witnessing Bobby Parnell’s winning performance last night, seven strikeouts in six scoreless innings, this latest contest could very well be seen as just another stranded victory in a sea of never-ending defeats.

Prior to the Mets 3-0 shutout of the San Francisco Giants last night at Citi Field, they have lost ten out of their last fifteen games. As much as any Mets fan would like to revel in the coffers of yesterday’s performance, it still does not make up for all the atrocious and despicable baseball that they have displayed these last few months. However, not to be too negative, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez notched his twenty-sixth save last night and looks to be his old self again. Angel Pagan, back from a couple of days of rest, blasted a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first inning getting the Mets on the scoreboard early. Most impressive though was Bobby Parnell’s ability to finish up an abbreviated outing without allowing a walk, something that has unfortunately eluded Mets starters this season.

As we enter the third weekend of August, the Mets are currently twelve games out of first place in the NL East and nine and a half games out the Wild Card. Despite the obvious, it seems apparent that Mets manager Jerry Manuel is not ready to concede the fact that his ball club is now better suited for the role of spoiler.

“We have to continue to really get after it these last however many games and see where we are,” Manuel said. Hope springs eternal, I guess.

Another Mundane Night with the Mets

August 4, 2009

After watching Mets pinch hitter Fernando Tatis pop up to Arizona second baseman Ryan Roberts for the final out last night, I calmly walked into my kitchen and began washing the evening’s dirty dishes. I proceeded to run the water until the temperature was hot enough to cut the grease from my plate left over from an enjoyable meal. As I scrubbed and rinsed, I recalled in my mind the numerous times I have performed this particular task under the malaise of a Mets loss. With each knife and fork I cleaned, a disturbing thought regarding the Mets would ensue. After taking three out of four from the Colorado Rockies, how could they go on to lose three out of four from the Diamondbacks?

Upon realizing that I still had to scrub down a sauce pan and a large cutting board, my job was far from over. Another revelation donned on me. For the first time this season, I felt strongly that I was beginning to lose faith in my favorite team. Per last night’s fourth loss in five games, I saw the Mets climb back from a 6-0 deficit to close within one and then watched them come up short when it was all said and done. With dejection, I finished my last piece of silverware and made my way over to the television set hoping to catch the remaining moments of last night’s post-game show on SNY. As I stared on the screen at the list of teams ahead of the Mets that were in the running for the NL Wild Card, I felt a sense of helplessness come over me that reinforced my previous notion.

With slight intrigue, I listened as Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran relayed to the media that his knee was still bothering him. The pain that he was feeling was not the same pain as before but a different pain. With that, I prompted myself to speak out and say, “Carlos, I know how you feel.”

Mets Hope These Little Town Blues Are Melting Away

July 12, 2009

On June 22nd, the Mets placed Carlos Beltran on the disabled list. Looking back on that date, you could also say that since that time the New York Mets have been marching towards a slow death. After a solid four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Little Engine that could seized to exist. Manager Jerry Manuel and his band of overachievers were found limping on the side of the road with no road map in tow. In a span of eighteen games in which the Mets lost twelve, all those affiliated with this team found no other way to escape its failures than to demand the team make a trade.

Days and nights went by and the Mets continued to depress and suck the life out of every soul that crossed its path. Young mothers were betrayed by their grandparents’ tales of how the Miracle Mets of ’69 came back from obscurity to win the World Series. Nieces and nephews were made to feel envious instead of proud by stories of an ’86 Mets team that literately beat up on the opposition and winning the Fall Classic in come-from-behind fashion. Contemporary adults were left feeling disdain because they were not a part of the overwhelming camaraderie administered by Mets fans during the 2000 Subway Series.

After pushing through all that nostalgia, we then decided to take a step back. We began to see the situation for what it really was: another wasted Mets season without a taste of the World Series. This was a grave reality that could not be shaken with just one step forward here or there. For a moment, we believed that what was left of our team was enough to get us through the rain. This was never meant to be. Things will get worse before they get better. But how much worse and when does it get better? Last night’s win might be a start.

With their ace on the mound, a formidable lead-off hitter, and a fresh new face eager to get his hands dirty, the Mets got the job done last night. This time around the goose egg was compliments of the other team. Perhaps, we just needed someone like Jeff Francoeur to remind us that these last eighteen games were just a tough stretch. Six and half games behind may not be so bad after all. We still have a lot of baseball left to play. Listening to the Mets new starting right fielder before the game opened my eyes to all these things. Most importantly, it made me realize that there’s something special about playing in New York. Maybe, some of these current Mets players need to realize that sentiment, too.

More Injuries Equals More Wins

May 31, 2009

In the fifth inning of Saturday’s 7-3 loss to the Florida Marlins, Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran left the game with a stomach virus. With Beltran out for the remainder of the game, the Mets lineup resembled something very similar to that of a spring training game in March coincided with the World Baseball Classic. In defense of Mets manager Jerry Manuel, the core of his starting position players were in desperate need of a day off.

Nonetheless, left fielder Gary Sheffield, third baseman David Wright, and second baseman Luis Castillo were back in the Mets starting lineup for the final game of this current home stand against the Marlins today and, wouldn’t you know it, produced a better result. Even with their starting pitcher, John Maine, experiencing the same fate as their absent centerfielder, (Maine was pulled prior to the beginning of the seventh inning Sunday with the same type of stomach virus as Beltran) he managed to propel the Mets to victory and take the series from the Marlins, two games to one.

Maine continued his dominance with the help of his trusty bullpen at Citi Field this season with his fourth win in his last four starts at home. Against the Marlins, the right hander went six full innings giving up only three hits with no runs to go along with five strikeouts to just two walks.

“Not many foul balls were hit. I had a low pitch count. I wanted to keep going but what are you going to do.” Maine said. “I couldn’t help it.”

Today’s 3-2 victory concludes a 5-1 home stand for the Mets. Overall, the Mets are 17-9 at Citi Field. “It’s always important to play well at home,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “Our starting pitching has stepped up for us.”

With that said, right-hander Livan Hernandez will take his 4-1 record for the season with him on the road Monday as the Mets begin a four game series in Pittsburgh. They will then head to Washington to take on the Nationals this weekend before returning home to play the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets currently have an 11-12 record on the road.

Adding to the Mets long list of injuries, outfielder Angel Pagan left today’s game with discomfort in his right groin. Pagan’s status has been listed as day-to-day.

Sheffield and Hernandez Revive the Old Saying: Age before Beauty

May 27, 2009

Mets GM Omar Minaya was the first to break the news prior to yesterday’s game that his shortstop, Jose Reyes, and his right fielder, Ryan Church, were heading to the disabled list retroactive to May 21st and May 23rd, respectively. With that, the possibility for the Mets most talked about prospect, Fernando Martinez, to get his chance at the big league level became a reality. The decision to grant Martinez, 20, the start in right field last night was also prompted by the Mets inability to use their everyday center fielder, Carlos Beltran. Beltran underwent an MRI yesterday which revealed a bone bruise and inflammation of his right tibia that will keep him out of action for at least until Friday’s game against the Florida Marlins. Martinez was hit by a pitch and finished the night 0 for 3 with a RBI.

As Mets fans and the New York media rejoiced over the thought of witnessing the young Martinez on a daily basis, Mets clean up hitter Gary Sheffield, almost twenty years his senior, provided the real firepower in leading the Mets to a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals. Sheffield, who is batting .419 over his last ten games, slammed a three-run homerun for the second time in as many nights well over the left-field wall. Unlike last night’s three-run shot, there was no doubt in the validity of this one. Sheffield’s 504th career homerun put the Mets up by five runs and allowed for their starter, Livan Hernandez, to go the distance and pick up his fourth win of the season. Hernandez, 34, is 3-0 in his last five starts. He has pitched 33 and a third innings during that stretch averaging almost seven innings a start.

Tonight the Mets go for the sweep with their ace, Johan Santana, on the mound against the Nationals young right-hander, Jordan Zimmermann. On April 26th, Zimmermann pitched five and a third innings against the Mets. He gave up just one earned run and earned his second win of the season. Since then, he has been mired with four no-decisions and a loss in five starts. He currently has a 2-1 record and a 5.71 ERA.

Bruised and Battered, the Mets Find a Way to Win

May 26, 2009

It’s safe to say that on any given night this season the New York Mets have given themselves a good chance at winning. However, for the last week and a half that chance has been met with the question of which players will be asked to uphold it. With one third of their active roster decimated by injury, the Mets everyday lineup card these days can look as unpredictable as an Oliver Perez start. Prior to last night’s game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel delayed his decision to start centerfielder Carlos Beltran and back-up shortstop Ramon Martinez until thirty minutes before the start of the game. Reason being, Beltran was nursing a sore knee and Martinez was ailing from a bad back. Fortunately for the Mets, both players made their starts and helped the team to a 5-2 victory over the last place Washington Nationals.

Last night’s win earned Mets starter John Maine his fourth victory of the season. Maine looked well in command throughout the game, although he was not asked to pitch the seventh inning. Manuel was given the opportunity after the game to respond to why he opted for a reliever in the seventh instead of continuing with his starter. Manuel felt that too much time elapsed between the umpire’s review of Gary Sheffield’s three-run homerun and the start of the seventh inning. In hindsight, reliever Bobby Parnell began the seventh inning and surrendered three walks (the Mets pitchers had nine overall) which led to a run. Parnell was yanked and it took two more Mets relievers to limit the damage in the seventh.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes continues his recovery from tendinitis of the calf and left fielder Ryan Church was again unavailable for the second straight game. On the bright side, closer Francisco Rodriguez kept his perfect save streak going last night and earned his thirteenth save of the season. If you remember, Rodriguez collapsed on Saturday in Boston from back spasms. He was rushed to the hospital where he received treatment and was then cleared to play.

With the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves losing their games yesterday, the Mets are now all alone in second place just one-half game back.

Latest Setback for Delgado Opens Up a New Can of Worms

May 17, 2009

When news broke that Mets cleanup hitter Carlos Delgado was headed to the disabled list with what doctors were calling an impingement of the right hip, the main concern for Mets fans was who would fill the first baseman’s shoes. Since Delgado was brought over to the club, he has provided the Mets with much needed firepower to the number four slot in their lineup. With 473 career homeruns, Delgado was hoping that this season would be the year in which he would hit that all-important 500th homerun.

However, if the Mets opt for surgery for Delgado, he could see an extensive amount of time away from the ballclub. Such a decision might ultimately put that elusive homerun in jeopardy and prolong the feat for another year. Unfortunately for Delgado, he may not be able to afford to wait that long. This recent injury has also raised the question as to whether the organization will resign the two-time All Star to another long-term contract. My feeling is that Delgado, who will turn 37 in June, most likely would not be guaranteed more than a two year deal, if anything at all.

In his stead, the Mets have looked for their number three, four, and five hitters to carry the offensive load. In the last three games, Carlos Beltran, Gary Sheffield, and David Wright have gone 22 for 38 (.578 BA). During that stretch, Wright has produced nine RBI and has stolen five bases. He is now batting .350. Sheffield, who was batting .196 after Wednesday’s game, is now batting .270.

If the current heart of the Mets order can continue to perform offensively the way they have been, Delgado’s absence, however long it may be, will not seem as devastating.

Six in a Row Would Be Nice, Too

May 9, 2009

One if not the most important aspect for a hitter is his ability to see the ball well on its way towards home plate. Mets cleanup hitter, first baseman Carlos Delgado reiterated that point last night by going 3 for 4 including a whopping three-run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning that put the Mets up, 6-2, and the game out of reach. Delgado, who also drove in two more runs in the first inning with a single, finished the night with a total of 5 RBI. Unfortunately, for one or two other Mets players, being able to locate the baseball was not so easy.

With a runner on second and the score, 2-1, in favor of the Mets, Pittsburgh’s Nate McLouth hit what seemed like a routine fly ball to right-center field. Mets Carlos Beltran began drifting under it. Right fielder Ryan Church had a beat on it, too. As the two outfielders converged under the ensuing popup, the ball landed to the right side of Beltran allowing the tying run to score. After the game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel was in good spirits. However, he felt that the Mets defense was somewhat lacking in some areas. Hmm, I wonder what areas he was speaking of.

The Mets, again, received another solid performance from their starting pitching. This time, from an unlikely source their young left-hander, Jon Niese. Niese pitched six strong innings in which he failed to surrender a walk. Right-hander Bobby Parnell earned the victory, the first win of his career, with another impressive outing in the eighth. With a Philadelphia win last night, the Mets still remain a half game out of first place in the ultra-competitive NL East. The Mets will try and continue their winning ways this afternoon at Citi Field.

A Win Bobby V Would Be Proud Of

May 5, 2009

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Watching the Mets play the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field usually leaves me in disgust. The end result most of the time is me slamming my fist into the arm of the couch as I yell, “Come On,” at the television screen. Throughout the first five innings of last night’s Mets game, it seemed to be heading in that very same direction. What was I to do? Listen to Gary and Keith slog through the entire SNY broadcast discussing such enlightening topics as their long delay atop a South Carolina airport tarmac or better yet, sit through an anemic Mets offense that looked like it was preparing itself for a long uneventful night.

Luckily for me, the MSG Network had scheduled the Japanese baseball documentary, The Zen of Bobby V, to run at the same time as the Mets/Braves game. At that point in the game, it was easy for me to choose between the insanely passionate fans of the Chiba Lotta Marines than to endure the irritating rhythm of the Tomahawk chop by those even-keeled, Braves fans. However, the last straw for me was a quick cut to Braves pitcher Tom Glavine, the guy who single-handedly ruin the 2007 Mets season on the very last day. Okay, I’d had enough!

Now back to former Mets manager Bobby Valentine promoting Japanese beer and burgers that were named after him. Maybe not as exciting as before, I then switched back to the Mets game. Top of the sixth, Daniel Murphy on first, Carlos Beltran is at the plate, and the Mets are down by three. Whack! Beltran hits what would be the first of two 2-run homers on the night raising his NL-leading batting average to an unbelievable, four hundred. Wow! I couldn’t help it. I had to see how this one would turn out. I’ll just have to remember to check to see the next time Bobby V is showing. David Wright would go on to follow Beltran’s blast with one of his own to put the Mets up, 4-3 en route to a 6-4 Mets win. Bobby’s Mets weren’t very successful against the Braves in his day, but today’s game would’ve made him proud.