METS (83-64, 1st NL East):
7 Reyes, SS
28 Murphy, LF
5 Wright, 3B
21 Delgado, 1B
15 Beltran, CF
19 Church, RF
1 Castillo, 2B
23 Schneider, C
46 Perez, LHP
BRAVES (66-83, 4th NL East):
24 Anderson, CF
14 Prado, 2B
10 Jones, 3B (Chipper says goodbye)
16 McCann, C
4 Infante, LF
7 Francoeur, RF
22 Kotchman, 1B
1 Lillibridge, SS
57 Campillo, RHP
Things to keep in mind… Ramon Castro is only available to pinch hit today. … Damion Easley is out, although Jerry Manuel was going to check on his availability to pinch hit. Manuel seemed reluctant to hit Easley, however, because the injury (right quad) was on his back leg.
UPDATE, 1:56 p.m.: Sorry I’ve been out for the first inning-plus. I was just finishing off a comprehensive post about the Mets’ organizational players of the year, which were announced today. You can get the full list of players honored here. Only the Venezuelan Summer League recipient wasn’t in attendance for today’s pregame ceremony.
The thing that pops out most is this: The Mets did damage in the international market in 2007. All four of their lowest-level award winners were signed in ’07. Of course, that makes sense because most players signed earlier would be beyond the rookie ball/summer ball level. However, check the stats and you can see that all four guys were filthy.
The most impressive performance was turned in by shortstop prospect Wilmer Flores. He just turned 17 and dominated at Kingsport. So much so, in fact, that the 6-foot-3 shortstop recently passed Fernando Martinez as the organization’s most highly rated prospect.
UPDATE, 2:18 p.m.: David Wright just absolutely crushed a 1-1 pitch from Jorge Campillo for his second homer of the game. The ball landed in the back row of the LF bleachers, just in front of the “NYC UNION CARPENTERS & CONTRACTORS” sign. … It was Wright’s third multi-HR game this year and the 12th of his career. … They just said the ball traveled an estimated 435 feet. Wow. Simply Delgadoian.
UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: After a weak fly to left with a runner on by Luis Castillo, I looked up his stats since he returned to compare them with those of Damion Easley. The idea is to gauge how much of an impact it would have on the Mets if Easley missed any extended period of time. Here’s what I found:
Since Castillo returned on Aug. 25, he has gone 5 for 29 (.172 average) with one RBI and two walks. In that same span Easley 13 for 36 (.361) with one HR and seven RBI. He has a .611 slugging percentage and a 1.036 OPS.
UPDATE, 2:38 p.m.: Just had a very funny moment here at Shea. Some poor kid from Greenwich, Conn. just won the chance to hit a home run in a video game to win a prize, but the crowd greeted him by booing unmercifully at the mere mention of his name.
Why? Why boo a young kid? Well…his name…was Alex Rodriguez.
UPDATE, 2:40 p.m.: Oliver Perez, is he the next Mr. Kim???
If you didn’t see the play that inspired me to write that, let me describe it for you: Perez, who had singled, was on second and Jose Reyes, who had also singled, was on first. Dan Murphy hit a ground ball to Casey Kotchman at first. Kotchman threw to second to force Reyes, and SS Brent Lillibridge returned the throw to first, which was covered by Campillo. The pitcher was on the move and didn’t catch the throw. As soon as Perez saw Campillo drop the ball he dashed for home and slid in feet first as Campillo’s throw sailed high on catcher Brian McCann. Perez, on his back, tried to reach behind him and tag home. Just to make sure he flipped over onto his stomach like a sea lion and slapped home.
Quite the moment for Perez, who no doubt furthered the Legend of Ollie, the quirky lefty, right there. In fact, I’d say Perez has dirt on his lower back in a place you simply don’t see dirty on a major league uniform.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: Manuel sent Perez out for the seventh after he had thrown 102 pitches through six.
Not a bad move when you consider Perez has retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced and he wasn’t exactly stretched in his last start (Tuesday’s stinker vs. the Nats).
UPDATE, 3:19 p.m.: Assuming it’s over, that’s a strong bounce-back start from Perez: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. You could see he was pumped up for today just by the way he slapped his glove after retiring the side in order in the seventh.
Perez finished off by retiring eight in a row and 14 of the last 15 batters he faced.
UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Scott Schoeneweis is warming up by himself in the pen and could be entrusted to protect another two-run lead.
UPDATE, 3:41 p.m.: Three things…1. Perez is indeed done. 2. He was replaced by Schoeneweis, who has been entrusted to protect a two-run lead. 3. It’s been a tough day for Ryan Church, who is 1 for 4 with a bloop single and three strikeouts. Church just struck out looking with the bases loaded and two out on a 90 m.p.h. fastball from Julian Tavarez. Church is now 16 for 65 since he returned from the DL.
UPDATE, 4:00 p.m.: Here’s Joe Smith over his last 16 outings: 11.1 IP, 0 ER. Wow.
That’s a terrific job by Smith bailing out Schoeneweis with two straight K’s in the eighth.
UPDATE, 4:13 p.m.: Unbelievable. … I feel for you Met fans.
UPDATE, 4:27 p.m.: It took nearly 20 minutes and three pitchers, but the Met ‘pen finally finished the ninth inning. Here’s the damage turned in by Luis Ayala, Pedro Feliciano and Brian Stokes: 1 IP, 10 batters faced, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB. If this holds up Ayala will get the loss, his first as a Met but his ninth of the year.
Awful performance. The Phillies won their opener and can close the lead to a game with a win tonight.