Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Saturday in the park: another wacky Mets loss

It was a nice day for a baseball game on Saturday, and my friend had tickets for the Cubs vs. Mets game. It seemed like a fun way to spend an afternoon. And it was fun to hang out with my friend.

The baseball game, on the other hand, could best be described as slow torture.

The Mets took three hours and 32 minutes to lose a game in which a total of seven runs were scored.

Scott Feldman (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Scott Feldman (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Cubs pitcher Scott Feldman demonstrated the recipe for success to the Mets’ starters: drive in more runs than you give up.

The Mets managed just two hits off of Feldman in the first seven innings, and even the four they got off of the bullpen only brought the total to six for the day. They did well to score two runs.

The defense further sabotaged the team’s chances of success, “highlighted” by a bizarre first inning error that happened when Jordany Valdespin threw the ball over Jonathon Niese‘s head when returning it to him after Cody Ransom singled. It proved harmless, but set the tone for the day.

Niese turned in another poor showing, though he did battle to keep things from getting worse. Still, Opening Day pitchers are not supposed to walk four batters and give up six hits in under six innings. And why is it that none of the Mets pitchers can really get in sync with Anthony Recker?

Then in the ninth inning, umpire Lance Barrett gave us another example of why baseball needs instant replay in the ninth inning. He botched the call on Darwin Barney‘s line drive that was apparently caught by Juan Lagares, ruling instead that Lagares trapped it. The Mets compounded the weirdness and blew a chance at a triple play when Justin Turner touched second to force Nate Schierholtz before the team could try to record outs at home and third.

The end result was another Mets’ loss, their 39th of the season. After the game, the Mets made a change in their bullpen… but Greg Burke really hasn’t been a problem lately. If the team is going to improve, they need more major league caliber hitters in the lineup. Hopefully some of the guys already here are able to step up their games… because there doesn’t seem to be any outside help on the way in the immediate future.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Even more photos on Flickr

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized


Shaun Marcum lost his eighth game of the season tonight, and he’s making progress towards the record books.

Shaun Marcum
Shaun Marcum pitches in relief against the Miami Marlins on June 8, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

According to Gary Cohen, Bob L. Miller holds the record for most consecutive losses to start a Mets career. The unlucky right-hander went 0-12 for the 1962 Mets before finally picking up a win on the last day of the season.

Anthony Young went 0-13 for the 1993 Mets before winning his first (and only) game of the season on July 28th. The amazing thing about that streak is that half of his losses (and the victory) came when he was working out of the bullpen.

I’m not sure if any other Met has a longer string of losses before picking up their first ‘W’ of the season – it’s not something that’s likely to make its way into the team’s game notes. But it sure feels like Marcum is making a run at all of them.

Actually, I think I might have jinxed him tonight. My friend was looking for another starting pitcher for his fantasy team, and I suggested Marcum. I guess I forgot that pitching performances against the Miami Marlins (or the New York Mets) shouldn’t count as much since they don’t field major league caliber lineups.

The two best hitters in the Mets lineup had good nights at the plate. David Wright was on base all four times he was up, with three hits and a walk. (He also made one unfortunate baserunning decision that let struggling Cubs reliever James Russell escape what might have become a big inning with only two runs allowed, but let’s face it – station to station baseball has killed more Mets opportunities this year than aggressiveness on the base paths.)

Daniel Murphy had a pair of hits and two RBI. Even Lucas Duda managed an RBI single, his 22nd of the year. (Keep in mind that half of that total comes from driving himself in with home runs.)

Three runs might have meant a Mets victory on Thursday afternoon with Matt Harvey pitching, but with Marcum leaving the Mets in a six-run hole they just gave Kevin Gregg a save opportunity.

Tomorrow I’ll be at the ballpark in person to watch the Mets try again for a win. Maybe they’ll have better luck, and at least it should be a nice day for baseball.

Posted in Autographs, New York Mets, Uncategorized

Three links for Wednesday, March 6


New Autographs:

Tommy-Joseph---Heritage Tommy-Jospeh-Bowman

Philadelphia Phillies catching prospect Tommy Joseph included a few extra cards when he signed the stuff that my friend Bart mailed to him, so Bart passed them on to me. For a young guy, Joseph actually had a pretty decent autograph. Both cards were made before Joseph was traded from the San Francisco Giants organization, so the minor league one shows him as a Richmond Flying Squirrel – that’s my favorite Eastern League team nickname.

Non-Baseball Link:

Because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a guy that forges his own swords & sais are cool.

Posted in Uncategorized

Who needs Hairston? Let’s have a little more Cowgill!

Scott Hairston takes batting practice before a game at Citi Field in 2011 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Scott Hairston takes batting practice before a game at Citi Field in 2011 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Outfielder Scott Hairston has agreed to a two-year contract worth up to $6 million with the Chicago Cubs, according to ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine.

The New York Mets will have to muddle along without their best outfielder from 2012, though who knows if he could have repeated his career-best performance.

The likely means more playing time for the likes of Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter and Collin Cowgill.

Words can’t express my enthusiasm.

MetsBlog reports that the Mets have interest in free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, at least to the extent that they’ve petitioned Major League Baseball to protect their first round draft pick should they sign him. But given Sandy Alderson‘s aversion to long-term deals for older players and several other teams also reportedly interested in Bourn, it feels like this is really just a sham to make fans think the Mets are trying to do something to improve for 2013.

You can “Like” Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebookand follow me on Twitter and Flickr.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Marlins give Greenberg another shot at first at-bat

Adam Greenberg, playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2009 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

I can’t recall saying too many positive things about the Florida Marlins after September 2007. I don’t think I’ve ever said anything positive about the Miami Marlins at all.

Except, today they kind of did a nice thing.

Adam Greenberg was a prospect in the Chicago Cubs organization, and in 2005 he earned a call-up to the big leagues. It was a dream come true – until the very first pitch he saw hit him in the head. He battled back from the head injury and continued playing baseball, moving on to the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish when he couldn’t convince an affiliated team to give him another chance. Most recently, Greenberg played for the Israeli team in the qualify event for next year’s World Baseball Classic.

And thanks to the Miami Marlins, Greenberg is finally going to get another chance at his first major league at bat on Tuesday, in a game against the New York Mets.

I met Greenberg and talked to him a few times when he was playing for the Bluefish. He seemed like a great guy. One of my friends likes to tease people, so he’d tell them that Greenberg was the grandson of Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg. It turned out that story is actually true, in a sense — Greenberg later told us grandfather really was named Hank, but of course he never played major league baseball.

For one at-bat next week, I will be rooting for a Marlin.