Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt turns 63 today. He was a 12-time All-Star and a 3-time National League MVP, and he hit 548 home runs during an 18-year major league career.
Forty-nine of those home runs came against Mets pitching – exactly the same number as a noted Met-killer who’s retiring this year. And I’m sure that Chipper Jones will be making his speech in Cooperstown in 2017.
I’m not sure when baseball card companies first started to include retired stars in contemporary sets. I know I’m in the minority, but I’d rather see a current bench player or relief pitcher get a baseball card. Still, it’s cool to see the old Phillies powder blue uniforms – it would have been even better if Topps had used the old Phillies logo instead of the current one on this short-printed card from the 2009 Topps set. I either found it in a pack or somebody’s quarter box at a baseball card show – I don’t remember which at this point.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but it stopped being fun to watch the 2012 New York Mets a while ago.
They lost again on Friday night, this time a 4-0 shutout to the Atlanta Braves. Chipper Jones got a bad night’s sleep at his New York City hotel and woke up with back stiffness, so he missed the game. Brian McCann sat out to rest his sore shoulder. It didn’t matter – Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla did more than enough damage.
Jason Bay remains the poster boy for offensive futility – I felt like cheering when he hit a ball that was caught just short of the center field warning track in the sixth inning. And the rest of the lineup wasn’t much better. Four Mets reached base: Ruben Tejada on a first inning error, Daniel Murphy on a second inning single, Rob Johnson on a sixth inning double and Scott Hairston on a seventh inning double. That’s just not going to get the job done.
Matt Harvey made his first start at Citi Field, and he did not look good in his first two innings of work. He needed 33 pitches to get out of the first, and he gave up two runs. Through six innings, he allowed five walks as he threw just 64 of 101 pitches for strikes. But if there was a bright spot to Friday night’s loss, Harvey provided it. After the rough start, he battled back and retired nine in a row before leaving the game.
If there was another bright spot, it was that the Mets lost quickly – the game took just 2 hours, 24 minutes to complete. Forty-nine more to go.
It seems fitting that if the Mets had to open the second half of the season in Atlanta, they’d do it on Friday the 13th.
And it was definitely a Friday the 13th game, both in terms of the horrorshow outcome and general weirdness.
The lights went out in Atlanta in the top of the second inning, though to those of us at home it seemed like SNY was just in a hurry to get to the commercial break. The delay lasted less than 20 minutes, but it probably would have been better if the lights didn’t come back on.
When Atlanta’s Jack Wilson slipped while going after a ball, he dislocated a finger and had to leave the game. This forced Martin Prado to play shortstop for the first time in four years, because Atlanta never replaced Andrelton Simmons on the active roster after he broke a finger the day before the All-Star Break.
Johan Santana was originally going to get the starting nod, until Reed Johnson stepped on his ankle last week. Then the Mets were going to turn to Dillon Gee, but he’s probably done for the season after having surgery to repair arterial damage in his right shoulder. So Chris Young ended up starting the game, and he just didn’t have it.