Texas Rangers: New York Mets
So what would all of this mean? First, Beltran would be a rental for this season. He's in the final year of a seven-year, $119 million deal. He's making $18.5 million this season and would be owed around $6 million for the rest of the season. The Mets are willing to pick up that salary to get prospects. It's in his contract that he can't be offered arbitration, which means the club that obtains him wouldn't have a chance to get draft picks for him. But his high salary makes it prohibitive to offer him arbitration anyway. He has said he does not want to DH and would prefer to be in the National League. He has full no-trade rights in addition to being a 10/5 player.
This season, he's batting .289 with 15 homers and 62 RBIs. The 34-year-old has played right field for the Mets in 2011 after playing center field most of his career.
Let's say the Rangers come up with a deal and Beltran is willing to waive his no-trade. If he were to land in Texas, he could stay in right field. The Rangers could shift Josh Hamilton to center and put Nelson Cruz in left field. Beltran has only played two games in his career in left field. The club has wanted to ease the wear and tear on Hamilton's body by leaving him in left field as often as possible, but maybe since there would be two months left in the season, they'd be willing to leave Hamilton in center for most of the games down the stretch. Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry have done a solid job, but Beltran would be a proven player to add to the lineup on an everyday basis.
Beltran would give the Rangers a veteran bat and one that has had some postseason success. You may remember that Beltran was traded from the Royals to the Astros in 2004 and the belted eight homers in 12 postseason games that season, batting .435. That's how he got the megadeal from the Mets. He had three homers and hit .278 in 10 playoff games with Mets in 2006.
Like with any deal, the Rangers are in the hunt because they've got the prospects to make a trade happen (and likely avoid some of their top-tier prospects depending on the package). The question is how much they'd be willing to give up for another bat for a few months as a rental and if that price changes the closer we get to next weekend's deadline.
"It was a missed call," he said frankly.
The Rangers had Adrian Beltre at first and Young at second when Nelson Cruz lined a grounder to deep short. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes' only play was to third, but his throw took third baseman Justin Turner off the bag. Turner tried to tag Young, but the DH appeared to beat it.
Young was called out. He asked third base umpire if Mike DiMuro if it was a force or tag out. DiMuro answered that it was a force, much to Young's chagrin after seeing the replay. The Rangers, down 5-3 at the time, would have had the bases loaded and none out.
Young, however, wasn't about to blame the loss -- Texas' third in four games -- on umpiring.
"It's our job to find a way to win ballgames no matter what," he said. "Our job is to get past that. I'm one of the guys that's totally opposed to replay in the game because I believe the umpires do a really good job. You have to find a way to get through that and still do our jobs."
Washington didn't finish doing his job, getting ejected in the sixth. He had come out of the dugout twice previously to argue calls that went against the Rangers. One was a near double-play that would have ended the New York second. (The Mets scored two more runs after the play.) The other was also in the fifth, with Cruz being forced at second when Reyes' foot might have come off the bag early.
"I'm not getting myself into trouble," Washington said when asked about the umpiring. "I just think that some people out there had some bad days. That happens sometimes."
He wasn't shocked by the ejection.
"I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier," Washington quipped.
There was also plenty of scuttlebutt in the clubhouse about Holland being squeezed by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher.
"The umpires, I'm not going to make any comments about it," said Holland, who fell to 6-3. "Things happen."
Fletcher threw out both Washington and Elvis Andrus, who sat out Sunday with a sore wrist.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers' interleague series with the Mets didn't end well. After winning the opener 8-1, Texas was outscored 22-10 in losing the last two games.
Derek Holland (6-3) lost for the first time at home this season. The Rangers have dropped three of four and failed in their bid to win a third straight series. Ron Washington wasn't around to see the end of it. Josh Hamilton was given the day off.
* Derek Holland found trouble early and often. Three of the first four hits by New York were of the infield variety, as the Mets got the first two batters on in each of the first two innings. New York had six hits and took 5-2 lead into the bottom of the second.
* Holland did catch an ERA break on the Mets' early outburst. The first New York run followed what was initially scored a wild pitch, but it was later changed to a passed ball and thus became an unearned run. The second Mets run scored on a wild throw by Adrian Beltre, who tried to gun down Ronny Paulino at home but had the ball sail wide of Taylor Teagarden. After the rare Beltre error, two of next three runs scored in the second were also unearned.
* Holland suffered his first home loss of the season, though the stats don't bear out what was an undefeated start. He came into the game 3-0 at Rangers Ballpark despite a 6.10 ERA. Holland was yanked after yielding a leadoff single in the seventh. His final line was six innings, 12 hits and seven runs (three earned).
* Ron Washington was ejected in the sixth while pitching coach Mike Maddux was out talking to Holland. It was the second ejection of the season for Washington, who had come out twice previously in the game to argue close calls that went against the Rangers.
* Elvis Andrus, who is out with a sprained wrist, was ejected while on the bench by Fletcher before Washington was tossed.
* Michael Young is finding his power groove. He homered for a career-tying-best third straight game and fourth in the last five with a blast just over the wall in left center. Young also went deep in three straight in September 2004 and July 2010. The DH now has seven home runs, 53 RBI and a 12-game hitting streak.
* Cleburne native and UT-Arlington product Dillon Gee improved to 8-1 this season for New York. The NL Rookie of the Year candidate went six innings and allowed three runs. Gee had 40 family and friends at the game in his first career start against the team he grew up rooting for.
* The Rangers attempted to string together a rally in the bottom of the ninth off Mets close Francisco Rodriguez. The first three batters got on base, with a double from Chavez cutting the New York to 8-4. Young's grounder also scored a run. Beltre and Cruz were retired to end the threat.
* The Rangers appeared to pull off a 9-6-3 double-play to end the Mets' second inning, but second base umpire Jim Reynolds had other ideas. With New York runners at first (Jose Reyes) and second (Angel Pagan), Justin Turner flied out to Nelson Cruz in right. Both runners tagged and Nelson fired to third only to have the throw cut off by Andres Blanco, who threw to Ian Kinsler at second. Replays appeared to show Kinsler's glove beat Reyes to the bag. Reynolds signaled safe, keeping the inning alive. Washington came out to argue. Carlos Beltran took advantage with a two-out, two-run single.
* Texas had a chance to cut into New York's 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth with one out and runners at first and third but couldn't get it done. Blanco struck out before Kinsler sent a deep drive that center field Angel Pagan caught against the wall.
* Speedy center fielder Endy Chavez opened the fifth with a double, scoring on Young's single up the middle. Beltre followed with lined shot that bounced off Mets third baseman Justin Turner, setting up two on and no outs for Cruz. The rally ended there. The Rangers' next two outs came on a pair of close calls -- Young was tagged out at third on a grounder by Cruz, and Cruz was forced at second when it appeared Reyes' foot might have come off the bag early.
* Neftali Feliz was called on to get the final in the ninth after Mark Lowe was pulled with two outs in the ninth. The Rangers closer hadn't pitched since Wednesday's four-run meltdown against Houston.
* The Rangers hosted the Team Championship round of Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) prior to today's game. The official youth skills competition of Major League Baseball, PHR is open to ages 7-14, with separate divisions for boys baseball and girls softball. The 24 participants at Rangers Ballpark today have advanced through local and sectional competitions throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The champions from today were recognized in a pre-game ceremony and will be eligible to represent the Rangers during the annual PHR National Finals at the MLB All-Star Game. For more information on PHR, please visit MLB.com/PHR.
The lefty obviously didn't have his best stuff from the get go, giving up two infield singles to start the game. It didn't get much better from there.
Holland was pulled after allowing a leadoff single in the seventh and the Rangers down 7-3. The Mets managed 12 hits off Holland. Of the seven runs, three were earned.
Pitching coach Maddux had come out to talk to Derek Holland, who gave up a leadoff double to Daniel Murphy. Washington followed shortly after and was given the heave-ho by Fletcher.
It's the second ejection of the season for Washington, who was no doubt still fuming over several calls that didn't go the Rangers' way early in the game.
It was intially announced that Maddux was also ejected, but that was later corrected.
The Rangers were down 5-3 at the time of Washington's ejection. New York added two more runs to go up 7-3 going into the bottom of the sixth.
EDIT: Elvis Andrus, out with a sprained wrist, was actually ejected while on the bench by Fletcher before Washington was tossed.
Jose Reyes and Justin Turner opened the game for the Mets with infield hits off starter Derek Holland. Reyes moved to third on a fly ball by Carlos Beltran and scored on Holland's wild pitch on a 0-2 count.
New York scored three runs in the top of the first Saturday on its way to a 14-5 win.
EDIT: Holland's wild pitch was changed to a pass ball after the first innning, meaning the New York run was unearned.
|Mets rookie starter and UTA product Dillon Gee discusses his return to Arlington. |
RHP Dillon Gee gets the call for the Mets for Sunday's rubber match. The Cleburne, Texas native expects a large gathering of friends and family for his first career starts against a team that he grew up watching.
Gee was the guest on Rangers Baseball Tonight on 103.3 FM and the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network.
NEW YORK METS
SS Jose Reyes
3B Justin Turner
DH Carlos Beltran
LF Jason Bay
RF Scott Hairston
C Ronny Paulino
1B Daniel Murphy
CF Angel Pagan
2B Ruben Tejada
2B Ian Kinsler
CF Endy Chavez
DH Michael Young
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Mitch Moreland
LF David Murphy
C Taylor Teagarden
SS Andres Blanco
RHP Dillon Gee goes up against LHP Derek Holland
"I'm here for work and I don't want to get caught up in that stuff," said Gee, New York's starter in Sunday's series finale opposite Rangers lefty Derek Holland.
Gee, 25, is from Cleburne, attended the University of Texas at Arlington and lives in Fort Worth during the offseason. He grew up a Rangers fan. While at UTA, Gee and his teammates worked as parking lot attendants a few times at Rangers Ballpark to raise money for the program.
The National League Rookie of the Year candidate is off to a blistering start after beginning the season in Triple-A, bringing a 7-1 record and 3.21 ERA into his first career "home" start. Gee did fall a win short of being the first Mets pitcher to open a season 8-0 since Dwight Gooden in 1988.
Gee is going to have quite a cheering section with about 40 family and friends filling up a suite at Rangers Ballpark. Though it's a business trip, Gee has squeezed in some fun. Mets PR director Jay Horwitz arranged a meeting with Rangers president Nolan Ryan, a lifelong hero of Gee's.
"That was awesome," Gee said. "I grew up watching him, idolized him growing up, so to be able to meet him and get a ball signed was pretty special."
Gee is getting it done without Ryan's heater. With a fastball that doesn't quite touch 90 mph, the 2007 21st-round pick out of UTA has learned to get batters out by working the ball in and around the zone.
"Location is definitely a key for me," Gee said. "I have an average fastball. I try to have good command with my off speed pitches. Usually I can throw four pitches for a strike when I want to, and all those pitches are about average. I guess you can say I'm an average pitcher, but I try to excel in the intangible area."
Whatever the reason, the right-hander has gone from high All-Star Game consideration to likely being left off the roster. And if the struggles continue in a starting role, the questions about whether he should return to the bullpen when Tommy Hunter or Scott Feldman are ready will start to get asked more frequently.
Right now, the Rangers don’t have any options in that area. It’s too early to consider it anyway. As manager Ron Washington noted: A pitcher gets 30 starts and we’re talking about only three of them.
But his last trio of starts has been in stark contrast to his first 12.
Ogando started the season 7-0 and had a 2.10 ERA after his solid start against Detroit on June 8. Then, he had the second-best ERA in the American League and the attention of the league. But he lasted just 1 2/3 innings in Yankee Stadium, giving up a season-high six runs in his first start that didn’t last at least six innings. He went to Atlanta and needed an IV to combat dehydration after his five-inning, 104-pitch start in the heat.
Saturday was the latest in a string of disappointing outings. He gave up three runs in the first inning and never really recovered, getting into more trouble in the third. Ogando was taken out after the third inning. He allowed six runs on a career-high eight hits. His fastball was up and his velocity down a bit in the first few innings. Ogando did get ramped up to his usual 94-mph range in the third and even found the zone some with his off-speed stuff, but with no reliable fastball he couldn’t pitch around trouble.
So in his last three starts, Ogando is 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA.
Despite throwing more innings this season (89) than his major and minor league innings combined in 2010, Ogando insists he’s not fighting fatigue.
“I feel strong,” Ogando said through a translator. “I don’t feel weak or that I’m losing my strength. I have had three bad outings, but I don’t think that’s the reason. Physically, I think I’m OK.”
Too many fastballs up in the zone led to Mets hits from the start of the game, and Ogando wasn’t able to find his command. It was that ability to move the fastball to either side of the plate and complement it with the off-speed stuff that made him so effective the first two-plus months of the season.
Ogando’s youth was also on display in the third inning. With two on and no outs, Daniel Murphy hit a hard bouncer back to the mound. Ogando gloved it and threw to Adrian Beltre at third.
“You like for him to go to second there and get the double-play,” manager Ron Washington said.
Ogando said he just reacted and made a mistake.
“I had talked to Andres Blanco about throwing it to the shortstop and then I threw it to third,” Ogando said.
Ogando’s catcher sees a pitcher putting too much pressure on himself.
“I think he’s overthrowing out there,” catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. “It’s more about location than anything else. He’ll be just fine. He’s trying too hard. It happened to me offensively, you have to step back and relax.”
That’s what Ogando will try to do in his next start, likely Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the Marlins.
* After an incredible start to the season, Ogando's progress has certainly slowed his last three outings. Saturday was the latest example. He gave up six runs (three earned) on eight hits in three innings of work. He threw 76 pitches and only 48 were strikes. Even before the start, he had pitched about 10 more innings in 2011 than he did all of 2010 between the majors and minors. Is the workload taking a toll?
*Are his struggles the last three starts going to cost him an All-Star Game spot? Even before Saturday, Ogando was struggling. He pitched just 1 2/3 innings in Yankee Stadium on June 14 and then followed that up by needing 104 pitches to get through five innings in the heat and humidity in Atlanta last Sunday. He needed an IV after the game and admitted he didn't take enough fluids before the game. So after starting the season 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA, Ogando is 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA in his last three starts.
* Ogando couldn't seem to keep his fastball down enough on Saturday and it hurt him. The lack of fastball command helped the Mets jump out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first. Ogando gave up consecutive hits to left field to Jose Reyes and Willie Harris to start the game and then watched both of them score on a triple by Carlos Beltran that ended an 0-for-10 streak for the Mets right fielder. Ogando's first out was a sacrifice fly off the bat of Daniel Murphy.
*Ogando was able to throw his off-speed stuff for strikes, but without the fastball, it was difficult to get hitters out consistently. He got himself into trouble again in the third, as the first two batters got on base. With no outs, Murphy hit a hard chopper back to Ogando. The pitcher threw to third, where Adrian Beltre wasn't quite ready for the throw, but caught it and made the tag. But Ogando should have thrown to second to start a double-play. Turns out the Mets got three runs with two outs in the inning as Lucas Duda's second double of the game scored two and the Mets added another run on a Jason Pridie single.
* Cruz walked back to the dugout in the second inning after an apparent strikeout. But as the TV broadcast showed, Cruz was thrown four balls and didn't get a walk. Home plate umpire MikeDiMuro didn't notice. It didn't appear the Rangers bench or Cruz himself did either. Very strange. So instead of two on with no outs for the Rangers, it was the first out of the inning. The Rangers didn't score.
* Josh Hamilton used some new contact lenses Saturday in the hopes of improving his hitting issues during the day. But Hamilton struck out in all four at-bats, seeing 17 pitches -- 15 of them strikes. According to an AP photographer on the field, Hamilton took out his contact lenses before his final at-bat. Hamilton is now hitting .293.
*Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He is batting .404 (19-for-47) with three homers, eight RBIs and three doubles during the stretch. Young has three homers in his last four games.
*Adrian Beltre hit his second homer in as many games in the fourth. The trend comes after he had a 13-game homerless drought.
* Ian Kinsler had two more walks Saturday, bringing his season total to a team-high 46. That's 22 more walks than the next highest Ranger (Mike Napoli).
* Dave Bush and Michael Kirkman pitched the rest of the game for the Rangers, giving up eight runs combined. Kirkman was a workhorse, going four innings.
* Stat of the day: Ogando doesn't like pitching against teams from New York. As our friends at ESPN Stats & Information noted on twitter, he has a 11.45 ERA in three starts against NY teams this season and a 1.69 ERA in his 12 other starts.
Harrison (5-6, 3.16 ERA): His 3.16 ERA is tied for fourth-lowest among AL lefties. ...He's 2-2 with a 1.47 ERA over his last five starts to drop his ERA from 4.27. ...He is working on an extra day of rest thanks to Thursday's off day. When he gets that extra day or more, he is 4-2 with a 3.17 ERA in eight starts this season. ...He gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits in 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Braves on Saturday. Texas won the game, 5-4, in 10 innings. ...This is his first career appearance against the Mets.
Pelfrey (4-5, 4.70 ERA): The 27-year-old, born at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, is coming off his best start of the season. Pelfrey, who is listed at 6-foot-7, 250 pounds, pitched a complete game against the Angels, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks. It was his first win since May 10 at Colorado. ...Pelfrey has just one walk in 27 innings in June, and that was in his first start of the month on June 2. ...Since pitching less than five innings on April 29, Pelfrey has pitched six innings in all but one of his last nine starts. ...Pelfrey has never pitched against the Rangers.
Hitters: Pelfrey has faced just two current Rangers hitters -- Yorvit Torrealba (1-for-6) and Andres Blanco (1-for-3). ...Likewise, Harrison has only pitched to two current Mets batters -- Jason Bay (1-for-3, 2B) and Ronny Paulino (1-for-1).
Saturday vs. NYM: RHP Alexi Ogando (7-2, 2.66 ERA) vs. LHP Jonathon Niese (6-6, 3.70 ERA), 3:10 p.m., Fox/103.3 FM ESPN
Sunday vs. NYM: LHP Derek Holland (6-2, 4.69 ERA) vs. RHP Dillon Gee (7-1, 3.21 ERA), 2:05 p.m., FSSW/103.3 FM ESPN
Q: What's the latest with Jose Reyes and his contract talks? Do you think the Mets might trade Reyes at the deadline? What do you expect the team to do at the deadline?
AR: GM Sandy Alderson approached Reyes’ agent, Peter Greenberg, last week trying to initiate contract talks, if only to make a more informed decision about whether to trade Reyes on or before July 31. Greenberg was in Japan at the time and met with his client Monday at Reyes’ house on Long Island. The two resolved that no talks would take place in-season, and relayed that information to Alderson.
Given the Mets’ challenging schedule during the next month (at Texas, at Detroit, vs. Yankees, at Dodgers, at Giants, vs. Philadelphia), fading from even wild-card contention is widely expected. So the Mets should be sellers. Carlos Beltran, in the final season of a seven-year, $119 million contract, is most likely to be moved. Francisco Rodriguez should be shopped too, but the complication is that K-Rod has a vesting option for 2012 at $17.5 million if he finishes 55 games this season. He is currently on pace to exceed that total. Otherwise, Rodriguez gets a $3.5 million buyout in addition to his $11.5 million salary for 2011. Rodriguez does have a 10-team no-trade clause. Jason Isringhausen, who has closing experience and a modest salary, would be an easy piece to trade, too.
As for Reyes, Alderson indicated his situation is different from the others -- meaning it’s not contingent upon whether the Mets are in a race or have faded. My expectation is the Mets will retain Reyes for the remainder of the season unless they are bowled over at the trading deadline. They then will make a run at signing him next offseason, probably come up short in dollars and years on their offer, and then collect the draft picks.
Q: Speaking of Reyes, he's having another solid season. What makes him so productive?
AR: Health is the biggest factor. Early in his career (which, by the way, began with his debut in Texas in 2003), Reyes was tormented by leg issues. Last season, Reyes had a thyroid scare in spring training and opened the season on the disabled list, then dealt with a lingering oblique issue during the summer. Reyes still does not walk nearly enough for a leadoff hitter, but his high batting average this season is masking that deficiency. Also, the dimensions of the Mets’ stadium, Citi Field, which has a big gap in right-center, is ideal for Reyes’ speed and flair for triples.
Q: Jason Bay was moved to the cleanup spot on Wednesday. Do you think he'll stay there? How has he been this season?
AR: Bay has endured a miserable two seasons with the Mets. He did not play after July 25 last season because he suffered a concussion at Dodger Stadium crashing into the outfield wall. Even after homering Tuesday against Oakland, he still had only nine long balls in two seasons as a Met -- not the production the organization sought when it signed Bay for four years, $66 million two winters ago. Tuesday’s homer off Josh Outman snapped a 104 at-bat homerless drought, the second-longest streak of Bay’s career without a long ball. After three hits Tuesday, Bay almost moved to the cleanup spot by default. Daniel Murphy had been hitting fourth, but he was 3-for-his-last-29. And the Mets simply lack other candidates with Ike Davis (ankle) and David Wright (back) on the disabled list.
After going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his return to the cleanup spot, Jason Bay found himself back in the No. 6 hole for Thursday's matinee. We'll see what the Mets decide to do with Bay with two left-handed starters expected to go for the Rangers.
Q: How do you think the Mets will utilize the DH spot this weekend?
AR: In the Friday game against Matt Harrison and Sunday game against Derek Holland, righty-hitting Scott Hairston should be the extra bat in the lineup. In Saturday’s game against Alexi Ogando, lefty-hitting Lucas Duda should get that assignment. Who is the DH? That will largely be contingent upon Carlos Beltran’s preference. Unpredictably, because he has been tormented in recent seasons by trouble with an arthritic right knee, Beltran has played more games than any other Met this season. Manager Terry Collins will give Beltran the option to DH or continue to play right field, where Beltran shifted this season after previously playing center field. If Beltran wants to give his knees a mild break, he’ll DH and Hairston or Duda will play the outfield. Otherwise, vice versa.
Q: Which Mets have surprised you the most -- both good and bad -- this season?
AR: Rookie right-hander Dillon Gee, a former 21st-round pick from Texas-Arlington, who was raised in Cleburne, has been the most pleasant performer. And that’s not pandering to the crowd. Before walking a career-high six batters and suffering the loss Tuesday against the Angels, Gee had raced to a 7-0 start to the season. That was the second-best beginning to a season in Mets franchise history by a starting pitcher. The only better: Dwight Gooden’s 8-0 start in 1989. It also was the best start to a season by a rookie in the majors since Jered Weaver opened 9-0 in 2006. Beltran’s durability, even if his mobility has decreased at this stage of his career, also has been a pleasant surprise.
On the negative side, Bay’s continued power outage has been surprising. Usually players struggle in their first season in New York after signing big contracts, but they tend to blossom after that adjustment period. Bay has not.
Q: Anyone under the radar that Rangers fans should keep an eye on this series?
AR: Justin Turner’s production has slowed as other teams make adjustments and he deals with a thumb injury, but he was the NL Rookie of the Month for May and has filled in well for the injured Wright at third base. The Mets had five second base competitors in spring training. Luis Castillo was released late in spring training, as the Mets ate his $6 million contract. The organization went with Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus as its regular starter in April. He flopped and was returned. Murphy, one of the second base competitors, initially made the team as a lefty bat for the bench and is now the primary first baseman with Davis on the DL (except against certain left-handed pitchers). Turner and Ruben Tejada originally were dispatched to Triple-A Buffalo. Now both are starting in the infield -- Turner at third and Tejada at second.
Q: Give us a brief scouting report on the starting pitchers the Rangers will see.
AR: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey is coming off a complete game against the Angels, and his pitch counts have been low of late. That’s because Pelfrey has been throwing a ton of strikes. Being around the zone so much has made him susceptible to the long ball, particularly when he throws a four-seam fastball. Pelfrey already has allowed more homers (13) than he did all of last season (12), which is mildly surprising since his bread-and-butter pitch is a sinker. Pelfrey is a candidate to be traded, although more likely after the season. He has two more years under the Mets’ control but is already making $3.925 million and is arbitration-eligible.
Left-hander Jon Niese stumbled in his last outing, but before that had been 4-1 with a 1.58 ERA in a six-start stretch. Niese’s signature pitch is a big-breaking curveball. He also employs a cutter to try to keep righty batters honest.
Gee, whose father Kevin is a Fort Worth firefighter, relies on his changeup. His fastball only averages 89 mph, but it’s deceptively fast. He also has a curveball. Look for Gee to use the curveball more in Texas, since he only threw it two or three times against the A’s. Terry Collins criticized the lack of use of the breaking ball after that start.
Q: How has the Mets bullpen done this season? Rangers are looking for setup relievers. Anyone there that you think could be traded?
AR: K-Rod will be on the block, with that onerous vesting option. Isringhausen, who has 293 career saves, could be useful. He is filling the eighth-inning role with the Mets, but is a threat to break down because of his injury history and age (38). The lone left-hander is Tim Byrdak, who could be pried away.
Q: Anything else Rangers fans should know about the Mets?
AR: We got this far and have yet to mention the team’s financial woes. The owners are being sued for more than $1 billion by the trustee trying to recover funds for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The owners announced plans to sell a minority share of the team to hedge-fund guru David Einhorn, although the sale has yet to be made official. The terms ESPNNewYork.com has reported are highly favorable to Einhorn and suggest how cash-strapped the Wilpon family that owns the team is. Essentially, Einhorn is buying one-third of the team for $200 million. He has an option to up his share to 60 percent in three to five years. The Wilpons can block Einhorn by returning his $200 million and allowing him to keep one-sixth of the team. Essentially, Einhorn’s worst-case scenario is to have made a $200 million loan and own 16.5 percent of the team for his trouble. His best-case scenario is he’s majority owner of a major league team in a few years.
Neftali Feliz saw his first action since April 20, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth against the Yankees to secure the Rangers' 7-5 win.
It was Feliz's sixth save of the season.
Michael Young was 4-for-4 with two RBIs, and Julio Borbon drove in three for the Rangers. More to come on ESPNDallas.com. In the meantime, here's the Rapid Reaction from our friends at ESPNNewYork.com.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.