New York Mets: Angel Pagan

Rapid Reaction: Giants 5, Mets 4

June, 8, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO -- After a pregame meeting, and with Kenny Bania and Steve Kerr in attendance, the dive has hit five ... and in agonizing fashion.

Three outs from snapping a four-game losing streak, Jenrry Mejia surrendered two ninth-inning runs and the New York Mets lost to the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Saturday night at AT&T Park.

Ex-Met Angel Pagan struck out to begin the inning, but reached when Anthony Recker’s throw to first base to complete the putout pulled Lucas Duda off the bag. Hunter Pence followed with a game-tying double. Buster Posey advanced Pence to third base on a fly out. After an intentional walk, Michael Morse won it with an RBI single.

It was Mejia’s first blown save since being installed as closer.

Things began to unravel in the sixth with a critical error by David Wright.

With the Mets leading 4-1, and with a runner at first base for the Giants with two outs, Bartolo Colon coaxed a grounder to third base from Brandon Hicks. Wright fielded it cleanly, but threw wide of second base trying to get the lead runner. The E-5 placed two runners in scoring position. After a walk loaded the bases, Pagan delivered his third hit of the game. The single to left field plated two baserunners and chased Colon.

An infield single by Hunter Pence against Jeurys Familia reloaded the bases and brought Posey to the plate. Familia went to a full count before striking out Posey to preserve a 4-3 lead.

Familia appeared poised to be the savior. He ultimately produced 2 1/3 scoreless innings, retiring the final seven batters he faced, before handing the ball to Mejia for the save attempt. The workload matched the longest by Familia this season. He also went that distance April 11 at Anaheim.

Mortal: Tim Hudson entered Saturday with the best ERA in the majors at 1.75, but had an uncharacteristically rough outing. Hudson surrendered three runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings and departed trailing 3-1. It marked only the second time in 12 starts this season that Hudson had surrendered more than two earned runs in a game.

Hudson’s ERA climbed to 1.97, now tied for second in the majors with Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto, and trailing Atlanta’s Julio Teheran (1.89).

The Mets snapped Hudson’s 16-inning scoreless streak on Anthony Recker’s second-inning RBI single, although they left runners on the corners. An inning later, Lucas Duda and Recker both had run-scoring singles off the right-field wall as the Mets built a 3-0 lead.

The damage could have been more, but Ruben Tejada and Recker both ended up at second base on Recker’s third-inning shot. Tejada eventually was tagged out between second and third.

Snapped: Wright snapped a season-high 0-for-14 drought with a third-inning single.

What’s next: The Mets play the final game of a three-city trip to complete a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. Former Giants first-round pick Zack Wheeler (2-5, 3.89 ERA) opposes right-hander Tim Lincecum (4-4, 5.01) in the 4:05 p.m. ET finale.

Wheeler, dealt by San Francisco in 2011 to rent Carlos Beltran, already has pitched once with the Mets at AT&T Park. He allowed one run on three hits and three walks in seven innings last July 10 as the Mets won, 7-2.

Wright is expected to get Sunday day off.

Rapid Reaction: Giants 4, Mets 2

June, 7, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO -- After the New York Mets were swept by the lowly Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, the team with Major League Baseball's best record handed the Amazin's their latest defeat.

Hey, at least they weren’t no-hit!

New York survived a dominant performance by Matt Cain and actually chased him with a lead. However, Carlos Torres issued a four-pitch leadoff walk to ex-Met Angel Pagan and then surrendered a tiebreaking one-out home run to Buster Posey in the eighth as the San Francisco Giants beat the Mets, 4-2, Friday at AT&T Park.

Cain unable: Cain retired the first 12 Mets batters, took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, and didn’t win? Yep.

Matt den Dekker had a leadoff double in the seventh and Daniel Murphy followed that with a two-run homer on a hanging slider and all of a sudden the Mets, who had been silent offensively, had a 2-1 lead.

Cain had faced the minimum through six innings in his return from a DL trip for a right hamstring strain.

The Mets (28-33) had their first baserunner when plate umpire Rob Drake did not give Cain a strike call on a 3-1 pitch to Curtis Granderson at the inside corner to lead off the fifth. The Giants ace immediately erased Granderson anyway by coaxing a double-play grounder from Andrew Brown.

Ruben Tejada produced the Mets’ first hit on an infield single into the hole at shortstop to lead off the sixth. Travis d’Arnaud followed by grounding into a double play, too.

Cain at least was absolved of getting tagged with a loss once Brandon Crawford delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle in the seventh against Jonathon Niese to even the score at 2. Niese had walked former Mets farmhand Brandon Hicks and uncorked a wild pitch to advance him into scoring position.

Cain’s line: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.

Niesely done: With less flair than Cain, Niese took a scoreless effort into the fifth inning. The southpaw then surrendered a one-out triple to Hicks. Crawford followed with the first of his two RBIs, on a sacrifice fly to left field.

For the second straight game, Brown made a strong throw to the plate. This time, however, the ball struck Hicks as he slid into the plate, preventing d’Arnaud from even attempting to make a play, and San Francisco took a 1-0 lead.

Niese’s line: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. He departed at 94 pitches and was replaced by Torres for the eighth.

You? Hicks doubled, tripled, walked and scored twice -- hard to believe considering his dreadful showing in major league camp with the Mets in 2013. Hicks hit .116 (5-for-43) and committed four errors in Grapefruit League play. He then spent last season at Triple-A Las Vegas before departing as a free agent.

Freefalling: d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a foul pop out and two double plays. He is 3-for-26 since returning from the disabled list for a concussion and is now hitting .180.

What’s next: Things do not get any easier for the Mets as Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.52 ERA) faces right-hander Tim Hudson (6-2, 1.75) at 10:05 p.m. ET on Saturday. The ex-Brave's ERA leads the majors.

Series preview: Mets at Giants

June, 6, 2014

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Matt Cain, Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum this weekend in San Francisco.
METS (28-32, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (39-21, first place/NL West)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.69) vs. RHP Matt Cain (1-3, 3.66), 10:15 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.52) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (6-2, 1.75), 10:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 3.89) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (4-4, 5.01), 4:05 p.m. ET

Giants short hops

• Three-time All-Star Matt Cain will be activated from the disabled list to face the Mets. He departed a May 21 start after three scoreless innings with a strained right hamstring. Former Mets farmhand Yusmeiro Petit, who was traded to the Miami Marlins to acquire Carlos Delgado on the eve of Thanksgiving in 2005, had stepped into the rotation in Cain’s absence. Petit has returned to the bullpen.

• In the same May 21 game against the Colorado Rockies that Cain became injured, reliever Santiago Casilla also strained his right hamstring. His remains on the disabled list and is at least two weeks away from being activated.

• After nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves, 38-year-old Tim Hudson signed a two-year, $23 million contract with San Francisco during the offseason. Hudson’s 1.75 ERA ranks second in the majors, trailing only Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (1.68). Hudson has tossed seven scoreless innings in each of his past two starts.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesEx-Met Angel Pagan is hitting .321 this season.

Sergio Romo’s 18 saves are tied with San Diego’s Huston Street for the major league lead. Romo has converted 90 percent (18-for-20).

• Right fielder Hunter Pence (.290, 8 HR) signed a five-year, $90 million extension with the Giants on Sept. 29. Pence has started 232 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors.

• San Francisco has won 11 of its past 14 games to move a season-high 18 games over .500. The Giants’ 39-21 record is the best in the majors. They play 20 of their next 25 games at AT&T Park.

• The Giants have scored an MLB-best 47 runs in the first inning.

Tim Lincecum, who appeared last season like he may be headed elsewhere, re-signed with the Giants for two years, $35 million on Oct. 23. Linecum allowed eight runs in 4 1/3 innings at Cincinnati in his last start as his ERA swelled to 5.01. He left his previous start with a blister on his right middle finger after tossing five no-hit innings against the Cubs, albeit with four walks and 96 pitches thrown. Lincecum turns 30 on June 15.

• Reliever Jean Machi has a 21 2/3-inning scoreless streak, trailing only Atlanta’s David Hale (22 2/3) on the active leaderboard. Miami’s Henderson Alvarez ranks third at 21 innings.

• Outfielder Tyler Colvin was promoted from Triple-A Fresno on May 10 after first baseman Brandon Belt suffered a broken left thumb. Belt is scheduled to get two pins removed on Friday. The fracture occurred when he was struck by a fastball from Paul Maholm.

Belt’s injury prompted Michael Morse to move from left field to first base. Morse is 14-for-his-last-36 (.389), with 11 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs during that span. He signed with the Giants on Dec. 12 for one year at $6 million.

• Shortstop Brandon Crawford had been 4-for-his-last-32 before producing a three-run homer in the fourth inning Thursday afternoon against Cincinnati’s Mike Leake.

• With Marco Scutaro having missed the season’s first 60 games with a lower-back strain, Brandon Hicks has emerged as the regular second baseman. Brandon Hicks? Yes, the same player who looked challenged defensively in spring training with the Mets in 2013 and went on to hit .283 with 11 homers and 49 RBIs in 318 at-bats with Triple-A Las Vegas. Hicks is in the midst of a 4-for-37 slump over his past 13 games that has dropped his average to .182, albeit with a .303 on-base percentage. Scutaro recently received platelet-rich plasma therapy.

• Ex-Met Angel Pagan is hitting .321 and has a .370 on-base percentage as San Francisco’s leadoff hitter and center fielder.

Buster Posey, whose gruesome left leg fracture in 2011 prompted MLB to institute the new blocking-the-plate rule, is 11-for-his-last-63. He has missed five games since May 20 with lower-back tightness related to a nerve issue. Posey has started 40 games at catcher and nine games at first base this season.

Madison Bumgarner, whom the Mets do not face, is the reigning NL Pitcher of the Month. He was the first Giant to win the award since Lincecum in June 2009. Bumgarner went 5-0 with a 2.08 and MLB-best 48 strikeouts in six starts in May.

Series preview: Mets at Giants

July, 8, 2013

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face (l to r) Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Matt Cain during a three-game series in San Francisco.
METS (37-48, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (40-47, fourth place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.27) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (4-9, 4.66), 10:15 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.45) vs. LHP Barry Zito (4-6, 4.44), 10:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-1, 4.29) vs. RHP Matt Cain (5-5, 4.85), 3:45 p.m. ET

Giants short hops

• The Giants placed catcher Buster Posey, second baseman Marco Scutaro and pitcher Madison Bumgarner on the NL All-Star team, which will be managed by San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy. Hunter Pence is on the five-man NL ballot for additional fan voting. A year after having four starters selected to the game, including Pablo Sandoval over David Wright, the Giants will have none in the opening lineup at Citi Field on July 16.

Angel Pagan is likely out for the season after undergoing left hamstring surgery in late June. The ex-Met signed a four-year, $40 million deal in September. Pagan originally was injured on May 25, when his inside-the-park homer lifted the Giants past Colorado. He aggravated the tear during a rehab game. Fellow ex-Met Andres Torres primarily has played center field in Pagan’s absence. Torres was forced to leave Friday’s game with a right calf cramp, but since has returned.

Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY SportsAndres Torres has taken over for injured fellow ex-Met Angel Pagan in center field.

• Posey has been starting at first base more frequently of late because of leg tightness.

• San Francisco was no-hit by Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey last Tuesday. The Giants last had been no-hit in 2003, by Kevin Millwood of the Philadelphia Phillies. Since the move to San Francisco, the Giants have been no-hit 11 times. The others to accomplish the feat against them: Warren Spahn (1961), Sandy Koufax (1963), Ryan Washburn (1968), Jerry Reuss (1980), Charlie Lea (1981), Mike Scott (1986), Terry Mulholland (1990), Kevin Gross (1992) and Kevin Brown (1997).

• San Francisco has lost 11 of 13 and 16 of 21. The Giants have scored two runs or fewer in 12 of their past 16 games. They are 2-for-their-last-36 with runners in scoring position.

• Scutaro, in a 5-for-34 slump, recently has dealt with back problems. Also slumping: Pence is 0-for-his-last-22. Sandoval is 5-for-45 since returning from the DL for a foot injury. The Big Panda is homerless in his last 24 games. Brandon Crawford is 7-for-his-last-58 with no extra-base hits or RBIs in his past 18 games.

• The Giants got caught batting out of order Saturday. After the third hitter, Posey, delivered an RBI double in the first inning, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly informed umpires Posey was listed as the cleanup hitter, so it really had been Sandoval’s turn to bat. Sandoval was ruled out, the runner returned to third and Posey had to bat again. He flied out.

Tim Lincecum is winless since June 4. He is 0-for-4 with a 4.45 ERA in his past five starts.

Matt Cain enters the series off an outing against the Dodgers in which he allowed eight runs while recording only seven outs. Cain had produced a 1.82 ERA in his previous five starts and had been unbeaten in his past 11 starts against the Dodgers. Cain had retired the final 20 batters he faced against the Colorado Rockies in his previous start.

Santiago Casilla should return to the bullpen this week, after two more rehab appearances. Casilla had mid-May surgery to remove a bone cyst near his knee.

• Closer Sergio Romo allowed a three-run double in the ninth inning Sunday as San Francisco lost its rubber game to Los Angeles. Romo had mocked Hanley Ramirez after earning a save Saturday.

Mike Kickham was demoted Sunday, after going 0-3 and surrendering 16 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings as a starter. His 13.94 ERA is the highest ever by a Giants starter in his first three outings. The decision coincided with Chad Gaudin’s return from the disabled list.

• The Giants had scout Lee Elder watching Minnesota Twins relievers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Ryan Vogelsong suffered a broken right hand getting hit by a pitch May 20. He may resume throwing next week.

• Outfielder Gregor Blanco snapped an 0-for-25 drought Saturday with a three-hit game.

Series preview: Mets at Phillies

May, 6, 2012

US Presswire/Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton and Cliff Lee in Philly this week.
METS (15-13, third place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (14-15, fifth place/NL East)

Monday: LHP Jon Niese (2-1, 4.08) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (3-2, 3.40), 7:05 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Miguel Batista (0-1, 6.92) vs. RHP Joe Blanton (3-3, 2.83), 7:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.50) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (0-1, 1.96), 7:05 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Cliff Lee returns from a left oblique strain for Wednesday’s start. The southpaw had been on the disabled list since April 21. With Lee’s return, Kyle Kendrick reverts to bullpen use. Kendrick made three starts in Lee’s absence, going 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA. On Friday at D.C., Kendrick did limit Washington to one run in five innings to outperform Stephen Strasburg (three runs in six innings), although the Nats won, 4-3, in 11 innings.

Ryan Howard, who is trying to work back from left Achilles surgery and an ensuing infection in the repaired area, expects to hit and run at the team’s Clearwater, Fla., complex this week. Meanwhile, Chase Utley (knee) also could begin working out there this week, in a quasi-beginning to spring training. Utley spent the past five weeks rehabbing in Arizona. Since Jim Thome landed on the DL on May 2 with a lower-back strain, righty-hitting Ty Wigginton and lefty-hitting Laynce Nix exclusively have shared first-base duties. Meanwhile, with rookie Freddy Galvis (.198) underperforming, Pete Orr has started seven of the past 12 games at second base. Philly media speculation is former Cub/Giant Mike Fontenot soon could be promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, with Galvis demoted.

Miles Kennedy/Getty Images
Carlos Ruiz had seven RBIs in a game against the Braves last week.

Roy Halladay enters Monday’s start having allowed eight earned runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings in his most recent outing, at Atlanta. The damage, which came after Halladay needed only 46 pitches to navigate the opening four innings, included a grand slam by Brian McCann. It was the most earned runs allowed by Halladay since surrendering nine in 5 1/3 innings at Texas on May 5, 2007 while with the Toronto Blue Jays. The last grand slam allowed by Halladay? That came in 2008, courtesy of Evan Longoria. Halladay’s fastball has averaged 90.4 mph this season, down from 92.0 mph last season and 92.6 mph in 2010.

• Right fielder Hunter Pence homered twice Sunday night against the Nats. He has a nine-game hitting streak.

Joe Blanton tossed a three-hit shutout Thursday at Atlanta. It was the third shutout of Blanton’s career, and first since June 2, 2007 with Oakland against Minnesota.

• Philadelphia’s bullpen has blown three of its past five save chances, although that is before the ball got to Jonathan Papelbon. The former Red Sox closer is 9-for-9 this season. He was named MLB’s Delivery Man of the Month for April. Since a single by Angel Pagan on April 16, Papelbon has not allowed a hit in the last 18 at-bats against him. Papelbon’s nine saves are tied with Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for the National League lead.

• The Phillies snapped a string of seven straight losses to the Nationals with a 9-3 win Sunday night.

• Catcher Carlos Ruiz produced seven RBIs against Atlanta on Wednesday. That was one RBI shy of matching the Phillies’ single-game record, which is held by Jayson Werth (2008), Mike Schmidt (1976) and Willie Jones (1958).

• Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who moved to the leadoff spot April 28 as Charlie Manuel tried to jumpstart the Phillies’ offense, went 5-for-27 on Philadelphia’s six-game trip.

• Reliever Jose Contreras was activated from the DL on April 16. He had undergone elbow surgery on Sept. 2, 2011.

Cole Hamels told Philly reporters he purposely plunked Washington's Bryce Harper during Sunday's first inning. Harper got the last laugh, ultimately stealing home that inning. Nats pitcher Jordan Zimmermann subsequently hit Hamels with a pitch in the left leg. "I'm not gonna lie," Hamels said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "It's kind of welcome to the big leagues. He kind of did the same to me."


Niese vs. Phillies (career: 4-4, 3.58 ERA)
Ty Wigginton .500, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA
Placido Polanco .417, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 26 PA
Carlos Ruiz .357, 2 RBI, 4 K, 14 PA
Freddy Galvis .333, 1 K, 3 PA
John Mayberry .294, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K, 17 PA
Shane Victorino .278, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 19 PA
Jimmy Rollins .263, 2 BB, 3 K, 21 PA
Hunter Pence .143, 1 BB, 4 K, 15 PA
Brian Schneider .000, 1 K, 4 PA

Batista vs. Phillies (career: 3-3, 4.42 ERA)
Jimmy Rollins .550, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 1 K
John Mayberry .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Placido Polanco .343, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K, 40 PA
Ty Wigginton .308, 4 RBI, 3 K, 13 PA
Carlos Ruiz .286, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K
Hunter Pence .250, 1 BB, 1 K, 5 PA
Brian Schneider .231, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 16 PA
Juan Pierre .227, 4 BB, 1 K, 27 PA
Laynce Nix .000, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 10 PA
Shane Victorino .000, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 5 PA
Pete Orr .000, 1 PA

Gee vs. Phillies (career: 2-1, 7.85 ERA)
Jimmy Rollins 1.000, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 PA
Brian Schneider .500, 2 BB, 4 PA
Shane Victorino .286, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 10 PA
Laynce Nix .200, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 PA
Carlos Ruiz .200, 1 K, 5 PA
Hunter Pence .167, 3 BB, 1 K, 9 PA
John Mayberry .167, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 PA
Placido Polanco .167, 1 BB, 7 PA
Pete Orr .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Halladay vs. Mets (career: 9-2, 2.88 ERA)
Justin Turner .500, 1 K, 2 PA
Josh Thole .438, 2 K, 16 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 1 BB, 2 K, 7 PA
Andres Torres .231, 1 BB, 2 K, 14 PA
Ike Davis .211, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 20 PA
Daniel Murphy .167, 1 K, 6 PA
David Wright .143, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 11 K, 22 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 1 RBI, 8 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 1 K, 6 PA
Mike Baxter .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Blanton vs. Mets (career: 3-1, 3.50 ERA)
Scott Hairston .500, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 6 PA
Ike Davis .455, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 12 PA
Andres Torres .333, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 PA
David Wright .261, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 24 PA
Josh Thole .111, 1 RBI, 3 K, 9 PA
Daniel Murphy .000, 1 BB, 2 K, 4 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 3 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 2 K, 3 PA
Justin Turner .000, 1 PA

Lee vs. Mets (career: 2-1, 1.61 ERA)
Andres Torres .500, 2 K, 7 PA
Ruben Tejada .500, 6 PA
Josh Thole .500, 2 PA
Daniel Murphy .333, 1 RBI, 2 K, 6 PA
David Wright .286, 3 K, 7 PA
Lucas Duda .167, 3 K, 6 PA
Scott Hairston .143, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 14 PA
Justin Turner .000, 1 BB, 3 K, 10 PA
Ike Davis .000, 2 K, 6 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Citizens Bank Park, April 13-15 (AP game recaps)

Mets 5, Phillies 2: R.A. Dickey threw seven sharp innings, Jason Bay hit a two-run homer and the Mets beat Cliff Lee. Scott Hairston also homered. Freddy Galvis hit his first major league homer for the Phillies. Dickey (2-0) allowed one run despite nine hits. The knuckleballer struck out seven and lowered his ERA against Philadelphia to 2.40 in seven career starts. Dickey has compiled 14 straight quality starts -- six or more innings with three earned runs or less -- dating to last July 25. Lee (0-1) gave up four runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out seven. He allowed just nine runs in his previous 11 starts, spanning 83 2/3 innings. The Mets played without David Wright for the third straight game.

Mets 5, Phillies 0: Jon Niese and two relievers combined on a six-hitter and David Wright homered despite a broken finger. Niese (2-0) allowed five hits and struck out five in 6 2/3 innings. Bobby Parnell got four outs and Jon Rauch pitched the ninth. Wright was 3-for-5, including a long homer on the first pitch he saw after missing three games with a broken right pinkie. Lucas Duda also connected for the Mets, who are off to a surprising 6-2 start. Phillies starter Vance Worley (0-1) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings.

Phillies 8, Mets 2: Cole Hamels pitched seven strong innings and Ty Wigginton drove in four runs. Hamels (1-1) struck out 10 to help the Phillies avoid a three-game sweep at home against the Mets for the first time since June 13-15, 2006. Philadelphia struggled to cross the plate until scoring twice in the seventh inning against Ramon Ramirez (1-1). The Phillies blew the game open with five unearned runs in the eighth off two Mets relievers. The Phillies tied it at 2 in the seventh on Wigginton's sacrifice fly that scored Jimmy Rollins. Rollins could've been the second out of the inning, but right fielder Lucas Duda misjudged Rollins' lazy flyball to short right field, allowing Rollins a single. Helped by Ruben Tejada's throwing error, the Phillies tacked on five unearned runs run in the eighth. Manny Acosta walked Hunter Pence with the bases loaded before Wigginton hit a bases-clearing double off Miguel Batista for the five-run lead. Ike Davis' two-run homer in the first had staked the Mets to a 2-0 lead.

Torres was a statistical star in 2010

December, 7, 2011
Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesNew Met Andres Torres caught balls at a very high rate of success in 2010.

It’s fairly easy to look at newest Mets Andres Torres numbers in 2011 and proclaim that he had an awful season.

But go back a year and dig deep and you could at least make the case that Torres didn’t just have a good 2010, but a great one.

The Angel Pagan/Torres swap in centerfield was done with sabermetrics in mind. And Sandy Alderson is banking on the statistical chance, however slim it might be, that the Torres of 2010 will re-emerge.

Two seasons ago, Torres ranked eighth among major league position players in the advanced stat, Wins Above Replacement, via the methods used at

Torres was valued at 6.8 wins above what a minor league fill-in (think: Jason Pridie) would have produced.

That is All-Star level and was the same value that the stat attached to Blue Jays star Jose Bautista.

To the average fan, that seems ridiculous.

So how does Torres’ .268/.343/.479 slashline (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage), with 16 home runs, 84 runs scored, 26 stolen bases equate to Bautista’s .260/.378/.617 with 54 home runs?

When Torres is at his best, there are two elements of his game that add greatly to his value-- his baserunning and his defense.

Let’s take a closer look at how he fared in each in 2010:

We’ve previously gushed in this space over what Brett Gardner’s defensive value would mean to the Mets.

In 2010, Torres had a season that was a near-match for what Gardner gave the Yankees on the defensive side, finishing second to Gardner in the defensive stat (Ultimate Zone Rating) used in the Wins Above Replacement calculation. His defense was valued at saving his team 22 runs.

Our metric of choice to evaluate defense is usually Defensive Runs Saved, and Torres ranked a bit lower (his 12 Defensive Runs Saved were ninth-best among outfielders last season) in that. But both stats draw from the same data, which shows that Torres was above average, if not elite.

Torres ranked first among centerfielders in Revised Zone Rating, which looks at all the batted balls hit to spots in which a centerfielder converted them into outs at a rate of 50 percent or higher.

Torres’ best attribute was that he caught 161 of the 167 balls hit into his zone in centerfield, giving him a Revised Zone Rating of 96 percent.

By comparison, Pagan caught balls in his zone at a 90 percent rate. That six percentage point gap between the two players is meaningful, one probably worth at least a dozen balls over a full season.

Torres didn’t rate highly at getting to balls outside his zone (think those that become doubles or triples in the outfield gaps) as a centerfielder, but rated very well in doing so playing both left field and right field (an example from his trip to Taiwan a few weeks ago can be seen here.

That too added considerably to his defensive value, though that may not be as relevant for Mets management, who view Torres as an everyday centerfielder.

The other thing that fans will likely notice is that Torres does not make many mistakes. He’s not going to overrun or bobble balls with the frequency that Pagan did in his Mets stint.

Baseball Info Solutions charts every play of every game and uses trained “video scouts” to tags plays into 80 subcategories of Good Fielding Plays (GFP) and Defensive Misplays & Errors (DM&E).

Torres was credited with 11 GFPs and 11 DM&Es in his 655 innings in centerfield in 2010.

He’s not someone who will make a lot of flashy Web Gem-type plays (his rate of GFPs per inning is low), but his rate of mistakes that season (one every 59 innings) was well better than Pagan’s (one every 40 innings) and well above the big league average (one every 39).

Last season, baseball researcher Mitchel Lichtman introduced a stat to measure baserunning value-- Ultimate Baserunning Rating. It became a component of the Wins Above Replacement statistic, applied retroactively.

By this measure, Torres ranked third in the National League and eighth in the majors, with his baserunning valued as adding 5.5 runs to his team over the course of the season.

That’s not necessarily difference-making, but it’s pretty good.

That season Torres stole his 26 bases in 33 attempts, his 78 percent success rating a little above the major league average of 72 percent.

Torres also gained 25 bases on fly balls, passed balls, wild pitches, passed balls, balks, and defensive indifference. That tied for 10th-most in the majors.

Torres also went first-to-third 11 times out of the 19 times that he was on first base when a single was hit. That’s five more times than the average baserunner would be expected to do.

Those successes, combined with Torres being able to limit his outs on the basepaths (he made four outs attempting to take extra bases and was picked off four times, totals not exorbitant given his successes), were what keyed his excellent baserunning rating.

What does it all mean?
In 2010, Torres value as a hitter ranked 47th in the majors, his defense ranked second, and his baserunning ranked eighth. That’s pretty good for a guy whose previous experience prior to 2010 was minimal.

Smush all those stats together and Torres rated very well-- the toughest player to statistically replace on a Giants team that won the World Series.

If the Mets get anything remotely close to that, they’ll have done fairly well for themselves with this swap.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Phillies 1

September, 24, 2011
WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets rallied to beat the Phillies 2-1 behind a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth inning by David Wright, but the team failed once against in its search for its first no-hitter. Pitcher R.A. Dickey was just eight outs away from Mets immortality, but could not accomplish the historic feat.

VALIANT EFFORT: Dickey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but yielded an one-out double by Shane Victorino that ended his attempt at glory. The lack of a no-hitter now leaves the Mets at 7,963 games without one in their franchise history.

Dickey pitched well in the game, as the Phillies rarely hit the ball hard through the first six innings, but his knuckleball failed him in the seventh. After the double by Victorino, Ryan Howard singled to center to score Victorino and Raul Ibanez followed with another single up the middle. He lost his perfect game in the sixth inning by walking Carlos Ruiz.

Dickey gave up just those three hits and one run over seven innings in his final start of the season. There's a chance he can work out of the bullpen in the final five games, but he will likely finish his year with an 8-13 record. His record is deceiving, though, as his ERA after Saturday's game is just 3.28.

BIG VAL: In a moment you probably did not expect to see this season, Val Pascucci hit a monstrous pinch-hit home run off Cole Hamels to tie the game at 1-1 in the seventh inning. He blasted Hamel's pitch into the left field seats to give him his first home run since he played with the Expos in 2004.

LINGERING SICKNESS: Jason Bay missed all three games against St. Louis and ended up being pulled from Saturday's game with continued symptoms from his illness. He was pulled between the third and fourth innings and was 0-for-1 with a double play on the day. It would be safe to assume he'll miss the nightcap.

REYES TRACKER: Jose Reyes went 1-for-3 Saturday and is now batting .330 on the season. He has temporarily taken the lead for the NL batting title over Ryan Braun. Braun entered the day tied with Reyes at .329 and has a scheduled game tonight against Florida while Reyes will likely sit out the second game of the doubleheader.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Mets don't have much time to rest as they face the Phillies in the second game of the doubleheader. It will be Dillon Gee (12-6, 4.48 ERA) opposing Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.30) at 7:10 p.m.

In-depth: What to do with Angel Pagan?

September, 13, 2011
Remember the excitement over Angel Pagan’s Wins Above Replacement ranking among the best outfielders in baseball for a time last season?

His WAR this season: 1.0

And that gets to an issue that the Mets need to contemplate over the next few weeks.

Despite a .314 batting average with 16 extra-base hits since August 1, Pagan’s overall numbers don’t match up well with other centerfielders around baseball. So it seems logical to consider whether the Mets will go in a different direction.

For better or for worse, the Mets seem likely to have Jason Bay in left field and the recent returns on Lucas Duda make him a good candidate to be next year’s everyday rightfielder.

Pagan is a year from free agency, so the Mets still control his situation for 2012. He could return. He could be non-tendered. Let’s consider the numbers that the team will be examining:

Reviewing 2011

Pagan enters the final couple of weeks of the season with a .265/.319/.383 slashline. That’s largely due to a very rough start, but is below-average for major league centerfielders across the board.

Even giving Pagan a bump for having to play his home games at hitter-unfriendly Citifield and his OPS+ (OPS adjusted for ballpark) rates a 94 (100 is major-league average).

On the defensive side, the Ultimate Zone Rating metric, which rated him highly favorably last season, has ranked him almost equally unfavorably in 2011 (he’s gone from being worth 15 runs above average to 13 runs below in that system).

Other systems are kinder (Defensive Runs Saved, another newfangled stat, rates him with 0 Defensive Runs Saved, meaning he’s major-league average, and ranks 17th among the 30 centerfielders who have played the most innings), but there are a couple of flaws that have been a part of Pagan’s game this season.

For one, the percentage of baserunners taking an extra base on balls fielded by Pagan (ie: going first to third or second to home on singles, or first to home on a double) has increased from 48 percent in 2010 to 60 percent in 2011.

That’s due to a rather alarming stat, provided by the folks at Baseball Info Solutions (BIS), who do video review of every play in every game. They’ve noted that all 10 of Pagan’s errors (the most in the majors for a centerfielder this season) have come due to bobbling a base hit (five times), or making an errant throw (five times).

BIS has charged Pagan with the most Defensive Misplays & Errors among all centerfielders in baseball, well more than he had at all three outfield positions combined in 2010. And remember, he’s only played 108 games this season.

What makes the keep/discard Pagan question debatable is that there are a couple of things that Pagan has shown he does quite well. He’s seventh in the National League in stolen bases with 31 and has swiped them at an efficient 84 percent success rate, tied for seventh-best among the 37 major leaguers with at least 20 stolen bases this season.

Pagan has also cut down on his strikeout total considerably (if he matched his 2010 at-bat total at the same pace, he’d have 27 fewer strikeouts) and increased his line drive rate. That combination makes it hard to explain why his batting average is down 25 points from 2010’s .290. Video tracking by Inside Edge, which reviews every plate appearance in every game, has Pagan with nearly identical percentages for hitting the ball hard when hitting fly balls, line drives and ground balls.

Some in the sabermetric community might tell you that Pagan would be primed for improvement in 2012, so long as he hits the ball in the same manner. That would be a reason to keep him around.

So would the fact that Pagan has been one of baseball’s best hitters with runners in scoring position, hitting .322 in 335 such at-bats since joining the Mets, .307 this season. Sabermetricians insist that clutch hitting is not a skill, but Pagan’s performance in such situations has been consistent throughout his career.


Internally, Fernando Martinez and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are the Mets best upper-level outfield prospects, but both have significant injury issues. Nieuwenhuis had major shoulder surgery earlier this season, so his status is uncertain.

Citi Field is a park built for a speedy centerfielder who can chase balls down and hit them into spots where they can take advantage of speed, a Brett Gardner type, but good luck trying to find a team willing to trade one of those (it would probably necessitate trading David Wright to net one). The top two teams in the NL East, the Phillies and Braves have Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn as their centerfielders.

On his best day, Pagan probably isn’t in their class. But is pursuing someone like soon to be free agent Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp, a player of similar abilities, that much of an upgrade?

That’s one of the questions facing Sandy Alderson and the Mets braintrust heading into this offseason. What would you do?

Tell us in the comments section below.

In-Depth runs each Tuesday during the baseball season.

Mets morning briefing 8.12.11

August, 12, 2011
Ruben Tejada's second error on Thursday allowed the San Diego Padres to score the go-ahead run and split a four-game series with the Mets. The Mets now open a weekend series at Arizona, which leads the National League West. Read the series preview here.

Friday's news reports:

Angel Pagan hopes to return from back spasms Friday.

Justin Turner analyzes Daniel Murphy's technique on the play Murphy injured his left knee. Turner tells David Lennon in Newsday: "I drop my left knee down all the time, and I think the difference between when I drop my knee down and what (Murphy) did is he didn't get his knee all the way on the ground. "His knee was kind of up in limbo, so when he got slid into, that really wrenched his knee. When I put my knee down, my knee is on the ground, so when they slide into me, they're sliding into me -- my knee is not going to go anywhere."

• Read game stories in the Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Daily News, Post and Newsday.

David Wright says there's no need to check out the wild-card or division standings. Writes Larry Brooks in the Post:

David Wright says he isn't going to spend much time at all peeking at the standings, and that's probably a very good idea given the cold reality the Mets haven't been this far out of first place at this point of the season since 2003, which was the first year of the brief Art Howe Era (pronounced Error) and a year before the third baseman's major league debut. "When you're in the position we're in right now, it doesn't matter what anybody else is doing, you just have to win games," Wright said after yesterday's 3-2 defeat to the Padres that put the lid on both a disappointing 3-6 homestand and on any talk of mounting a charge at the wild-card playoff berth. "If you look at the standings, you just see what an uphill battle we face."

BIRTHDAY: Barry Manuel, who appeared in 19 games in relief during the 1997 season, was born in 1965.

Pagan eyes Friday return

August, 11, 2011
Angel Pagan, who left Wednesday's game in the fourth inning with spasms and tightness in the middle of his back, hopes to return to the lineup Friday in Arizona -- provided he comes through the long flight to Phoenix OK. Pagan said he took a muscle-relaxing pill Wednesday night and only feels the back issue "a little bit" now.

Pagan told manager Terry Collins that he is available off the bench for Thursday's matinee series finale against the San Diego Padres.

"Much better than yesterday," Pagan said. "They gave me some muscle relaxer that helped a lot. He just wanted me to get some treatment because we've got a long flight to Arizona. I should be ready tomorrow -- and today if they need me later in the game."

Pagan leaves game with back spasms

August, 10, 2011
Angel Pagan departed Wednesday night's game in the fourth inning with lower back spasms, the team announced.

Pagan was replaced by Jason Pridie.

Mets morning briefing 8.10.11

August, 10, 2011
The Mets overcame a two-run deficit in the final two innings for the second straight night to defeat the Padres, with Angel Pagan's solo homer, Nick Evans' sacrifice fly and Ruben Tejada's bases-loaded walk serving as the eighth-inning scoring plays in Tuesday's 5-4 victory. It marked the first time since 1965 the Mets had won back-to-back games when trailing by two-plus runs in the eighth inning or later, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Wednesday's news reports:

• Read game stories in the Star-Ledger, Record, Post, Daily News, Times and Newsday.

Jason Isringhausen moved within one save of No. 300. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Manny Acosta lost half the nail on his right pinkie on a line drive back at him and is likely unavailable Wednesday.

• Pagan, who has told Terry Collins in the past he dislikes batting leadoff, nonetheless has homered in consecutive games since moving to the No. 1 spot in Jose Reyes' absence. Watch Pagan postgame video here.

Ike Davis will stick to the Mets' plan of inactivity on his left ankle for another three and a half weeks after getting an outside opinion Tuesday in Charlotte. Davis intended to go home to Arizona after the exam, and should spend time with the Mets this weekend in Phoenix when they face the Diamondbacks.

Willie Harris and San Diego Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson visited Harlem RBI on Tuesday. Read more in Newsday.

• Collins said Whitestone, Queens, native Mike Baxter should get his first major league start on Wednesday. Writes Sam Borden in the Times about Baxter:

On Monday night, only weeks after being claimed off waivers by the Mets and only hours after being called up from Class AAA, Baxter slammed another ball in Queens -- this time a first-pitch sinker from San Diego Padres reliever Chad Qualls -- and his eighth-inning, run-scoring double sparked a five-run Mets rally in a 9-8 victory. For a kid who grew up watching the Mets at Shea Stadium and playing ball at Queens fields like Cunningham and Little Bay Park (that’s the one under the Throgs Neck Bridge), it was as exciting a Citi Field debut as Baxter could have imagined and was made even better by about 50 family and friends, including his parents, watching from the stands.

• The Mets may be only a game over .500, but Post columnist Larry Brooks notes fans like this team. Writes Brooks:

They really like them. The lineup is loaded with the equivalent of seat-fillers, guys who are taking the projected regulars’ spots in the lineup much as individuals are hired at televised award shows like the Oscars to fill the seats of stars who vacate them when other duties call. Guys like Tejada, here because Jose Reyes, the NL’s leading hitter at .336, isn’t. Guys like Evans, here because Daniel Murphy, the NL’s fifth-leading hitter at .320, isn’t. But these Mets are turning woe into whoa!

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Gerald Williams, whose major league career ended as a Met in 2005, turns 45. ... Outfielder Johnny Lewis, who played 226 games with the Mets from 1965-67, was born on this date in 1939.

Video: Pagan a leading man again

August, 10, 2011
Angel Pagan homered to start the eighth-inning comeback Tuesday, pulling the Mets within a run in an eventual 5-4 victory. He went deep for the second straight night -- marking the second time in his career he has gone deep in back-to-back games.

The homer binge coincides with Pagan returning to the leadoff spot, a spot where Pagan has not preferred to bat in the past.

Terry Collins met with Pagan before the series and told the center fielder he needed him to bat leadoff in Jose Reyes' absence because he was the team's best option. Collins said Pagan was more receptive this time than the last DL stint for Reyes because Pagan is now feeling more comfortable at the plate. Pagan nonetheless entered Tuesday hitting .167 (16-for-96) in 23 starts in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the lineup this season.

In the video, Pagan also discusses Ruben Tejada's bases-loaded walk on a full-count offering that put the Mets ahead later in the eighth.

"It's more hard when it's close, but the last pitch was really, really bad," Tejada said.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Padres 4

August, 9, 2011
WHAT IT MEANS: A night after overcoming a two-run deficit in the ninth, the Mets rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the eighth inning as Angel Pagan homered, pinch-hitter Nick Evans delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly and Ruben Tejada eventually scored the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk. The Mets improved to 3-44 when trailing after seven innings.

Pagan’s solo homer off Chad Qualls pulled the Mets within 4-3. Pagan has homered in consecutive games for the second time in his career. He also did so July 20-21, 2010 at Arizona.

The Mets subsequently chased Qualls with consecutive singles by Justin Turner and David Wright. After a sacrifice bunt by cleanup hitter Lucas Duda advanced the runners, Jason Bay was intentionally walked to load the bases. Evans then sent a fly ball to center field that plated Turner.

With runners on the corners and two out, Padres reliever Josh Spence walked Ronny Paulino to reload the bases for Tejada, who also walked, on a full-count offering as the Mets took the 5-4 lead.

SAVE WATCH: Jason Isringhausen notched career save No. 299 with a scoreless ninth. With Izzy’s next save, he will become the 23rd pitcher to reach the 300-save milestone.

CAPPER: Chris Capuano allowed four-plus runs for the fourth time in his past five starts. Consecutive RBI doubles by Jason Bartlett and Jesus Guzman in the fifth inning had staked San Diego to a 4-2 lead. Capuano departed trailing 4-2 but received a no-decision.

BAY WATCH: Bay extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a fourth-inning tapper for an infield single. Duda and Bay scored the Mets’ opening runs, on an RBI double by Scott Hairston and sacrifice fly by Paulino in the fourth that made it 2-all. Bay’s career-high hitting streak is 14 games from Sept. 8-21, 2005 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

OUCH: Manny Acosta left the game with an escort from trainer Ray Ramirez in the eighth. He appeared to cut a finger on a comebacker.

PAD SQUAD: Second baseman Orlando Hudson left the game with a strained right groin. … Paulino threw out Cameron Maybin attempting to steal second base in the seventh inning. Maybin had stolen 21 straight bases without being caught.

WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey takes the mound Wednesday night against San Diego, the only of the 30 teams he has never faced in the majors. Dickey (5-10, 3.72 ERA) opposes Padres right-hander Aaron Harang (10-3, 3.91). Terry Collins said Whitestone native Mike Baxter, a waiver claim from the Padres, will make his first Mets -- and major league -- start.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 9, Padres 8

August, 8, 2011

Recap | Box Score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets may have lost Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy, but not their never-say-die attitude. They rallied for three runs in the ninth against ex-Met Heath Bell to produce a 9-8 victory. Lucas Duda had a two-run walk-off single, which followed David Wright’s RBI.

Ryota Igarashi had allowed four eighth-inning runs, two charged to Pedro Beato. The Amazin’s returned to .500.

DEEP THOUGHTS: Behind homers from Angel Pagan, Jason Bay and Wright, the Mets had raced to a 4-1 lead after three innings.

Pagan, atop the order with Reyes on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, produced his third career leadoff homer. His last came on Aug. 23, 2009 -- an inside-the-park homer against Philadelphia’s Pedro Martinez at Citi Field, during a game that ended with Jeff Francoeur hitting into an unassisted triple play completed by Eric Bruntlett.

Bay became the third Canadian to reach 200 career homers. He joined Larry Walker and Matt Stairs. Bay also extended his hitting streak to 10 games. That’s four shy of matching his career-high hitting streak, from Sept. 8-21, 2005, with Pittsburgh.

Wright’s homer, a two-run shot, was his ninth long ball this season.

The Padres evened the score at 4 with a three-run sixth against Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey, who received a no-decision, was charged with four runs on nine hits while striking out four and walking two (one intentional) in 6 1/3 innings.

WELCOME: Whitestone, Queens, native Mike Baxter pinch-hit in the eighth with two runners on base and sent a fly ball to left-center that was misplayed by left fielder Kyle Blanks and ruled an RBI double. Ronny Paulino followed with a sacrifice fly to pull the Mets within 8-6.

WELCOME BACK: Ruben Tejada went 1-for-4 in his return to the majors.

HE’S BACK: Jason Isringhausen made his first appearance in six days, working a scoreless ninth with the Mets trailing by two runs. Izzy’s previous two appearances had been losses, with six runs (five earned) allowed in two innings. He was credited with the victory.

WHAT’S NEXT: Chris Capuano (9-10, 4.44 ERA) opposes Padres left-hander Wade LeBlanc (0-2, 4.98) in Game 2 of the four-game series, Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.



Bartolo Colon
15 4.09 151 202
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187