Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ramon Ramirez almost makes the Mets long for Manny Acosta

Apparently Ramon Ramirez wants us to feel nostalgic for Manny Acosta.

The Mets’ bullpen was not impressive – again – on Wednesday, taking a tied game and pretty much blowing it up, giving up nine runs in the final three innings.

The team made the ninth inning interesting, but it’s hard to come back when you are down 10-3.

Wasted was a fine pitching performance from Dillon Gee and two homers from Lucas Duda.

The defeat – and loss of the series to the Phillies – brings out the Gnome of Defeat, still making the rounds with the Lansing Lugnuts.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wiggington blast puts game out of reach, Acosta out of town.

I’ll remember Manny Acosta fondly for throwing me the game ball after the magical game in Detroit last year.

Alas, glorious moments have been few this year, and the three-run bomb served up to Ty Wiggington appears to be his final act as a Met.

Credit these injured and feisty Mets for hanging tough with the Phillies, with David Wright moving to shortstop after Justin Turner went down with a sprained ankle and two-run blasts from Vinny Rotino and Scott Hairston.

The Phils scored again in the eighth, and the Mets wasted a lead-off double. But hopes of a walk-off win were dashed after Acosta turned the game into an ugly 8-4 rout.

That brought out the Mobile Gnome of Defeat, seen here with Melissa and Angela at the Lansing Lugnuts’ ballpark.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dickey goes all Santana on Padres, throws shutout

Starting pitching was supposed to be one of the Mets’ weak spots, but back-to-back shutouts – and a nice game from Jon Niese – make it think it’s one of our strengths.

Dickey allowed just three hits in 7.1 innings and struck out 10 – again. 

The bullpen was solid again, with Tim Byrdak and Frank Francisco getting the job done.

That means the Flag of Victory comes out again to fly alongside Old Glory during this Memorial Day weekend.

The win leaves the team six games above .500 and in second place. The last-place goon squad known as the Philadelphia Phillies is headed into Citi next.

Santana brilliant in shutting down Padres

Seems like a lot of writers wrote off Johan Santana in their preseason forecasts, saying the ace was aging and injured, and we’ve seen his best days.

Looks like Johan has something to say about that.

Santana went the distance to shut out the Padres 9-0, getting more dominant as the game went on.

Now, to be fair, Santana must think he has to pitch a complete game shutout to sniff a win, given the Mets lack of scoring when he’s on the hill and our shaky bullpen.

But the bats were out in force on Saturday, with Scott Hairston launching a three-run blast, Vinny Rottino getting his first Major League homer and Mike Nickeas smacking a grand slam.

Normally we’d proudly hoist the Victory Flag to celebrate this accomplishment, but Old Glory gets the spot of honor on Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Victory Flag unfurled in Lansing as Mets top Padres

Raise your hands if you thought Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis would be major contributors to the Mets this season?

Put your hands down, because you’re fibbing!

Both kicked butt – again – in the Mets’ 6-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday. Kirk was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Baxter hit his ninth double.

And Dillon Gee was outstanding, allowing just a first-inning run with four hit and three walks while striking out nine over seven innings.

The big win inspired my Lansing Bureau colleagues Melissa and Angela to pose with the Alternative Mets Victory Flag, which we unfurled before confused spectators at the Lansing Lugnuts game. The Lugnuts won, too!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

All of Pennsylvania needs to know about Mets victory in Pittsburgh

I’m still thinking that R.A. Dickey should be making plans to be in Kansas City during the All-Star break.

The mountain-climbing knuckleballer improved to 6-1 in the Mets 3-2 win over the Pirates. 

We’re getting used to late-inning, two-out comebacks, and Lucas Duda was tonight’s hero.

But we’re not used to the bullpen looking so sharp! Frank Francisco pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, which has not been his usual MO. But we’ll take it!

The big win in Pittsburgh calls for all of Pennsylvania to see the Alternative Victory Flag, here making an appearance at the Pennsylvania State House, known as Independence Hall to those who did not join me on the tour, where I learned such things.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mets have no love for Pennsylvania or the Pirates

Seems like nothing good happens to the Mets in Pittsburgh.

The team jumped out to a 4-0 lead, which should stand with Johan Santana on the mound.

Alas, Santana, with a 4-2 lead, later gave up a game-tying home run to Michael McKenry.

A tie game and the Mets bully is usually a recipe for disaster. But this time it’s not Jon Rauch’s fault.

There’s a reason Mike Baxter is usually a pinch hitter. In the bottom of the eighth, Baxter collided with Kirk Nieuwenhuis, knocking the ball out of his glove and allowing the go-ahead runner to reach third base.

That allows the Mobile Gnome of Defeat to show his love of Pennsylvania. There are at least two of these sculptures in Philadelphia .