April 2013

Marlins 2, Mets 1: Three Up, Three Down

A nightmare ninth for Anthony Recker, and six consecutive losses for the Mets.

Three Up:
1. RHP Jeremy Hefner: That was not simply a good start, but one of the best of Hefner’s career on a night when the Mets desperately needed to restore some order to their bullpen. What a tough-luck loss for Hefner.

2. OF Lucas Duda: He’s hitting the ball hard and hitting it to the opposite field. Both are excellent signs for the Mets, who must not regret their recent decision to move Duda to cleanup.

3. 2B Daniel Murphy: Murphy’s double to lead off the fifth was one of the few hard-hit balls the Mets mustered all night against Marlins starter Kevin Slowey, directly leading to a run.

Three Down:
1. C Anthony Recker: You really feel for a guy like Recker, who must make the most of his rare opportunities to produce. But Recker’s three mistakes in the ninth inning — his throw to third base, his passed ball and his inability to corral the game-winning wild pitch — hurt the Mets, and he is the first to admit it.

1. OF Mike Baxter: The Mets still have not found an answer at leadoff. Baxter went 0-for-4 in that slot Tuesday, and is batting .143 as a leadoff hitter this season.

2. SS Ruben Tejada: A rare 0-for-4 from Tejada, who had been swinging the bat quite well. This “Down” could have also gone to David Wright, but he receives bonus points for his defensive work and willingness to play through injury.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+3
RHP Matt Harvey, INF Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd, LHP Scott Rice, 3B David Wright, LHP Jon Niese, SS Ruben Tejada
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, 2B Daniel Murphy
-1
RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Bobby Parnell
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Jordany Valdespin, OF Mike Baxter, C Anthony Recker
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-6
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Marlins 4, Mets 3: Three Up, Three Down

Free baseball! Lots of it.

Three Up:
1. C John Buck: What more can one say about this guy? He may not be as white-hot as he was over the first two weeks of the season, but his power production has barely slowed. And his handling of the pitching staff may be even more valuable.

2. 3B Justin Turner: Subbing for the injured David Wright, Turner’s 3-for-5 effort ensured their would be no loss of offensive production. He even made a nifty (harrowing?) play on defense to cut down the lead runner in the seventh.

3. SS Ruben Tejada: Another real nice play on defense, and the last of Tejada’s three hits could have (should have?) been the game-winner. This man is playing quite well in all aspects of the game.

Three Down:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: This is turning into a troublesome slump (1-for-19) for Murphy, who is no longer spraying line drives all over the field. He’s too good a hitter to stay down for long, but it’s been a rough ride over the past few games.

2. RHP Bobby Parnell: You can argue that Parnell’s second blown save, like his first one, was not entirely his fault. But the fact is, Parnell put the leadoff men on base on a rocket double in the ninth and a hit batsman in the 10th. That’s not acceptable.

3. OF Collin Cowgill: In the game for defensive purposes, Cowgill’s misplay of Rob Brantly’s pop fly in the ninth directly led to the game-tying run. Offensively, he remains mired in a season-long slump.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+3
RHP Matt Harvey, INF Justin Turner, SS Ruben Tejada

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd, LHP Scott Rice, 3B David Wright, LHP Jon Niese
-1
RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Brandon Lyon, OF Lucas Duda, C Anthony Recker, OF Mike Baxter, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Bobby Parnell
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Jordany Valdespin
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-6
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

The scene: Harvey vs. Fernandez

The future is vibrant tonight at Marlins Ballpark, where Matt Harvey and the Mets are taking on rookie Jose Fernandez and the Marlins.

IMG_2415

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Phillies sweep Mets: Three Up, Three Down

A delayed reaction to this weekend’s sweep at the hands of the Phillies. We’ll run through it quickly here to update the standings:

Friday: Phillies 4, Mets 0
Three Up: RHP Jeurys Familia, LHP Josh Edgin, SS Ruben Tejada
Three Down: 2B Daniel Murphy, OF Mike Baxter, C John Buck

Saturday: Phillies 9, Mets 4
Three Up: 3B David Wright, C John Buck, LHP Scott Rice
Three Down: 2B Daniel Murphy, RHP Shaun Marcum, LHP Robert Carson

Sunday: Phillies 5, Mets 1
Three Up: 3B David Wright, LHP Jon Niese, SS Ruben Tejada
Three Down: 2B Daniel Murphy, C John Buck, RHP Scott Atchison

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
C John Buck
+3
RHP Matt Harvey

+2
INF Justin Turner, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd, LHP Scott Rice, 3B David Wright, SS Ruben Tejada, LHP Jon Niese
+1
OF Collin Cowgill, 2B Daniel Murphy
-1
RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Brandon Lyon, OF Lucas Duda, C Anthony Recker, OF Mike Baxter, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Scott Atchison
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Jordany Valdespin
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-6
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Ike on slow start: “I don’t like letting the team down”

Ike Davis is frustrated again. Here are some of the first baseman’s comments after today’s loss:

On another slow start: “I feel that I have a lot of time to make up ground. Obviously it’s frustrating. I’m frustrated. I don’t like letting the team down like I have, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

On strikeout totals: “I don’t like striking out. If I was faster, I’d be upset. But if I hit a slow ground ball, I’m not going to beat it out. But I want to make contact more, because if I make contact more it’s probably going to mean I’m going to hit more balls on the barrel, and I’ll have more doubles and home runs. But I think last year I struck out a lot in the beginning. The strikeouts will go down too.”

On breaking out: “I guarantee in one of these next couple months that I’m actually going to help the team win a lot of games, and be the guy that if someone else isn’t hitting so well, I’ll be the guy to lean on. I have confidence in myself, but it is frustrating. There’s nothing else really I can say. It’s not like I’m not working. Obviously if you weren’t working right now, you don’t deserve to be here. It’s going to get better.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Dodgers 3, Mets 2: Three Up, Three Down

One step forward, one step back. One step forward, one step back.

Three Up:
1. RHP Jeremy Hefner: A nice rebound for a starting pitcher who sorely needed it. The Mets would have done well to take better advantage of Hefner’s day, but can at least hope it’s the start of better things to come.

2. SS Ruben Tejada: If defense can slump, Tejada is currently on fire with the glove. But his greatest contribution Thursday may have come on the bases, where he deftly scrambled to third on a wild pitch in the third, allowing David Wright to hit a game-tying sacrifice fly.

3. 2B Daniel Murphy: Murphy continues to show a knack for fortitude when it counts, singling to further a rally in the sixth inning and walking to advance another rally in the eighth. You’d still like to see more power from Murphy, but he’s a good bat to have with the game on the line.

Three Down:
1. 3B David Wright: If nothing else, Wright has to advance the lead runner to third base with two men on and no outs in the eighth. He did not, and the Mets did not score. The rest, as Howie says, is in the books.

2. LHP Scott Rice: Rice had been playing with fire with free passes all season, but it was actually a leadoff double to a right-handed hitter that did him in Thursday. The Dodgers played ABC baseball from there, moving Nick Punto over on a groundout and scoring him on a single.

3. C Anthony Recker: Recker’s job is extremely difficult, coming off the bench to play no more than once a week. Still, he failed to put the ball in play twice in three at-bats Thursday, which — rust or not — won’t earn him any additional playing time.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+4
2B Daniel Murphy
+3
RHP Matt Harvey

+2
INF Justin Turner, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd
+1
LHP Jon Niese, OF Collin Cowgill, LHP Robert Carson, LHP Scott Rice
-1
RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Brandon Lyon, OF Lucas Duda, C Anthony Recker
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Jordany Valdespin
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-5
LHP Josh Edgin
-6
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 7, Dodgers 3: Three Up, Three Down

JV1 FTW.

Three Up:
1. OF Jordany Valdespin: Say what you will about Valdespin’s shortcomings; he’s one fun player to watch. Valdespin’s walk-off grand slam was just the sixth in team history and the Mets’ first in 22 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

2. PH Mike Baxter: David Wright may have come up with the game-tying hit, but Baxter’s leadoff hit and hustle were the reasons why Wright was in that spot in the first place. He’s an ideal bat off the bench for the Mets.

3. OF Lucas Duda: It’s weird to see Duda ever have a non-Three True Outcomes plate appearance, but my scorebook insists that he singled and doubled in his first two at-bats. A return to normalcy came in the sixth, when Duda walked.

Three Down:
1. 1B Ike Davis: His single was nice, his walk was big, and he lined into a tough-luck out in his second at-bat. But Davis is still striking out far too much when it counts, including a big whiff with runners on the corners and two outs in the fifth.

2. 2B Daniel Murphy: Not a bad game for Murphy, but he receives the “Down” for popping out with one out and the potential tying run on third base in the ninth. Wright later came through, but Murphy needs to get that run home.

3. RHP Matt Harvey: I’m not putting Harvey here because I think his performance was bad. I’m putting him here because he does. That’s the beauty of this guy — he wants to be great, and isn’t satisfied with merely adequate. Same goes for us here at Three Up, Three Down.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+3
RHP Matt Harvey, 2B Daniel Murphy

+2
INF Justin Turner, LHP Scott Rice, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd
+1
LHP Jon Niese, 3B David Wright, OF Collin Cowgill, LHP Robert Carson
-1
RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Brandon Lyon, SS Ruben Tejada, OF Lucas Duda
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Jordany Valdespin
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-5
LHP Josh Edgin
-6
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Dodgers 7, Mets 2: Three Up, Three Down

Mark Ellis  = nemesis.

Three Up:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Hit machine Murphy did it again with the bat, coming through with a big RBI single off Clayton Kershaw in the third inning. He also did it with the glove, making a nice backhand stab and jump-throw to rob Andre Ethier of a hit in the fourth.

2. SS Ruben Tejada: Maybe Terry Collins was right when he chalked up Tejada’s defensive struggles to the cold weather earlier this season. Tejada has impressed defensively so far this homestand, making two more outstanding plays Tuesday.

3. LHP Robert Carson: Jokes aside, the seven-pitch walk he drew off Kershaw in the third inning put New York’s offense in motion. He also did just fine on the mound, stretching out to 2 1/3 innings before allowing a homer to the final man he faced.

Three Down:
1. RHP Brandon Lyon: He’s been great this season, so consider this a blip. But Lyon could not escape a jam of his own making in the seventh inning, serving up the game-winning three-run homer to Ellis.

2. LHP Josh Edgin: This has been some forgettable run for Edgin, and there’s a decent chance it could earn him a ticket back to the minors. Dating back to April 16, Edgin has recorded eight outs, given up nine hits and allowed nine runs.

3. OF Marlon Byrd: Over his last six games, Byrd is 4-for-20 with nine strikeouts and no walks. Four of those outs and two of the strikeouts came Tuesday against the Dodgers.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+4
RHP Matt Harvey, 2B Daniel Murphy

+2
INF Justin Turner, LHP Scott Rice, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd
+1
LHP Jon Niese, 3B David Wright, OF Collin Cowgill, LHP Robert Carson
-1
RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Dillon Gee, OF Mike Baxter, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Brandon Lyon, SS Ruben Tejada
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Lucas Duda
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Jordany Valdespin

-5
1B Ike Davis, LHP Josh Edgin

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 2, Nationals 0: Three Up, Three Down

Taking two of three from the Nationals seems a fine way for the Mets to start this nine-game homestand.

Three Up:
1. C John Buck: Once again, Buck came through when no one else could, hitting a booming home run into the second deck in left-center and also making a fine throw on defense. He and Matt Harvey have been the club’s clear April MVPs.

2. LHP Scott Rice: Begrudge him for creating the eighth-inning jam if you will, but Rice continues generating outs when he needs them most. His double play ball on a 3-0 fastball to Jayson Werth was the biggest pitch of Sunday’s game.

3. RHP LaTroy Hawkins: What a pitch by Hawkins to escape the sixth-inning drama that Dillon Gee created. Ninety-two miles per hour on the black sounds about right.

Three Down:
1. OF Lucas Duda: Three strikeouts looking, the last two of them on 3-2 fastballs. Duda may need to take a tip from SNY’s Keith Hernandez and be a little more aggressive in those counts.

2. OF Jordany Valdespin: Another tough “Down” for Valdespin, but he has cooled considerably following a hot start. Valdespin is now in an 0-for-8 mini-slump.

3. 1B Ike Davis: Davis did single Sunday, but the Mets are not paying him to single. Only one strikeout from Davis, but the power hitting needs to start surfacing.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+4
RHP Matt Harvey

+3
OF Marlon Byrd, 2B Daniel Murphy
+2
INF Justin Turner, LHP Scott Rice, RHP LaTroy Hawkins
+1
LHP Jon Niese, 3B David Wright, OF Collin Cowgill
-1
RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Dillon Gee, OF Mike Baxter, RHP Jeremy Hefner
-2
RHP Greg Burke, SS Ruben Tejada, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Lucas Duda
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Jordany Valdespin
-4
LHP Josh Edgin

-5
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Nationals 7, Mets 6: Three Up, Three Down

The Mets are now 7-1 when Jon Niese and Matt Harvey pitch, and 1-7 with everyone else.

Three Up:
1. C John Buck: He may have stopped hitting home runs every single game, but Buck’s base hits have still been big. His RBI double in the seventh inning Saturday temporarily tied the game for the Mets.

2. SS Justin Turner: Turner has started five games this season. He is 10-for-22 with two doubles and three RBI in those games.

3. OF Collin Cowgill: It’s been a tough couple of week for Cowgill, who has not done much since his Opening Day grand slam. That two-run single to put the Mets on the board against Gio Gonzalez must have felt good.

Three Down:
1. RHP Jeremy Hefner: You can live with hits against Hefner, but he is not the type of pitcher who can get away with three walks in four innings. That’s the one thing that needs to change.

2. LHP Aaron Laffey: When Laffey entered the game in the fifth inning, it seemed conceivable that the Mets might try to get two or three innings out of the lefty. Instead, they received two outs (and three runs).

3. 1B Ike Davis: Another 0-for-4, including three strikeouts, has some wondering whether Lucas Duda might be the better fit higher in the lineup.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
C John Buck
+4
RHP Matt Harvey

+3
OF Marlon Byrd, 2B Daniel Murphy
+2
INF Justin Turner
+1
LHP Jon Niese, LHP Scott Rice, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, 3B David Wright, OF Collin Cowgill
-1
RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Dillon Gee, OF Mike Baxter, OF Lucas Duda, RHP Jeremy Hefner
-2
RHP Greg Burke, SS Ruben Tejada, OF Jordany Valdespin, LHP Aaron Laffey
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
-4
LHP Josh Edgin, 1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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