Results tagged ‘ Bobby Parnell ’

Mets 3, Pirates 2: Three Up, Three Down

Meet Mike Baxter. He’s the walk-off singles guy.

Three Up:
1. OF Mike Baxter: If the Mets need a home run in the later innings, they call on Jordany Valdespin. If they need a single, they call on Baxter, who continues to be one of the more valuable left-handed pinch-hitters in baseball.

2. OF Juan Lagares: That catch in center field saved the game. Lagares is receiving regular playing time almost exclusively because of his defensive reputation, and he justified it in the ninth inning Thursday.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: He may have given up the tying run, but he entered with the bases loaded and no outs and allowed nothing more than that. That makes him one of the most valuable players of this game.

Three Down:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Four at-bats, four ground balls to first base This is one streaky hitter, who is having miserable start to the month of May.

2. SS Ruben Tejada: An 0-for-4 from Tejada meant the Mets absorbed an 0-for-8 from the first two batters in their lineup. That’s typically a recipe for a loss, though the Mets managed to recover.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: Sure he earned the win with a scoreless inning. He also gave up a leadoff hit and a rocket fly ball to center, which probably should have cost the Mets the game. It was actually one of his worst-pitched innings of the season, which says more about Parnell’s year than anything else. He’s been terrific.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
C John Buck
+4
3B David Wright, RHP Matt Harvey, IF Justin Turner

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

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-7
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 1, White Sox 0: Three Up, Three Down

Goodness.

Three Up:
1. RHP Matt Harvey: What additional superlatives can we rain on this guy? You get the feeling it’s really only a matter of time before he does throw a no-hitter. Or seven.

2. OF Mike Baxter: For all the praise we heap on Jordany Valdespin, guess who’s had the better success rate as a pinch hitter, both this year and last. It’s Baxter, and it’s not particularly close.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: The 10th inning that Parnell pitched came under more stressful conditions than most save situations. Frank Francisco may be back soon, but Parnell more than deserves to remain the closer.

Three Down:
1. OF Lucas Duda: Two more called third strikes on an 0-for-4 night. He’s slashing .184/.310/.306 since April 20, a span of 14 games, and is 2-for-16 so far in May.

2. 3B David Wright: A rare off game for the captain on a day when the Mets very much needed some offense. When the offense struggles, Wright takes the rap.

3. SS Ruben Tejada: That would have been an amazing play had Tejada managed to nail Rios with his jump-throw in the seventh. More to the point: Tejada left two men in scoring position in the second inning, finishing 1-for-4 at the plate.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+4
3B David Wright, RHP Matt Harvey
+3
INF Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, LHP Scott Rice, RHP Bobby Parnell
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, LHP Jon Niese, OF Marlon Byrd, SS Ruben Tejada
-1
RHP Scott Atchison
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, C Anthony Recker, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Lucas Duda

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-6
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 7, Braves 5: Three Up, Three Down

Terry Collins called this one the win of the year. It certainly felt that way for the Mets.

Three Up:
1. OF Jordany Valdespin: He makes so many mistakes throughout the course of a week, and yet it’s impossible to ignore this guy’s energy. Valdespin’s steal of second base was a critical play in the 10th inning, directly leading to the winning run.

2. 3B David Wright: A game-tying, ninth-inning home run against a guy who does not give up home runs? That was Captain America’s contribution to the win.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: With all due respect to Jeurys Familia’s first career save, it was Parnell who entered with one out and the winning run on third base in the 10th. A popup and a groundout later, and the Mets were out of the jam.

Three Down:
1. RHP Shaun Marcum: A noted control expert, Marcum has now walked six batters in 10 innings this season. He is averaging five innings per start, which is taxing the bullpen and simply not getting it done.

2. 1B Justin Turner: Once again starting over Ike Davis, Turner finished with a rare 0-for-3 before giving way to a pinch-hitter. He entered the game with a .419 average in games that he started, versus a .143 mark coming off the bench.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: Not a good day for the setup man, who coughed up the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, then needed Parnell’s help to avoid doing so again in the ninth. Lyon’s ERA is slowly creeping up near five.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+4
3B David Wright
+3
RHP Matt Harvey

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd, LHP Scott Rice, LHP Jon Niese, SS Ruben Tejada, INF Justin Turner
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Bobby Parnell
-1
RHP Scott Atchison, OF Lucas Duda
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Mike Baxter, C Anthony Recker, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-6
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 7, Marlins 6: Three Up, Three Down

For the first time in some time, the Mets pull out a close one.

Three Up:
1. OF Jordany Valdespin: He had been slumping hard for the past few weeks, but all bets are off when Valdespin comes up in a pinch-hit situation. His three-run homer marked the sixth pinch-hit shot of his career, delivering a win for the Mets.

2. 3B David Wright: Only Wright knows how much his stiff neck is still bothering him, but it hardly seems to matter. He homered and finished with three hits in Wednesday’s game, also making a nifty barehanded play on defense in the seventh.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: It says something about Parnell’s character that he was so angry the Mets did not use him in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s loss. Perhaps channeling a bit of that ire, retiring the Marlins on seven pitches in the ninth.

Three Down:
1. OF Lucas Duda: To be fair, it was a devilish hop. But Duda’s misplay in left field brought the Marlins back into the game, at a time when the Mets had grown relatively comfortable with his defense out there. He also struck out thrice, finishing 0-for-4.

2. 2B Daniel Murphy: Murphy’s bat seems to be coming around again — this guy rarely slumps for long — but his glove cost the Mets in a ways that doesn’t show up in the box score. Murphy would be the first to admit he needed to glove Justin Ruggiano’s RBI single in the first.

3. RHP Dillon Gee: Simply put, Gee needs to pitch deeper into games. So far this season, he has not been the same pitcher who displayed genuine improvement across the board during the first half of 2012.

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

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd, LHP Scott Rice, LHP Jon Niese, SS Ruben Tejada
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner
-1
RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, OF Lucas Duda
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Mike Baxter, C Anthony Recker, RHP Dillon Gee
-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.

Rockies 9, Mets 8: Three Up, Three Down

Fourteen hours after arriving at the ballpark, the Mets have themselves a victory.

Three Up:
1. OF Marlon Byrd: Kudos to Byrd, who now has 10 RBI in 39 at-bats. Compare that to all of last season, when Byrd drove in nine runs in 143 at-bats.

2. RHP Scott Atchison: He’s shown some grit this season, pitching in and out of a jam in the seventh inning with the tying and go-ahead runs on base. Discredit Atchison for loading the bases in the first place if you want; I’ll credit him for striking out perennial All-Star Troy Tulowitzki with the game on the line.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: Sure, he blew a save and let Carlos Gonzalez steal a key base. He also faced four batters, generated a soft ground ball and struck out the side in a tie game in the ninth. It was a dominating performance from the Mets’ closer.

Three Down:
1. LHP Josh Edgin: With starter Aaron Laffey pitching only four innings, the Mets needed some length out of Edgin. Instead, the lefty specialist faced five batters and allowed four of them to reach base. All four later scored.

2. OF Mike Baxter: Coming on as an injury replacement for Lucas Duda, Baxter almost immediately misplayed Carlos Gonzalez’s fly ball into a rally-extending double. He also finished 0-for-1 at the plate.

3. SS Ruben Tejada: Tejada’s throwing error in the ninth inning resulted in a blown save for Parnell and a tie game in the eighth, after the Mets had led by as many as six runs. Tejada now has six errors in 13 games.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
C John Buck

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

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 4, Twins 2: Three Up, Three Down

This Harvey kid is really something, ain’t he?

Three Up:
1. RHP Matt Harvey: In merely his 13th career start, Harvey took a no-hitter into the seventh, finishing with eight innings of one-run ball. In short, he was incredible.

2. DH Justin Turner: Give Turner credit: he makes the most of his opportunities. Three times Turner has appeared in the starting lineup this season, and twice he has recorded three hits.

3. OF Marlon Byrd: Props to Byrd, whose leadoff homer in the fourth inning extended the Mets’ home run streak to 11 consecutive games to start the season. Was not expecting that.

Three Down:
1. RHP Bobby Parnell: Finally, a save opportunity! Though Parnell nailed it down with two strikeouts, he also gave up two hits and a run first. Next time, the margin may be slimmer and he’ll need to be sharper.

2. 1B Ike Davis: Moments after his only hit of the afternoon, Davis was gunned down trying to stretch it into a double. It’s been that kind of early season for him.

3. OF Lucas Duda: Though catcher John Buck went 0-for-4, it’s tough to mark him as a “Down” when he also called Harvey’s gem. Instead it goes to Duda, who went 0-for-2 and was again subbed out on defense.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
C John Buck
+4
2B Daniel Murphy

+3
RHP Matt Harvey
+2
OF Marlon Byrd

+1
OF Jordany Valdespin, LHP Jon Niese, INF Justin Turner
-1
RHP Jeurys Familia, SS Ruben Tejada, LHP Aaron Laffey, 3B David Wright, RHP Bobby Parnell
-2
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Greg Burke, OF Lucas Duda
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
-4
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Meet Bobby Parnell, new Mets closer

The Mets installed Bobby Parnell as their closer last night, assuming Frank Francisco begins the season on the disabled list. Despite his fantastic season in 2012, Parnell struggled in a few of his save opportunities when Francisco was injured, leading to the perception that he’s not closer material.

IMG_2066The numbers, however, say that he is. Parnell can still throw over 100 miles per hour when he wants to. He has found a trusted secondary pitch in the knuckle-curve that Jason Isringhausen taught him two years ago. He wants badly to be a closer.

But perhaps most importantly, Parnell took an enormous step forward with his control in 2012, walking 2.6 batters per nine innings. He issued 4.1 free passes per nine in 2011, in line with his career rate of 4.0. As long as Parnell can hold steady with his control as a closer in 2013, there is no rational reason to believe he will struggle.

As for Francisco, who knows? If Parnell seizes this opportunity and Francisco remains sidelined for any significant period of time, the closer’s job may be in new hands for good. Certainly, the Mets are excited to see what Parnell can do in the role.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets’ bullpen a strength?

An MLB.com colleague recently asked me to rank the five NL East teams on offense, defense, starting rotation and bullpen heading into the season. Some of the choices were clear-cut: Phillies with the best rotation, for example (duh). Others, not so much.

When I submitted my NL East ballot, I had the Mets ranked highly in two categories: defense (in which I ranked them first), and bullpen. In my opinion, the Braves have the best relief corps in the division, despite the loss of Billy Wagner. After that, I grappled over whether to choose New York or Washington, in the end selecting the Mets because they possess a proven closer and the Nationals — right now, at least — do not.

After I sent in my picks, my colleague and I argued over that choice for quite some time. He pointed to the Marlins, who also revamped their bullpen this winter and look stronger than they did a year ago (in short, he accused me of drinking the blue-and-orange Kool-Aid). I pointed to the fact that the Mets ranked fifth in the league in bullpen ERA last year and arguably only got stronger this offseason, adding important arms such as D.J. Carrasco and Taylor Buchholz. Do I have concerns about the bullpen? Of course — most notably, I don’t trust Tim Byrdak to be the lockdown lefty specialist that Pedro Feliciano was in years past. But I feel strongly enough about the group as a whole to rank them ahead of the Nationals, Marlins and Phillies (in that order).

The point is, I felt somewhat vindicated today when I read this story on Fangraphs discussing the relative merits of New York’s bullpen. Does that mean the Mets will be great at closing out games this year? Maybe, maybe not — injuries and year-to-year variance always play a significant role in that. But consider that the Mets just left Jason Isringhausen and Manny Acosta – two very useful relievers — off their Opening Day roster. That, if anything, speaks to the strength of this new-look bullpen.

The Mets have problems heading into the season — that much is clear. I just don’t think the bullpen (or the defense, for that matter) is one of them.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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