Tagged: Gary Sheffield

Mets win at Citi Field on 4-run bunt

IT was an ugly 7th inning, but sweet revenge for a disappointing Opening Night loss.

After an evening where nothing meant everything, the Mets produced everything out of nothing to record their first ever win at Citi Field.

The New York Mets put up a four spot on the strength of a bunt single, back-to-back four-pitch walks, a stolen base, sac fly, intentional walk, error and two wild pitches to beat the San Diego Padres 7-2 on Wednesday.

Oliver Perez allowed one run on three hits and two walks over six innings; Carlos Delgado hit a hanging slider into the Pepsi Porch for his second home run of the year and Gary Sheffield made his first start of the season as the Mets improved to 4-4 on the season and 1-1 at Citi Field.

Perez, who was 10-7 with a 4.22 ERA in the 2008 season, got his first win of the 2009 campaign and the Mets bullpen pitched three innings of shutout ball as clubs around the league honoured Jackie Robinson day.

Perez threw all three of his pitches for strikes, including a slider with a nasty sinking action, and he settled into the rhythm of the game quickly after getting roughed up by the Cincinatti Reds the last time out.

 

Lead

After stranding Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran in the 2nd inning after they had reached base with no outs, the Mets got on the board in the 4th.

Daniel Murphy singled to centre field, David Wright singled to right and Carlos Delgado walked. Carlos Beltran singled to right to put the Mets on the board and Gary Sheffield produced a run despite grounding into a routine 6-4-3 double play.

Gary Sheffield, in his first start for the Mets, also struck out with two men on base and drew a four-pitch walk.

It was this walk which put the wheels in motion for a crooked Padres inning and marked the start of a problematic period for Padres’ reliever Gregerson who threw ten straight balls in the bottom of the 7th inning after going 1-2-3 in the home half of the 6th.

Edward Mujica came in to face Luis Castillo on a 2-0 count with Sheffield on second and Schneider on first, but Castillo dropped down a perfect bunt single down the third base line.

Kouzmanoff stuttered, staggered and inexplicably headed backwards towards the bag, forcing Mujica – who got the win in the opening game at Citi Field on one pitch – to try and field the ball.

He over-ran it to load the bases for Ryan Church and he then threw the ball away on a wild pitch to score Sheffield to make it 3-1.

Church struck out on an inside slider and Mujica intentionally walked Jose Reyes to get to Daniel Murphy who lofted a deep fly ball to right field to score Schneider on the sac fly.

Reyes took off on the next pitch as Mujica threw his second wild pitch of the inning. Castillo darted home from third base to beat Hundley’s throw to Mujica who had moved 60ft forward to try and block the plate and Reyes followed him home when he saw the ball squirm away.

Adrian Gonzalez made a last-ditch attempt to get Reyes at home as e knew the ball from his knees at the backstop, but the head-first slide easily beat the play to extend the lead to 6-1.

Delgado connected with a solo shot on a hanging slider in the 8th to make it 7-1 after JJ Putz had threw a zero on the board and Adrian Gonzalez hit his 100th home run in the top of the 9th inning against Sean Green.

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Josh Anderson: cheap speed in the outfield

AT the end of my 12-team head-to-head draft, one of the owners said they needed a little bit more speed in their lineup.

They considered trading one of their excess power bats for some wheels, but also asked me if there was anyone on waivers who could maybe help out.

I had a quick look over the outfielders on the waivers list and threw out the name of Josh Anderson – a 26-year-old leftie who came up through the Astros system after being drafted in the 4th round of the 2003 amatuer draft.

Anderson has a history of being fleet footed. He swiped 280 bases over six seasons in A-ball, including 40 at the Astros’ AAA team Roundrock Express in 2007 and 42 last year for the Richmond Braves (Atlanta’s AAA affiliate) in the International League.

During his short big league stay in 2008 in Atlanta, he stole 10 bases in just 136 at bats, so the upside is there for 25 or more with regular playing time.

Unfortunately, there were two main problems with Anderson.

  1. He was fighting for, and ultimately set to lose, the final outfield spot in the Braves’ Major League roster.
  2. He has no pop, and I mean none.


josh anderson.jpgLuckily for Anderson, one of those problems solved itself with the surprise departure of Gary Sheffield.

Anderson was traded to the Detroit Tigers at the end of March. Shef, seemingly a lock in the Tigers’ outfield, was cut free the very next day.

With Granderson and Ordonez the only two guarantees in the outfield, Anderson should get plenty of opportunities to play.

He is better than Thames and Guillen will be seeing plenty of at bats in the DH spot. Maybe more importantly, he is a left-handed bat in a lineup dominated by righties and he can play all three outfield positions.

Anderson will probably hit around the .270 mark, but he has the skills and potential to bat anywhere up to .290. If he could improve his patience and build on that 4 per cent walk rate, he could seriously raise his OBP and prove to be a real threat.

But with a histroy of being a career .340 OBP guy, the chances of that are slim. You’ve heard it a million times, but you can’t steal first base.

He hit three home runs and stole seven bases last September, so there is something there, but you are not going to be drafting him for his home runs and RBI.

Bid for the 20 steals and hope for more than 300 at bats. A tiny spattering of long fly balls are nothing more than a frequent and unexpected bonus.

If your fantasy league is anything like mine, there won’t be a surplus of speed in the free agant pool. Maybe only a Rajai Davis or Joey Gathright if you’re lucky. And even then, how desperate do you need to be to get them??

They only hit three home runs and walked 28 times between them in 493 at bats in ’08!

If you have a spare spot for a 4th OF on your roster, now might be the time to grab him. I just have.