First up is Nick Evans. Somebody didn’t tell Nick Evans that Citi Field is a pitchers park! Evans crushed a pitch down the left field line for his first HR of 2009. It was a shot that would have made Gary Sheffield proud. Nick has had a tough time since spring training but you really cant blame him. Evans hit .263/.330/.488 in 80 at-bats in spring training and was demoted for MARLON ANDERSON! Cant blame the guy for needing a sport psychiatrist after that news lol. Guess all Nicky needed was a shot in the bigs and if that shot is not enough to earn him another start in the powerless Mets, I don’t know what would. The Mets are 3rd to last in the NL in HR’s, a shot in the arm for power is very welcomed and much needed. Not to mention Nicky went 2/3 with 2 RBI and 2 Runs!
Next up is Fernando Nieve. Talk about a diamond in the rough. Fernando earned his thirdÂ win of the year last tonight with a solid 6 inning of shut out ball. Omar seem to have a knack of finding these type of players and getting the max out of them. Nieve in 3 starts has a .93 WHIP and an ERA of 1.31. Fernando didn’t make the club out of spring training, but what a job he has been doing in the wake of John Maine and Oliver Perez going on the DL. While most people(myself included) want a bigger sample before we hop on the Nieve bandwagon(driven by smooth), you have got to like what you see so far. Nieve attacks the zone and shows he has intelligence. Nieve faced Albert Pujols with men on base every single time and got him to fly out and walked him twice. What i mean by intelligence is he knew enough to pass the buck to Ankiel to beat him without shying away from attacking Pujols. That is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted as anyone who has seen an Oliver Perez outing will tell you. Nieve has definitely raised eyebrows and has got to have the Astros front office eating their baseball hats.
Next up is David Wright. David continues to blaze the path of leadership by going 4/4 with 3 runs and a steal of 3rd base. David is the last man standing from the core and is not letting that affect his game at all. David Wright is hitting .359 on the year. The next closest to David Wright is Christian Guzman at .337! David has deliberately changed his game to be successful at Citi Field as evidence by his low HR numbers for this time of the year(David has 4 home runs this year but by the same time last year he had 12). On a statistic they showed on MLB Network(which btw is awesome and if you have not seen it i highly suggest it), David Wright’s hits to the outfield last year(percentage wise) broke down like this: 54%-LF 21%-CF 25%-RF. This year however, he has stopped pulling the ball and has really done a better job at going the other way as evidence to his splits this year: 42%-LF 26%-CF 32%-RF. His pull numbers are down but hits up the middle and the other way are up from last year and im sure alot of it has to do with Citi Field. While it is still early to suggest that David will not have many home runs because of Citi(3 of his 4 HRs were at Citi), his change in game has definitely added consistency to an inconsistent lineup. By the way, David has 19 SB so far this year and is on pace for 44.
Last up is Ryan “Ryno” Church(hat tip to TKFJ). Ryno in his best outing this year, went 3/4 with 2 RBI’s and 2 Runs. Ryan was batting cleanup tonight and what a much needed improvement from that spot than what we got last night. Ryan is hitting a cool .276 on the year and may have done well to secure another shot at cleanup in the near future. Manuel said upon Ryans return that he will be his “every day” starting outfielder and for once Manuel is staying true to his word. Ryan has started almost every game since coming back from the DL to give the Mets a bat they so desperately need right now. Keep it up Ryan, (insert deity) knows the Mets need you.
Brian Schneider has a thing with two runners on as he almost had his 3rd HR with two runners on again tonight, but it hit off the wall. Im sure Brian will settle for the 2 RBI’s though.
Fernando Tatis has been money when it comes to double plays in this series and he had one today. Tatis gets an honorable mention because some how, he came away tonight with 3 RBI’s. Its nothing personal against Tatis and im sure we all want him to succeed and do well, considering the state of the team but he really has not given us anything yet to be hopeful. I think we may be seeing him turn the corner, but until then let Ryan Church man the 4th hole for a while.
Bobby Parnell who had a nice and quiet 9th inning to close out the game. Bobby has not been used for the last two games as Jerry has made a strong commitment to resting the regulars out of the bullpen. We shall soon find out if Bobby’s tough stretch was due to the mental taxing of everyday use for such a young player.