Tag: Curtis Granderson

Apple Citi Field

The Mets are considering bringing in the fences at Citi Field once again


The other day, in the same conversation in which he mentioned that the Mets weren’t going to spend big this winter, Mets GM Sandy Alderson talked about bringing in the fences at Citi Field. Specifically in right-center field.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Mets brought the fences in — they did so prior to both the 2011 and 2012 seasons — but it didn’t really help all that much before. The park got a little more home run friendly, but the offensive environment still favored pitchers overall. Terry Collins was asked about the possibility of the yet unspecified changes to right-center yesterday. He likes the idea:

“I think it’s going to help us a little bit confidence-wise when you get in that batter’s box and say, ‘Hey, look, I can use the field and do some damage here,’ because that’s what a lot of guys in this lineup are paid to do, and that’s get big hits. I think it would be great for us.”

That works both ways, of course, as the opposing team is aided too. In the past several years, Mets hitters simply haven’t been good enough as a group to take as much advantage of those changes as the visitors have. Although it’s probably worth noting that the Mets’ pitching is only getting better and that may neutralize such differential advantages.

Marc Carig of Newsday talks about what potential changes could mean for the Mets this offseason, noting that reducing that distance to right-center could mean improvements for Curtis Granderson and David Wright. And such improvements would help make up for the fact that, no, the Mets don’t plan on spending a lot of money this winter.

Here’s a crazy idea: make the park better for existing players AND get some better players too. Unless those are mutually-exclusive efforts for reasons that aren’t apparent.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Tyler Flowers

White Sox 5, Athletics 4: This is how a season is woofed away. Not with a bang, but a whimper. The A’s took a 4-3 lead into the ninth, but Eric O’Flaherty gave up a homer to Tyler Flowers which tied the game. Onto extras where, in the twelfth, Jesse Chavez gave up another homer to Flowers. OK, so I guess that was with a bang — two actually — but not from Oakland.

Mariners 4, Astros 1: And I do mean woofed away. As it may potentially be, with the M’s now only a game behind the A’s. Here Brad Miller’s eighth inning triple plated two and then he came in on a subsequent Austin Jackson single. Felix Hernandes tossed six shutout innings but got the no-decision because, well, that’s more in keeping with what has always happened to him as opposed to all the winning he’s done this year.

Blue Jays 8, Cubs 0: Marcus Stroman with The Maddux (i.e. a shuout in under 100 pitches). His took 93 pitches. He allowed three hits and struck out eight against Maddux’s former team.

Tigers 9, Royals 5: A crucial head-to-head series starts with the Tigers on top, pulling to within one game in the Central. A six-run third inning was the difference-maker here. Justin Verlander was OK, allowing four runs in seven innings, but the Tigers will accept OK from him these days. The win was the 9,000th in Tigers franchise history.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 0: The Orioles have a ten-game lead in the East. That’s their largest since they won the pennant in 1979. One guess as to the last time any team had a lead as big in the AL East. Guess all you want, you’ll never get it. The answer: the 1984 Tigers. Which, yes, us old people still remember being in the AL East, but no one else does. [UPDATE: I have no idea whey I said that. It was part of an online conversation that I badly misinterpreted and mangled. Carry on]. Miguel Gonzalez with six and a third shutout innings. Nelson Cruz with a couple of hits.

Dodgers 9, Padres 4: Clayton Kershaw wins his 18th, allowing only one earned run in eight innings and reducing his ERA to a silly 1.67. Carl Crawford hit a three-run homer. But boy, you gotta see those unearned runs.

Mets 3, Rockies 2: Two runs in the ninth as the Mets rally to win it. Curtis Granderson was the engine here, with the RBI triple to plate one of those runs and by coming in to score the second.

Cardinals 5, Reds 0: St. Louis has won their ninth of ten to keep their surge alive. A two-run single for Matt Carpenter broke the scoreless tie in the seventh and a three-run Matt Adams homer broke it wide open in the ninth. Cincinnati’s bullpen has a record of 0-14 since the All-Star break.

Pirates 6, Phillies 4: Jeff Locke allowed one run over seven and struck out nine. Though most of the action took place in the eighth with the Pirates plating four of their six runs and the Phillies three of their four. Starling Marte singled, doubled and homered. Pittsburgh remains in the second wild card slot, a game and a half up on Milwaukee and Atlanta.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,500. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Nationals 2, Braves 1: Doug Fister shut the Braves the heck down for seven innings, allowing only two hits. Atlanta still had a shot against the Nats’ bullpen in the eighth, but strikeouts and a foul out by Justin Upton with men on killed any hope. Braves couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag. No one in Atlanta seems to care all that much, so I’m struggling to think why I should at this point. Oh, Atlanta. What an uninspiring bunch.

Angels 12, Indians 3: Jered Weaver wins his 16th, which leads the AL. Albert Pujols was 3 for 5 with a homer and three driven in. Kole Calhoun hit a two-run homer and David Freese had a three-run shot of his own in the makeup game.

Marlins 6, Brewers 4: The Brewers continue to skid out of control. A Marlins slugger hit a monster home run. But this time it wasn’t Giancarlo Stanton. Watch Marcell Ozuna go way, way out of here. Off the dang scoreboard:






And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Nelson Cruz

Orioles 7, Rays 5: Remember last winter when no one wanted to sign Nelson Cruz because they thought he was damaged goods or that his best years were behind him or that he was a product of the Ballpark at Arlington or something? Nah, me neither. Two homers for Cruz, the second of which came in the 11th inning. He drove in seven. Had a triple too.

Royals 2, Yankees 0: How very disrespectful for the Royals to shut the Yankees out on Derek Jeter Day. Yordano Ventura pitching three-hit ball into the seventh was not at all classy. The Royals did, however, maintain a two-game lead over the Tigers in the Central. The last time they made the playoffs, Derek Jeter was only nine. This was one of five shutouts yesterday.

Marlins 4, Braves 0: Aloha, Mr. Hand: Brad Hand shut out the Braves for six innings. Then, I assume, he had a little feast on our time. The Braves, at this rate, are going to have plenty of their own time in October.

Indians 2, White Sox 0: Carlos Carrasco continues to be ridiculous. Here he was one out shy of a shutout but was lifted when the tying runner came to the plate in the ninth. He probably gets a chance to fight through that if his team has a bigger cushion, but c’est la vie. Since returning to the Indians’ rotation on August 5, he has a 0.70 ERA and 42/4 K/BB ratio over five starts and 38 and two-thirds innings. This from a guy who, a year ago, probably could’ve told you how many white lines there were on I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 2: The Dodgers sweep, and finish their season series against the Dbacks having taken 15 of 19. So much for that rivalry. Adrian Gonzalez had two three-run homers. His six driven in give him an even 100 for the year if you’re into that sort of thing.

Rangers 1, Mariners 0: The only offense of the game was an Adrian Beltre sac fly. The second strong start for Derek Holland since his return, this time with seven shutout inning, no walks and five strikeouts.

Pirates 10, Cubs 4: Four homers for Pirates batters, including one from Gerrit Cole of all people. This sweep, combined with the Brewers’ loss, puts the Pirates in the second wild card position, a half game up on Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Angels 14, Twins 4: The sweep. For both the series and the season against the Twins. And they now sport a seven game lead in the West. Mike Trout, Howie Kendrick and C.J. Cron all homered. Kendrick drove in four, with an RBI triple and RBI single accompanying his solo shot.

Cardinals 9, Brewers 1: Adam Wainwright allowed only one run while tossing a complete game, needing exactly 100 pitches to do it. The Cards took three of four and now have a four and a half game lead in the Central.

Nationals 3, Phillies 2: Another guy with two homers, this time Adam LaRoche, to help the Nats avoid the sweep. Both homers tied the game at the time. Drew Storen took over as closer for Rafael Soriano and got the save.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 1: Jose Bautista’s three-rum homer was all the offense the Jays would get or need. R.A. Dickey baffled Sox hitters, allowing one run on six hits while pitching into the eighth. This loss, combined with the Orioles’ win, officially eliminates the Red Sox. Not that anyone in Boston was holding their breath.

Mets 4, Reds 3: Anthony Recker and Curtis Granderson homered. All four of the Mets’ runs were unearned, however, as the Reds committed two inning or at-bat-continuing errors. There aren’t many teams which have had a more uninspiring second half than Cincinnati.

Rockies 6, Padres 0: Colorado sweeps. Four in a row overall for them. Jackson Williams and Nolan Arenado homered. Williams’ was his first career longball in the majors.

Astros 4, Athletics 3: Oh, Oakland. They had a one-run lead in the ninth and then Ryan Cook came on to close it out. He walked three of the four batters he faced. Fernando Abad came in and allowed a sac fly, then intentionally walked one guy and unintentionally walked another and there went the lead. The Astros’ win ensures that they will not lose 100 games on the year. The Athletics’ loss puts the AL West even more out of reach than it already was and keeps them closer to the second wild card leaders than they really wanna be. The A’s have lost 18 of their last 26 games.

Tigers 6, Giants 1: The Tigers have Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello is putting up a breakout year and they traded for David Price at the break. So of course a dude named Kevin Lobstein is their best pitcher at the moment. Lobstein allowed one run in five and two-thirds innings. He has a 2.11 ERA in three starts since taking over Anibal Sanchez’s rotation spot. The Tigers have won all three of those games.

Odrisamer Despaigne loses his no-hitter with two outs in the eighth inning

Odrisamer Despaigne

Update (6:35 PM ET): Despaigne lost his no-hitter after recording back-to-back strikeouts of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Curtis Granderson. Daniel Murphy ripped a high fastball for a double to left-center. David Wright followed up with a ground ball single up the middle to score Murphy. Despaigne departs having allowed the one run and two hits over 7 2/3 innings. He walked three, hit two batters, and struck out five on 123 pitches.

Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne has no-hit the Mets through seven innings this afternoon. He hasn’t been perfect by any means, as he has walked three and hit two batters with baseballs. He loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a hit batter before escaping the seventh. Despaigne will enter the eighth inning having thrown 100 pitches.

Catcher Yasmani Grandal gave his pitcher some run support, blasting a solo home run to right-center off of Zack Wheeler in the fourth inning. The Padres have scratched out eight hits but have managed only the one run.

Despaigne, making his fifth career start, has been great for the Padres. He entered the afternoon with a 1.35 ERA and a 12/8 K/BB ratio over 26 2/3 innings.

We’ll keep you updated as Despaigne progresses through the game in an attempt to throw the first no-hitter in Padres history. The Mets were last victims of a no-hitter on September 8, 1993, when Astros starter Darryl Kile accomplished the feat. The Padres, of course, watched a no-hitter earlier this season when Giants starter Tim Lincecum held them hitless on June 25.

Where have all the superstar left-handed hitters gone?

Robinson Cano

Last night’s Home Run Derby included just one left-handed hitter (Justin Morneau) among the eight contestants and tonight’s All-Star game will feature only two left-handed hitters (Chase Utley, Robinson Cano) among the 18 starters.

So where did all of the star-caliber left-handed and switch-hitters go, exactly?

Looking back to last year, the All-Star game starting lineups featured left-handed bats Cano, Chris Davis, David Ortiz, Joe Mauer, Carlos Beltran, Joey Votto, Carlos Gonzalez, and Bryce Harper. Injuries knocked most of those guys out of consideration this season.

Going back two years, the All-Star game starting lineups in 2012 featured left-handed hitters Cano, Gonzalez, Ortiz, Votto, Beltran, Josh Hamilton, Prince Fielder, Pablo Sandoval, Melky Cabrera, Rafael Furcal, and Curtis Granderson.

In other words, yeah, this season is a whole lot different.

Of course, it’s worth noting that this year’s All-Star game reserves include quite a few left-handed bats in Victor Martinez, Charlie Blackmon, Matt Carpenter, Freddie Freeman, Dee Gordon, Miguel Montero, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rizzo, Erick Aybar, Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss, Kyle Seager. And switch-hitting Orioles catcher Matt Wieters was chosen as a starter, but won’t be playing due to an injury.

So there are plenty of left-handed-hitting All-Stars, just not many left-handed-hitting superstars, or at least not many left-handed-hitting superstars who’ve been both healthy and at the top of their respective games this season.

Who are some young left-handed and switch-hitters capable of emerging as perennial All-Star starters? Bryce Harper stands out, certainly, but beyond that there aren’t many 25-and-under left-handed hitters currently in the big leagues who strike me as sure-fire future superstars. Guys like Dickerson, Freeman, Rizzo, Lonnie Chisenhall, Matt Adams, Billy Hamilton, Christian Yelich, Jason Heyward, Kolten Wong, Eric Hosmer, Rougned Odor, Oswaldo Arcia, Jon Singleton, and Jackie Bradley Jr. certainly have big-time potential, but who knows?

It really does seem like we’re in a bit of a lull in terms of superstar left-handed hitters and that might continue for a while until a few prospects like Oscar Taveras, Gregory Polanco, Francisco Lindor, and Joey Gallo start taking over and/or former MVPs and MVP candidates like Votto, Mauer, Gonzalez, and Fielder get back on track.