April 11, 2011

First Full Week of Baseball Real & Fantasy

So the first full week of baseball ended up a bit better for me than either the Mets or Cardinals. Fantasy baseball that is.

Through the games completed as of Sunday night the Mets “boasted” a record of 4 wins and 5 losses against arguably less than formidable opposition in the Marlins and Nationals. The Redbirds meanwhile limp into Phoenix having lost 6 of their first nine games of 2011 on the heels of a nice Kyle Lohse Sunday outing which followed closer Ryan Franklin’s inability to finish the Giants off on Saturday, thanks to some iffy defense from center fielder Colby Rasmus.

My week concluded with a Record of 6 wins, 4 losses and 3 ties (we need shootouts) in my head to head fantasy leagues. The season long cumulative point based and roto style leagues that I compete in will be the death of me as an admitted “immediate gratification” type personality.

At least none of “my” “stud” players were severely injured (Did you hear that Hanley?) and I got some added offense for several teams from, of all people, Carlos Beltran.

As for the Mets first nine games, a split of the season opening road trip to Florida and Philadelphia brought with it high hopes as the club returned to the somewhat “friendly confines” of Citi Field on Friday for the start of the home portion of the 2011 schedule. The Mets lone win of the weekend against the Washington Nationals was sandwiched by two losses perpetuated by the exposure of the Mets ill contrived bullpen staffing. The ineffectiveness of Blaine Boyer has led to his being demoted and the return to Queens of former Generation K phenom Jason Isringhausen. The recall of Ryota Igarashi will hopefully be a welcome sight coming out of Terry Collins’ shaky bullpen.

Chris Young again turned in a stellar performance on Sunday with 7 one hit innings, allowing just 1 earned run before turning it over to the inept bullpen, with a 3-1 lead, which proceeded to once again blow the lead.. A two home run game from Carlos Beltran on Saturday was again followed by his inability to play (other than a weak pinch hitting appearance) in Sunday afternoon’s matinee. This “agenda” came quickly to the forefront as Beltran "couldn't play the field so fill in right fielder Lucas Duda’s Sunday misplay turned in to a double for Pudge Rodriguez in the eighth with the Mets holding a 3-1 lead which quickly evaporated leading to what would eventually be Boyer’s final appearance as he allowed 4 runs in the 11th inning to seal the Mets fate after their inability to score given several real opportunities.

The Mets bullpen failures and the clubs seemingly endless struggle to get timely hits with runners in scoring position appears to be leading the team down an all too familiar path.

Meanwhile St. Louis fans continue to panic as their closer has been horrible in blowing 2 saves already and the free agent to be Albert Pujols has struggled even after the return of cleanup hitter Matt Holliday to yesterday’s line up. Pujols has seen his average drop to .145 with just 1 homer and 4 RBI while grounding into 6 double plays already. Hopefully Holliday’s return will provide the protection needed in the lineup for Pujols to be Pujols. Like he said during his Sixty Minutes interview, you don’t want to make him mad.

The Cards continue their first west coast swing tonight in Phoenix against the Diamondbacks (4-4) after dropping 2 of three to the defending champion Giants while the Mets will host Colorado, who’ve won six of their first eight games, at Citi field in the first of a 4 game series as Mike Pelfrey tries to find some modicum of focus and success following his first 2 disastrous outings of the season. Hopefully the new Mets manager can put a lineup on the field that can start producing so that there is little worry that the bullpen will FAIL. Good Luck to Izzy in his comeback.

I will continue to fight the good fight, doing whatever it takes to succeed in all of my fantasy leagues this week...maybe,..

As Always We Mets Fans will keep the Faith and Cardinal Nation needs to avoid the Panic button, even if the manager sees fit to walk out on a few more post game press conferences.

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