Monday, May 2, 2016

mfc Breaks Out The 2016 Mets Record Breakers! In April!


So the month of April comes to a close. We aren't running away with anything but we're playing well. Closed the month with a nice little 8 game winning streak. Still haven't caught up to the Nats though. That's okay. Chasing them will be fun. 

Stats after games of May 1st courtesy of ESPN
____________________________________________


Last years model
I was in no big hurry to design the 2016 mfc Record Breakers but the Mets will wait for no fan. Last season I didn't roll out any record breakers until September and there were a total of twelve. There has been all kinds of record breaking stuff going on this April so, even though it's ridiculously early, it's time to make the Record Breakers. And in April alone we get ten cards! This is shaping up to be an amazin' season.

_________________________________________

These new RB cards are pretty sharp. So sharp I have to declare the corners as dangerous weapons.

This years model
After a rather quiet opening week the Mets offense came alive and hasn't let up since. They aren't leading in any offensive category as a team, but they coulda fooled me. Maybe it was that slow start that cost them, because they have been very juggernautish as of late and just a blast to watch.


Mets pitching has been excellent although not entirely dominating. deGrom (3-0, 1.02) and Thor (2-1,1.69) go to the head of the class. The Dark Knight (2-3, 4.76) falters but looks to be recovering. Overall Matz (3-1, 3.86) has done just what we all have hoped for. Bartolo Colon is Bartolo Colon (1-1, 3.42). Spot starter and reliever Logan Verrett (3-0, 0.52!) has been excellent in a back-up roll.



The bullpen, for the most part, has come through nicely. Addison Reed (6h), Jim Henderson(5h), and Hansel Robles(4h) have a healthy handful of holds. A minimum of meltdowns. Familia had a fine month, going 8 for 8 in saves. Our team ERA is a very respectable 2.78, but both the Nats and the Cubs, two teams that we will have to get past, lead us in that coveted category.


Verrett should be on the card above, but he didn't show up for the photo shoot. It also should have a little Gary Cohen head in the corner with a talk bubble because "...the Mets obliterated the old record of 169 in 1990!" is a direct quote from the Master of Metromonies.



Hey, it was Gary's birthday the other day, let's give him a special insert card. Happy belated birthday to the Mr. Cohen.

Keith will have to step it up a bit if he wants a fake baseball card. Attendance counts and he cut out of school early after that 12 run fantasy inning the other night. Ronnie, if you want one you'll have to stop doing Braves games on TBS.

_________________________________________

How about Neil Walker in April! I was a big Daniel Murphy fan and I feel a tad guilty for not missing him one single bit. I found out last week that if there's a ground ball to second in the 9th inning of a close game I no longer experience that 3-5 seconds of agita! It simply doesn't happen anymore! Lord be praised! I am healed!
*slaps own forehead


Ironically Walker made his first error of the season the other day and Murphy hasn't muffed a one. Oh, but those homers. And I thought he had his tenth in the San Fran blowout but the OF wall got in the way. If he keeps this up great, but no matter what, getting 9 HRs from a new second baseman to start the season is just amazing. This is welcomed power that I had not been counting on.











Move over Eddie.


The new guys on 3 record breakers!


__________________________________________


"Since badly bruising his right leg April 13, Cespedes has appeared in nine games. The outfielder has recorded at least one extra-base hit in all of them, his grand slam off Broadway setting a franchise-record streak. Ty Wigginton held the Mets' previous mark with an extra-base hit in eight consecutive games in 2004.


A dominant dozen: The most prolific inning in Mets history began, as so many memorable rallies do, with a simple leadoff walk. By the time the Mets were done, they had sent 15 batters to the plate, drawn four free passes, rapped out eight hits and iced the whole thing with Cespedes' slam.


The Mets sent 15 batters to the plate against Giants pitchers Jake Peavy and Mike Broadway, who retired three of them and allowed the other dozen to score. It was the largest single-inning offensive output in Mets franchise history, surpassing an 11-run inning in 2006."
                                                              ~Anthony DiComo

Mrs. Met came out for this one.
There were a lot of little wow moments this April but I recall two BIG WOW moments, both involving Yoenis Cespedes (three if you count him flying into the stands, but that was more like WOW, that guy's crazy!).


The first was the pinch hit 3 run homer against Cincinnati. Down by 3 in the 8th inning and showing little life (at this point of the game New York had scattered 4 hits) Lagares draws a walk, Plawecki singles him to third, Cespedes pinch hits and before you can blink, he ropes a rocket to the left field corner to tie the game. First pitch swinging, no less. It blew my mind, maaaan.


The other was the grand salami in the beatdown on San Francisco. We had already scored 8 runs in the third frame of Friday Nights game, so I wasn't in need of such a boost. Yoenis had already driven in 2 runs earlier in the inning. But boy, what a rush when he whipped that Broadway curve producing a screaming mee-mee that was ultimately drowned out by the eruption from the Citi Field crowd.




____________________

I usually don't make cards for players on other teams, especially current players, but I made an exception for Buster Posey because this is such a great photo of him watching Cespedes go kaBOOM!

___________________________________

And what do we have here? A natural born hitter in the early phase of what's going to be a magnificent career? Could be.
Michael Conforto was switched into the 3rd slot and he hasn't looked back. Since batting third in the lineup on April 15th the Mets outfielder is hitting .407 (22-for-54) with nine doubles, four homers and 15 RBIs. New York was 12-2 over that span.



Conforto's recent tear included a string of 6 straight games with a double, tying Michael with good old Joe Christopher from the 1964 squad. For the month of April the young Mets outfielder batted a robust .365. 

Allow me to repeat myself in larger font (think of it as yelling like a crazyman).
.365!

This Conforto kid....
Back in the late 1980s I remember thinking Dave Magadan had sweet swing (and was going to be the next Wade Boggs) but his swing looks mechanical alongside that of Michael Conforto's. Hes got complete balance to the ball, whether pulling or going the other way. Quick bat speed makes for high exit velocity. Thank the Gods of Baseball that the Mets brought Michael up so quickly. He's just naturally ready.

The Natural
Some serious team records were matched or broken. 33 long balls in April ties the team mark that was last achieved in 2006.

208 strikeouts in the opening month. Pretty awesome. 
Did I miss anyone? Montero does not make the cut. You have to have an ERA of under 10 to be portrayed on an mfc card.




Wilmer Flores finally got off the schnide clubbing his first homer of the season in Saturday's game. He's got a tough gig waiting on the bench to play. Check out the touching moment on the bench afterwards with Conforto.



These guys are so genuine. It is nice to see.


____________________________________
>Overall, the Mets have outscored opponents 50-21 during the 8 game winning streak

> The Mets smacked 31 HRs over the final 14 games of April.

What a week. What a month! 
The Mets closed out April with a 15-7 record, 1.5 games out of first place.

Bring it on, May.


___________________________________________

Photography by
Julie Jacobson, Frank Franklin II, Mike Strobe, Anthony Gruppuso, Rich Schultz, Kathy Willens, Kevin C. Cox, John Amis, Erik S. Lesser, Jason Getz, Butch Dill, Scott Cunningham, Sharon Chapman, SNY.


Gifs courtesy of Metsgifs, GIFbaseball, and HarveydeGrom , all via tumblr.

Monday, April 25, 2016

mfc>>THIS WEEKEND IN METS BASEBALL!


The Mets lost the rubber game against the Phils in extra innings last Wednesday. Above you see some true baseball fans at the game in Philadelphia, kids who don't let their baseball allegiances come in between their friendships. I wish I knew who these kids were because I'd like them to see the card and know that I appreciated their humorous placards ( ha! Only Casey & I call 'em placards). 

This one below goes out to Liam Sullivan and his son Peter, another great fan of the game. Look at how Pete has his head in there. Who does that remind you of?


Michael Conforto maybe? 
Michael Conforto and Pete Sullivan are seeing the ball very well lately. The action below is from Sunday's game where Conforto drove in two with a sac fly and a wicked double to the base of the wall in right. That was Michael's 6th double and 10 RBI of '16.


I know what Keith would say. 
He'd say "I like how that young man keeps his head in there, he's going to be a fine hitter. Also, I hate these Mets uniforms from 1989."



I made the 1990mfc Keith because I ran into this photo and I have to display the worst Mets road jersey ever created. Let's get that out of the way. It's still better than Hernandez in an Indians uniform, though. BTW, that's Sullivan's rookie card so I recommend you put that in digital plastic. 
Cespedes and Duda did go back to back in that loss in Philly and let's hope we see a lot of that this summer. Duda looks to be in a hot-streak (and he's going the other way a lot), Granderson's coming around nicely, and Cespedes is Cespedes. 


Speaking of Cespedes, in a game on April 13th against the Marlins he made this fantastic effort for a foul ball at Citi. It was late in a 2-0 game, New York in the lead. I'll never question Yoenis's hustle again (I have in the past) but I still have to question his thought process. If this was a perfect game in the World Series, okay, but to take a risk like that in April is a bit helter skelter. Thankfully, all the spectators were okay. Cespedes banged up his leg a bit but could still stay in the game, and played Friday night. 
What a try.



Yoenis has not played since Friday night because he reaggravated his bruised leg on this slide pictured below. I hope this isn't a lingering thing. Because as good as his effort was, if we lose him in the lineup it wasn't worth it.


Curtis Granderson had a great game in the opener against the Atlanta Braves Friday night. He led off the game with a single, hit a grand salami in the 2nd inning and ripped another homer in the 4th . It's great to see Granderson coming around. Like last season, he's had a slow start, so I felt it was only a matter of time with him. 


I've been getting on Travis d'Arnaud's case a little lately so it's only fair to give him credit when he deserves it. Travis made this great grab in game 1 of the Atlanta series. 




This is a great photo by Kevin Cox. Below are some alternate views of the same moment. First you see the excellent photograph by Mr.Cox and then some screen grabs showing the same moment recorded by SNY cameras.




And if you look you can see Kevin actually taking the photograph. Pretty kool.















Great grab d'Arnaud. Great shot Kevin. Great camera work SNY.




_________________________________

Steven Matz (2-1) won his second game in a row after his weak debut. Remember when the Fish fried him for 1.2 frames at Citi a few weeks ago? Me neither. Matz is looking good.  


He went 6.1 innings, scattering 2 runs and 9 hits. He issued 8 strikeouts and walked none.

David Wright has been shooting a lot of balls to right and right center. I expect we'll see a lot of that because he's always had power the other way. This is fine, and maybe easier on his back. Having said that, it was nice to see him pull a double in the 2nd game of the Atlanta series.


Jacob deGrom (2-0) returned and pitched a fine game Sunday. He went 5.2 and picked up the win allowing 1 run on 8 hits. He had 3 strikeouts and walked none. Henderson (3 holds), Robles (2 holds), Blevins (3 holds), and Familia (5 saves) closed it out for New York.


____________________________________

This weeks regular issue mfc card will be Asdrubal Cabrera. What a great job he's doing at shortstop. Hitting for average and in the clutch, and like on Sunday he'll jack one from time to time. He's got baseball smarts and experience as he has displayed during the first month of the 2016 season.
With Cabrera and Walker, Sandy Alderson has fortified our middle infield.


_______________________________

Time for a coach card!
Dan Warthen deserves an mfc card. Because I think he's a freakin' awesome pitching coach and his card reflects this.


My condolences to Mr. Warthen on the loss of his mother last week.

_____________________________________

Oh yea, we swept the Braves!
WooHoo!



>>>>New York has 23 home runs in the last 9 games.

>>>>Sunday marked the seventh time New York scored in the first inning on its nine-game road trip. The Mets are 10-3 when scoring first, 8-2 on the road.


>>>>OF Yoenis Cespedes was unavailable for the second straight day while nursing a sore leg that Collins said "could" linger into Monday night.

Coming up:
>>>>New York begins a nine-game homestand Monday night with RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 0.90) slated to start against Cincinnati RHP Raisel Iglesias (1-1, 3.09).

mfc will present favorite custom cards.

________________________________________________
Photographs by
Kevin C. Cox, Bill Streicher, Erik S. Lesser, Lori M. Nichols, Tim Hawk, John Amis, SNY.