Dec 30, 2019

centerfieldmaz top albums of 2019

















































Dec 29, 2019

Remembering Mets History: (1972) Rookie John Milner Collects Mets Record Five Hits

Friday September 8th 1972: Yogi Berra's third place Mets (67-63) hosted Red Schoendienst fourth place St. Louis Cardinals, in the first game of a double header. The Mets were sporting a pair of hot rookies in tonight's game & both would be the starts of the game.

Mets left hander: Jon Matlack would give up twelve hits, but only allow two runs in seven innings of work, striking out six. He went on to beat Reggie Cleveland for his 12th win (12-9) of the year.

Matlack would win the 1972 Rookie of the Year Award, as he finished up 15-10 with a 2.32 ERA (4th in the NL) & 169 strike outs (10th in the NL).

At the plate, ROY runner up, the Mets young slugging out fielder; John Milner, nick named"The Hammer" after his idol Hank Aaron. Milner would set a Mets record at the time collecting five hits in a game. Five hits were the most for a Mets player in a single game until Edgardo Alfonzo had six hits in a game in 1999.

Starting Lineups

In the 1st inning, Milner doubled but was stranded on third base, as the Mets took a 1-0 lead when Reggie Cleveland walked Cleon Jones with the bases loaded. Milner would single in the 3rd & again in the 5th inning. 

In the bottom of the 7th the Mets were down 2-1, Ken Boswell doubled to right field & Milner followed with a two run HR putting the Mets ahead. It was the young slugging Milner's 14th HR of the year. He would hit  17 HRs on the year, best on the Mets team. 

The Mets erupted for five runs in the 8th inning, highlighted by a Ken Boswell three run HR. In the inning Milner collected his fifth hit of the night, going five for five with a HR & two RBIs. 

Dec 28, 2019

Addison Reed: 2015 NL Champion Mets Set Up Man (2015-2017)

Addison Devon Reed was born December 27th 1988 in Montclair, California. The six foot four right hander was drafted out of San Diego State University by the Chicago White Sox in 2010 as a third round pick.

In 2011 he went from Class A ball to the major leagues as a September call up debuting on September 4th in game against the Detroit Tigers. 

In 2012 he became the second place White Sox closer, saving 29 games (7th most in the AL)  going 3-2 with 54 strike outs in 55 innings with a 4.75 ERA under manager Robin Ventura.

In 2013 Reed saved a career high 40 games (4th best in the AL) going 5-4 with a 3.79 ERA, he struck out 72 batters, walked 23 in 71 innings in 68 appearances. On June 5th he was the winning pitcher in a wild game in Seattle against the Mariners.

He came into the game in the bottom of the 14th inning after the Sox had scored four runs on a Kyle Seager grand slam. The game was scoreless before that. As Reed was expected to close it out, he gave up four runs as Seattle tied it up. 

It was the first time in MLB history a team scored more than four runs to tie a game beyond the 14th inning. The White Sox were out of pitchers so Reed stayed in the game, they scored two runs in the 16th inning & when he struck out the side in the bottom of the 16th he got the incredible victory.

In August he saved six straight games, becoming the first White Sox pitcher to accomplish the feat.

As the Sox finished fifth that year, they were changing their team up, they traded Reed to the Arizona Diamondbacks for third baseman Matt Davidson. In 2014 he had a disappointing season in Arizona going 1-7 with a 4.25 ERA. Although he saved 32 games (9th in the NL) Arizona was expecting more.

That same year he gave up chewing tobacco after seeing Tony Gwynn lose his life to mouth cancer probably due to the habit.

In 2015 he lost the closers job to Brad Ziegler & he was put in a let inning relief role. Reed was credited with 8 holds going 2-2 with a 4.20 ERA. At the end of August he was traded to the first place New York Mets in exchange for minor leaguers Miller Diaz & Matt Koch.

Reed found himself in a late inning role, along with Tyler Clippard who had been acquired a month earlier. The two led the way for closer Jeurys Familia. Reed debuted with the Mets on September 1st, pitching a perfect inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 14-8 Mets loss.

On September 4th he blew a save in Miami taking a 6-5 loss to the Marlins. On September 8th, he held down the Nats in Washington pitching a one hit 7th inning. He earned his first Mets win when Kirk Niewenhuis hit a pinch hit HR batting in Reeds spot in the order.

On September 13th he finished off a 10-7 win over the Braves in Atlanta after the Mets scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning only getting one hit.  Edwin Jackson allowed three walks, along with another walk by Danny Burawa & a fielding error to boot. Reed earned his first Mets save. He would finish the year for the Mets at 1-1 with a save & six holds in 17 games posting a solid 1.17 ERA.

2015 Post Season: In his first post season appearance he saw action in the NLDS Game #2 in Los Angeles. He gave up a run on two hits in the Mets 5-2 loss. He pitched a perfect 8th inning in the Mets Game #3,13-7 win at Citi Field.

Reed made two appearances in the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs getting credit for the hold in Game #2 at Citi Field.

2015 World Series: In the World Series against the Kansas City Royals he did well pitching in the first four games, pitching 3.1 innings allowing no runs on just one hit.

But in Game #5 he had a horrible outing, coming in in the 12th inning. He gave up two singles, a stolen base & then was the victim of Daniel Murphys booted ball. RBI hits from Christian Colon & Alex Escobar led him to his exit, getting relieved by Bartolo Colon. 

A Lorenzo Cain RBI double was charged to Reed as well, his line score was five runs (four earned) three hits one walk in 0.1 innings taking the loss as the Mets went down in the Series four games to One.

The Mets chose to keep Reed on for 2016, letting Tyler Clippard go to free agency. During Spring Training Manager Terry Collins said Reed was the Mets main 8th inning set up man for 2016.

Quotes: Terry Collins- “As I’m sitting here at this particular moment, he’s gotta be that eighth inning guy. He’s had the experience doing it, he’s a veteran guy. The way he pitched for us after we got him, he’s the guy. He’s gotta be that guy that you can say ‘hey, go get him. He got lefties out, he pounded the strike zone. He’s legitimate, he’s a big key to the bullpen.”

Reed certainly was all that for the Mets in 2016. The 8th inning was pretty much all his as the bridge to closer Jeruys Familia. Reed led the NL with 80 appearances, recording 40 holds, setting a Mets franchise record & posting a 1.97 ERA. Reed also struck out 91 batters while walking 13 in 77.2 innings of work.

Quotes: “I take the same mindset out there no matter what inning, I’m throwing, The only thing different about the ninth inning is that it is one inning later than the eighth. I don’t see any reason to treat it differently. I feel comfortable here. Everything just clicked. I’ve had nothing but fun since coming over. Citi Field has been awesome. You can feel the confidence the fans give you.’’

He began 2017 with the Mets filling in as the teams closer as Jeurys Familia was suspended by MLB for domestic violence. Reed did a fine job for a poor team, he saved 19 games posting a 2.84 ERA. He struck out 76 while walking just 15 batters in 49 innings in 48 appearances. 

With the season lost as the Mets fought to stay out of last place, Reed was traded at the July 31st deadline. He was sent to the Boston Red Sox for three minor leaguers. Jamie Callahan, Stephen Nogosek & Gerson Bautista.

He finished out the year in Boston & made three appearances in the ALDS loss to the Houston Astros. In 2018 he signed a two year deal with the Minnesota Twins. He fell to a 1-6 record while posting a 4.50 ERA. He started 2019 with a sprained thumb & was designated for assignment by the end of May.

In an eight year career he has made 465 appearances with a 19-27 record, 125 saves, 233 games finished, 469 strike outs, 119 walks & a 3.53 ERA in 458 innings pitched.

Mets Career: In his Mets career he has the second best ERA for pitchers with more than 50 innings pitched (2.09) That also qualified for 122th best in a Mets season for a pitcher with 50 or more innings pitched. In 145 games he was 6-5 with 21 saves.

Family: Addison & his wife Cady were married in 2014 & have a daughter.

Dec 26, 2019

Rick Porcello: New Jersey Native 2020 Mets Pitcher

Frederick Alfred Porcello III was born on December 27th 1988 in Morristown, New Jersey. He grew up a die hard Mets fan, loving Mike Piazza & the 2000 NL Champions. Porcello was a star high school pitcher in West Orange, New Jersey. In his senior year he was undefeated going 10-0  with 103 strikeouts & tossed a perfect game. 

He was planning to go to college but decided on going right to the big leagues instead. He was the number one ranked prospect but got selected #27 in the first round, mostly because Scott Boras was his agent & teams didn't want to deal with him representing such a young player. 

Porcello was selected by the Detroit Tigers tagged aa special pitcher with the ability to be an ace of a staff. At a total of an $11 million contract, Porcello became the highest paid kid ever out of high school.

He debuted with Jim Leyland's Detroit Tigers on April 9th 2009, in a game against Ricky Romero. It was the first time in MLB history that two first round picks went up against each other in their debuts. He went 5-0 becoming the youngest pitcher since Dwight Gooden to win his first five games. 

Brawl: In an August game against the Boston Red Sox he hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch & then tackled him to the ground after Youkilis charged the mound. That year the Tigers tied the Twins for first place at the end of the season. 

Manager Jim Leyland chose Porcello to pitch the tie breaking game, in which he gave up two earned in runs in six innings, getting no decision. The Twins won the game in extra innings. He went 14-9 that year with a 3.96 ERA coming in third in the Rookie of the Year honors.

He struggled the next season & spent some time back at AAA.

Post Seasons: He spent six years with Tigers, getting to the post season for three straight seasons 2011- 2013. I those years he was on a staff behind Justin Verlander & Max Scherzer. Porcello won ten or more games in each of those years.

 In 2011 he won 14 games (14-9)  getting to his first post season, where he took a loss to the AL New York team in the ALDS. The Tigers won the series & Porcello pitched three games on the NLCS earning no decisions in the series loss to the Texas Rangers.

In 2012 he fell below .500 (10-12) & gave up the most hits in the league (226) . That year the Tigers got to the World Series, losing to the San Francisco Giants. Porcello pitched just 1.3 innings in that post season. 

He had to fight for a fifth starters spot in 2013 & avoided abirritation as well, all before the start of the season. He rebounded with a 13-8 season & career high (up to that point) 42 strike outs. 

Another Brawl: On June 30th, he hit the Rays, Ben Zobrist with a pitch, that was though of as retaliation after the Fernand Rodney had hit the Tigers Miguel Cabrera the night before. It led to a bench clearing brawl & a six game suspension for Porcello. He took a loss in that years ALCS to his future Red Sox team.

In 2014 he went 15-13 with a 3.3 ERA in 204 innings, all his best numbers in those Tigers years. 

Trivia: He became the first Tiger hurler since Jack Morris to throw back to back shut outs that season. In other odd trivia, in is three shut outs that year, one came with no walks & one came with no strike outs. 

That December he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes, Gabe Speier & Alex Wilson. 

He suffered from trice soreness that year & went on the DL for the first time in his career. He struggled in his first year in Boston going 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA

Cy Young Award: In 2016 he had his best season, winning the AL Cy Young Award, leading the league with 22 wins (22-4) & the best strike out to walk ratio 5.91. 

He posted a 3.15 ERA (5th  best in the AL) a .846 win % & struck out 189 batters in 223 innings pitched (4th most in the AL) in 33 starts (4th in the AL) with three complete games (3rd most in the AL).In the ALDS he took aa loss to the eventual AL champion Cleveland Indians.

In 2017 he fell to leading the league with 17 losses, going 11-17 surrendering the most HRs (38) & hits (236) I the league as well. 

He posted a 4.65 ERA struck out 181 batters walked 48 in 203 innings of work. The Red Sox won their Second of three straight AL East titles, but lost to the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

In 2018 he was the ace of the Boston staff that won 108 regular season games & their ninth World Series title, their fourth of the 2000's. 

Porcello was 17-7 with a 3.28 ERA on a staff that featured David Price (6-7) Chris Sale (12-4) & Eduardo Rodrigues (13-5). Porcello had a career high in strike outs (190) & hit by pitches (16) in which he led the league. 

2018 Post Season: He came in relief of ALDS Game #1 shutting down the AL New York team in a 5-4 Sox victory. He clinched the series with a Game #4 win, pitching five innings allowing just one run.  

He had another relief appearance in Game #2 of the ALCS at Houston, earning a hold in the 7-5 Boston victory. He started Game #4 but pitched just 4 innings giving up four runs on seven hits.

2018 World Series: In the World Series he started Game #3 in Los Angeles, allowing just one run while striking out five in 4.2 innings, earning a no decision in the Dodgers win. Porcello won his first Championship as the Red Sox took the Series in five games.

After the Championship: In 2019 Porcello went 14-12 with a career high 5.52 ERA. He struck out 143 batters walked 45 in 174 innings while serving up 31 long balls. 

The 2019 Red Sox struggled 84-78 finishing third. He was granted free agency setting his sights to the New York Mets. Although he received other offers, some long term he signed a one year deal with the Mets in December 2019.

Quotes- Rick Porcello: "I'm really excited to be part of the Mets. I look forward to seeing you guys at the ballpark & we got a great year coming up. So come on out, we'll see you down at the yard. Go Mets."

"This team is a team that's built to win now & most important to me as a competitor I want to be part of that."

Personal Life:
Porcello lives in Chester Township, New Jersey. His brother Zach is a pitching coach at Seton Hall University & his younger brother Jake was drafted by the Tigers in 2009. Rick Porcello's girlfriend is Amanda Soucy, a model & digital reporter.