METS CHAT ROOM: Game #88; second half begins.



One of the major storylines last offseason was the Mets’ decision to give Oliver Perez three years instead of four years for Derek Lowe.

The pitchers face each other tonight in Atlanta as the second half of the season begins. My confidence level in Perez is about zero. There’s just something about him that screams bust.

PEREZ: Who knows what to expect?

PEREZ: Who knows what to expect?

The Mets are within striking distance in the NL East. Teams have come back from a lot greater holes in far less time. The Mets know that from blowing a seven-game lead with 17 to play in 2007. It has been done, but rarely by a team with as many glaring deficiencies as these Mets.

1. Perez is only one of three major concerns in the rotation. There’s John Maine’s shoulder, which nobody really knows will be ready. Plus, Livan Hernandez has been hit hard lately, so the bloom is off his fast start.

2. Don’t expect Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran back before the end of the month. Carlos Delgado will be back sometime in August, but by that time the competitive part of the season might be ove.

3. The bullpen started off so well, but has been worn down by the workload. Sean Green and Bobby Parnell have run hot-and-cold. Pedro Feliciano is being run into the ground and JJ Putz is on the DL. The way things are going, Billy Wagner, if he returns, won’t be a luxury but a necessity.

4. There’s been little consistent power production. It’s hard to believe Gary Sheffield leads the team in homers. Jeff Francoeur might add something, but the hitter they really need is Wright to step up.

5. The farm system is barren as we’ve frequently heard before. There are few major-league ready players to come up to help the Mets, which also means there are limited trade options. The Mets will not make a blockbuster kind of deal at the trade deadline.

Here’s the line-up that will take a crack at Derek Lowe:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Oliver Perez, LP

Perez (2-2, 8.78 ERA) will make his second start for the Mets since coming off the disabled list. Perez earned the victory against the Dodgers, but threw only five innings and gave up seven walks. Perez had no record against the Braves last year, but had a 3.72 ERA in 19 1/3 innings against them.

64 thoughts on “METS CHAT ROOM: Game #88; second half begins.

  1. 1) i was on board in the offseason for lowe over perez.

    Also Maine had surgery in the offseason. There were a few here who dismissed it as just a simple procedure. Nothing to get in a tizzy about.

    2) apparently betran’s bone bruise is not any better.

    4) amazing that our power is coming from a throw away league minimum move. a player that his team cut rather than put up with him even tho they are on the hook for 15 million or whatever. says a lot there doesnt it?

    5) I would be up for bringing in Niese to see what he’s got. Not like we have much of a choice. There is no power bat anywhere in the minors right now.

  2. can we get rid of castillo in the offseason?

    he has had an ok year. plays good enough defense and is not terrible at the plate. but it seems to me we can get this production from just about anyone. we will have to eat a bit of the contract, but it’s not like he adds anything to the team.

  3. A former Mets Pitcher – David Cone – spent part of the All Star break in DC appearing as a witness for Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judicial Committee in her hearings as a candidate for the Supreme Court. David knows Judge Sotomayor from her help in resolving the labor issues of 1994/5. And, apparently everyone around these hearings seems to know David.

    Also, the Wilpon loss in the Madoff scandal was reported to be 700 Million dollars in this morning papers, as per Larry King who only lost 2 Million.

    No wonder there is no action from the Mets Front Office.

  4. 5) but we knew they lost a mint when the madoff thing broke. this is not news…

    they had different arms of the business invested with his buddy.

  5. dave (8): The other businesses aren’t related to the Mets. I don’t buy the scandal has anything to do with it. They still have one of the top payrolls in baseball.-JD

  6. john(7) you are right, but this team needs to make changes. he is one of the pieces that need to change.

    of course they should have made changes before this year, but they were too stupid to evaluate what they have/what they need and go after it with no competition. then of course came the big hit to the wallet and that was the end of that.

    I was surprised they signed the players they did after the news broke.

  7. It will be a very interesting offseason. Gone will be Delgado, Sheffield for sure. Maybe Schneider. Livan out. Most of the bench will be replaced. Too bad. I like Cora and Reed.-JD

  8. John (7)
    Interesting that Francoeur got such a nice hand from the home town crowd. Wonder why Church isn’t in the Braves line-up?

  9. john(8) you are right in that they technically dont have anything to do with the other, but think of it as a portfolio. you have different pieces in your empire.

    the empire is worth more than a billion dollars. several parts of your portfolio are invested in the same place because it gives great returns. you also invest some personal wealth there.

    the next day you find out those investments ( which are huge – multi 100 millions ) are gone.

    the mets corporation is solvent because you have a 20 year $20 million dollar advertizing contract, a tv contract, a new stadium funded by taxpayers, concessions and increased seat prices, and merchandizing. you are making money from it, but you have this huge wad of cash that burned up overnight and will not be replaced in your lifetime.

    your team has one of the highest payrolls in the league. how much will you be willing to invest to make the team better when the incremental returns are minimal unless you get a ring?

  10. 4. Dave, Well Orlando Hudson- the all-star has a .353 obp and 6 SBs. The bum, Castillo has a .386 obp and 11 SBs.

  11. dave (13): Your last question is very thought provoking. A lot of teams would settle for second as it creates an interest which draws fans. They really don’t care about winning because winning is expensive in resigning players. New York, however, is a different animal. There’s pressure to win. But, if the Mets regrouped and finished second I don’t think there will be a turnover with Omar or Jerry.-JD

  12. Dave (13) A very professional explanantion of the business of the Mets. Thanks – you sound like you know what you are talking about for sure.

  13. ray,

    i wasnt speaking specifically of any player comparisons. he is hitting about 280 has less than 20 rbi’s some sb and his fielding is unspectacular. i feel you can get that from a platoon and dont have to deal with egos.

    if you get younger players in a platoon your team has more energy. the team will be better.

  14. 19

    sure he did. he also did not ask for nyc to float the bonds to pay it so investors can get a tax deduction from their support.

    the taxpayer pays for it. your taxes pay for it. wilpon will just be repaying the largely no interest loan.

    i wish i could get such deals.

  15. (22) Dave, I just dont get the Castillo hate. He is paid to be a tablesetter and he does that very well. BA means nothing and rbis mean nothing. RBIs are for the 3,4,5 hitters to get. What Ego? I never heard of any ego problems here. Fielding? not great range, but not bad. He has made some very acrobatic plays around the bag. He has stayed healthy all year. Looie is the least of their problems IMO.

  16. Ray (24): I was expecting him to play a lot worse. He hasn’t justified the four years, but has played well enough to make his contract palatable. I don’t know if he has another year in him like this. Mets would be smart to try to deal him after a good season. But, the salary is an obstacle.-JD

  17. 24

    its not hate. i dont hate him. his contract is large and i feel he is a very replaceable player. his fielding is about league avg. his hitting is probably above that. he has no power and i do not get a sense of energy from him.

    perhaps on another team he might be a better fit.

    he is a veteran and so last year when he sucked he was in the lineup. from his production this year ( if i had a normal team ) he would not play every day.

    i dont think of him as a table setter. to me a table setter is someone who gets on base and makes the pitcher pay attention to him so the hitter is more effective. i dont get that sense from him.

    like i said, he is not a bad player. this team sucks and needs to make changes. i would make a change at second base among other positions.

  18. 25, JD, Compared to some of the other contracts Omar has given out, Including tonights pitcher, Looie at 6mm per is a bargain.

  19. 29. JD, He also gave big contracts to Alou, El duque and other geezers. Traded Heath Bell for a song and Bannister for an inmate. Oh and 42 Mil for 1 good year out of Pedro.

  20. Hi all, I was in Maine last week. Went to a Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox AA) doubleheader vs. Binghamton Mets. I have mixed loyalties in this case, as have been watching Sea Dogs for years, and I like the Red Sox (normally not a problem, as they rarely play the Mets in interleague).

    Everything you need to know about the Mets’ farm system was evident. The Sea Dogs are having a sub-par year — below .500, in 4th place. But Binghamton is in last place, now 19.5 games out. One of the Mets’ supposed best prospects, Brad Holt, started. He seemed to be in complete control early on, so I was wondering why the scorecard said he had an ERA over 9. I found out when he slowly imploded, walking people and giving up hits and a bunch of runs. Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs’ starter, Junichi Tazawa, was blowing people away. He gave up a solo HR to IF Ike Davis, but not much else. Anyway, the Sea Dogs, who had not been playing great of late, wound up winning both games. I noted today that Tazawa is now listed as on the Sox’ 40-man roster.

    Anyway, the scary part is in the Sea Dogs Yearbook, printed at the start of the season, the capsule description of the Binghamton Mets listed these as their Top 10 Prospects:

    1. Fernando Martinez, of
    2. Wilmer Flores, ss
    3. Jonathan Niese, lhp
    4. Brad Holt, rhp
    5. Bobby Parnell, rhp
    6. Jefry Marte, 3b
    7. Jenrry Mejia, rhp
    8. Reese Havens, ss
    9. Nick Evans, 1b/of
    10. Eddie Kunz, rhp

  21. ray,

    I dont know of a specific player. but i would be happy with a young platoon.

  22. 32. I think part of the problem is the Mets push thier minor leaguers too fast. Holt and Davis were just drafted last year and are already in AA ball.

  23. 34. Dave, As it is The Mets will be looking for a new first baseman, Catcher, LF and possibly RF depending on frenchies performance. Several pitching holes as well. Second base is way down the list.

  24. i agree. this team has a lot of holes.

    pitching 3-5, 1b, lf, c, relief, etc.

    many holes. doesnt mean 2b cant be there too. i would not pass that up but as you say there will be a lot going on.

    i would hope that gm, and coach were part of the equation.

  25. so far our relief pitcher is doing what we pay him for. give up about 3-5 runs a game over 4 innings and turn it over to the other relief pitchers.

  26. Not there it wasn’t. Huge strikeout getting Diaz. Hell of a play by Schneider. Saved a run. … Tremendous recovery by Perez. Maybe he bought himself another inning.-JD

  27. Schneider is showing his defensive skills this year. I wonder who they have in mind to replace him. I have read the brass doesnt like him and you know what that means.

  28. frenchie is not looking like the answer in the fifth spot so far. Has hit few balls with authority till now.

  29. Another day stuck in the time loop when we repeat the Art Howe years. At least the Gnats lost so we lower on our magic number on clinching 4th place. How many days before hockey season starts (schedule came out today. 17 days off in February because of the Olympics. Vancouver won’t have a home game for 5 weeks!)

  30. Another day with only one inning of getting runs. The Mets must lead all baseball in that dubious stat which indicates..what..not grinding things out.

  31. My satellite went out due to yet another huge thunderstorm with hail, so I didn’t get to see the ignominious end.

    I still want to know how you can say “Game #88; second half begins.” When did it become a 174-game season?

  32. One of the less agonizing losses. Ollie didn’t pitch too badly, they scored a few runs and didn’t make any egregious errors in the field. Only 6 hits won’t usually cut it but all in all not such a horrible loss.

  33. 54. Excellent description of the Mets. They didn’t make any mistakes yet they lost to a team equally mediocre. Why? No power. Braves win by two, Braves hit two more HRs than the Mets. Mets can’t even drive the ball against Lowe when he doesn’t have his good control. Sad.
    To add to a couple arguments above. To dave, its hard for Castillo to show what he can doi as a tavblesetter when the manager has him batting 8th most of the time. To replace him is a waste of time with so many holes on this roster and many more coming this off season. Now woth another FMART major injury his development is impeded one more year so. The team needs to sell this month. You can’t fill all the holes in the FA market.
    To Sadecki; Early to judge Francoer but I think he is much more suited to the 6th 7th spot then 5 where his lack of an eye is less important.

  34. Turn out the lights…the party’s over. Somewhere Dandy Don is singing about the Mets. Beltran is clearly out for the season, Reyes is at least 3 or 4 weeks away, same as Delgado. This team is toast. And with FMart being injured like Harry said, that’s another year to stunt his growth. And with the Wilpons now putting away their checkbook and no help coming from the minors, this team is going to be mediocre at best the next few years. The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

  35. 55. For a 6th or 7th batter, I would rather have church. At least he doesnt swing wildly at pitches out of the zone. Francoeurs Value is supposed to be his power bat, which I am not seeing. I know its early, but I am also going on what I have seen out of him in a braves uni the last 2 yrs. Fmart is reminding me more and more of Alex Escobar- great tools but cant stay healthy.

  36. (57) Ray: I think his “potential” is the fact that he is 4 or 5 years younger than Church, and the Mets are betting on his upside. And also the fact that he’s well..uh…NOT Ryan Church.

  37. However bad Francoer is and has been he still drives in a lot more runs than Church does. And the Braves don’t score much better than the Mets. The thing Church had become an expert at, was figuring out how not to get an RBI.

  38. arry(55)

    what you say is true. however, i would sell castillo this year if i could.

    church –

    it is hard to be productive when your boss undermines you. i know. i have that at work.

  39. Yup, Anderson would be tough to strike out. … Now he takes him out? If he wanted to save the pen he should let him finish the inning.-JD