METS CHAT ROOM: Game #128; Can’t anybody here play this game?



It was the Mets’ first season when Casey Stengel asked: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

It has proven a timeless quote, as the same question must be asked this season. Sure, there have been injuries that crippled this year, but even so, the Mets should be better. As much as they miss David Wright, John Maine, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, and now Johan Santana, they are also missing something else. They are missing the intangibles possessed by all winning teams.

The Mets have given up on the season and you can see it in their faces. You can also see it in their efforts and attention to details and fundamentals. Part of this responsibility must be assumed by Jerry Manuel, who has not always cracked the whip. He treats his players like men, assuming they will focus, not like the minor leaguers they often resemble.

The Mets don’t consistently do what winners do. They don’t take the extra base. They don’t advance runners. Manuel said it himself, they habitually leave runners on third with less than two outs. They give away far too many at-bats.

Defensively, and we saw this last night, they don’t consistently execute the double play and often give the opposition extra outs. Some of this is due to players, such as Daniel Murphy, learning new positions. But, Luis Castillo has played second for a long time.

And, the pitching. Injured as it is, walks far too many batters and doesn’t finish them off when they are ahead in the count. Staggering are the number of two-strike and two-out hits, and pitches left over the plate.

And, it isn’t all Oliver Perez, either. Mike Pelfrey, a supposed rotation stalwart of the future, has taken a step back.

STENGEL: Would he be mystified?

STENGEL: Would he be mystified?

This is not a healthy team, but it is also not a fundamentally sound team, either. You are what you are, and the Mets aren’t a good team. They have been a study in creative losing.

They are in Florida today, the site where Murphy dropped the fly ball that beat Santana. … There was blowing the five-run lead to the Pirates. … The Ryan Church game in LA. … The Castillo pop-up. … The triple-play game. … The wild-pitch loss in Philly.

As Stengel once said, and we can repeat it this year: “Been in this game one-hundred years, but I see new ways to lose ’em I never knew existed before.”

They have lost five straight and are on the verge of being swept today by the Marlins. Standing in their way is, gasp, Tim Redding, and this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Wilson Valdez, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, 2B
Tim Redding, RP

77 thoughts on “METS CHAT ROOM: Game #128; Can’t anybody here play this game?

  1. Are there any September call ups we can look forward to? I understand Eddie Kunz has disappointed the organization by being fat and lazy.
    First two men get on base..three straight outs to end with no scoring.

  2. Brad Penny (7-8) was placed on waivers by Boston and will clear Monday. Said Penny: “I had some bad breaks and made some bad pitches, but I’m healthy, and that’s what I’m happy about. This isn’t last year, when I was hurt. If that had been the case, I’d be upset.”

    For a team desperate for pitching, not only this year but next, it wouldn’t hurt to give him a try assuming he doesn’t go to a contender.-JD

  3. Dan (1): Part of the story of the season has been wasted opportunities. … I believe we’ll see Kunz, who has been an underachiever.-JD

  4. Whoa! Mets on top??? Can Redding teach Pelfrey what to do with a lead? Is Redding the new ace?

  5. 1. If they bring up Tholeeeeeee from Bingy it would be interesting. No power but he hit well over 300. Saw him a couple games and he hit the ball hard. Couldn’t see his defense as nobodyt ran the games I saw.

  6. Harry: It would be nice to see Thole come up. But one thing about him, he’s a work in progress catching. I think this might be only his first or second year doing it, and from what I read he has a long ways to go.

  7. Hey, I like Cory Sullivan as maybe the 4th OF on this team, but can someone tell me why Evans isn’t getting a chance to sink or swim?

  8. 7. Steve, there is no explanation for Evans not being given the chance. I read the same stuff about Tholeeeeee but it would be better to see him play and Evans then the pile of AAAA players who have no upside.

  9. The guy in Bingy who impressed me was Tejada. Hit hard shots and made very nice plays on the field.

  10. JD: Who are you blaming for the fundamental soundness of the team? The GM who scouted and acquired the players? Or the Manager who should still be continuing to drill the fundys into their heads?

  11. Harry, I think Tejada is going to be the starting 2bman in two years. As soon as Castillno’s contract ends.

  12. 12. I’d be good with that.
    11. I don’t know who JD is blaming but I blame the coaching staff and manager. But the fundies were poor from the first game. It has nothing to do with the roster. It obviously wasn’t emphasized all year.

  13. Speaking of Castillo, I wonder if Minaya put him thru waivers and if he was claimed. I mean, his trade value has never been higher.

  14. Redding finally pitching like the guy who I thought they signed from Washington who was pretty tough to face at least the first half of last year.

  15. Hi guys – I didn’t realize that today’s game was an afternoon game, and that the Mets were doing OK.

  16. Steve (16): Hardly. I am here. Speechless at looking at the Mets’ new stopper. Who would have thought it? … As far the fundamentals are concerned. Some of the blame goes to Manuel and the coaches. Most of it, however, goes to the players. Afterall, they’ve been playing this game their whole lives and should have a clue.-JD

  17. I think SNY should make a new commercial about Jerry’s postgame reaction. No laughing matter anymore, regardless of the score today.-JD

  18. Can you believe Mets/Cubs is the Fox game of the week LOL. I guess they don’t check the standings.

  19. Harry (24): They must have scheduled this over the winter. The Mets haven’t been significant to the race in months. Cubs pretty meaningless, too.-JD

  20. Harry (24) I just checked the box score – this Mets team has had 14 hits in this game – maybe they can handle the Cubs.

  21. It’s hard to believe that this is the first time upcoming that the Mets are even playing the Cubs.

  22. Steve (28); The scheduling is horrendous. Always has been since interleague. They close with Houston at home which is stupid and don’t play Philly at home in September.-JD

  23. The Cubs might be in worse shape than the Mets future wise. They have horrible contracts with Soriano and Bradley. We only have horrible contract with Ollie.

  24. 29. Dancing girls worked for the Cowboys. Maybe the fish are ahead of their time in baseball.

  25. Harry (32): How about Castillo? And, if K-Rod blows his arm out, that’s another one. He hasn’t been lighting the world on fire since the Castillo dropped pop game against the Yankees.-JD

  26. Harry: Plus their “ace” is a headcase. Zambrano is a very good pitcher, but let’s his head get in the way of being elite.

  27. John (37) No, it certainly isn’t – why did the Wilpon’s jump the gun on that contract extension?

  28. JD: Castillo’s contract coming in this year was awful. But considering how well he’s played offensively, and that there will now be only two years left on the contract, makes the contract not awful.

  29. Steve (40): True, assuming Castillo plays next season like this one. He came into spring training determined and in shape. Let’s hope he doesn’t go into coast mode.-JD

  30. What would it take 3 or 4 Castillo contracts to make one Soriano contract? Omar’s contract. Good line Delcos.

  31. Cubs haven’t had nearly the injuries as the Mets. I thought they would have played a lot better. A lot of people thought the same. With how the Mets played today, they might have a chance to take a game, maybe two, at Wrigley. … I don’t take much stock in the Mets cooling down the Rockies.-JD

  32. JD: Well he certainly has been coasting defensively…lol. But like I said above, I wonder if Omar ran him thru waivers. His trade value hasn’t been this high since the Mets got him.

  33. Hope everyone is well.
    Busy at work and just looked at mlb gameday.
    The one game the Mets win this week and almost no one is watching.
    Typical Mets.

    later everyone

  34. 45. I would bet they did put Castillo thru waivers. But what contender would want him?

  35. Harry (50): I can almost promise you they sent Castillo through waivers. But, who wants that contract? My guess is a lot of scouts are thinking this is a fluke season for Castillo. I don’t want to dump him like that, but let’s face facts. He does have an injury history and maybe this is a last hurrah. Have to consider all the possibilities, you know.-JD

  36. Regarding Gary Cohen’s comments about Land Shark Stadium. It probably is reverting back to Dolphin Stadium before the Super Bowl because the NFL isn’t getting any money from Land Shark, the name of Jimmy Buffett’s beer venture.-JD

  37. Wow…Schoengreenman got out of the jam? Wow…can we have this day as our Groundhog Day of this miserable year?

  38. If Pagan was only a smart ballplayer, then he’d be a really good 4th OF. But even with his offensive prowess, he just isn’t a fundamentally sound player on the basepaths or in the Outfield.

  39. Harry (55): He didn’t say anything about the beer. Just mentioned the name change and reverting back to Dolphin Stadium before the Super Bowl. The NFL not getting any money from it has to be the reason.-JD

  40. The fish announcers are speculating that KRod is hurt because he didn’t come in to protect a 7 run lead.

  41. Howie has put the game ‘in the books’ I’ll have to read it later and find out the whole story.

    Tomorrow, Cubs/Mets at 2:20PM

    See you..

  42. Another day game tomorrow Annie!!! and Saturday and Sunday. They must have turned off the lights.

  43. (57) Sanchez was placed on the DL yesterday. But I guess the Giants wouldn’t want to p/u a guy like Castillo with those last two years. I’d have to dig deeper to check other contenders.

  44. (58) JD: I know! But there are going to be alot of fans blinded by his offensive numbers and argue that he should be the guy. Personally, I don’t want my 4th OF to have those deficiencies.

  45. Steve (68): Agreed. A fourth OF is a role player where defense plays a premium. I would hope he’s get better. Defensively, both Sullivan and Reed are better. … He has good speed, but isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to his baserunning acumen.-JD

  46. JD: Probably so on the contract. Some team would have to be pretty desparate I guess. lol

  47. Our goal is to avoid 100 losses. Maybe it will be as dramatic as the 1979 record which had a record of 57-99. But the Torre-adorables won the last 6 games of the season to avoid such a fate. Then Lorinda de Roulet sold the team. Bring those heroes of 1979 back to Citifield!!

  48. (72) Dan: If it meant that we could get Stearns to Catch, Willie Montanez to play 1b, and Steve Henderson for Left Field i’m all for it!

  49. Maybe I need to completely miss games more often.

    Taking my daughter back up to college, so I’ll have the opportunity to test that theory over the next two days… hopefully by Sunday Mets will be looking for their 4th straight win.

    I can dream, can’t I?

  50. Jeff (74): Sure Jeff, it is your right as a Mets fan. … Dreams, however, can turn into a nightmare, which is also a summer occurrence for Mets fans. Travel safely, and best wishes to your daughter in school. If she’s a Mets fan, she’ll have plenty of time to study this fall as there will be no playoffs to divert her attention.-JD

  51. Dan (72): I can’t see 100 losses. They’ll really have to try to lose that many. Having Oliver Perez out of the rotation might make that unreachable.-JD

  52. John

    nice post. luv ur quotes.

    ur comment about the coach treating his players like men: was that not one of the main problems with the previous captain?

    and yes, this team as in the past few years does not have good fundamentals. this team needs a lot of changes. not least of which is a good pitcher. we need to go out and get one of the top 3 available.

    with all the pitchers not named johan who can we trust? in the end not one. pelfrey is the best of the lot. the rest may as well not be on the team.