METS CHAT ROOM: Game #161; Looking at Maine, Misch tries to impress.



When it comes to what John Maine did last night, I have to keep telling myself, “it was only one game.’’

Yes it was, but Maine’s starts have been getting progressively better in terms of pitch count and effectiveness. Last night, he gave up one run on five hits in seven innings. Most importantly, no walks. As in zero.

Maine squeezed in those seven innings with 106 pitches. Usually with Maine, if the throws that many pitches it is over five innings.

Maine attributed the success with his slider to a new grip, which again reinforces it was good for him to come back this month.

There will be games when his slider doesn’t have movement or bite, but hopefully he’s been able to come up with a way to get out of those funks. A pitcher only learns that by pitching.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.

“I was just trying to pitch to contact a little more,’’ Maine said. “Walks always hurt me, I’d always give up a lot of walks, and that’s how they end up scoring. This start I just had a better slider, and that always makes your fastball better.’’

Maine’s start doesn’t answer all the Mets’ pitching questions, but it does offer encouragement.

The Mets (68-92) hope for another dose of positive this afternoon from left-hander Pat Misch (2-4, 4.71 ERA) who is coming off a complete-game victory over the Marlins last Sunday.

Misch has pitched well at times in his month-long audition for the No. 5 slot in the rotation next year. So has Tim Redding, but he could be more suited for the long-man role.

Here’s today’s batting order vs. Yorman Bazardo (1-2, 8.23 ERA):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Josh Thole, C
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Pat Misch, LP

David Wright isn’t hurt, so I don’t understand the need to give him a day off the day before the season finale. He had a good game last night, so why not keep it going?

I don’t like how manager Jerry Manuel has handled his line-up the last month. September was supposed to be about learning for next year.

Wright has had a miserable month for the most part, but is coming out of it. Too late, of course, but he’s hit well the past week.

I don’t like how Nick Evans has wasted away on the bench. He’s been rushed, but this month was a way to get him some consistent at-bats. Instead, Tatis and Pagan have gotten considerably more time. We don’t even know if Tatis will be with the Mets next year. It is so much more important to learn about Evans.

I’m also not crazy about the batting order. Can we please find a spot for Daniel Murphy and leave him there? Murphy has hit from second to seventh, but he’s never in one spot long enough to get comfortable. And, please spare me the injuries excuse. The juggling is unsettling for a young player.

The juggling also shows a lack of consistency from the manager. There are times to juggle, but not every day.

140 thoughts on “METS CHAT ROOM: Game #161; Looking at Maine, Misch tries to impress.

  1. Funny you should mention juggling a kid is bad. Many used to criticize Willie for putting a kid in the 8 hole and leaving him there for a while. Actually I agree with everything you said about Manuel. But he has done a bad job way before this month. It started the first game with Castilo in the 8 hole and Manuel screwing with both his corner outfielders to get the steal of the moment Sheffield into his lineup.
    Whatever happened at the “big” braintrust meeting Thursday?

  2. Nice to see that Pat Misch and Josh Thole from last Sunday’s complete game shut out are working together again.

    I think Carlos Beltran was a last minute scratch – with Cory Sulllivan added.

  3. Harry (1): No brains showed up. Wasn’t that big a pow-wow afterall. Minaya and Manuel talked, but there have been no resolutions. There will be more meetings this week.-JD

  4. What’s the weather like at Citi Field today?

    No reason given for Beltrans’ opting out.

  5. Murphy has played well the last two months after a bad start. Coming back and finishing strong is a very positive sign. Above all, it shows he’s adjusting and isn’t letting adversity get to him.-JD

  6. Francoeur interviewed by Eddie Coleman before the game – does very well at it, one of those athletes who really can do media.

  7. 9. The reward for playing well is Manuel making you a platoon guy. If he played better he’d be sitting next to Evans everyday instead f half the days.
    Blue Jays fired Ricciardi. Was that for not trading Halladay or for trying to trade Halladay?

  8. Anything new about Reyes – or are they just saying something that says nothing?

    The Wilpons’ are underestimating their customers, never a good thing.

  9. Harry (12): Blue Jays have gone nowhere. He ran its course. … They had a chance to get something for Halladay and blew it. … He’ll be available this winter. No, I don’t see any way he comes to the Mets.-JD

  10. Annie (14): Reyes will need surgery. They waited too long. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if he’s not ready. Oh yeah, one more thing, Manuel said he’ll probably lose a step. That’s encouraging news.-JD

  11. John (13) I’m thinking more, particularly if they move home plate up those ten feet.

  12. 15, I read yesterday on that Towers is on his way out in San Diego. He stole Gonzales from texas, and has restocked the farm system there. I wonder what he could do with some payroll flexiblity.

  13. Annie (17): No need to move the fences in or the plate up. Maybe shorten the left field wall. That’s it. There’s nothing wrong with Citi Field that a few home run hitters won’t cure.-JD

  14. One thing about Citi Field. There is no shortage of things to eat. … Maybe it is a psychological thing. When you’re disappointed you tend to eat. Maybe the Wilpons really do know their customers.-JD

  15. 18. Why change GMs? After all this team of Omar’s went to the playoffs almost as many times as the Rockies! 5 years, one playoff experience. 5 years, developed ZERO quality players. 5 years, his best signing was in year 1. 5 years, he is still looking for the identity of his team, 5 years made 2 bad managerial picks. 5 years of basic failure. Why do the Mets want or need a new GM?

  16. John (21) Aren’t all the new stadiums full of tempting food? Just like a mall? Guess that’s why I have a soft spot for Fenway – still want to sit in one of the Monster seats someday for a game. Did you know they save a few seats for game day, every day?

  17. 20 JD, I wish Wilpon would snap up towers. He is one of the best. Just let him clean house.

  18. 18. More seriously, the Padres have played winning ball the last two months. Met fans are told to get excited because Murphy played better and Francouer is better than Chuhch. Padres get rid of the guy now they’re nuts. Mets keep their guy, they’re nuts.

  19. THIRD INNING: If balls are going over Pagan’s head with his speed, then his positioning and reading the ball off the bat need work.-JD

  20. Just throwing this out. Do you think the Mets’ fan base would take a couple of seasons of mediocrity, if not losing, if they went into a rebuilding stage?-JD

  21. John (29)
    Tune into WFAN anytime during the day/night and they are all bitching.
    “Rebuilding” is not in their vocabulary.

  22. 31. Annie; People still go to Knick games and they’ve been rebuilding for how mamny years?

  23. If you are really serious about rebuilding, that means you have to be willing to trade your best players to restock your system. Santana is probably the most valuable piece. Does he have a no trade clause? We know that Beltran does. All of our stars had injuries or poor seasons. So we would be selling low if we do it now.

  24. 35. I don’t think so Annie. Sport fanatics just move from team to team just like the seasons.
    34. I agree Sadecki and I was watching the guy nobody likes, Francessa the other day ans he said the same thing. But if we keep omar, he’ll probably think its the best time to rebuild.

  25. 36.Chiti, Omar knows his time is running out. 2010 will tell the tale. If they dont make the playoffs hes gone and he knows it.

  26. Ray (39): Excellent point. I think you’ll see the decisions based on winning now instead of being patient. That might mean eventually trading a guy like Fernando Martinez.-JD

  27. Harry (36) It’s basketball and hockey games that are similar – games played indoors during the winter – fans are mostly guys who just want to get out of the house, drink and swear at other guys.

    Baseball is more of a family sport, games are outdoors, there are night and day games and you see lots of children, even babies in the stands.

  28. 40. Another case of selling low. The hype has gone out of Fmart. Might as well keep him another year and hope he can stay healthy. Same goes for Reyes His value has dropped to near zero.

  29. About Mike Francesa – Who said he’s the guy nobody likes? Have you seen his numbers? They are going through the roof and he’s making money hand over fist.

  30. If the Mets really believe the only reason they didn’t win was injuries, then the only thing they should want to do is give Putz his option and get a left fielder with power to repalce Delgado’s power.
    If they don’t believe the injuries line, then they should replace Omar now.

  31. 40/46. The only guys who you could sell high are Feliciano and Francouer and you all love Francouer as much as you used to loved Churchy, and even at high value Feliciano is just a middle releiver. Murphy probably has value as well, since he shows he can hit and another team might actually leave him alone at one position and one place in the line up and let him go.

  32. 42. LOL…. Annie I think you need to go to a baseball game. They show the kids on TV but the baseball crowd is mostly drunks and rowdies from Philly up to Boston.

  33. Ray (50): Reyes’ value is next to nothing now. Who would trade for a speed player that you don’t know can run? And, is manager believes he’s lost a step on top of that.-JD

  34. Harry (48): Everybody knows that injuries were only a part of this season. Their pitching was bad and they are fundamentally poor. For example, they are hitting less than .100 with the bases loaded. … Unfortunately, injuries will be the get out of jail free card for management.-JD

  35. John (51) This reminds me of Reyes’ early days with the Mets when they sent him to PSL and made him change his natural way of running.

    Rain Delay now.

  36. 52. Well Delcos, I guess everybody knows what you say except for 4 people, Freddy Wilpon, Jeffy Wilpon, Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel!!!!!!

  37. Let’s face it: the most important Mets victory of the year was the team gets to keep the $20 million a year they get from Citbank/U.S. taxpayers.

  38. Harry (54) I’m not so sure about that – the Mets would be negligent if they (or someone on the staff) weren’t reading everything written about their team, particularly this season.

  39. Rain Delay. A shame they can’t dig up the “1974 seasons highlights” film they showed in a rain delays in 1975. The Mets 71-91 record was explained by a lot of ground balls just past our infielder’s reach.

  40. Here’s hoping the Twins make it past Detroit and Carl Pavano leads them past the Yankees. It would be even sweeter than The Gambler (Kenny Rogers) shutting out the Yankees in 2006. Of course a week later Beltran, Wagner, Traschel, and the rest came along and negated that joy.

  41. Dan (62): I hadn’t thought about Pavano pitching against the Yankees. Yes, that would be interesting. Except, Pavano is such a jerk that it would be hard rooting for him.-JD

  42. John (63) After last night, even I’m not sure about the Yankees –

    (61) I know Tony Randall died, but is Jack Klugman still alive?

  43. 51 JD, Jerry Manuel is basically telling us Reyes will never be the same again. He said Reyes will lose a step OR TWO. When you steal a base, a step or two is the difference between being safe and out. Without outstanding speed he becomes just and average player.

  44. John (65) A wonderful, down to earth man – who loved horse racing. His big horse and mine competed against each other in several races including the Belmont back in the day..

  45. Steve Somers is working the rain delay on WFAN – people are calling to say ‘goodbye’ to Manuel and Minaya –

  46. John (72) I need something to listen to while I’m working on the latest baby blanket and Steve is subtle and hilarious at the same time – the callers love him – and he really knows the Mets.

  47. 69. I liked it much better when i was in the tiny minority about Omar and Jerry! But, they have both been so bad I can’t switch sides!
    66. Manuel’s statements about Reyes are another in a long series of his inexcusable statements about players. Since his org the Mets haven’t even figured out how to treat the problem how does a total jerk like Manuel know what the final ramifications will be.

  48. 74. Not here Annie. Here Fox has honored us with the totally meaningless Fish/filly game. I guess I’ll watch the figthin iliini upset the nittany lions.

  49. Harry (75): Manuel saying Reyes will lose a step pisses me off on so many levels. First, let’s have the surgery first (although, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s right). Then again, what does he know? He’s been wrong on injuries before. Secondly, you never devalue your players in public for trade reasons. Just dumb.-JD

  50. John (79) I was watching the Twins for that very reason, it was 0 – 0 when I left it. Only Andy Pettitte – who pitches tonight in Tampa – has any kind of record in the post season. Yankees know it’s pitching that matters the most and are woefully unprepared this time around.

    Also, I agree with you about Manuel – although Minaya says stupid stuff, too.

  51. I was listening to Steve Somers during the rain delay as well. He used to be a Manuel supporter, but has now come out strongly against him. People who were at the game today and left were calling to complain that neither Wright or Beltran were in the lineup, and Somers said sitting Wright was Manuel’s way of rewarding a hot hand — he’s obviously been reading the comments here!

    Of course earlier this week, I heard Francesa claiming that his “inside” source practically guaranteed that Reyes’ injury was routine and he would be in the lineup on opening day next season, even as everybody else was reporting it could be career-ending. Francesa was defiant and said HE was right.

  52. Just wanted to say hi.
    On Fox it feels like the old days when game of the week was really the game of the week. Not being forced to watch the Mets , Yanks or Red Sox.

    If Manuel were to be fired, which is not happening, does anyone have a short list of guys who could do the job in NY.

    Please do not talk about Bobby V.
    That just is not going to happen.

    I know one guy who could do the job but he already burnt all his bridges with Met ownership.

  53. Scott, you’ve got me wracking my brain trying to think of who you’re talking about…

  54. John – I just turned on the Weather Channel – Southern Connecticut is under a tornado watch.

  55. 86
    Carter managed 2 years in the minors for the Mets. The Mets wanted he to go to Binghamton and he refused. Not the smartest thing Carter ever did. If he had gone to Binghamton good chance he would at least be considered to manage the Mets.

  56. Scott (89) No, but he was a bench coach and held other positions on Torre’s staff – he was also a long time friend of Omar Minaya’s.

  57. 90 / 91 Dan
    Forgot about Carter managing the Ducks.
    Torre had no experience which makes the case it is not necessary.

    Any thoughts on Carter.

  58. Dan, Joe Torre was still a player when he got the Mets job. He also was never considered a good manager until the Yankees hired him. Not sure either he or Willie are exactly great examples of managers who never managed before they were hired being a “good idea”…

    Scott, Carter has never struck me as a very personable guy — he always had a reputation as someone with a huge ego (which would seem to be confirmed by his refusal to go to Binghamton). What makes you think he has “what it takes” to whip this team into shape?

  59. I have no idea if Carter would be a good manager or not. I was just remarking that others have been hired by the Mets as manager and I can see Carter’s bewilderment as to why he should have to spend more time in the minors. People got all over Carter for “trying to take Willie’s job” so openly. I thought it was refreshing honesty-better than Joe Torre telling David Letterman there was nothing to the rumors he was talking to the Dodgers, then a week later he was wearing Dodger Blue.
    Torre did get jobs with the Braves and Cards after he left the Mets so at least two people with checkbooks thought he was good.

  60. What does it say about the Mets and Manuel that Parnell said he’s mentally drained and won’t play winter ball. That’s not a good indictment about Manuel. He might have lost Parnell with the way he was treated. They yanked him around shamelessly.-JD

  61. 95 Jeff M.
    Other players always thought Carter was a media hog. Also thought he was a phony.

    Being willing to talk to the media in NY would be a plus.

    Carter was a great catcher and some of the best managers have been catchers.

    I also think Carter is a big time jerk , but a lot of baseball’s best managers have been not very well liked.

    Carter knows baseball and has a huge ego.

    If given the chance to manage he would do everything possible to win.

    Lets just say playing for Carter would not be going to the country club every day.

  62. That Nelson Figueroa is starting tomorrow instead of Parnell or Pelfrey tells you what you need to know about the direction of the Mets. … Figueroa, a journeyman who has been ripped this month, gets the ball. Not Parnell, who has unanswered questions. Not Pelfrey, who could use a positive note before the winter.-JD

  63. the mets FO appears to have no concept of putting a team together for the present AND the future..teams like the red sox are models for the mets to use but the mets seem oblivious

  64. 98 JD
    Unless Towers gets his assistant Paul DePodesta to go with him not sure if I would hire him.

    DePodesta did help build a good part of the current Dodgers team. Just did not get along with the owner.

  65. the nick evans situation makes 0 sense…why is he on the big league club if you arent going to play hiim 20+ games under .500

  66. 104 JD
    Pelfrey is not with the team. Went to take his baby to see his Grandfather who is not well.

  67. Scott (114): But, the decision not to start him was made several days ago. Their thinking should have been to give him another chance to leave the season on a high note.-JD

  68. NINTH INNING: Seven blown save opportunities for Rodriguez. An eighth would bring the season full circle. Maybe he’ll blow one tomorrow.-JD

  69. 116 JD
    I agree Pelfrey should be pitching tomorrow,
    but the way this season has gone I am just happy he has not gotten hurt in September.

    Just imagine the grief the Mets would take if Pelfrey had pitched and hurt himself.

  70. sad that it is a good thing that the baseball regular season is coming to class

    lets go mets..find a way in 2010

  71. if the mets win tomorrow i dont want to hear jerry or omar talk about ending it on a hi note or building on this for next year or any of that crap.

    unfortunately for all the banter we will have over the winter, omar will return essentially the same flawed team next year. perhaps with different names.

    perhaps i will stop watching the mets. what’s the point. the captain steering the ship is blind.

  72. unless peter angelos buys them and tries to run them into the ground like the Os haaha

    go mets

  73. dave (126): If they cared about ending on a high note they would have done a lot of things differently. For one thing, they wouldn’t have trashed Bobby Parnell. It’s garbage how they treated him. Nick Evans, too.-JD

  74. (77) Why do you figure Jerry is forecasting Reyes losing a step post-surgery? I’m guessing he’s already planting those seeds in the heads of the media as a defense when the team gets off to a slow start next year and Omar considers firing him and bringing in a new manager as a last-chance gasp. If you read between the lines, he’s pretty much announcing that in his do-or-die 2010 season he’s going to be hamstrung (pun intended) by having his best player reduced to a shadow of his former self. Makes no sense to say that after the fact. Makes some sense right now.

  75. (102) Carter is heavily into religion. It’s all about Jesus allowing players to hit the curveball and backhand balls hit into the hole. That’s a tough sell in many clubhouses, and I think he’d find enormous problems in a media market like NY.

  76. 132. Tiffany. Of course there is going to be friction between A moral man and a team whos most influentai faction named themselves the scumbunch? The only thing they could find to say bad about him was he was always ready to smile for the camera. He was also the most fan friendly met who would hold up the bus because he was signing autographs for kids. A real bad guy.

  77. Then on the other side of the coin is Wally Backman, who has been blackballed out of baseball altogether. I recently heard a radio interview he did a couple of years ago on one of the blogs. He said he never hit his wife and as a matter of fact she was using a bat on him. The case was thrown out of court. He had a DWI ten years ago and Owed the IRS some money. Big deal. Carter and Backman have both shown they have what it takes to be winning managers in the minors.

  78. (NEW YORK, Oct. 4) As the disastrous 2009 season came to a close, New York Mets General Manager Omar Minaya broke with tradition today and announced his plans for the 2010 season. “We’re going to make some major changes in keeping with our place as a great team in the City of New York,” said Minaya. “We intend to give our fans a championship caliber team because they deserve nothing less.”

    “First of all, I want to reassure fans that David Wright will remain at third base as the face of the franchise,” said Minaya. “But we will be surrounding him with a group of all stars and proven winners. We are confident that with this level of talent, our commitment to winning will be evident.”

    Though prohibited by league rules from naming specific players who may still be under contract, information leaked from the Mets front office indicates these will be among the roster additions for 2010, with Jerry Manuel remaining as manager:

    Milton Bradley OF
    Alfonso Soriano OF
    Manny Ramirez OF
    Gary Sheffield OF
    Jason Giambi 1B (platoon)
    Barry Bonds 1B (platoon)
    Edgardo Alfonso 2B
    Edgar Renteria SS
    Ivan Rodriguez C

    Jamie Moyer
    Randy Johnson
    Roger Clemens
    Tim Wakefield
    John Smoltz

  79. (133) So, then, you’re going to be comfortable when Carter addresses the media in his post-game press conference and explains how the team’s losing streak was simply “God’s will”?

    And demonstrating the ability to win in the minors isn’t the same as managing in the big leagues. There’s nothing being offered by a 20-year-old at Port St. Lucie that will compare to, say, a Gary Sheffield or a veteran with a $100-million contract.

    The blackballed former Met who could feasibly turn things around would most likely be Davey Johnson, not Gary Carter.

  80. 136. First of all, He would never say that. Second, if he did, so what? I see players giving thanks to God all the time. Wilpon wants a team of choirboys. He might as well have a manager whos one too.

  81. (137) Do you remember the shitstorm that surrounded Ryan Church about when he came to New York about whether his jewish girlfriend would make it to heaven? I beg to differ with the “who cares” sentiment, particularly in the New York market.

  82. 138. So Gary Carter, hero of the 1986 Mets. A hall of famer should not be considered for manager of the Mets because hes a Christian. Wonderful. Its nice to know there are still some people you can be prejudiced against.

  83. (139) No, it’s not because he’s a Christian — it’s because he’s a crazy evangelical Christian. Combine that with his “wholesome” image and you’re doing yourself no favors with the media nor with the players themselves. You might as well as hire Jimmy Swaggart to manage the team, as you’d be asking for the same trouble.