April 22.10: About Last Night: The hole in the middle.

It is easy to look at any Mets’ loss Oliver Perez starts and point at him as the reason. While Perez wasn’t nearly as sharp as he was in St. Louis, the Mets had a chance to win despite the three runs he gave up.

The Mets lost last night because their bullpen gave up six runs, a reminder rankings two weeks into the season are meaningless.

Most disconcerting from last night was the continued lack of production from the heart of the order, 3-4-5 hitters David Wright, Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur, who combined to go 2-for-9.

Wright has 14 strikeouts, roughly one a game, and has been susceptible to breaking balls off the plate. Bay is not seeing the ball well at all, evidenced by 22 strikeouts. And, Francoeur, after a 10-game hitting streak to start the season, is on a 0-for-22 slide that began with the 20-inning game in St. Louis.

“I think once they get a few hits, any type of hits, they’ll get going,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “I don’t see fatigue as an issue. I don’t see lethargic legs. I see good bat speed.’’

Because rest isn’t the immediate answer, Manuel needs to consider breaking up the order of the three right-handed hitters, and indicated Ike Davis or Angel Pagan are options.

Currently, Bay is drawing the most concern, and Manuel said batting him behind speed might be the answer, and in that regard, he’s not letting go of the idea of moving Jose Reyes to the third slot in the order.

However, Manuel also was open to the idea of batting Bay second.

This has worked before with Wright and it could work for Bay. The problem is he’ll still have three righties in a row because he’s not going to slot Davis or Pagan clean-up.

Another possible solution is to keep batting the three righties, but mix up the order.

12 thoughts on “April 22.10: About Last Night: The hole in the middle.

  1. i agree the heart of the order frequently comes up empty, but i think the larger issue for us as you state here and in the past is the starters.

    going 5 or 6 innings every game is a recipe for the same collapse of the bullpen and the team as has happened in the past years.

    yet again we did not improve the rotation. we did not create competition. if we had an alternative maine would be in the pen or in the minors. ollie may or may not be behind him. niese has pitched well. this leaves us with 60% of a big league rotation.

    unless ollie proves he has learned to pitch and can pitch into the 7th on a regular basis this team is done regardless of how we hit.

    if our lineup is a monster lineup we can win for a while and knock people around, but were we to get to the postseason, the quality arms you meet there will kill you.

  2. as dave inidcated: if the pitchers were taken out after 5 innings on a very rare basis then all would be fine. but the formula the mets have used thus far is, everyday the bullpen is used regardless.
    The day after the 20 inning game, not a single pitcher from the bullpen should have been used.
    I believe this would have spoken volumes.
    WE have yet to see a pitcher successfully pitch out of a situation, mostly because they are yanked before they are given a chance. and if this occurs everyday or every other day once again the bull pen is spent. I hate to see us behind runs in the second inning and the pitcher left in, but it makes sense when you are resting the pen. at least PELF is breaking out :-)

    as for the hitters, no clue why they are slumping. perhaps all the talk of reyes etc. you know when you are the meat of the order and you hear your manager say how he wants his speedster to bat #3, that would upset me a little too as it did francoeur.

    We had a decent lineup early on but unfortunately 1st base has become a revolving door. the only solution i see to be honest is a full re-structure. starting with management ;-)

  3. (1) They didn’t improve the rotation? I have four questions for you:

    1.) Is this year’s Pelfrey better than last year’s Pelfrey?

    2.) Who finished third on the team in innings pitched in 2009?

    3.) Who finished fourth on the team in innings pitched in 2009?

    4.) Does Jon Niese figure to better than the answers to both #3 and #4?

  4. Santana will always be Santana :-)
    Pelf is looking better again. Maine is trying.. Ollie is unfortunately still hot and cold running Ollie.
    Niese is doing well etc.
    Are we a national league title winning team. not so far, yes there’s plenty of season. We will just have to see as the season progresses.

  5. Hernandez and Redding. Those are interesting names. Names of pichers who could be long men out of the pen and spot start. Dont get me started on Figgy. Piss poor planning imo.

  6. Nieve in AAA waiting for the first pitching injury which has already occurred

  7. with Warthen as the pitching coach it doesnt really matter. he might ruin any rookie that comes up. :-(

  8. By the way, we have a game in 20 minutes — where’s Delcos? Is he at the poetry class again? I thought that was Monday nights, no?