Jun 26

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #72; the Yanks are coming.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets follow up their first series win in weeks with a three-game series against the Yankees at Citi Field, with Mike Pelfrey going against CC Sabathia.

Pelfrey (5–2, 4.74 ERA) pitched five innings against the Yankees last season and allowed eight hits and four runs. The key with Pelfrey is to get ahead in the count. With a first-pitch strike opponents are batting just .193 against him; they are .387 when he falls behind.

Another thing with Pelfrey is to avoid the big inning. He has a tendency to give up runs in bunches and unravel. He has been unable to minimize the damage.

Sabathia (6–4, 3.71 ERA) left his last start in the second inning with a sore left bicep. He has gone 5-1 over his last nine starts.

An interesting line-up change has Ryan Church in center and Fernando Tatis in right. Gary Sheffield is back and in left.

Here’s the batting order:

Luis Castillo, 2B
Alex Cora, SS
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Fernando Tatis, RF
Ryan Church, CF
Nick Evans, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Jun 25

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #71; Santana tries to rebound.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

See how easy this game is when you score double-digit runs and don’t give up any? They can’t all be like last night. Johan Santana attempts to get back on track this afternoon against St. Louis.

Here’s today’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Fernando Martinez, CF
Nick Evans, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Johan Santana, LP

Jun 24

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #70; Church clean-up edition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Here’s how bad things are for the Mets’ offense: Ryan Church is the clean-up hitter. Yup, you read correctly. Gary Sheffield is out again after taking a cortisone injection in his knee. He believes he’ll be available this weekend against the Yankees. We shall see.

Fernando Nieve (2–0, 1.84) starts for the Mets after back-to-back quality starts. Can he keep riding the wave?

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Fernando Martinez, CF
Nick Evans, 1B
Brian Schneider, C
Fernando Nieve, RP

Jun 24

About Last Night ….

All those good feelings harnessed with Monday’s victory have been washed away by the rain. Getting two hits against Joel Pineiro will do that to a team. For a team not getting consistently good pitching, the Mets can’t afford to waste a strong performance such as the one Livan Hernandez gave them last night.

Three-fourths of the core is gone, and the last one standing – David Wright – is hitting, but without power. Consistent run production is lacking and there’s little help on the horizon. Gary Sheffield hasn’t played in three days, and that they are relying on his aching 40-year-old legs doesn’t do much on the optimism meter.

It was Pineiro last night. He was stifling and the Mets did little to work the count. Not that it would have mattered anyway because he was usually ahead.

The Mets must now play for one run whenever they get the chance, and they don’t get many. Bunt, hit-and-run, steal, hit behind the runner, take the extra base, work the count. Now, more than ever, the must play fundamental offense because they don’t have the eraser that can wipe it all clean with one swing.

As well as they played Monday, they still could have lost. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them lose tonight and even tomorrow with Johan Santana, who hasn’t been a sure thing since the San Francisco game a half-dozen or so starts ago.

The Mets have been extremely fortunate to be only 2.5 games behind the Phillies with how they have played this month. They could easily be seven or eight behind if the Phillies could win at home.

I get this gnawing feeling about the Mets, the same one I got the last two years, that they have this warped belief they can turn it on at will once they get all their parts back. It doesn’t work that way.

These are the Mets’ cards and they have to play them. They have to play as if there’s no help coming, because, after all, we don’t know if there is.