Jun 20

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #66; all eyes on Santana.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

It will be very interesting to watch Johan Santana this afternoon. He really hasn’t been himself since the San Francisco game. He’s won, but he’s been vulnerable. After getting shelled by the Yankees last weekend, Santana insisted nothing is wrong physically.

He and pitching coach Dan Warthen worked on mechanics this week, and everybody us saying he’s fine. He goes into today’s game against the Rays with an extra day of rest. If his velocity is off again today with the extra rest, there might be some cause for alarm.

The Mets are sure to watch him closely and give him a short leash.

Here’s today’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Jeremy Reed, LF
Omir Santos, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Johan Santana, LP

Jun 19

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #65; AL Champs visit.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Fernando Nieve, who pitched brilliantly in his Mets debut against the Yankees last weekend, gets his second start tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays.

It’s hard to believe with how Nieve pitched that he couldn’t make Houston’s rotation. Then again, maybe last week was an aberration, but a good one. He was in the mid-90s and hitting the corners. Can’t ask for more other than to do it again.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Ryan Church, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Fernando Nieve, RP

The Rays are in town with third baseman Evan Longoria, which begs the obvious comparisons to David Wright. Well, you can pick one. Who is it?

Jun 19

Martinez demoted

The Mets did the practical and obvious this afternoon when they optioned outfielder Fernando Martinez to Triple-A Buffalo and recall outfielder/first baseman Nick Evans.

Martinez wasn’t hitting and it would have been foolish to keep him on the bench when he could be getting regular at-bats in the minor leagues. Martinez showed flashes of what he could be about, but also visited the dark side in his performance.

Odds are he learned about running out pop-ups.

He’ll be back again this season.

Jun 18

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #64; Hernandez goes for No. 6

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When the Mets signed Livan Hernandez this spring, there were those who thought he’d be lucky to win six games, lucky even to make six starts.

He goes after No. 6 tonight in Baltimore, prompting the question: Where would the Mets be without him?

Hernandez is looking to rebound from Friday’s game against the Yankees in which he gave up three homers over 5 1/3 innings.Hernandez is 3-1 with a 3.94 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles.

Tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, DH
Ryan Church, RF
Omir Santos, C
Fernando Martinez, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B

Jun 18

Perez update

Oliver Perez, on the DL since May 7, threw three shutout innings in an extended spring training game in Port St. Lucie. He gave up three hits and one walk with five strikeouts and reported no pain.

“I felt really good,” Perez said. “I’m a little tired because it’s hot, but I feel strong. I threw three innings, and I was using all my pitches. I used my slider, backdoor, in good situations, behind the count, my change-up, too. I’m happy I had good command, and I was throwing a lot of strikes.”

Perez will throw again Tuesday.

While the news is encouraging, it must be tempered with the fact he’s basically starting over and will need at least three more games before he’s ready. That puts his return in early July at best.

Never mind the results, the important thing is he felt no discomfort in his knee.

In other injury news: John Maine threw in a simulated game and still feels a pinch in his shoulder. … Angel Pagan could be back in New York within two weeks. … Billy Wagner could face hitters by the first week in July.