May 08

Niese starts tonight

Jon Niese, at 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA for Triple-A Buffalo, starts tonight for the Mets against Pittsburgh. When Niese considered his record, he admits the promotion came as a surprise.

“It was a shock, but I was real excited,” said Niese. “I had a rough start. You can’t go around that. But I figured things out working on my bullpens, trying to pound the ball in the zone, and I tried to incorporate into my last outing and was successful.”

Barring an exceptional performance that just screams for an encore, this might be Niese’s only start with the Mets for awhile because Tim Redding (shoulder injury) is close to returning.

Redding pitched six strong innings in a rehab start Wednesday for Buffalo.

“I think we’re in a situation where we can now evaluate that spot on a turn-by-turn basis,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “It will depend on how we look the next time around, basically for Niese. This will be a good opportunity for him, but if he’s not quite ready, Redding or another starter down there could take that place.”

May 07

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #27; going for the sweep.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets are going for their fourth straight victory tonight against Philadelphia, and if they get it they’ll pull within a half-game of first place. For the most part they have put together this modest winning streak without Jose Reyes, who is on an 8-for-53 slide.

Reyes is falling back into bad habits at the plate such as not being patient and he’s expanded the strike zone for pitchers by swinging at garbage.

Mike Pelfrey (3-0) on the mound for the Mets against Jamie Moyer. With the lefthander, the Mets will sit Ryan Church and Daniel Murphy.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Ramon Castro, C
Mike Pelfrey, P

May 07

Glad they didn’t sign Manny now?

The news is Manny Ramirez will get a 50-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.

No, I’m not surprised. I can’t be surprised by anything anymore when it comes to that. I was opposed to the Mets signing Ramirez not because I expected this, but because I always thought he was a bad, selfish guy.

This proves it.

May 06

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #26; Santana vs. the Phillies.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The best pitcher in the sport will try to extend the Mets’ winning streak to three games tonight against the Phillies. Johan Santana could easily be 5-0 with a little more support.

Interesting changes in the line-up, beginning with Daniel Murphy batting sixth behind David Wright because Alex Cora gets the start at second. Ryan Church, who is in a dreadful slump and hitting .143 with RISP in on the bench.

Here’s the line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Jeremy Reed, RF
Omir Santos, C
Johan Santana, P

May 06

Let’s not get carried away ….

Two victories over the struggling Braves (and it could have been two the other way) does not a season make.

Said David Wright: “When you win, you have energy and passion. When things aren’t going so well, it’s easy to pick apart things like that. We’ve got a good team. We’ve got good guys on this team. We’re well-prepared. We’re intense. When you win, that’s a plus – and when you lose, you start looking for reasons why.”

There have been some encouraging things the past two days, but enough of the other stuff to believe the Mets aren’t out of the woods. For one thing, they were dreadful hitting with runners in scoring position. They could have routed the Braves had they been more consistent.

And, if you’re going to squander opportunities, you can’t afford to give the opposition extra outs, which was was last night’s ninth inning was all about.

All they’ve done was win two straight games. They are home now with series against the Phillies and Braves, and don’t underestimate the Pirates, who have been getting good pitching.

Let’s see where they are after this homestand. I’m cautiously optimistic.