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The Braves in town in late September was supposed to mean something. For the Mets, beating their long-time foe and finishing the over .500 could help salvage what has become a disappointing season. For the struggling Braves, they need to wake-up if they are to make the playoffs in Bobby Cox’s last season.
As the Mets seek to rebuild next season, one of the cornerstones will be outfielder Angel Pagan. For those who are waiting for Pagan to stumble, keep waiting because it doesn’t look as if it would happen. Pagan did have a poor stretch, but has rebounded and is finishing strong and is the Mets’ MVP.
The qualifier, of course, is it was against the Pirates, but it was good to see Mike Pelfrey throw a good game last night. His July swoon was alarming, but he seems to have corrected his mechanical and concentration problems that slammed the brakes on a potentially great season.
It is premature to say he’s completely there as a starter, but he could win 16, 17 games this year which is a watershed mark for a pitcher. And, if he even went .500 during his slide he could be looking at a 20-win season.
Pelfrey worked quickly and efficiently last night. He mixed his pitches well and worked both sides of the plate. The movement on his pitches was excellent, just the way it was at the beginning of the season.
I said going into the season Pelfrey might be the key Met, and it should be that way again next season. This guy is on the cusp of being right there and there will be more pressure than ever in 2011 because we don’t know what, if anything, the Mets will get from Johan Santana.
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The Mets have more than a few pitching questions heading into next year, and Mike Pelfrey is one of them. After a brilliant start, Pelfrey hit the skids in July, seemed to right himself, then was hit hard again. He’s coming off a good start and the Mets want him to finish on a roll to give him the confidence heading into the offseason.
With Johan Santana injured, unless the Mets make a stunning move in the offseason, Pelfrey will go to spring training as the No. 1 starter.
The Mets will be seeking their first four-game sweep of a team tonight at home against Pittsburgh.
Jenrry Mejia has a right shoulder strain and will be shut down for the remainder of the season. It’s his second shoulder injury of the year and you have to wonder if how he was handled this year was a contributing factor.
The Mets have to be cautious with him in spring training, perhaps to the point of being overprotective. This is a valuable commodity, one groomed as a starter, then had his role changed.
It’s only speculative, of course, but how he was handled this season has to be a factor in the bad news we have this morning.
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Game #146 vs. Pirates
Yes, it has been a disappointing season. There was reason for optimism around the All-Star break, but then things went south.
The Mets stand 72-73 heading into tonight’s game against Pittsburgh, already two wins better than last year’s win total. At 70-92 last year, most everybody would have grabbed a .500 season if guaranteed during spring training.
Finishing at .500 would represent significant improvement, and it could be better than that. And, it could be done with a nothing year from Jason Bay, a half-season from Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes missing significant time.
This isn’t to say all is well, because it is not. It is to say they are better than they were last year.