May 01

Mets performed as expected in April.

Where did that winning streak go? It was here a moment ago. Instead, it has morphed into a three-game losing skid, which could reach four tonight against Cliff Lee, and keep going when the San Francisco Giants come to town this week.

The Mets closed April at 11-16 and in last place in the NL East, about what most people expected from them. But what most counted on was win two, lose three. Nobody expected the Mets to be as streaky to the extreme as they have been. Losing this way is more frustrating because it preys on your frustrations and fears.

The pitching is going to dictate the Mets’ success this year, and that didn’t disappoint in April, where it was poor for most of the month save a week stretch in which it transformed the Mets into a representative baseball team. The key was Mike Pelfrey, who regressed from last summer. There were occasional bright starts, but for the most part the rotation remains a source of concern, as does the bullpen, which has proven to be highly combustible when overworked.

There’s nobody in the rotation that you feel confident will take you to the seventh. Jon Niese was solid yesterday against Roy Halladay, but who can’t see him bailing after four in his next start.

Pedro Beato and Jason Isringhausen have been dependable. Francisco Rodriguez is still a tight rope act. Bobby Parnell was supposed to be the eighth inning answer, but we don’t know much of his failures are talent or injury related. The remainder of the pen is a hold-your-breath propostion.

Offensively, Daniel Murphy has been solid and Carlos Beltran has performed more, and probably better than expected. Ike Davis has taken a positive step and Jason Bay has played well since coming off the disabled list.

David Wright still strikes out too much for me and is not dependable in the clutch. I still want Jose Reyes to strike out less and walk more.

There are days when the offense can be daunting, yet others when it is puzzling. That pretty much describes the Mets as a whole, which hasn’t been a surprise.


Apr 30

Collins admits mistake in starting Pelfrey.

Terry Collins played the media perfectly last night, even in defeat.

Rather than run away from his obvious blunder to start Mike Pelfrey, or worse point fingers at others, Collins did a un-Jerry Manuel like thing and pointed the finger at himself.

“It was my fault,” Collins said. “I write the lineup. I didn’t need to pitch him. I had a little concern there might be a problem. I know better than that. … It was my responsibility to take charge of that and I sent him out there.’’

From there, Collins diffused the issue. It only becomes a topic again should he repeat the mistake.

Beat reporter want credibility. They understand the game, and when one of the participants screws up they want him to be man enough to stand up.

Managing pitching staffs is a lot about trusting the pitcher, and against his better judgment, Collins listened to, and gave in to, Pelfrey’s request to pitch. After the game, Pelfrey said he was fine and didn’t want to use having the flu as an excuse.

The fact is he wasn’t fine. It is admirable he wanted to pitch, but he wasn’t thinking about what was in the best interest of the team.

Pelfrey should have backed down last night.


Apr 29

The “rivalry resumes” tonight in Philly.

We hear it every summer, but it isn’t true because the teams have rarely been good at the same time. And, they haven’t gone down to the wire with the NL East on the line. Sure, the two cities are close and there’s been some spitting at each other, but it hasn’t been the blood-and-guts passion we would like to see in something dubbed as a rivalry.

The Mets arrive in town tonight having won six of their last seven and having a renewed attitude.

“We’re coming to the ballpark like, ‘We’re going to win.’ When you don’t win, it hurts really bad,” manager Terry Collins said. “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth — especially when you have opportunities to win.”

After two losses over his first four starts, Mike Pelfrey beat Arizona in his last start, lasting seven innings. However, he’s been down with the flu and there’s no telling how long he’ll last tonight. Don’t expect much if it is hot and humid.

No, this isn’t a classic rivalry, but there’s some electricity when the teams play, and it is especially raucous when they meet in Philly.


Apr 29

Mets’ April 29 lineup at Philadelphia.

Here’s the Mets’ lineup tonight at Philadelphia:

Jose Reyes, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Ike Davis, 1B

Josh Thole, C

Jason Pridie, CF

Mike Pelfrey, RP


COMMENT: I’ll say it again, I think the Mets are making a mistake starting Pelfrey tonight. He’s lost 11 pounds battling the flu the past week and isn’t full strength. They have Dillon Gee for situations like this and it makes no sense pushing Pelfrey in April. What’s the point? What good does it serve to possibly burn out Pelfrey tonight and going deep into the bullpen?