Apr 11

Mets need to turn it around.

We’re nine games into the season and a few things are quickly coming into focus, few of them good.

PELFREY: Seeking first win tonight.

The team is hustling, always a positive, but how long will the attitude last if the pitching falters and the losing continues?

If you could have handicapped the first three series, you would’ve figured losses at Florida and Philadelphia, and beating Washington. A 4-5 record wouldn’t have been an unreasonable projection.

The bullpen has been terrible, the rotation spotty and the clutch hitting poor. Seventeen strikeouts yesterday against the Nationals is inexcusable. That being said, the Mets are lucky to be where they are.

It’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusions on the season, but to avoid a slide they need to show something against Colorado and Atlanta, seven games against superior competition, with four at home against the Rockies. If they lose the Colorado series, then go into Atlanta, who can’t see the basement by the time they come home again?

Winning teams focus one series at a time, and the Mets have played poorly in losing of their first three. Progress is made in little steps, and they need Mike Pelfrey to take one tonight.

Apr 11

Bullpen implodes again; Isringhausen here.

We knew going in one of the Mets’ weaknesses was their bullpen, and less than 10 games into the season it has been true to form.

IZZY: Will he help?

A team looking to take the next step does not blow a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning. That’s what happened Sunday to the Mets, who responded by designating for assignment Blaine Boyer and optioning outfielder Lucas Duda and bringing up relievers Jason Isringhausen and Ryota Igarashi.

“The bullpen has been inconsistent, and that’s probably as positive an adjective as I can give,’’ said GM Sandy Alderson.

A better adjective is horrible, as the pen has given up 63 runners in 34.1 innings, many of which have scored. Over the last 11 innings, the pen has walked 11, and given up 10 hits and nine earned runs.

And, with the rotation not going long innings – Chris Young being the exception yesterday throwing seven – a losing record can be expected.

You can’t blame Alderson for taking Boyer over Isringhausen to start the season because he was caught in a contractual corner. Asking Isringhausen to say behind for extended spring training was a gamble worth taking. When you’re not dealing from a position of strength, you do what you can.

The Mets shopped in the bargain basement for relievers this winter spending just $4 million, and with that approach, what has happened is not a surprise. D.J. Carrasco, Taylor Buchholz and Boyer have not been effective.

I don’t know if Isringhausen will be that big of a difference, but he couldn’t hurt. At this point, anything might be a help.


UP NEXT: The importance of this week.


Apr 10

Beltran has stud night; Young pitches today.

I admit, after Beltran’s big night my first thought was July and if he stays healthy the Mets would be in better position to make a deal at the trade deadline. I am under no illusions Beltran will return next season, even if he stays healthy, has a big year and the Mets are competitive.

BELTRAN: Has big night.

The Mets’ financial and legal situation will remain the backdrop for this season, and it will be that way until it is resolved.

That being said, it is a good sign he’s swinging the bat well, and I liked how the Mets came back and added runs last night. The Mets are a .500 team after eight games, showing signs of progress one day and their most glaring weaknesses the next.

If it remains that way, it will be a maddening, and yet a fascinating summer. There will be moments and perhaps long stretches of alert aggressive baseball and also times when their pitching gets torched and the bats fall silent with RISP. It is always that way with developing teams.

As far as Beltran is concerned, if he produces the only things that would prevent the Mets from making a deal in July would be his contract and if the team is surprisingly competitive. If, by chance, they are in contention they might keep him in the hopes of making a run.

That, of course, is wishful thinking, but isn’t that the way when one follows the Mets.

Meanwhile, Chris Young goes this afternoon. He was impressive in his first start and if he keeps giving the Mets six solid innings he’ll be fine. In this comeback season that’s about all the Mets can count on from him. So far, the Mets will take what they’ve gotten from Young and last night’s starter Chris Capuano.

The Mets go for their third series win this afternoon with this line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS

Willie Harris, LF

David Wright, 3B

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Lucas Duda, RF

Brad Emaus, 2B

Josh Thole, C

Chris Young, RP


Apr 09

Capuano starts for Mets tonight vs. Nationals

I’m very anxious to see Chris Capuano tonight. As the fifth starter, he was skipped the first time through the rotation. He gets his chance as the fifth starter to pull the Mets out of their three-game funk.

After winning three straight, the Mets have lost three in a row as their pitching was rocked the last two games in Philadelphia and the offense stunt their last two games, including going a dreadful 0-10 with RISP in the home opener against Washington.

If the Mets are to turn the corner this season, they must beat the lower division teams, of which the Nationals are one.

To chat tonight, click onto the Mets Chat icon to your left.