May 05

Big Pelf or Big Poof?

Just because Mike Pelfrey is feeling better doesn’t mean he will pitch better. There’s been very little about Pelfrey this season that suggests he’ll come up with a big performance today against the San Francisco Giants.

PELFREY: We've seen Pelfrey doing a lot of head scratching this season.

Pelfrey has been a disappointment after taking a positive step forward last summer. In his last start at Philadelphia, he pitched after losing 11 pounds because of the flu and never should have been out there.

But, he hasn’t been sick all spring. Pelfrey is laboring too much on the mound with command and pitch selection. He isn’t working quickly, which is what he did last year when he was effective. Instead, he’s back to being deliberate, which smacks of indecisiveness and a withering confidence.

Pelfrey has failed to go five in three of six starts. He’s walking too many hitters and doesn’t have the command of his sinker, regardless of the count.

Pelfrey has minor league options remaining, and with another poor start this afternoon, there could be discussions about whether he needs to take time for some fixing in the minors.

 

May 05

Beltran will be hard to deal.

Although he is playing well, it is not likely the Mets will be able to trade Carlos Beltran at the deadline, which would be their preference at to get rid of as much of his $18.5 million salary as possible.

BELTRAN: Won't be easy to trade.

 

Entering the season, at 34, Beltran’s age, salary and injury history assuredly meant it would be his last year with the financially strapped Mets.

Beltran is playing for one more contract, but can’t count on a team dealing for him this season and signing him to an extension at that time.

It likely won’t happen because even half of Beltran’s contract would be hard to swallow on a rental and four months is too small a playing window to ascertain if he’s worth long-term extension.

 

There’s also the matter of his agent, Scott Boras, who traditionally prefers putting his players on the open market.

Beltran has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games, and is batting .294 with a .379 on-base percentage. Power wise, he has four homers and 11 doubles.

But, most importantly, he’s running well on his knees and has taken to right field. The health issues that have dogged Beltran the past two seasons appear behind him. Yes, it is early, but Beltran is playing regularly (the last game in which he had less than three plate appearances was April 12, the first game of a doubleheader against Colorado).

ON DECK: Mets pre-game with Mike Pelfrey.

May 05

Mets’ May 5 lineup vs. San Francisco

So long ago seems that six-game winning streak. The Mets have lost five of their last six games since and will attempt to stop the slide this afternoon with this lineup behind Mike Pelfrey:

Jose Reyes, SS

Chin-lung Hu, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Ike Davis, 1B

Ronny Paulino, C

Scott Hairston, CF

Mike Pelfrey, RP

COMMENTS: Nothing wrong with giving Daniel Murphy the day off. Hu needs some playing time anyway. … Wright still batting third much to the chagrin of many. Terry Collins seems set on that. … Jason Bay returns to the lineup. He’s still not hitting for power. When will that happen?

 

 

 

 

May 05

Even against the best, the Mets had chances.

We saw what the Mets could do a week ago.  They were proficient in tacking on runs, scoring late and getting hits with two outs, and – surprise – with runners in scoring position.

CAPUANO: Strong effort wasted.

 

However, they were also doing that against Houston, Arizona and Washington. Teams not much better than them.

Now we are seeing what they can, or should I say, can’t do against the National League’s elite arms.

They were taken down last night by Tim Lincecum. Before that it was Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Those games also featured wasted pitching outings by Jon Niese, Chris Young and Chris Capuano.

Maybe it will get better when Jason Bay and Angel Pagan return, but their absence is really no excuse. Major league hitters must find away to manufacture runs. Even against the best, the Mets must play better than their current pace, which would net them 65 victories.

That’s good enough for last place, not much more.

As dominating as Lincecum was last night, the Mets left nine runners on base and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. They had their chances.

This isn’t a team without opportunities. This is a team not good enough to convert them.

ON DECK: Even though he is playing well, Beltran will be tough to deal.

 

May 04

It won’t get easier against Lincecum.

The Mets have lost four of their last five games after winning six straight, and it won’t get likely won’t get any easier against Tim Lincecum, their third Cy Young Award winning pitcher over their last four games, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay being the others.

LINCECUM: Presents a big challenge.

Lincecum is 2-3 with a 2.90 ERA, numbers that say he’s not getting any run support. Of course, the Giants’ offense is why there’s been a lot of Jose Reyes talk the past couple of days. Yes, the Giants are interested. Why wouldn’t they be?  There are other teams as well, but let’s face it, only a few that can afford to sign him to a long-term deal.

Reyes reached base six times last night to raise his on-base percentage to .377, which isn’t what neither him nor the Mets would like it to be. Reyes has been hot over his last 12 games, hitting .367 with four doubles and eight runs scored in that span.

The Mets are wondering what to do with Dillon Gee, and a spot in the rotation isn’t out of the question should Chris Capuano struggle tonight. Capuano has alternated wins and losses in his last four starts. He gave up four runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings in his last start Thursday at Washington. The week before he gave up one run in seven innings against Houston.

During his pre-game talk with the media, manager Terry Collins touched on the following issues:

* Jason Bay will return to the lineup tomorrow after leaving the team on paternity leave.

* Johan Santana is progressing in his rehab, but didn’t offer a date when he’ll start throwing off the mound. Until that, it’s all speculation.

* Angel Pagan is maybe a week away from returning from the disabled list.

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