Mar 06

About last night and other thoughts

Yes, the Mets lost last night and we’ll see more of that this spring and summer. Even so, there were several things to take out of the game.

Pitching is traditionally ahead of the hitting at this stage, so it’s hard to measure last night’s performance by Dillon Gee and others. Gee looked comfortable in his two innings. What we saw was a lot better than the alternative, which we’ve seen a lot of in the past few springs.

Matt Harvey pitched two scoreless innings, but was all over the place with walks and hitting a batter. Nerves, no doubt.

HARVEY: Threw hard, but wild last night.

Offensively, there wasn’t much to speak about, but two things stood out for me. The first was Andres Torres getting on base. He won’t make things happen on the bases like Jose Reyes, but if he’s on he’ll score.

I also enjoyed watching the Mets run and attempt to push things. As we’ve learned, the power won’t always be there so there is the need to manufacture runs. Theoretically, during the season five steals should translate into more than one run.

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Mar 05

Mets playing it right with Wright

David Wright hasn’t been bullet proof the past few seasons when it comes to injuries, so the Mets are doing the prudent thing in keep him out of tonight’s and likely tomorrow’s exhibition games because of a strained left rib cage.

WRIGHT: Out with sore left rib cage.

The last thing the Mets need is a lingering injury with their best and highest profile player. Better to miss two or three games now than two weeks or more later.

As expected, Wright said he’d play if it were the regular season.

“I feel as good as I have, better than I did … I think I could play,” Wright said, “but [manager] Terry [Collins] took it out of my hands.”

Wright’s injury, albeit early in camp, has illustrated the Mets’ lack of depth. This is not a team that can withstand an injury to a key player. Justin Turner will start in place of Wright and is also the back-up at second and first base.


Mar 05

Spring training opener: Mets vs. Nationals.

Dillon Gee will start tonight against Washington, followed by Matt Harvey, Miguel Batista, Daniel Herrera, Tim Byrdak and Frank Francisco.

Gee and Harvey should get two innings apiece. I think it was a good call to ease Harvey into things rather than give him a start right away. He’ll have enough adrenalin as it is, so there’s no need to push the envelope with him, especially since he doesn’t fit into this year’s rotation plans.

There will be opportunities later this spring where Harvey will get to start and be in the spotlight.

GEE: Gets the ball tonight.

Gee took advantage of his opportunity last summer caused by injuries to force his way into the rotation and at one time was the Mets’ most effective pitcher. If Johan Santana doesn’t pan out physically, and we’ll know more about him tomorrow, Gee could be in line for the Opening Day start.

Manager Terry Collins pitch projected closer Francisco earlier in the game where he’ll face tougher hitters to sharpen him for the season. Early on, the last few innings are played out by minor leaguers and prospects who won’t be on the major league rosters.

Normally, starters will throw roughly 30 innings during the spring while relievers will get from 10 to 15 innings. It is easier for relievers to get their innings through simulation and split squad games.

Here’s tonight’s Mets’ lineup:

Andres Torres, cf

Daniel Murphy, 2b

Justin Turner, 3b

Ike Davis, 1b

Jason Bay, lf

Lucas Duda, rf

Valentino Pascucci, DH

Josh Thole, c

Ruben Tejada, ss

LINEUP COMMENTS: Was curious to see who would bat second. Murphy has good bat control and patience at the plate that makes him the prime candidate. You can’t help but read in the following days about the leadoff spot. Let’s face it, regardless of who the Mets put out there he can’t live up to Jose Reyes.

ON DECK: Mets playing it cautious with David Wright.

Mar 05

Dykstra hitting rock bottom.

As a player, Lenny Dykstra had a fearless, out-of-control mentality. He played with a reckless streak that translated to stardom on the field.

DYKSTRA: No longer a boy of summer. (AP Photo)

However, the field and society are two different animals and Dykstra’s you-can’t-touch-me persona caught up with him after retirement and appears to have landed him in jail.

Dykstra was sentenced to three years in a California state prison in a grand theft auto case. Dykstra, using a phony business as a front, tried to lease and then sell high-end cars.

It makes you wonder how somebody who seemingly had it all, kicked away everything. You want to feel bad for Dykstra, but you can’t help but to think “what the hell was going on inside his head?”

Maybe he got caught up with the wrong people; maybe he was arrogant and stupid and didn’t think the rules applied to him; maybe bad investments caused mountainous debt and he panicked, turned to drugs and spun out of control.

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Mar 05

Keeping an eye on Pelfrey.

Of all the Mets’ pitchers, Mike Pelfrey might be the most intriguing because this summer could determine his future with the team. Another year like 2011, and he’ll be pitching elsewhere in 2013.

There are few things less watchable in sports than a spring training intrasquad game, but Pelfrey threw two hitless innings and said he was happy with his sinker. That’s the pitch he must refine this year.

There are younger pitchers who are ahead of Pelfrey in their development, but the glimpses he has flashed makes him worth waiting for … but for how long?