Oct 01

Today in Baseball History …. Straw clocks one.

Cards-Mets defined intense.

Cards-Mets defined intense.

Throughout their history, the Mets have had a series of rivalries, but there was something special in their duel with the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1980s.

On this day in 1985, the teams began a three-game series at Busch Stadium, with the Mets winning the first game, 1-0 in 11 innings on Darryl Strawberry’s monstrous homer off Ken Dayley that broke light bulbs on the scoreboard.

STRAWBERRY: Stirred the drink.

STRAWBERRY: Stirred the drink.


Ron Darling and John Tudor each pitched 10 scoreless innings.

“I get goose bumps when I come back to this stadium and remember the rivalry,’’ Darling said. “I was sitting on the bench and had a good view of that monster shot Darryl hit. I think that in all my career, that was the most excited I’ve ever seen a clubhouse after a game. Guys were crying and hugging and laughing.”

The Cardinals would win that season, but the Mets rolled in 1986.

Strawberry was catalyst of those Mets teams during the 1980s. He is among the few players who made everybody stop and watch when he came to the plate because of his awesome power potential. Few guys have had that ability to make a stadium gasp with one swing, and Strawberry was one of them.

Oct 01

About Yesterday …. Rodriguez blows save.

The Mets have had several horrific defeats this season, with yesterday’s loss at Washington taking its place among them.

The Nationals sent seven batters to the plate in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez, and with five of them scoring. Rodriguez walked in one run then gave up a game-winning grand slam to Justin Maxwell.

Yesterday drops into the category with the Luis Castillo pop-up game, Daniel Murphy’s dropped fly in Florida, blowing a five-run lead to Pittsburgh and Ryan Church’s failure to touch third. Those were more serious because the Mets were alive then. Now they are dead, but yesterday was a complete tank job.

The loss wasted another strong outing by Tim Redding, who continued this bid for fifth starter consideration next spring by giving up one run on four hits in six innings.

The Mets are 3–0 in Redding’s last three starts, He has a 2.84 ERA in that span and a 3.23 ERA in six starts this September.

Sep 30

Reyes news gets worse ….

The diagnosis on Jose Reyes is a torn right hamstring, which happened when he was running the bases earlier this week. I wrote several times letting Reyes run would only make matters worse. I’m not the only one with that opinion.

Surgery seems inevitable, even though the team made no such announcement. How can it not be? Every time Reyes tested his hamstring he had a setback, which means there was a slight tear that gradually got worse until it was a full blown rip job from the bone.

REYES: Has complete hammy tear.

REYES: Has complete hammy tear.


By not completely shutting him down, and not having surgery earlier, Reyes and the Mets wasted at least two months of what could have been valuable recovering time. There’s no telling when he’ll have surgery now and now long it will take to recover, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready for spring training.

The Mets could now be faced with the prospect of needing a shortstop for next season. Alex Cora should be re-signed, but he’s not enough. The team with countless holes likely has another.

Sep 30

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #158; Limping home.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

This afternoon is the season in a nutshell: The Mets will try to salvage something from their series with the Washington Nationals.

Since when does a championship caliber team need to salvage a series with the Nationals? Oh, that’s right, the Mets aren’t that kind of team. After winning two of three in Florida, the Mets could have ended their final road trip of the season on a winning note. Instead, the Mets lost the first two games of this series to the worst team in baseball.

Last night was typified the season as they had breakdowns in all aspects of their game.

This afternoon, Tim Redding gets the honors. Thrust into the rotation with injuries to Johan Santana and Oliver Perez, Redding has made the most of his opportunity to make an impression for next year.

Sep 30

Pelfrey continues to puzzle.

Mike Pelfrey retired the first seven batters he faced last night, five of them on ground balls. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Then it unraveled for him as it usually does and you knew it would be one of those nights when Ian Desmond homered in the fifth.

I really don’t want to hear how Pelfrey has been distracted with by getting married and having a kid. The bottom line is Pelfrey has regressed dramatically this season to the point where you have to wonder if he’ll ever make it.

PELFREY: Another disappointing start.

PELFREY: Another disappointing start.


Manager Jerry Manuel said he’s in the 2010 rotation, but it’s by default as the Mets are so pitching depleted that they have to run with Pelfrey’s potential much the same way they do with Oliver Perez.

The fact is, if the Mets had other options, Pelfrey would have been better off in the minor leagues. He’s done for the season with a lackluster 10-12 record, accumulated by the same old mistakes.

Pelfrey loses his concentration when things go wrong and starts to walk hitters. He’s also not been able to develop his secondary pitches and throw them for strikes.

When he’s on, his sinker is a brutal pitch, but when he gets in trouble he tends to overthrow the pitch instead of taking something off it. When a pitcher overthrows in an attempt to throw harder, the pitch flattens out and rises. It becomes a fastball that doesn’t move, and movement is far more important than velocity.

This is what happens to Pelfrey, and consequently, hitters sit on that fastball and he gets crushed.

The physical tools are there, but he’s not thinking like a pitcher. He’s become a thrower, and far too often what he ends up throwing is batting practice.