Angel Pagan left tonight’s game in the seventh inning with muscle spasms in his right side and is day-to-day. If Jerry Manuel stays consistent to what he says he will rest Pagan tomorrow as he sits a player the day after he pulls him from a game because of injury.
When things looked bleak for the Mets about a month ago, with three of their starters out of the rotation, the Mets brought up knuckleballer R.A. Dickey from Triple-A Buffalo to make a spot start.
He hasn’t left the rotation since, and it’s not hard to imagine where the Mets would be without in 5-0 record and 2.82 ERA.
Tonight he’ll be vying to become the first Mets starter to win his first six decisions with the team, and the first Met to go 6-0 since Mike Pelfrey in 2008.
Dickey was on the ropes in his last start at Cleveland, but was able to make an in-inning adjustment to hold on for the victory.
The adjustment came at the suggestion of pitching coach Dan Warthen, who told Dickey to light a fire under the butterfly.
“I had runners on second and third and he came out and encouraged me to throw the hard one,’’ Dickey said. “It’s about 4, 5 mph harder than my comfort-zone knuckler. It was a good step in my evolution, learning to adjust in-game.’’
It’s a risky adjustment for a knuckleballer to make because there’s always the possibility the extra push could force the pitch to spin out into a slow fat batting practice fastball.
Here’s tonight’s lineup vs. Tigers:
Jose Reyes, SS
Angel Pagan, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Jeff Franoeur, RF
Henry Blanco, C
Ruben Tejada, 2B
RA Dickey, RP
I’m throwing this out there for you to mull over, much like Omar Minaya will be asked to do in the upcoming weeks.
Other teams aren’t stupid, they see what is going on with the Mets rotation and in their outfield. They see, like most of us here, that the rotation, although going well now is not a sure thing. We don’t know how long Hisanori Takahashi and RA Dickey will continue this run. They also have no interest in sending a veteran pitcher to the Mets for the likes of John Maine and Oliver Perez.
The Seattle Mariners are on record for saying they want major league ready hitters; players they can immediately plug into their lineup.
The Mets have precious few of those to offer, but there is one whose trade value is high. Don’t think about Carlos Beltran. With his injury history and salary, he’s not going anywhere.
The Mets come off their 7-2 road trip – had the offense not take the last two games of the Yankees series off it could have been 8-1 or better – yet another example of their streakiness.
After winning seven straight on the road the Mets scored all of three runs on 10 hits in the last two games of the Yankees series, and in the process dropped to 2 1/2 games behind the Braves.
The Mets have been all or nothing this year, either sizzling or freezing. They should not be penalized because they beat up on Baltimore on Cleveland, because playoff caliber teams should maul the weaker teams.