Sep 30

This Day in Baseball History ….

Looking Back

Looking Back

No player dominated American sport as Babe Ruth. He is, without question, the greatest player and athlete who ever lived. Nobody captured our imagination, and still does, the way Ruth did.

Ruth became the first player to hit 30, 40, 50 and 60 homers in a single season.

RUTH: Nobody was like the Babe.

RUTH: Nobody was like the Babe.


On this day in 1927, in the eighth inning of a game against the Washington Senators, Ruth slugged his 60th homer of the season off Tom Zachary.

Ruth is greeted by fans waving their hankerchiefs as he took his position in the ninth inning. That game featured an interesting footnote in that it marked Walter Johnson’s final appearance as a player. Johnson pinch-hit for Zachary and flied out to Ruth.

Sep 30

About Last Night …. Ugly

Just another microcosm of the season in nine fitful innings. Mike Pelfrey pitched great at the start retiring the first seven hitters, but who didn’t have a nagging feeling he would implode?

Pelfrey blew a 3-0 lead as the Mets lost at Washington, with David Wright being robbed by Elijah Dukes for the final out. It’s way too easy to say that play cost the Mets as the night was another example of creative losing.

The Mets had the bases loaded with nobody out in the first and eighth innings and came away with one run. You should come away with more by accident. I’ve lost track of how many times the Mets have kicked away bases-loaded opportunities.

“We had some opportunities,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “That’s been the story of the season.”

Pelfrey, as usual, unraveled. He again had hitters sitting on his fastball, with this time Ian Desmond unloading for a homer in the fifth.

Defensively, Anderson Hernandez and Luis Castillo butchered double-play opportunities, which enabled the eventual winning run to score.

Sep 29

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #157; Pelfrey gets the ball.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Mike Pelfrey should get one more start after tonight, and it would be fitting one of the most disappointing Mets would start the final game of this most frustrating and disappointing season.

Pelfrey (10-12, 5.08 ERA) last faced the Nationals, Sept. 18 at Citi Field, and lost, giving up five runs in seven innings. He’s 1-2 in three starts with a 4.12 ERA against Washington this season.

Pelfrey seemed poised for a breakout year after taking a step forward last season, but regressed in so many ways in 2009. He unraveled and was prone to the big inning. He lost focus and concentration numerous times. He was inconsistent with his secondary pitches.

He was anything but a No. 2 starter. Actually, his record indicates he wasn’t even a No. 5 starter. Manager Jerry Manuel said Pelfrey is in next year’s rotation, but that’s because there’s nobody better to replace him with.

Here’s the line-up that will try to give him enough runs to dig Pelfrey out of whatever hole he puts himself into:

Angel Pagan, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Sep 29

Would you extend Beltran’s contract now?

One of the core wants to stay. Carlos Beltran, 32, who returned from the disabled list earlier this month in an attempt to salvage part of his season, said he wants to finish his career with the Mets and told his agent to approach the team for an extension after the season.

That would be Scott Boras, who prefers to test the FA market.

Beltran, although not a great crowd favorite, has more than done his job with the Mets. He’s been productive and played hurt. He’s also performed in the clutch and has been an All-Star, Gold Glover and Silver Slugger winner.

BELTRAN: Plenty of expectations with his contract.

BELTRAN: Plenty of expectations with his contract.


His best season, by far, was 2006, when he finished fourth in the MVP voting. Beltran tied a club record with 41 homers, including walk-offs against the Phillies and Cardinals. Beltran also homered three times in the NLCS against the Cardinals, but will always be remembered for taking a third strike from Adam Wainwright to end the series.

That strikeout could be why he’s never been as appreciated as he should be.

What I like about Beltran, is with the season over from a competitive standpoint, he worked hard to come back from the DLwhen it would have been easy to shut down.

“Why not?’’ Beltran said. “I don’t feel obligated. This is my job.’’

Beltran is at an age where an extension wouldn’t be a terrible idea, because by the end of his current deal he’d be 34, and still a productive player.

BELTRAN: He's produced.

BELTRAN: He's produced.


However, if the Mets do this, I see it happening after next season and not this year.

My thinking is the Mets should be wary because of Beltran’s injury history the past two years. In addition, the Mets have so many holes to fill that their attention will be elsewhere.

However, there’s another reason why I see the Mets waiting, and that’s because they really don’t know what direction they are heading. Do they need a tweaking or an overhaul?

The story of this season has been the injuries, and if they return healthy and productive next year, then a case can be made that the Mets are not as bad as they appear. In that case, they’d be wise to bring back Beltran.

Of course, that includes Beltran having a good and healthy season.

However, if the Mets continue their downward spiral, and Beltran has another off-year, then it would be time to start over.

I like Beltran, but I’m not extending him this winter. There are too many variables.