Jun 02

Sorting out the Mets’ bullpen.

Francisco Rodriguez got out of it last night, but it got a little dicey in the end. That’s OK, because when it’s anybody else things get a lot dicey.

One of the best things about Mike Pelfrey’s eight-inning gem is it kept Jerry Manuel from going to his combustible bullpen. The bullpen, which started so well in April, has strained from overuse and evolved into a club concern.

RODRIGUEZ: Only sure thing in pen.

Here we are, June, and the Mets are still trying to find and define roles for their relievers, something that should have been done in March. However, because of ineffectiveness and injury, things change.

For one, Hisanori Takahashi, so effective early is not longer in the pen after being thrust into the rotation. How long Takahashi stays there is anybody’s guess. After two strong starts, Takahashi was raked by the Padres Monday night.

Now in the pen, taking up a spot, is Oliver Perez, now the human white flag in that he will come into the game when it is a lost cause or there are no other options, such as a game going long into extra innings.

The concern now is building a strong bridge to Rodriguez.

Before popping his hamstring, Ryota Igarashi was making claims to be the set-up man, and that’s what Manuel hoped when he came off the disabled list just under two weeks ago.
Igarashi has been awful since coming back, with the bottom possibly being reached Monday night when he gave up six runs on four hits and two walks in a mere one-third of an inning.

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Jun 01

Mets Chat Room: Pelfrey tries to stop the bleeding.

Game #53 at Padres

Mike Pelfrey: Stopper.

That’s what Pelfrey has become to the Mets in his emergence as a dominant pitcher, as four of his seven victories have come on the heels of a Mets’ loss.

Pelfrey will attempt to stop the bleeding tonight in the wake of the Padres’ torching the Mets’ staff for 18 runs on 19 hits last night. Pelfrey (7-1, 2.54 ERA) will be seeking to win his fourth straight start; he threw seven scoreless innings in a shutout of Philadelphia last Thursday.

“I think your job is to put up zeros,’’ said Pelfrey, in seven of his 10 starts has given up two or fewer runs.

Lifetime, Pelfrey is 1-0 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against San Diego.

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Jun 01

Don’t expect much change from Mets, Perez

PEREZ: Holding fast.

I was listening to the radio this morning on the way home from the auto body shop – had a little problem this weekend – and the topic was how to fix the Mets.

I could have driven to Ohio and back and not touched on all the issues, but the synopsis was to cut loose Gary Matthews, Fernando Tatis and Oliver Perez – the dead wood they were called – and replace them with warm, eager minor league bodies.

Yup, that will do it.

“It will get the players’ attention,’’ was the conclusion. The Mets are a .500 club for a lot of reasons, the least of which are Matthews and Tatis, who, although hardly productive, don’t play that much to make an impact either way.

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May 31

Mets Chat Room: Frenchy and Takahashi are hot.

GAME #52 at Padres

After dropping two of three in Milwaukee, the Mets continue their unlikely road trip tonight in San Diego against the National League’s best team.

They’ll be doing it with a suddenly hot Jeff Francoeur and lefthander Hisanori Takahashi, who has gone from the bullpen to a mainstay in the rotation.

Francoeur has six hits in the last two games after manager Jerry Manuel gave him the advice of not listening to everybody else’s suggestions.

It got to the point where Francoeur was thinking about too many things – head, hands and feet placement – instead of just seeing the ball.

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May 31

Time to get rid of Perez.

PEREZ: Time to cut ties.

The fear is there, but is it any worse than the embarrassment?

The fear is the Mets will cut loose Oliver Perez and he’ll find out what ails him under another pitching coach – maybe worse, it might be somebody in the NL East or The Jacket.

But, is that any worse than the embarrassment of watching Perez make a mockery of the concept of teamwork and force the Mets to play with what is a 24-man roster because of his refusal to accept repeated requests to go to the minor leagues to attempt to iron out his problems?

I would love to see the Mets attempt to suspend Perez for his selfishness for his unwillingness to make himself better, and label it conduct detrimental to the team. If an athlete doesn’t condition himself, doesn’t work out, then the team has some recourse. How is this not the same? How is refusing to go where you’ll get work different?

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