Apr 16

Mets’ Game 1 lineup at Atlanta

Here’s the lineup for Game 1 of today’s doubleheader at Atlanta:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Ike Davis, 1B

Willie Harris, LF

Brad Emaus, 2B

Josh Thole, C

DJ Carrasco, RP

 

LINEUP COMMENTS:  No surprises. Terry Collins said he’ll give Brad Emaus a legitimate chance at second base and he’s back there today. They knew going in with Emaus he had to stay on the roster for the full season because he’s a Rule 5 pick. Given that, they might has well give him a real chance to see what he can do. The Mets don’t want to hear this, but 2011 is a throwaway year. They aren’t going to win this season so they might as well see what they have in Emaus for the future.

 

NEXT UP: Chris Young and injury updates.


 

Apr 15

Mets try to halt slide in Atlanta.

D.J. Carrasco, stopper?

Nobody would have thought it, but that’s the way it will be for the Mets tonight in Atlanta. The Mets are losers of five straight games, including a doubleheader loss yesterday against Colorado.

“Depressing,’’ manager Terry Collins said of the Mets’ 1-6 homestand. “We’re better than this and we’ll play better than this. I still believe we’re going to straighten this out.’’

Carrasco will get the ball because Chris Young, suffering from tendinitis, was pushed back until Sunday.

 

Apr 15

Mets lineup for tonight’s game in Atlanta.

Here’s tonight’s batting order for the Mets at Atlanta:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Ike Davis, 1B

Willie Harris, LF

Brad Emaus, 2B

Josh Thole, C

D.J. Carrasco, RP

LINEUP COMMENTS: Pagan is hitting second, which is what Terry Collins first went with in spring training. Hopefully, he’ll continue with that order. That being said, the order doesn’t really matter if the hitters aren’t producing.

METS NOTEBOOK: Ronnie Paulino is starting a rehab assignment at Class A St. Lucie. … LHP Pat Misch was held from his start last night at Triple-A Buffalo in anticipation of the Mets needing a starter this weekend. … Hardly a surprise, but Fernando Martinez was placed on the minor league DL with a strained hamstring.

 

Apr 15

Can’t anybody here play this game?

My title is one of Casey Stengel’s most memorable quotes and is applicable to how this season has started for the Mets. Yesterday’s doubleheader loss, coming hours after Terry Collins’ closed doors meeting, was a study in bad baseball.

CASEY: What would he think of this?

It made me wonder what would have happened had the Mets not focused on fundamentals during spring training.

From the outfield defense – what were you thinking Scott Hairston? – to Brad Emaus butchering a  ball at second, to the Daniel Murphy’s inexplicable baserunning, to the lack of clutch hitting and pitching, the day was a complete washout.

They were competitive, but still lost. The Mets have not learned to put away a team – they lead in every game of the four games they lost to Colorado – from either an offensive or pitching perspective.

Talent-wise, we knew going into the season that the Mets didn’t have enough to compete with Philadelphia and Atlanta in the NL East, but I, like most, bought into Collins’ emphasis on fundamentals.

It just hasn’t happened, and had they been able to execute fundamentally on defense and at the plate, they might have overcome some of their pitching weaknesses. It hasn’t happened that way.

What was Murphy thinking trying to go to third from second on a ball hit in front of him? He clearly lost track of the outs. How hard is it to count to three? Hairston’s effort on that fly ball was weak. A veteran like that needs to show more.

Bottom line: Game 1 never should have come down to David Wright’s fly ball to the warning track.

As much as baseball is a team sport, it is also an individual one. Before each pitch, a player should know what his responsibilities should be. And, prior to each at-bat, he should know what his objective should be, such has hitting a fly ball or advancing a runner.

These guys have coaches to remind them, but their objective is something they should have long since known since high school ball. It’s not Collins or the coaches, it is them. They should know to hit a ground ball to the right side with a runner on second and no outs. They should know not to chase on 2-0 at the plate. They should know where to position themselves and what base to throw to. They should know whether or not they should run depending on where the ball is hit.

And, at the plate, they should have better command of the strikezone and know how to work a walk. Again, not enough walks and too many strikeouts.

These are major league players and they should show more beyond their skill set.

And, I haven’t begun to think about the pitching, which has been atrocious. By the way, my confidence level on D.J. Carrasco tonight in Atlanta isn’t good. When Tuesday’s game was rained out and the Mets knew they had a doubleheader yesterday, and definitely when Chris Young was pushed back, they should have held back one of their minor league starters.

The bullpen was taxed already, even prior to the doubleheader, and realistically they will go deep into their pen with Carrasco pitching (considering he’s one of the relievers). Also, with Mike Pelfrey not showing much so far and Young’s arm tender, they will use everybody this weekend.

Not a good job anticipating by Sandy Alderson and Collins.

However, after yesterday’s lost afternoon, the one thing that separates itself from the bad baseball was the use of Francisco Rodriguez in the second game. With the game out of reach, and knowing Rodriguez’s contractual status of needing 55 completed games for his $17.5 million to kick in, why would the Mets let him finish a game in a non-save situation?

It made no sense whatsoever.

 

 

 

 

Apr 14

It’s looking like the same old Mets.

We’ve heard this before.

If you didn’t know the words belonged to Terry Collins, you’d swear they were Jerry Manuel’s or Willie Randolph’s.

COLLINS: Reading from Jerry and Willie's script.

Collins held a brief team meeting after last night’s latest loss and told his players, “we’re one pitch away, one swing away from being 9-2, and we’re not.’’

In some form or another, they are the words from a manager of a losing team. His players don’t make that pitch, or connect on that swing, because they aren’t good enough collectively to do so.

Last night the bad pitch was thrown by Jon Niese, but the decision to throw it was made by Collins, who let the lefthander work to Troy Tulowitzki with first base open resulting in a three-run homer.

The offense struggled again as the Mets dropped to 4-7.

“Well, we’re answering the same questions every night,’’ lamented Collins. “It’s time to start making pitches. It’s time to start getting a big two-out hit.’’

R.A. Dickey and Chris Capuano go in today’s doubleheader in which the Mets wrap up their brief homestand before heading to Atlanta, where they rarely do well.

A doubleheader with no day off following will undoubtedly tax an already worn bullpen, something the Mets don’t need before facing the Braves.

Long forgotten was the Mets’ 3-1 start, as they have gone 1-6 since. However, didn’t we expect this, and wasn’t it a matter of time before we heard those words from Collins?

Here’s the Mets’ line-up in Game 1:

Jose Reyes, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Willie Harris, LF

Scott Hairston, RF

Josh Thole, C

RA Dickey, RP