Sep 03

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #134; Dimensions to stay the same.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Reportedly, the dimensions at Citi Field will remain the same next year, probably to the dismay of National League hitters everywhere, including those in the first base dugout. The Daily News reported GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel recommended the status quo.

And, it shouldn’t, because if you’re going to tailor a stadium, it better be in favor of pitching.

According to hittrackeronline.com, Citi Field averages 1.67 home runs per game, 11th out of the 16 National League stadiums. Shea Stadium averaged 2.15 home runs per game in 2008. A significant explanation has to be the injuries to Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran, and David Wright’s horrendous power slump. The Mets enter today’s game at Colorado last in the major leagues with 77 home runs.

Said Wright: “I would say it’s probably built the opposite than for me. I think one of my strengths is driving the ball to right field. I sometimes think I have to hit it twice to get it out there. It is what it is. It’s not something I’m going to complain about or anybody else should complain about. It’s the park and we have to adapt.”

Greg Rybarczyk/Hit Tracker

Greg Rybarczyk/Hit Tracker


Shea Stadium was 378 feet in right center; Citi Field ranges from 378 to 415 feet in that area. Left center at Citi Field ranges from 364 to 384 feet, but features a 15-foot wall. Some hitters, such as Jeff Francoeur, thinks a normal sized wall would be fine.

In keeping the dimensions the same, at least for 2010, the Mets aren’t making a panic move based on one season. The injuries along with the unseasonable weather for much of the first half had to contribute to the fall off in power. As the season progressed, power numbers did spike.

In the long run, it is better to have a pitcher friendly part than a hitter friendly site such as Coors Field, where the Mets are playing today. If a franchise builds it team on pitching, defense and speed, it has a better chance of winning than a team built solely on power, such as the old Red Sox and Cubs teams in Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, respectively. As much as a launching pad old Yankee Stadium was, it was deeper in left and center, and those teams were as much pitching as power.

The Mets conclude their series with the Rockies with Pat Misch taking on Jason Marquis.

Here’s today’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Anderson Hernandez, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Josh Thole, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Pat Misch. LP

Sep 02

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #133; Redding tries to stop slide.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Actually, the headline is a misnomer. The only thing that will stop the slide is the end of the season. Tim Redding can only slow it down a bit.

The Mets have David Wright back, but he’s not in the line-up tonight. Jerry Manuel said he would rest him after his return. First, he said Wright would sit tonight. Then he said Wright would sit the first two games and sit tomorrow. Pick a plan, any plan.

Gary Sheffield is also out of the line-up, and with each game he misses it becomes more apparent the Mets missed their chance to unload him when they pulled him off waivers earlier this month. They might not have gotten much, but what are they getting now? Especially since the odds are long he’ll be back next year.

REDDING: Another stop-gap start.

REDDING: Another stop-gap start.

The Mets have lost 22 of their last 33 games to fall completely out of contention. They’ve been in a slide since before the All-Star break when John Maine, Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes went down with injuries. The pitchers fell apart in the second half when Johan Santana and Oliver Perez were disabled.

In all fairness, the season was gone before Santana and Perez. Their departures simply opened the way for guys like Nelson Figueroa, Bobby Parnell and Redding (2-4, 5.94) to join the rotation.

Redding pitched well in his last start, giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings in a victory at Florida. He is 1-2 with a 4.40 ERA in five career starts against the Rockies.

Sep 02

METS NOTEBOOK/LINE-UP: Beltran update.

* Center fielder Carlos Beltran will begin a minor league rehab assignment tonight at Brooklyn. His bone bruise is healing and the team said he could return next week at home against the Marlins or for the weekend series at Philadelphia.

BELTRAN: At Brooklyn tonight.

BELTRAN: At Brooklyn tonight.


A lot of people have written Beltran off for this season, but we’ll see. Things have changed before.

* One person we’ll definitely not see this year is John Maine, who threw in a simulated game yesterday at Port St. Lucie. He’s scheduled to pitch in a minor league rehab game Saturday.

Personally, I’m not counting on anything from Maine anymore. I believe the Mets should go into the off-season thinking he’s not in their plans. If he comes back that’s a bonus, but they should by-pass the opportunity to get somebody else in the hope Maine will return.

* David Wright took a lot of ribbing for his oversized helmet, but said he’ll keep wearing it. Wright returned from the DL Monday. Wright is not in the line-up tonight as manager Jerry Manuel said he wants to rest him to see how he responded to playing again. No qualms with that decision.

Here’s tonight’s line-up vs. Rockies:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Tim Redding, RP

Sep 02

About last night: Concern about Pelfrey.

If a lost season is all about searching for answers the Mets are still asking questions when it comes to Mike Pelfrey, whose only consistent aspect of his game is running up his pitches to 100 by the fifth inning.

PELFREY: Giving up the long ball.

PELFREY: Giving up the long ball.


Last season, which began under pitching coach Rick Peterson and ended under Dan Warthen, Pelfrey showed breakout signs going 13-11 with a 3.72 ERA. He explained he was a fastball pitcher and became more aggressive in challenging hitters with that pitch and not fooling around with his secondary pitches when he needed an out. His pitches had enough movement to where a pitch down the middle could move to the corners.

Last night’s loss was just another in a long line of disappointing performances. He was consistently behind in the count, and as his habit, would let one inning get away from him. Given a walk, or an error, or a bad call, Pelfrey lets it stay with him and his concentration would wander. Big innings find him frequently.

All those balks are an indication of a lack of focus.

Pelfrey is 9-10 with a 5.03 ERA, and while it is possible to equal last season’s mark it wouldn’t be indicative of his year. In 150 1/3 innings, hitters are batting .288 against him and he has given up 233 baserunners. Sixth of them have been walks, compared to 64 all last year. Pelfrey gave up 86 runs this year; already he has allowed 91. He has pitched like a No. 5 starter.

PELFREY: Another early exit.

PELFREY: Another early exit.


Yet, there are times he seems untouchable. There are games when you start to think he’s turned the corner, but in the next one runs into a brick wall.

He does sound an awful like Oliver Perez.

We must remember, Pelfrey hasn’t taken the progressive road to the major leagues. He’s been force fed to a large degree and is learning on the job. There’s enough talent there to where the Mets shouldn’t give up on him. I was glad he wasn’t sent to Minnesota in the package for Johan Santana.

I don’t know to the degree having two pitching coaches has hampered his development, or if that’s a moot point. Pelfrey hasn’t gone off on his coaches.

At his present rate Pelfrey won’t come close to the 200 innings he threw last season. But, it has been largely due to ineffectiveness than injury.

As the Mets prepare for next season, Pelfrey is one of the few givens on the staff as in he’ll be back. However, the Mets need to see development in 2010. If not, he’ll go from a No. 2 to a No. 4 in a heartbeat, and not soon after that a No. 5 to just another flameout bust.

Pelfrey is young, but he’s also been around to where he knows he must show something soon.

Sep 01

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #132; Wright returns.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

As for as the good news is concerned, David Wright will return to third base after spending the past two weeks on the disabled with post concussion syndrome.

The plan is for him to play tonight and tomorrow and rest Thursday afternoon before the Mets’ return to Citi Field for a weekend series with the Cubs. After the Ryan Church incident last season, the Mets will play this one very cautiously. They were ripped for not having a plan and rushing Church to play.

WRIGHT: Returns from beaning tonight.

WRIGHT: Returns from beaning tonight.


Wright was placed on the disabled list less than 24 hours have he was struck in the head, Aug. 15, by a Matt Cain fastball.

“I think it will take care of itself,’’ Wright said. “I’m just going to make sure I walk before I run. I don’t expect any trouble getting back in the box. I guess the ultimate test will be if I get another pitch up and in. But I’m not going to worry about it.’’

Wright is having a peculiar season at the plate. He leads the Mets with a .324 average, but after hitting 33 homers last year only has eight this season. His RBI total is also down at 55.

The Mets, who have lost seven of their last nine games will go with the erratic Mike Pelfrey (9-9, 4.80), who has been hot against the Rockies with 20 consecutive innings against them spanning three starts.

Pelfrey is coming of a 5-3 loss at Florida in which he gave up five runs on 11 hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Here’s the Mets order tonight:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Nick Evans, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP (1-3, 5.40)