Aug 13

Puzzling Sheffield decision.

Reportedly, Gary Sheffield and Pedro Feliciano were pulled off waivers after being claimed. Feliciano, I can see. As a lefty reliever he’s a valuable commodity, something the Mets could use next season.

Sheffield, I don’t understand. By pulling him off waivers they can’t deal him and with this season fading away, what’s the point? It’s not as if he’ll carry the Mets for the next seven weeks into the playoffs. Instead, it shows some interest in next year, which is puzzling.

Jerry Manuel said he’d like Sheffield back, but he’s only good when he’s healthy and plays every day. How long ago has that been?

Do the Mets really see a 40-plus, breaking-down outfielder as central to their plans for 2010? If that’s the case, they are in even worse shape than I thought. The Mets need to get younger and more athletic, and Sheffield doesn’t fit that description.

No, they wouldn’t have gotten much for him, but something is better than nothing.

Aug 12

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #114; Perez tries to stop slide.

The Mets close their so-far 1-5 road trip this afternoon in Arizona with Oliver Perez. Giving the ball to Perez to stop a losing skid doesn’t seem like such a comforting thought, but that’s what he did in his last start at San Diego.

Oliver Perez (2-3, 6.38) will toe the rubber for New York looking to build on perhaps his best performance of the season.

In a rare solid start, Perez gave up one run on two hits with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. However, closer Francisco Rodriguez threw it away when he gave up five runs, including a walk-off grand slam, in a 6-2 loss at San Diego on Friday.

Perez started against Arizona, Aug. 1, giving up three runs and walking five in five innings and didn’t get a decision.

David Wright, who struck out last night to end the game as a pinch-hitter, should be back in the line-up today. In an interesting note, manager Jerry Manuel said he’d like to see Gary Sheffield return.

I’m cool to the idea. I think the Mets have gotten the most they can out of Sheffield and don’t see a substantial improvement next season.

Aug 12

About last night …. Hernandez hits wall

Livan Hernandez has had his moments this year, and he might again. But, right now he has hit a wall. Hernandez was supposed to be an innings eater, and earlier in the season he was, but he’s getting ripped now.

We know he was a stop-gap, as most No. 5′s are, but he’s not stopping anything lately. As of now, the Mets should be looking for at least two starters in the off-season. The givens are Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and sad to say, Oliver Perez.

The Mets aren’t going to get anybody to take Perez’s contract, and for that kind of money, you don’t go into the bullpen unless you’re a top-flight closer.

Aug 11

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #113; struggling in the desert.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

It didn’t seem that long ago that a five-game winning streak briefly showed the Mets with signs of life in their increasingly remote chances of playing October baseball.

Let’s face it, ain’t happening. Also not happening is Gary Sheffield. He won’t start tonight, either, but is available as a pinch hitter like last night.

The Mets go into tonight’s game at Arizona losers of nine of their last 12 games. With the offense on life-support, the rotation has responded with a 5.57 ERA in that span.

At one time, June 7 after throwing seven shutout innings against Washington, was 5-1. He takes a 7-6 record and 5.08 to the mound tonight.

Last Thursday, Hernandez gave up seven runs in five innings in losing at San Diego. He has given up seven runs or more in three of his last six outings. Lifetime, Hernandez is 10-6 with a 3.51 ERA against the Diamondbacks, but his history over the past two months is a greater measure of what to expect.

The Mets will send this line-up against Max Scherzer (6-6, 4.01):

Cory Sullivan, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Jeremy Reed, CF
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Livan Hernandez, RP

Aug 11

Sheffield likely to play tonight.

Manager Jerry Sheffield said to expect Gary Sheffield in the line-up tonight at Arizona. Sheffield has been hobbled with a sore hamstring since July 17. Prior to last night’s game, Manuel told Sheffield not to expect to start until he’s healed, but after appearing as a pinch-hitter it looks as if he’ll get the green light.

SHEFFIELD: Could he go?

SHEFFIELD: Could he go?


Sheffield believes he’s ready.

“If there ever was a time I thought I couldn’t play, that would be a time I would walk away,” said Sheffield, who unbelievable leads the Mets with ten homers. “But I still can hit 30 home runs. I can still hit in the middle of the order for a contending ball club.”

The operative words there are “contending ball club.”

With the season fading away, we know Sheffield, 40, won’t be invited back next season and his real value to the Mets might be in getting a minor league player in a waiver deal.