Aug 11

What do you think?

Not surprisingly, Jamie Moyer was the one bumped from the rotation to make room for diva Pedro Martinez’s return Wednesday at Chicago from the disabled list. Moyer will move to the bullpen when pitches.

MARTINEZ: Diva gets ball tomorrow.

MARTINEZ: Diva gets ball tomorrow.


That was the inevitable decision when the Phillies said rookie J.A. Happ (8-2, 2.74) would stay in the rotation.

As bad as the Mets’ starting rotation has been, I’m glad they opted to pass on re-signing Martinez, whose time had come and gone in New York.

Do you think the Phillies will disrupt their chemistry by shuffling the rotation to accommodate Martinez?

I believe that’s entirely possible.

Aug 11

About last night …. enough is enough.

OK, I understand about the injuries. The Mets are a hurting group and won’t be whole again this season. We probably won’t see Jose Reyes or Carlos Beltran until spring training. The next time we see Carlos Delgado at Citi Field will likely be in a road uniform.

MANUEL: Went to the whip last night.

MANUEL: Went to the whip last night.


Lack of all their parts has cost the Mets a considerable number of their 60 losses, but also damaging has been their often uninspired, lazy, sloppy brand of baseball. Sloppy was on full display in last night’s loss at Arizona.

Manager Jerry Manuel simply told reporters last night, “we were a bad team,” and privately lashed out at several players. Daniel Murphy failed to cover first base on what could have been a double play; instead Anderson Hernandez threw to an empty base. (Not too bright, either.) Angel Pagan didn’t think on two costly outfield plays, one a careless dive and the other an errant throw. Both led to runs.

And, Mike Pelfrey continued to languish in mediocrity. Pelfrey, who had been expected to make significant strides this season, is floating through this season in Oliver Perez-like fashion.

OK, the Mets aren’t whole, but that’s no excuse for playing lazy-thinking and lazy-hustling baseball. Physical errors are part of the game, but errors caused by a lack of concentration or preparation are never acceptable. Never.

Here’s the deal. Before every pitch, a defensive player must ask himself what he would do if the ball were hit to him. He should have a plan. Hustle is admirable, but misplaced hustle, as in Pagan’s dive, is not smart baseball. And, Pagan has made more than his fair share of poor-thinking plays on the bases.

Injuries are one thing, but there have been numerous instances of undermanned and under talented teams winning – and that includes the World Series – by playing fundamentally sound. Not doing so is the first indication a team is packing in a season. It is a sign of quitting, and that’s a reflection on a manager, and Manuel can’t be happy about that prospect.

Believe me, everything will be open to evaluation after the season and that includes the manager. Manuel will be judged more on if he still has the ear and backing of the players than a won-loss record that at this rate will be lucky to be .500.

After chewing on his players, Manuel also blamed fatigue, but that’s his responsibility. David Wright gets only his second rest of the season tonight, but there have been other opportunities to give him a blow. There is simply no reason why fatigue should be an issue if the players are utilized properly. Conversely, there’s no reason why Francisco Rodriguez’s slide can be attributed to rust. Giving regular and consistent workloads to a player is also the responsibility of the manager and coaching staff.

When the story of this season is written, four sentences from Manuel last night will neatly summarize what has been the storyline to too many games this season: “A very poor game. A poor effort on our part. Despite maybe not having what we’d like to have, still it’s the major leagues. We have to perform better than that.”

Says it all, really.

It is true, true character is more revealed in times of adversity than prosperity. And, with the season dwindling away, the Mets still have a chance to salvage something. Their pride and self-respect, or at least a fraction of what is left. The season won’t just be neatly packaged by the injuries, but by the effort in the remaining 50 games.

Those 50 games will also go a long way toward the off-season evaluation process and the quest for jobs next spring.

Aug 10

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #112; Pelfrey vs. Snakes.

Thundering and lightning here in the Northeast. The lights have already flickered a couple of times tonight. I hope I don’t lose power and the Internet goes.

The Mets (52–59) begin a three-game series at Arizona (50–62) tonight with Mike Pelfrey (8-7, 4.75 ERA) going against Doug Davis (6-10, 3.67). The Mets have won 15 of their last 17 games at Arizona. Pelfrey is a 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in four career starts against Arizona.

PELFREY: Needs to stay away from the big inning.

PELFREY: Needs to stay away from the big inning.


With 50 games remaining there are a lot of issues surrounding the Mets, with the one of the most important being the development of Pelfrey. He appears to have taken a step back from last season and hasn’t lived up to expectations. Pelfrey was supposed to win as many as 15 games this season. Maybe more.

Working on eight days off – without throwing – there is concern Pelfrey might experience a little rust. Pelfrey’s problem this season has been an inability to limit the damage. There’s always been one inning where Pelfrey unravels, and not surprisingly, control has been the issue.

Gary Sheffield, who last played Aug. 5 against St. Louis, remains out of the lineup with hamstring tightness.

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Aug 10

Sit Beltran; try to move Delgado.

At this stage of the game, and there is little game left for the 2009 New York Mets. We know they aren’t going to catch the Philadelphia Phillies, and they have to leapfrog almost the entire National League to have a puncher’s chance at a wild card.

They must start to make moves with 2010 in mind, and at the top of that list is to shut down Carlos Beltran and seriously evaluate the need for surgery. If Beltran does eventually need surgery, wouldn’t it be better to have it done now rather than October or November?

BELTRAN: Let him rest.

BELTRAN: Let him rest.


Should he get it now, he’ll have an extra three months to rehab, and Padres outfielder Brian Giles, who underwent the procedure microfracture surgery, said he’ll need every day.

“I would let it calm down and be ready for next year, having gone through what I went through,” Giles told reporters over the weekend. “There’s a lot of risk with this injury, especially with a young player like him. It could affect him for a long period of time.

“I rehabbed my butt off. I’ve never worked so hard to get ready for a season.”

Beltran is not soft nor is he a slacker, however, rehabbing is tough work and he’ll need the time to overcome the inevitable setbacks and slow points.

With little to play for this season, the Mets can’t afford Beltran risking further injury. Or eating a lot of time then opting for surgery. And, what is there is a problem with surgery or a longer than anticipated rehab? The extra time gained by doing it now would be essential.

Why push him for no reason?

As far as Delgado is concerned, the Mets aren’t going to offer him arbitration, which he’d obviously accept. They would be better off spending the money elsewhere, and the Mets do have holes that need plugging.

They’d be better off getting something and ridding themselves of the financial obligation. Daniel Murphy, which currently lacks the power needed for first base, could further develop as a hitter for the remainder of this year and next. While Murphy might not be the long-range answer at first base, he plays the position well enough defensively to where the Mets won’t be hurt with him there next season.

With at least two starters, left field, bullpen help and bench depth, first base is NOT an immediate priority. Murphy is good enough to stick there for another year. Plus, his lack of power should, or could, be made up with Beltran’s healthy return, David Wright’s comeback from the power Twilight Zone, and possibly the addition of an outfielder.

Aug 09

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #111; Sliding away.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

For those saying it was impossible to judge Bobby Parnell last are missing the point. He pitched long enough, and well enough – run wise, at least – to warrant another start and continue the research as to his ability to start next year. That’s what this is all about.

He didn’t flunk, and he’ll get the ball away. With the season sliding away, that’s the best the best can hope for at this juncture.

“I felt good at the end and still had stuff in the tank,” said Parnell, who threw 68 pitches and could get another 20 in his next start.

Parnell’s nerves were exposed in a 29-pitch first-inning in which he walked two and gave up a run.

The Mets (51-59) conclude their series with the Padres today with Johan Santana (12-8, 3.10 ERA) going against Tim Stauffer (1-3, 3.12 ERA).

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Johan Santana, LP

NOTEBOOK: Lefthanded reliever Billy Wagner pitched a scoreless inning Saturday for Single-A St. Lucie and hasn’t given up a run in four innings over four minor-league rehab games. The Mets hope to get him back by Aug. 21, and work him a couple of times to show him off enough to work a waiver deal. Lefty relievers are valuable in a pennant race and a healthy Wagner might get them something. … Francisco Rodriguez is not on his game with an ERA just under eight since Luis Castillo dropped the pop up in the Yankee game.