An interesting article in The Daily News polled the players and they said they needed a right-handed bat instead of bullpen help. That’s why they are players and don’t make personnel decisions.
The Mets’ bullpen ERA of over five is the major’s worst; they are in the top five in runs scored in the NL. Where do you think the need is?
The pattern is inescapable: Three times is not a charm for Chris Young.
YOUNG: Falters again late.
When Young goes through a batting order for a third time hitters tee off on him as if it were batting practice. However, yesterday’s decision by Terry Collins to stick with him was understandable, and still a learning experience.
It is also an indictment on the major league’s worst bullpen, which has a lofty 5-plus ERA.
Young was cruising and was at only 67 pitches entering the seventh. There was no indication he was about to falter. Moments later, say seven pitches, the lead was gone.
History dictates that whoever is leading on July 4th will make the playoffs. That’s a good omen for the Mets, who lead in the wild-card chase. By the end of the month, if there are trades, then the Mets will be buyers.
Their top priority is the bullpen as they have enough offense, despite limited power, to get the job done.
Let’s look at the other playoff contenders.
Washington has the best record in the National League and with its pitching could sustain it into the playoffs. The question here is what will happen if, and when, they shut down Stephen Strasburg.
Atlanta could make a run, but the Marlins and Phillies have too many issues.
In the Central, it would be nice to see Pittsburgh hold on, but the Reds, Cardinals and Brewers are still close. This division should be a scramble until the end.
In the West, it is the Dodgers and Giants, with Arizona 5.5 games out.
Things seem more definitive in the American League. I expect the current leaders to hold on, with Tampa Bay, Detroit and the Angels the prime wild card contenders.
Sometimes it is better to hold a pat hand, which is what the Mets have done with Jonathan Niese over the past few years. More than a few times we heard Niese’s name mentioned in a possible trade.
NIESE: Untouchable (AP)
Whom the Mets would have received in return would not have lifted them from their 2007-2011 funk. At least, not as much as Niese is lifting them now. He’s 7-3 after last night’s 11-1 rout of the Phillies.
The players the Mets might have received could have given them a temporary spark, but they were in need of a deep rebuilding with their pitching and that begins with a stud left-hander, and Niese certainly fits that mold.
Niese was dominant last night with all his pitches, working quickly and staying ahead in the count. Give him a few runs and he’s golden. Last night he had more than he needed.
Niese is a major reason why the Mets, if the season ended today, would be in the playoffs. There’s nobody that could have predicted. Nobody.
At one time the Mets were eight games over .500 and poised to go on a roll. Instead, they faltered and threatened to go below .500. However, this has been a resilient team – perhaps its best attribute and they are seven over with two more games against the Phillies and three against the Cubs. Ten over by the break is very possible.
The Mets are doing what they should be doing against the reeling Phillies, and that is to beat up on them. When facing a down team go for the throat. While they are hurting, the Phillies still have that strong rotation and Ryan Howard due back. The season is not over for them. Other teams have made up more ground in less time, so putting as much space between them is essential for the Mets.
Josh Thole said 5-1 would be a good week for the Mets. Of course it would. But the Mets are in no position to be making boasts or projections. Don’t wake up the opposition.