After a successful home stand that ended on a down note, the Mets are in San Francisco tonight for the start of a four-game series, then three in Los Angeles and three in Fenway.
If they play the way they did at the start of their homes stand, they’ll be in good shape. If they play as they did against the Braves then the miles will wear on them.
What’s your confidence level for this trip?
Did losing two of three from the Braves take the shine off of winning seven straight? It appears so, but not because they lost but by how they lost. Same old stuff. Sloppy baserunning and not hitting with runners in scoring position.
A lot of the running mistakes were by Jose Reyes, who, because of his speed, is blasted one way or another. Reyes can’t win. He either is blasted for being thrown out at third with the play ahead of him or for not trying for third as in yesterday’s game.
By his own admission, Reyes ran with his head down on the first play and promised he wouldn’t do it again. He didn’t have a chance to be thrown out yesterday because he glided into second after styling out of the batter’s box. Maybe Reyes could have made it, but for sure if he learned from his previous mistake and was running hard with his head up he would have seen the play in front of him and known if he had a chance.
The crime is in loafing out of the box because you never know. With Reyes’ speed, sometimes he can force a bad throw. That’s also part of the equation. Rightly or wrongly, Reyes is as fault because of the perception of not hustling.
On running to third on the ball hit to shortstop, well, that was just a dumb play.
The problem with Reyes is because of his talent and physical gifts there are lofty expectations. Some of these expectations are unfair, but Reyes can take the heat off by hustling at all times.
Speaking of hustling at all times, I’ve noticed what a few of you have commented on concerning David Wright. He’s been known to take a routine play off and not run hard, and eventually it will come back to bite him.
Jon Niese goes today for the Mets. If they get a good outing from him they’ll have a decision to make because Tim Redding is ready to return. The Mets will also likely decide today to place Carlos Delgado on the disabled list with his lingering hip injury.
Important game last night for the Mets to come from behind to win. They did catch a break when Carlos Beltran stole third because he looked out. Beltran eventually scored the tying run and drove in the game winner with a bases loaded walk.
Here’s today’s line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Gary Sheffield, LF
David Wright, 3B
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Ramon Castro, C
Ryan Church, RF
Jon Niese, P
I’m not going to suggest that if the Mets lose tonight that they are destined to hit a slide. It’s just with rookie Jon Niese working tomorrow and then starting their toughest road trip of the season, they are ripe.
I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far from Mike Pelfrey after the tendinitis left his right forearm. He’s pitched well and shows he’s capable of taking the next step. I like it when he challenges the hitters and doesn’t nibble.
The Mets have always been a streaky bunch. Hot, then cold. You knew the winning streak would end eventually, but didn’t think it would come in a game started by Johan Santana.
It’s not surprising he lost, but what is disturbing is the manner in which the Mets lost. They won by playing aggressive, crisp baseball, but last night were sloppy. Five unearned runs is inexcusable.
It’s easy to say it was only one game, but games like that can lead into bad habits. The Mets need a good start tonight from Mike Pelfrey, because, quite frankly, I don’t know if Jon Niese has two in a row. Then they have a murderous trip with four games against the Giants, three at the Dodgers and three at Fenway.
Winning is tough enough as it is and if the Mets start playing sloppy ball then this could be a very difficult stretch.