Apr 10

WANTED: Pitching

Sorry for the late post today.

I know it has only been three games, but I didn’t even need them to tell me the Mets still need to improve their starting pitching. After Johan Santana are you really convinced of what you’ll get from the other four in the rotation.

I believe in Mike Pelfrey, but his first start shows there are still growing pains. After reaching a career-high in innings pitched last season, will he hit a wall? There’s no way of knowing, but the assumption has to be made, and it has to be addressed.

John Maine goes tonight and he’s coming off shoulder surgery. Supposedly, it is minor, but everybody else’s surgery is always minor. Tonight will not be conclusive, one way or another.

Livan Hernandez is an innings eater at the end of his career. I liked the signing. Still do, but he is what he is. He’s a .500 pitcher these days, which is the definition of a fifth starter.

OK … Oliver Perez is next. He can be nails-on-a-chalkboard annoying to watch at times, such as yesterday. I don’t want to say the Mets can’t win with Perez, because afterall, he did win 15 for them two years ago. But, that’s looking more and more like a fluke.

Jake Peavy, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt could all be available come the end of July. The Mets can’t afford to be timid then. If it costs them F-Mart, then so be it. Quality pitching is more important anyway.

Apr 09

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #3, Heads or tails?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

It turned out tails. After a miserable spring training which ended with Oliver Perez giving up six runs in two-thirds of an inning Saturday against Boston, Coin Flip gave up eight runs today.

He walked five, three of which came around to score.

I had guessed a good start by Perez based on his 9-4 lifetime record against the Reds, and he was great through the first two innings. But, they play nine.

Perez couldn’t live with prosperity today. The Mets gave him three and he gave up four in the bottom of the inning. The Mets tied it for him and he gave up four more.

Served me right in thinking he’d have a good start. I’ve watched him since 2006 and I really don’t have any idea of what I’ll see from him from one start to the next.

I know the Mets won’t do it, but Perez should be sent out for work. His fastball isn’t there and neither is his command. It wouldn’t hurt him to stay behind in Florida and work on his arm strength.

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Apr 09

About Last Night ….

The big thing I’m taking out of last night is Mike Pelfrey, and it is a positive. After using up nearly half his pitch count in the first inning, Pelfrey settled down and gave the Mets five innings. The bullpen was used extensively, but it could have been far worse.

Pelfrey gave the Mets a chance to win by regrouping.

The other positives were Carlos Delgado, who is 4-for-9 in the first two games; Luis Castillo, who made a nice catch and throw to the plate; and Brian Schneider, who hit a bases loaded double to clear the bases.

K-Rod had a rough game, but like Pelfrey, he regrouped for the save.

Sometimes it is luck when you don’t play well and win. Other times, it is a sign of grit and talent rising to the top. Last night was the latter.

Apr 08

Mets Chat Room: Big Pelf on the hill

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets seek to open their season at 2-0 tonight behind Mike Pelfrey (1-1, 4.43 ERA in four games against the Reds). After a dismal 2-6 start last season, Pelfrey won 11 of his last 16 starts.

Don’t expect to see Gary Sheffield in the field any time soon. He said he needs to drop a few and isn’t ready. Manager Jerry Manuel said perhaps the last game of the Florida series or when the team returns home.

“There will be a point when we put him in the field,” Manuel said. “We’ll find a place for him.”

Until then, here’s tonight’s line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Delgado, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ryan Church, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Mike Pelfrey, P

Apr 08

Are you concerned about Pelfrey?

Mike Pelfrey isn’t concerned about Mike Pelfrey, which is the most important thing. Early in their careers, when some pitchers reach a high in innings pitched, they hit a wall. Sometimes, it’s injury related. Other times performance driven.

Pelfrey doesn’t want to hear about injuries, especially the little, nagging kind. In that regard, I’ll take him at his word and expect him to pitch well tonight at Cincinnati.

Pelfrey is the Mets’ No. 2 starter, but by default. If John Maine and Oliver Perez were pitching to expectations, Pelfrey would be the No. 4 starter. Because Maine and Perez have issues, I don’t like the idea of throwing them back-to-back because of the potential toll on the bullpen.

I’ll have a Mets Chat Room tonight at 7:00 p.m., for Game #2, Mets at Reds. Hope you’ll join me.