It will be all but impossible for the Mets to overtake the Phillies, especially if they lose and Philly wins. A Mets’ loss and Milwaukee win makes the wild card tight.
Johan Santana goes tonight for the Mets, who are 11-3 in his last 14 starts. Santana has won seven straight decisions, so there’s more than a little bit of hope for the Mets.
Tonight’s closer: Anybody’s guess.
Carlos Beltran, who ran into the wall last night, will play. There’s never been any doubt of Beltran’s toughness in my mind. The guy played with a broken bone in his face after his collision with Mike Cameron in 2005.
Here’s tonight’s lineup:
SS Jose Reyes
2B Luis Castillo
3B David Wright
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
C Ramon Castro
RF Ryan Church
LF Nick Evans
LH Johan Santana
My friend David hosts a web site pertaining to Mets’ prospects. Please check it out. Thanks. JD
The Mets blew 29 save opportunities so far this season, and with them, perhaps a chance at the playoffs. Adding a top notch closer such as Francisco Rodriguez would improve the bullpen, but not put it over the top.
Billy Wagner blew seven save opportunities, but even worse was the bridge leading up to him. It was more than just a bad season.
Here’s how I see the pen:
-Billy Wagner: Won’t pitch for the Mets again. No brainer. However, he will get paid $11 million by them, and that will inhibit what they do this winter. I don’t see them paying both Wagner and Rodriguez.
-Aaron Heilman: They’ve resisted trading him the past two winters. They should pull the trigger if they get an offer this time. Heilman wants to start and since the Mets won’t give him that opportunity, they should try to get what they can. If they wanted to give Heilman a chance at being the fifth starter, I’d entertain it because it is clear this bullpen thing isn’t working out.
-Scott Schoeneweis: I can’t believe they gave him three years. (I mistakenly said he was done after this year. He’s signed through 2009).
-Joe Smith: Has his moments, both good and bad. Will be brought back.
-Pedro Feliciano: I’ve always been cool on him for some reason, even when he’s pitched well. I think they’ll bring him back.
-Luis Ayala: He saved a few games. Big deal. I don’t see him as the answer at closer. I do see him coming back.
-Carlos Muniz: Wouldn’t miss him.
-Ricardo Rincon: Ditto.
-Duaner Sanchez: He doesn’t have his fastball anymore. Certainly not a set-up man or closer type anymore. Not a loss if they don’t bring him back.
-Brian Stokes: More good appearances than bad. I’d like to see him back.
-Nelson Figueroa: Feel good story early this season. Very hittable.
-Brandon Knight: Pitched decently. Long man?
-Bobby Parnell: Can bring the heat. Let’s see what he can do in spring training.
Someday, Jon Niese might become a viable major league pitcher. That he started such a critical game last night indicates the seriousness of the Mets’ pitching woes and I’ve drawn these conclusions:
1. John Maine is too valuable for them to screw around with in the bullpen considering his health issues. He’s not going to be the difference. They will not win the World Series this year. Shut him down and have him be ready for spring training.
2. Pedro Martinez has had a Hall of Fame career. But, those days are gone. If he comes back next year, it should be as the fifth starter. They should cut ties with Martinez, but I’m entertaining his return because I anticipate Oliver Perez’s departure and Niese not being ready.
3. It is a sad state of affairs Perez will become richer than beyond his wildest dreams for being mediocre. He’s pitched well this year in parts, but his record screams mediocrity.
4. Of course, the records of Maine, Perez, Johan Santana and even Mike Pelfrey are below what they should be because of a bullpen that blew 29 saves. The pen has to be overhauled.