Apr 30

April 30.10: On to Philly.

The Mets didn’t win anything on their recent homestand and they won’t win anything this weekend in Philadelphia.

Neither will the Phillies.

The most important thing coming out of the homestand, and this weekend’s series, is it has made the Mets’ season relevant again. It might have started with the promotion of Ike Davis and ended with perhaps the best 10-game regular season stretch in franchise history, but in between we saw the Mets play alert, aggressive baseball.

We saw the Mets play as they promised us they would. We saw them play as if they wanted our attention.

And, they deserved it.

What I am looking forward to in this series are three games of intense baseball, of a rivalry where the competitive juices are flowing.

After all the promoting it as such, it finally is a rivalry worth paying attention to again. Each one of the games has a special nugget of intrigue.

Tonight is about Jon Niese and how the young pitcher will respond to the pressure of a high profile game. Niese giving the Mets six strong tonight will go a long way toward answering some of their pitching questions. It would also prevent an emotional let down.

After a week-and-a-half of being on an emotional high, tonight is about sustaining. The last thing we want to see is for Niese to get hammered and to lose that good feeling.

Tomorrow, and this is the game I really want to see, is Mike Pelfrey against Roy Halladay. In a season full of tests for Pelfrey, this is another one. Aren’t you curious about seeing him go against an ace?

Sunday it is the stopper, Johan Santana, who would be pitching to either stave off a disappointment or continue the ride. It will be as important a game as you can have in May, and you want your best.

The Mets went 9-1 because they played to their capabilities, but also because they did not try to exceed them. They played within themselves and didn’t try to do something they weren’t capable of doing.

They need that same, level approach this weekend, and if they get it, then it could be the start of a wonderful summer.

Jan 21

Jan. 21.10: One more pitcher off the board.

Joel Pineiro wanted four years and $40 million. He got two years and $16 million, numbers the Mets easily could have matched. But, they didn’t, and I don’t even know how serious they were about getting him.

And, with spring training inside a month away, it doesn’t appear they were that serious about improving their rotation.

Pineiro is a shade over .500 for his career, so it’s not as if they are losing an ace. But, he was coming off a good year and has been consistent, something the rotation could use.

It sounds like the usual group of suspects for the Mets this year. I can hardly contain myself.

Sep 29

About Yesterday ….

Perez: No better than a No. 5?

Perez: No better than a No. 5?

Instead of packing to head to Wrigley Field, the Mets will be in today to clean out their lockers. They will drift in throughout the afternoon. The Mets are telling us 11:30 until 3:30. Why 11:30?

Let’s figure it out …

I’m guessing a lot of guys will be in before that and leave before answering questions about another late season fade.

“We failed,” David Wright said yesterday. “We failed as a team.”

That they did. Yesterday, was a microcosm of all that went wrong.

Starting pitching: Oliver Perez showed he’s not an ace. Or even close to it. Perez finished the season at 10-8 with 17 no-decisions. Out of 34 starts, he came away with a no-decision half the time. Terrible. He can’t close the deal. In his biggest game of the season he gave the Mets 5 1/3 innings. Thanks for showing up.

Bullpen: No blown save yesterday, but does it matter? Back-to-back jacks were the difference. For the record, 29 blown saves overall. That is the stat of the season.

Offense: The Mets have an offense? Not yesterday. Two runs on four hits won’t get it done.

The Mets will pack to go home. Many of them never to return to this clubhouse. Who should go and who should stay? More on that today.

Please stay tuned throughout the day.

Sep 19

About Last Night …. Santana does it again.

Last winter I wrote how I didn’t want the Mets to trade for Johan Santana. I was thinking he would cost too much in prospects and money, and would break down before the end of the contract. Who knows about injuries?

But, he’s been worth it. Every time he goes out there you expect him to throw a good game and have the feeling the Mets will win. He provides a sense of confidence. You are surprised when he doesn’t pitch well.

That’s an ace.

The man should have 20 wins this season. Seven games the bullpen coughed up for him. Many more times the offense snoozed.

If he keeps pitching like this and the Mets give him some help, he will win a Cy Young Award here. I’m glad he’s here. I always enjoy seen the best perform.