Sep 06

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #137; Will we get the good Pelfrey today?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The enigma known as Mike Pelfrey will face the Chicago Cubs this afternoon in an attempt to avoid his third straight loss. At 9-10 with a 5.03 ERA – dare I say it? – Pelfrey has been no better than Oliver Perez in what was supposed to be a breakout year for him as the No. 2 starter.

Showing poise absent earlier in his career, and a better command of his secondary pitches, Pelfrey won 13 games last season. He might equal that this year, but it would be with a struggle because there’s been little consistency in his game despite his fastball.

PELFREY: Coin Flip II

PELFREY: Coin Flip II


“I would say when you see his stuff you still get excited, but there has to come a time of maturation or development where there has to be some consistently,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “We’re just not getting that from him. He is a product of being inconsistent. The inconsistently is a concern, the stuff is not. We feel very confident that what he has is good enough to compete, but we need to see it on a more consistent basis, and we’re not seeing that.”

Pelfrey is 5-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 14 home starts this season to give the Mets a sense of confidence this afternoon, but he’s been miserable since the All-Star break at 2-6 with a 6.10 ERA in nine starts. That includes giving up seven runs in four innings last Tuesday at Colorado.

The Mets have lost 10 of their last 14 games, and finishing .500 is not even a realistic possibility, even with the news they might get Carlos Beltran and John Maine back this season. Beltran could be ready for the Marlins series Tuesday at Citi Field and Maine, who pitched well in a rehab start yesterday at Port St. Lucie, could pitch Sunday in Philadelphia.

MAINE: Pitching for his future.

MAINE: Pitching for his future.


Maine needs to show something to be counted into the Mets’ plans for next season. If he busts out then exists the chance they might not tender him a contract for next year.

NOTEBOOK: Manuel said he doesn’t expect Gary Sheffield (back spasms) to return this season. … Cory Sullivan has homered in both games of this series. … Luis Castillo has four hits in the series.

Here’s the line-up for today’s game:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Aug 29

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #130; Parnell continues audition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

With the competitive aspect of the season long since over, the pitching-hungry Mets continue their audition of Bobby Parnell for a starter’s role next year as he makes his fifth start today against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Jerry Manuel said he’s looking for presence and if Parnell has the tools and make-up to be a starter. He has the fastball, clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s, but has trouble with his secondary pitches. As a reliever going one inning or facing one hitter, Parnell can get by with his fastball. However, he can’t make it three times through the batting order with one pitch.

Parnell (3-6, 5.08) has had a rough go of it, going 1-3 with an 8.82 ERA as a starter. That included giving up five runs in five innings in his last start.

PARNELL: Getting every chance.

PARNELL: Getting every chance.


With four of the five starters on the Opening Day roster gone – Johan Santana, John Maine and Oliver Perez are on the DL and Livan Hernandez was released – Parnell could get another four to five starts this season. Santana and Perez will have surgery and are expected to be ready for spring training. Maine had surgery last off-season and hasn’t pitched in over two months.

NOTES: David Wright rejoined the team for workouts today. He’s expected to be activated from the disabled list (post concussion syndrome) when the Mets are in Colorado. Manuel said Wright will play after being activated, then plans to rest him the following day. … Angel Pagan has three homers in his last eight games and is continuing to make a statement for a job next season. … Adam Wogan has taken over Tony Bernazard’s old position as vice president of player development. GM Omar Minaya said he will evaluate the position after the season. … Carlos Beltran is expected to have a third MRI by the end of the month and could need microfracture surgery on his right knee. I’m not expecting him back.

The Mets’ (58-71) line-up against Ryan Dempster (7-7, 4.07):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Bobby Parnell, RP

Aug 27

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #128; Can’t anybody here play this game?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

It was the Mets’ first season when Casey Stengel asked: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

It has proven a timeless quote, as the same question must be asked this season. Sure, there have been injuries that crippled this year, but even so, the Mets should be better. As much as they miss David Wright, John Maine, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, and now Johan Santana, they are also missing something else. They are missing the intangibles possessed by all winning teams.

The Mets have given up on the season and you can see it in their faces. You can also see it in their efforts and attention to details and fundamentals. Part of this responsibility must be assumed by Jerry Manuel, who has not always cracked the whip. He treats his players like men, assuming they will focus, not like the minor leaguers they often resemble.

The Mets don’t consistently do what winners do. They don’t take the extra base. They don’t advance runners. Manuel said it himself, they habitually leave runners on third with less than two outs. They give away far too many at-bats.

Defensively, and we saw this last night, they don’t consistently execute the double play and often give the opposition extra outs. Some of this is due to players, such as Daniel Murphy, learning new positions. But, Luis Castillo has played second for a long time.

And, the pitching. Injured as it is, walks far too many batters and doesn’t finish them off when they are ahead in the count. Staggering are the number of two-strike and two-out hits, and pitches left over the plate.

And, it isn’t all Oliver Perez, either. Mike Pelfrey, a supposed rotation stalwart of the future, has taken a step back.

STENGEL: Would he be mystified?

STENGEL: Would he be mystified?


This is not a healthy team, but it is also not a fundamentally sound team, either. You are what you are, and the Mets aren’t a good team. They have been a study in creative losing.

They are in Florida today, the site where Murphy dropped the fly ball that beat Santana. … There was blowing the five-run lead to the Pirates. … The Ryan Church game in LA. … The Castillo pop-up. … The triple-play game. … The wild-pitch loss in Philly.

As Stengel once said, and we can repeat it this year: “Been in this game one-hundred years, but I see new ways to lose ‘em I never knew existed before.”

They have lost five straight and are on the verge of being swept today by the Marlins. Standing in their way is, gasp, Tim Redding, and this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Wilson Valdez, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, 2B
Tim Redding, RP

Aug 26

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #127; Perez out for year.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Another day, another season-ending injury. Mets fans were put out of their misery today of having to watch Oliver Perez pitch again this year with the news the combustible and wild left-hander has patella tendon tendinosis in his right knee and will have surgery.

This can’t be a shock to anybody, is it? Or, even a disappointment. I don’t like to see anybody hurt, including Perez, but I won’t miss having to watch him until next year.

Perez, 28, who was signed to a three-year, $36-million contract last winter, was 3-4 with a 6.82 ERA in 14 starts. His balky knee forced him to spent more than two months on the disabled list earlier this season.

PEREZ: Done for year.

PEREZ: Done for year.


Yesterday, it was Johan Santana who was announced would have surgery. The Mets say both Santana and Perez will be ready for spring training, but what they don’t know, is what condition they will be or if they’ll be ready for the start of the season as no surgery is guaranteed.

The Mets had enough pitching questions as it was, now they must have to think about how much they’ll have to add in the off-season via free agency to protect against the chance of either of those two not being ready.

Only Mike Pelfrey remains in the rotation that opened the season. The rest includes Pat Misch, Tim Redding, Bobby Parnell and Nelson Figueroa.

Lance Broadway has been called up from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Perez. He’s got a great New York name, but also a combined 5-9 record with a 6.17 ERA with Buffalo and Charlotte.

Is he the answer? I think not.

The erratic Pelfrey (9-8, 4.67) will start for the Mets tonight at Florida in a match-up that does not favor New York. Pelfrey has been strong in his last two starts, including a win over Philadelphia. However, Josh Johnson (12-3, 2.99 ERA) will start for the Marlins. He has dominated the Mets in three starts this season, going 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA. He is 6-0 lifetime against the Mets.

Johnson will face this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Aug 19

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #120; Where did the season go?

METS CHAT ROOM

METS CHAT ROOM

Where did it go? Where did the season disappear to? There are 42 games between now and winter, although, truth be know, from a competitive standpoint the season ended a lot time ago for the Mets.

The goal now is .500, and with it, limited respectability. They are now reduced to the Washington Nationals-like role of spoiler. How distasteful is that? The World Series window that seemed wide open when Aaron Heilman grooved that pitch to Yadier Molina has slammed shut with two year-end fades and this summer’s collapse.

The Mets are looking at the future with Bobby Parnell (3–4, 3.50 ERA) making his third start tonight against the Atlanta Braves.

Parnell’s first start was essentially a 60-pitch ineffective relief appearance, but he looked much better in his last start, an 80-pitch effort, last weekend against the Giants. His ceiling is 100. He could get maybe four more starts after tonight, which should give the Mets a good indication of whether they can slot him into next year’s rotation. That would eliminate a huge off-season headache.

As it always is with young pitchers the question is whether he’s able to command his secondary pitches to go along with his 97-mph. fastball. The fastball stuff he has, the command and movement is still a work in progress.

Here’s the Mets’ line-up against Jair Jurrjens (9-8, 2.99 ERA):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Bobby Parnell, RP

NOTEBOOK: Jurrjens is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA in five starts against the Mets. … Parnell has a 1.62 ERA in his two starts. … Johan Santana said he never asked to be traded. … Sheffield was pulled off waivers when a team tried to claim him which means he can’t be traded. Should Sheffield be put through waivers again and is claimed he’s gone. He said he believes he’ll be gone. … Billy Wagner said he has no designs on closing when he’s activated this week, but next year will be different. There are several teams in need of a closer, including the Chicago Cubs, and others in need of lefty relief, including the Yankees. I don’t see the Mets doing business in the Bronx.