Jul 02

Mets Not Ready For Primetime; Defense, Pen Sabotage Dillon Gee

There was always an uneasy feeling about yesterday, beginning in the first inning when Andres Torres was picked off, costing the Mets a run.

The Mets were poised to complete a four-game sweep of the Dodgers, but there was never that growing sense of anticipation. Three errors, an offensive shutdown and the bullpen combined to throw away what could have been a watershed moment in this season.

Nope: Dodgers, 8-3 over the Mets.

Believe me, I thought it. The Mets sweep, then roll the reeling Phillies as they head into the break at least ten games over .500.

The onus is on the defense, but remember it is up to Dillon Gee and the relievers to put adversity behind them.

 

Jul 01

Mets Matters: David Wright Reax, Lineup At Dodgers

David Wright said he was disappointed in not being selected to the NL All-Star team, but would not rip the system. San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval beat him out by over 1.5 million votes.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” Wright said before tonight’s game in Los Angeles. “But, Pablo is having a very good year. The fans have spoken. That’s the way that the system is. And let’s not lose sight that it’s a great honor to go, no matter how you get a chance to go.”
Other Mets news and nuggets:
* Jason Bay, on the disabled list with a concussion, will hit off a tee and run for the Mets medical staff Monday in New York. There’s no sense in rushing Bay with the Mets playing so well.
* Reliever Frank Francisco, on the DL with a strained left oblique, will start playing catch Monday. Francisco is eligible to come off the DL next Sunday, but likely will stay on the list until after the break.
* Ike Davis has been hot, but he won’t start tonight against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. After struggling so hard, why put him in a bad situation, one compounded by the hitting in the twilight. Considering the funk Davis was in, he did drive in 24 runs for June. Who would have thought that?
* Terry Collins was pleased Johan Santana wasn’t selected to the All-Star team, saying he needed the rest. Santana has one more start remaining in the first half, but as of now has no indication of resting him. “For me, I guess I’m a little selfish,” Collins said. “And I hope he enjoys the break and rests up a little bit, because we’ve got a big second half to go.”
The Mets will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Dodgers with this lineup:
Andres Torres, cf
Ruben Tejada, ss
David Wright, 3b
Scott Hairston, lf
Lucas Duda, rf
Justin Turner, 1b
Ronny Cedeño, 2b
Mike Nickeas, c
Dillon Gee, rhp
Jun 13

Terry Collins Named To NL All-Star Squad

Terry Collins’ solid managing was rewarded this afternoon when National League All-Star manager Tony La Russa named Collins to his staff. It is a well-deserved honor for Collins, and also a testament of how others recognize the Mets are making positive strides.

Considering their pitching questions entering the season, including the physical status of Johan Santana, and a patchwork bullpen, and a list of injuries that encompassed David Wright, Jason Bay, Andres Torres, Ruben Tejada, and nagging slumps of Bay and Ike Davis, there’s a lot that’s happened to this team.

And considering what has gone on with this team, nobody could expect four games over .500. Have the Mets survived their slide? I don’t know, but Collins  has them playing aggressive, alert baseball and instilled a confidence that insists they won’t be pushed around.

“I’ve known and respected him for years,” La Russa said. “But I think the job he’s done last year, with nobody had more adversity than that, and he kept the club competing. And he’s doing it again this year.

“I just think you need to recognize when somebody is handling a ballclub and day in and day out there’s no difference in how they compete. If the starters are hurt, they still keep competing, and he keeps getting contributions. I think it’s a well-deserved honor.”There will remain dry stretches and lulls, but Collins has the Mets playing with a sense of purpose that has the rest of the league watching.

Aside from Collins, two Mets figure to be named to La Russa’s team should they continue at their current paces. I would think Wright would get on with the fan vote and R.A. Dickey should be appointed to the staff.

Here’s tonight’s lineup behind Dickey:

Andres Torres, cf

Daniel Murphy, 2b

David Wright, 3b

Scott Hairston, rf

Jason Bay, lf

Vinny Rottino, dh

Ike Davis, 1b

Mike Nickeas, c

Omar Quintanilla, ss

R.A. Dickey, rhp

Jun 12

There Are Reasons Behind Mets’ Slide

First things first, sorry for not posting yesterday. As you know, I’ve had surgery and it isn’t healing as I had hoped. I’ve had to shut some things down and yesterday I went back to the doctor. It hasn’t been a good time, and watching the Mets hasn’t made things much easier.

They’ve gone from eight games over and all being right with the world to three games over and the resurfacing of old concerns and worries:

THE BULLPEN: We knew this would be a problem going into the season, and despite its fast start things have digressed as anticipated. It hasn’t helped Jon Rauch’s elbow is ailing. The bullpen was a major cause in losing six of seven games, with an accent on the Yankees’ series. GM Sandy Alderson is contemplating moves from the outside to add depth to the pen. You haven’t heard much about Jenrry Mejia recently, but presumably remains on the table. In regard to the trade route, the Mets don’t want to give up too much, but they must weigh that against the probability their starters will remain effective and their chances with the enhanced wild-card format. Other factors include Washington remaining competitive and Philadelphia improving.

DEFENSE: Let’s face it, it has been spotty all season but lately it has worsened, especially without shortstop Ruben Tejada. Those games against the Yankees seemed like one continuous Luis Castillo flashback. When a team has pitching problems and a spotty offense, it can’t afford many defensive lapses. The Mets are giving up more than they are scoring and that can’t continue. It has already started to catch up to them.

WELCOME BACK JASON BAY: It isn’t as if his return is attributable to their recent problems, but 0-for-11 isn’t exactly inspiring much confidence he’ll add a spark. He certainly hasn’t warranted getting his job back unconditionally. Until Bay proves he can hit and is worth anything close to the $66 million the Mets will pay him, Terry Collins has to seriously think about a platoon system. Then again, Andres Torres might make that decision for him because he’s bringing absolutely nothing to the table.

COLLECTIVE HITTING SLUMP: Do you remember all those two-out runs? Where did they all go? It isn’t just Bay and Torres. David Wright and Daniel Murphy have both cooled. Lucas Duda leads with ten homers, but has provided little else. Ike Davis has provided little of anything and the minor leagues is fast becoming a viable option.

When the Mets were eight games over there was a lot of optimism, and many of the holes were ignored. Perhaps the Mets overachieved the first third of the season and the holes were camouflaged. Well, you can see them now, clearer than ever.

What’s also clear is Tampa Bay’s pitching makes it harder than ever to resolve those issues.