Yesterday, I suggested the Mets need to hone a killer instinct and complete the sweep of the Phillies when they were down. There won’t be a premature “Mission Accomplished” announcements because we’ve seen hot stretches cool before, but it was a significant step.
DAVIS: Breaking out (AP)
Five games over .500, somewhere they haven’t been since 2010. If I remember correctly, that was Jerry Manuel’s last big moment with the Mets which triggered their slide. It was when Jose Reyes was rushed off the disabled list and you know what happened next.
They won despite a poor outing from Dillon Gee – he called it his worst of the season – and overcoming a good start from Cliff Lee. It was also the 11th time they have come from behind (most in the majors) and Collins reiterated the idea of jumping on a team when it is down.
“We came in and got them at the right time and took advantage of playing hard,” Collins said. “If something happened, there was a mistake, we capitalized on it. It was a great trip for us. We’ll enjoy it for a while and get ready for this weekend.”
Mike Pelfrey will undergo Tommy John surgery today in Alabama, a procedure that could mean the end of his nondescript career with the Mets.
PELFREY: The end? (AP)
The recovery period will take up to a year, which would eclipse the December date a team has to tender contracts. With Pelfrey to make $5.6 million this season for a handful of starts, the Mets will probably not tender a contract and allow him to become a free agent.
Yes, the Mets received positive news in the Ponzi scandal, but that doesn’t mean they will suddenly become frivolous. The Mets certainly won’t extend him at this time or go through the arbitration process.
If Pelfrey is to continue his career with the Mets, they’ll cut him loose, then attempt to re-sign him and start over at a lower figure.
Preventing the Mets from rolling the dice and keeping him is that Pelfrey never became the pitcher they envisioned. Pelfrey appeared to have a breakthrough season in 2010, but dramatically regressed last year. He’s lost more than he’s won, and his career has been marked by lapses in concentration (three balks in one game at San Francisco), a lack of developing his secondary pitches, and an inability to put away hitters and close out innings.
Yes, he’s lost close games and had bad luck, but aces are able to improvise and pitch through adversity. They find a way to win, something Pelfrey has been unable to do.
Maybe he’ll catch on somewhere else and develop into a solid starter. Maybe he’ll meet the expectations. But, he’s not shown much to compel the Mets to give him another opportunity to do it here.
I suppose it could have been uglier.
That’s what I took from yesterday’s doubleheader loss to the San Francisco Giants. Sure, they could have lost a marathon game as they once did in a nightcap with the Giants, or get no-hit, as they did another time against San Francisco. However, yesterday was exasperating in its own right.
DAVIS: Tosses bat after another strikeout. (AP)
After a 4-0 start, the Mets lost eight of their next 12 to fall to .500. I’ve been saying .500 would be great for the Mets this season, but it also matters how you get there, and they are now reeling. Big time.
Ike Davis continues to flounder and yesterday stranded 11 runners. And, he didn’t even start the second game. That’s almost hard to do. Davis’ swing is a mess and the most action his bat got was when he threw it after getting rung up late in the second game.
Also on the negative side of the ledger was Jason Bay injuring his ribs when he dove for a ball near the warning track. Bay was in the midst of a hot stretch, so you figured he had to get hurt soon. Don’t count on him tonight.
And, once again the Mets’ starting pitching was torched. The Mets traded for Johan Santana to be a stopper. They need him to come up big tonight against the Marlins. They need him to prevent this from turning into a free fall.
ON DECK: Wright shows real leadership.
Earlier today I posed the question if the Mets were for real. Ten games is not enough of a window to jump on the bandwagon, but it is big enough to sense that there’s something positive going on.
WRIGHT: Off to a good start. (AP)
1) David Wright is stroking the ball with authority. Even after missing several games he’s been consistently on, driving the ball to the opposite field which has always been a benchmark of success for him. He’s been swinging at good pitches and hasn’t been chasing the down-and-away junk. He also has been holding his ground when the pitchers have worked him inside.
2) They are 7-3, with all their wins in the division. They’ve won a series in Philadelphia and won last night in Atlanta, places which haven’t always been kind to them. I took a look at a sportsbook review and the odds on the Mets are getting better everyday. This is as positive a sign as any.
3) Johan Santana, who will work tonight, has given them two strong starts. A strong Santana give the Mets a sense of confidence and credibility. Now, if they’d only score some runs for him.
Obviously, the most important thing that happened this weekend was Johan Santana’s continued progress.
SANTANA: So far, so good. (AP)
Santana threw 42 pitches Sunday against Miami, but once again reiterated how he responds will tell most of the story.
Santana isn’t concerned with his velocity, and said he threw his change-up and slider more than in his first start. Barring a setback this week, his next start will be Friday against Detroit.
Terry Collins insists on saying Santana will be ready by Opening Day, but for that to happen he’ll need to build himself up to 90 pitches. There’s a long way to go.
Also this weekend:
* Jason Bay got his first hit of the spring after a 0-for-8 slide out of the gate. You’ll get no projections from me on Bay. There are no expectations.
* David Wright (rib cage) and lefty reliever Tim Byrdak (left knee) will go to New York today to be examined at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Both are expected to get cortisone injections. Two things: 1) why wasn’t this more in-dept exam be done earlier, and 2) there’s no doctors in Miami they could go to?
* If Byrdak isn’t ready by Opening Day, Garrett Olson could be a candidate for the lefty slot out of the bullpen.
* Adam Loewen and Mike Baxter are competing for a lefty-hitting reserve outfield role. Both have the ability to play center.
ON DECK: Mets’ conditioning methods must be re-evaluated in wake of upper-body injuries.