Sep 09

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #139; Misch tries to keep roll going.



The Mets’ decimated pitching rotation in tatters, it continues to be Mike Pelfrey and The Cast of Thousands, trying to see who that day can make it through five innings, or to touch the unimaginable — six innings.

Tonight’s starter, Pat Misch, Nelson Figueroa, Tim Redding and Bobby Parnell have all flashed positive signs that gives one pause to think, “maybe, must maybe, we have something here.”

Then it all goes a way in a flurry or walks and home runs, a reminder why these pitchers are journeymen to begin with. Of the four, Parnell has the best stuff and is the youngest. He has the best chance. He also needs experience. This year the Mets kept him to work out of the bullpen, then turned to him out of necessity. Next spring they should make a decision and stick with it, and that decision should be as a starter.

MISCH: Starts tonight vs.Fish

MISCH: Starts tonight vs.Fish

The others? Well, if Misch, Figueroa or Redding were in next year’s rotation, it would mean Omar Minaya didn’t have a good winter, somebody is still hurt, and count on another long year for the Mets.

Misch, Figueroa and Redding have shown enough positives to where they should be invited to spring training to compete for a long man role. Misch (1-1, 3.25) earned his first major league win Thursday at Colorado, giving up two runs (two solo homers) on four hits in seven innings of an 8-3 victory.

“The key was I minimized the traffic on the bases,” Misch said. “There wasn’t any one on when they got the home runs.”

The Mets will have Carlos Beltran in the line-up again tonight. Beltran was activated from the disabled list Wednesday and went 1-for-4 in his first game since June 21.

“It will probably take him a few games to really find his rhythm at the plate,” manager Jerry Manuel said of Beltran. “I think once that starts he will get on track, so to speak. He looked pretty good.”

Sep 04

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #135; Parnell experiment drags on.

After three horrible starts, including his last outing at Chicago, Bobby Parnell will attempt to redeem himself as the Mets begin a three-game series tonight against the Cubs at Citi Field. Parnell has given up 22 earned runs on 22 hits over his last 12 2/3 innings.

Parnell has the velocity to make it as a starter, but not command of his secondary pitches, and sometimes that fastball is arrow straight. If a ball has no movement, anybody can hit it, regardless of how hard it is thrown.

Of all the projects Jerry Manuel is evaluating this month in his rotation, Parnell has the best chance of emerging next spring as a starter when the team breaks camp.

Enjoy the game. I won’t be there for the first few innings, but will check in later.-JD

Sep 02

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #133; Redding tries to stop slide.



Actually, the headline is a misnomer. The only thing that will stop the slide is the end of the season. Tim Redding can only slow it down a bit.

The Mets have David Wright back, but he’s not in the line-up tonight. Jerry Manuel said he would rest him after his return. First, he said Wright would sit tonight. Then he said Wright would sit the first two games and sit tomorrow. Pick a plan, any plan.

Gary Sheffield is also out of the line-up, and with each game he misses it becomes more apparent the Mets missed their chance to unload him when they pulled him off waivers earlier this month. They might not have gotten much, but what are they getting now? Especially since the odds are long he’ll be back next year.

REDDING: Another stop-gap start.

REDDING: Another stop-gap start.

The Mets have lost 22 of their last 33 games to fall completely out of contention. They’ve been in a slide since before the All-Star break when John Maine, Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes went down with injuries. The pitchers fell apart in the second half when Johan Santana and Oliver Perez were disabled.

In all fairness, the season was gone before Santana and Perez. Their departures simply opened the way for guys like Nelson Figueroa, Bobby Parnell and Redding (2-4, 5.94) to join the rotation.

Redding pitched well in his last start, giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings in a victory at Florida. He is 1-2 with a 4.40 ERA in five career starts against the Rockies.

Aug 31

Proactive selling ….

With the competitive aspect of the season long since over, the Mets are planning for 2010 with every move they make. The decisions on surgery and the disabled list were made to protect players and give them proper rehab time.

Time to be proactive

Time to be proactive

Sticking with Daniel Murphy at first base and Bobby Parnell in the rotation were made with an eye on holes that need to be filled over the winter.

Economically, the Mets should also be thinking about next season.

With Mets tickets on the Internet at times selling for less than face value, and the economy still in shreds, the franchise could be faced with a large number of season ticket cancellations for next year in light of how the team has performed.

Business-as-usual for the Mets would be to send out renewal notices after the playoffs. But, these are not normal times and they should be considering a more aggressive approach to get their ticket holders to return.

With 15 home games remaining and nothing to play for, the Mets should consider giving season-ticket holders the opportunity to credit September’s unused tickets toward next year’s packages. If there’s no reason to go to the park, many ticket holders will be likely to dump their tickets for whatever they can get to cut their losses.

For those ticket holders who already decided about not renewing for 2010, there’s nothing the Mets can do. However, this gesture might push those sitting on the fence to renew.

Here’s a chance for the organization to thank its ticket holders for supporting the team during this lost season, and at the same time make a dent in its off-season sales.

It’s not as if the team would lose money because the Mets could always re-sell the returned tickets, or donate them to charity for a tax write-off.

And, the team should also be considering selling one-month packages, perhaps at a discounted rate.

I can’t imagine the Mets doing this because the first impression would be they would be making less money, but with how things have gone, and taking the economy into consideration, it could turn out to be a win-win for everybody.

The Mets might be in fourth place in the NL East, but this is no time for fourth-place thinking.

Aug 30

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #131; Parnell’s status in doubt?



I’ll start off today asking for a little peace and courtesy toward each other on the blog. Tomg is probably right in I have let things slide too much. I’ve always said I want the blog to be like a bunch of friends together is a sports bar. You can disagree, but please stop the name calling.

It’s rough enough having to watch the Mets play out the string isn’t it?

The Mets try to avoid a sweep today in the wake of Bobby Parnell’s third consecutive horrible start (22 runs in 12 2/3 innings) yesterday afternoon. Parnell gave up eight runs on nine hits and two walks in just 4 2/3 innings to put in jeopardy his experiment as a starter.

Manager Jerry Manuel said Parnell will take his next turn, but isn’t sure beyond that.

“This is the third time he’s had these types of issues, so we’ve got to find a better way to get that straightened out and pitch ahead in the count,” Manuel said. “You’d just like to see better command from a starting pitcher.”

Parnell gave up an 0-and-2 grand slam to Jake Fox on a hanging slider in the fifth. He hasn’t been the only Mets pitcher to give it up while ahead in the count. The staff has given up seven 0-and-2 homers this season, including two slams.

PARNELL: Struggling in new role.

PARNELL: Struggling in new role.

Said Parnell: “I know it’s going to be a process, and there’s going to be some tough lessons learned. I haven’t been keeping my team in the game, so I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board.”

It’s tough to make the conversion from reliever to starter during the season. Parnell has stamina questions because his body hasn’t adjusted to the work load. The team isn’t going anywhere this year, so letting Parnell start for the rest of the season can only benefit him and the Mets in finding out the answers.

Figueroa is 0-4 with a 4.40 ERA in nine career appearances, four starts against the Cubs.

Here’s today’s starting line-up against Carlos Zambrano:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy,1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Jeremy Reed, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Nelson Figueroa, RP (1-3, 5.40)