As I headed to the post office yesterday they were covering the swimming pool in my development for the winter. What a coincidence, the Mets were officially eliminated from the NL East race last night as their offense produced yet another run.
This is an incredible scoring drought, as bad as any I’ve seen for a team I covered. Terry Collins switched the time of BP. He said later he was grasping for straws and he was right. It’s all mental now.
If they can manage to give R.A. Dickey at least three tonight he has a chance to win his 19th game. I’d love to see him get 20, I really would. At the same time, when you’re reduced to pulling for individual stats that’s really a sign summer is over as there is nothing left to cheer for team wise.
They won’t have a winning record and at this rate the Mets will finish with a worst record than last year and that’s a gloomy thought.
I didn’t think David Wright should have played yesterday. Still think it was a gamble, but obviously one that paid off for him and the Mets.
Wright homered on the first pitch thrown to him and he’ll try to stay hot against Cole Hamels, a pitcher he has owned with a .308 average, three doubles, a triple and two homers lifetime against him.
Wright took BP yesterday, said he was ready and then started raking.
“I felt good,” Wright said. “I got a little confidence after the first at-bat. I felt real good in the cage earlier. I wouldn’t have gone out there if I didn’t think I can contribute.”
After missing much of spring training with a strained side muscle, Wright is off to a fast start at 10-for-17 and at least one RBI in every game he has played. He has 16 homers in Philly, so the Mets really wanted him in the lineup.
The Mets go for the sweep today behind a pitcher, Mike Pelfrey, who is as cold in Philly as Wright is hot. Pelfrey has given up nine homers in eight starts in Philly as is coming off a poor first outing of the season when he was tagged for 10 hits in a 5.2 no-decision against Washington.
This falls under the `I’ll believe it when I see it’ category. Carlos Beltran is taking soft toss BP in Port St. Lucie and is hopeful of running, then resuming baseball activities later this week. “It all begins with running,” Beltran told reporters in Florida. There is no timetable for Beltran’s return until he begins running. Until then, everything is merely wishful thinking.
I thought of Beltran last night while watching the Mets’ offense sputter in losing to the Reds. Oliver Perez did his job, and so did the bullpen, but the game was lost at the plate. The Mets were cooked the last two games in Philadelphia, but last night was a winnable game, and losses like that ultimately come back to haunt a team.
Last night also reinforced the streaky nature of this team. It is capable of winning seven straight one week and going on a losing streak the next. As evidenced by their record, the Mets are barely a win-one, lose-one type of team.
Save for a few games, the offense has been inconsistent all season, and Beltran’s absence is a big part of the reason.
Losing Beltran forced Jerry Manuel to juggle his line-up by moving Jose Reyes to third. The problem is Reyes is not a No. 3 hitter and it has weakened the leadoff position. Reyes is not playing his normal game, two hits last night notwithstanding. Nor is his replacement, Angel Pagan, a leadoff hitter.
* Mike Pelfrey’s strained left leg has improved enough to where he’ll start Saturday against Washington. Pelfrey threw in the BP today and told reporters: “I felt it a little bit, but it’s a lot better. If it was the regular season and I had to pitch today, I would’ve.”
* Carlos Delgado got six hits in his first seven at-bats playing for Puerto Rico in the WBC.
* Jon Niese gave up a hit and a walk in four scoreless innings in a minor league game today. Niese is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.
* Outfielder Angel Pagan underwent arthroscopic surgery in New York to remove a bone spur from his right elbow and could be out as long as nine weeks. Pagan didn’t play last year after May 12 after injuring his shoulder when he fell into the stands in Los Angeles.
Johan Santana threw a 36-pitch bullpen session today and in on target to be ready for Opening Day.
Santana told reporters: “I pitched today with no problems in my elbow or my arm or anything, so I am fine, and at the same time I was working on my pitches and I was able to command it, so that’s what you want to see.
“For being my first time facing hitters, I think it was pretty good. Everything was there — breaking ball was there, my change up was there, my arm speed, my legs are there. That’s what you are looking for. You look for your legs to be there and to feel comfortable, and that’s how I felt.”
Barring a setback Santana could get in a minor league game this week.