Apr 15

Mets lineup for tonight’s game in Atlanta.

Here’s tonight’s batting order for the Mets at Atlanta:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Ike Davis, 1B

Willie Harris, LF

Brad Emaus, 2B

Josh Thole, C

D.J. Carrasco, RP

LINEUP COMMENTS: Pagan is hitting second, which is what Terry Collins first went with in spring training. Hopefully, he’ll continue with that order. That being said, the order doesn’t really matter if the hitters aren’t producing.

METS NOTEBOOK: Ronnie Paulino is starting a rehab assignment at Class A St. Lucie. … LHP Pat Misch was held from his start last night at Triple-A Buffalo in anticipation of the Mets needing a starter this weekend. … Hardly a surprise, but Fernando Martinez was placed on the minor league DL with a strained hamstring.

 

Apr 15

Can’t anybody here play this game?

My title is one of Casey Stengel’s most memorable quotes and is applicable to how this season has started for the Mets. Yesterday’s doubleheader loss, coming hours after Terry Collins’ closed doors meeting, was a study in bad baseball.

CASEY: What would he think of this?

It made me wonder what would have happened had the Mets not focused on fundamentals during spring training.

From the outfield defense – what were you thinking Scott Hairston? – to Brad Emaus butchering a  ball at second, to the Daniel Murphy’s inexplicable baserunning, to the lack of clutch hitting and pitching, the day was a complete washout.

They were competitive, but still lost. The Mets have not learned to put away a team – they lead in every game of the four games they lost to Colorado – from either an offensive or pitching perspective.

Talent-wise, we knew going into the season that the Mets didn’t have enough to compete with Philadelphia and Atlanta in the NL East, but I, like most, bought into Collins’ emphasis on fundamentals.

It just hasn’t happened, and had they been able to execute fundamentally on defense and at the plate, they might have overcome some of their pitching weaknesses. It hasn’t happened that way.

What was Murphy thinking trying to go to third from second on a ball hit in front of him? He clearly lost track of the outs. How hard is it to count to three? Hairston’s effort on that fly ball was weak. A veteran like that needs to show more.

Bottom line: Game 1 never should have come down to David Wright’s fly ball to the warning track.

As much as baseball is a team sport, it is also an individual one. Before each pitch, a player should know what his responsibilities should be. And, prior to each at-bat, he should know what his objective should be, such has hitting a fly ball or advancing a runner.

These guys have coaches to remind them, but their objective is something they should have long since known since high school ball. It’s not Collins or the coaches, it is them. They should know to hit a ground ball to the right side with a runner on second and no outs. They should know not to chase on 2-0 at the plate. They should know where to position themselves and what base to throw to. They should know whether or not they should run depending on where the ball is hit.

And, at the plate, they should have better command of the strikezone and know how to work a walk. Again, not enough walks and too many strikeouts.

These are major league players and they should show more beyond their skill set.

And, I haven’t begun to think about the pitching, which has been atrocious. By the way, my confidence level on D.J. Carrasco tonight in Atlanta isn’t good. When Tuesday’s game was rained out and the Mets knew they had a doubleheader yesterday, and definitely when Chris Young was pushed back, they should have held back one of their minor league starters.

The bullpen was taxed already, even prior to the doubleheader, and realistically they will go deep into their pen with Carrasco pitching (considering he’s one of the relievers). Also, with Mike Pelfrey not showing much so far and Young’s arm tender, they will use everybody this weekend.

Not a good job anticipating by Sandy Alderson and Collins.

However, after yesterday’s lost afternoon, the one thing that separates itself from the bad baseball was the use of Francisco Rodriguez in the second game. With the game out of reach, and knowing Rodriguez’s contractual status of needing 55 completed games for his $17.5 million to kick in, why would the Mets let him finish a game in a non-save situation?

It made no sense whatsoever.

 

 

 

 

Apr 13

Mets-Rockies lineup for April 13

We’re still on for tonight with the Mets and Rockies. Jon Niese gets the ball for the Mets, who have lost five of their last six games.

Here’s the line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Willie Harris, LF

Josh Thole, C

Jon Niese, LP

COMMENT: Not surprising to see Murphy back at second, even though Terry Collins said it isn’t a platoon with Brad Emaus. Murphy adds some offense and made a good play defensively. … No surprises otherwise in the order.

NOTES: Chris Young has biceps tendinitis, so his start will be pushed back to Sunday in Atlanta. … The Mets will need a spot starter to replace Young Friday. It could be D.J. Carrasco. Since Dillon Gee pitched Tuesday for Buffalo, that eliminates him. … Blaine Boyer cleared waivers and will become a free agent.

 

Apr 08

Mets face Nats in homer. Spring is really here.

Home Opener. The spring begins now.

If you were offered 3-3 from the Mets by the home opener, let’s face it, you’d take it. However, after Florida, 3-3 tastes a little sour. Especially after the last two games in Philadelphia. Despite the spirited comeback Tuesday that fell short, the rotation was shelled the past two games and a winning road trip slipped away.

There’s always a sense of optimism that comes with the home opener, and this afternoon is no exception. R.A. Dickey, scintillating at home last season, will get the ball.

Terry Collins said this afternoon Dickey is the kind of player and person one wants roots for before of his underdog status. Dickey has come a long way from injury, to journeyman reputation to what will always be regarded as a trick pitch, to become arguably the Mets’ most dependable pitcher.

Collins also said this afternoon he wants fans leaving Citi Field after today’s game will know they have a team that plays the right way.

For now, that’s the most we can hope for.

Here’s today’s lineup against the Washington Nationals:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF,

Ike Davis, 1B

Willie Harris, LF

Brad Emaus, 2B

Josh Thole, C

R.A. Dickey, RP

To chat during today’s game, click on to the Mets Chat icon to your left. See you online.

 

Apr 05

Tonight’s Mets’ lineup at Philadelphia

Here’s tonight’s lineup for the Mets in Philadelphia:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Scott Hairston, LF

Ike Davis, 1B

Brad Emaus, 2B

Mike Nickeas, C

Chris Young, RP

Lineup comments: Josh Thole gets the night off. With yesterday an off-day, it amounts to two days off for Thole. Smart maneuvering by manager Terry Collins considering Thole is going to log a lot of innings this year.

The tarp is on the field in Philly, but they expect to get the game in. No word yet on if there will be a delay.