Dec 07

Braves, Phillies have improved ….

While the Mets are deciding which middle-tier pitcher they should pursue, the Braves and Phillies have already improved from last season.

WAGNER: Now a happy Brave.

WAGNER: Now a happy Brave.


The Braves needed to address their bullpen, and have done that with the signings of Billy Wagner (I knew he wasn’t going to retire) and Takashi Saito. They’ve also offered arbitration to Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez. The Braves need an outfield bat and are interested in Marlon Byrd.

The Philles have Cliff Lee coming back and are in on the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes. Yes, they have enough chips to get that done. The Phillies just upgraded to Placido Polanco at third base.

The Phillies’ bullpen was a huge reason they didn’t repeat. Fernando Rodney is a closer option. They are also considering John Smoltz and J.J. Putz in set-up roles.

Sep 23

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #152; Pelfrey hopes to salvage something.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Mike Pelfrey gets the ball once more after tonight, so that gives him two opportunities to attempt to wash the sour taste that is the 2009 season out of his mouth and from our memories. Maybe it is possible for him to leave for winter on a positive note, but this is a guy who concerns me.

After last season’s positive big step, Pelfrey has slid back. Maybe not to square one, but not that much better. You’ll hear talk about him losing concentration because of his marriage and child, but that’s only a weak excuse.

Pelfrey still throws the ball hard and injuries aren’t an issue. However, much like Oliver Perez, his pitch selection and execution wander. He loses focus and can’t close out hitters or an inning. He’s prone to giving up runs in bunches. He easily gets rattled. How else can you explain all the balks, including three in one game?

Maddening, is he has these moments where you think he’s coming around, but he has far too many of the other kind. He can be dominant for four innings and lose it in the fifth. He can throw seven scoreless in one start and not make it out of the second in his next.

Pelfrey (10-11, 5.10) has a mind-boggling 7.04 ERA in his last five starts, and has lost four of his last six games. He has been particularly brutal lately, giving up a pair of two-run homers last Friday against Washington to Ryan Zimmerman and Josh Bard. Pelfrey also had the worst start of his career in his last start against the Braves, July 17, when he gave up nine runs in 1/3 innings.

Lifetime, he is 2-4 with a 6.36 ERA in eight starts against the Braves. The Mets have lost 12 of their past 15 games.

Just a reminder, I don’t know what kind of Internet access I’ll have tonight, but will do my best.

Sep 23

Tonight’s line-up ….

Salvage is a word I’ve used more than a few times this season. I’ll use it again tonight as that’s what the Mets will attempt to do against the Braves. They’ve lost the first two in this series and seven straight against the Braves.

Here’s the line-up Mike Pelfrey hopes will score him enough runs to dig himself out of whatever hole he gets into tonight:

Angel Pagan, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

NOTE: Pelfrey is 0-2 with an 8.74 ERA in his two starts this season against the Braves.

Sep 17

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #146; Wrapping up the Braves.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Braves are still kicking and need a sweep of the Mets tonight to keep their slim playoff aspirations alive. The Mets’ season has long since died.

Nelson Figueroa comes off a decent start against the Phillies – two runs in 5 1/3 innings last Friday – to face the Braves. Those are decent numbers that could have been worse as he gave up nine hits and five walks. Figueroa has given up eight earned runs in his last four starts (23 1/3 innings), but because of the Mets’ anemic hitting is 1-3 in that span.

After last night, just how could things get worse for the Mets? We could find out tonight.

Sep 15

Mets Chat Room: Game #144; Nothing to play for edition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Fred Wilpon’s goal when hiring Omar Minaya was for the Mets to play meaningful games in September. That ended with Sunday’s double-header loss at Philadelphia. The Mets are playing for answers and pride, and that’s about it. Some individuals have statistical motivations, and, of course, the Mets are playing to sell more hot dogs and T-shirts.

The Mets (63-81) need to run the table to finish at .500. Guess what?

The Mets are in Atlanta tonight to face the Braves, who are 7.5 games with 19 remaining, are close to seeing their season end. What’s working against Atlanta is that the Mets aren’t in first place. Cruel, but a degree of truth.

Turner Field has not been kind to the Mets recently, as they’ve lost 11 of their last 15 games there, with the Braves hitting .337 in the victories.

Pat Misch (1-2, 3.86) will start tonight for the Mets. Misch is looking to rebound from a horrid start against Florida in which he gave up five runs in six innings, including two homers. Misch has a 3.00 ERA in four relief appearances against Atlanta.

NOTEBOOK: Francisco Rodriguez is not be available tonight due to the birth of his twins in New York.