Jul 07

Mets Chat Room; Niese tries to keep it rolling.

Game #85 vs. Reds

Jonathan Niese will be pitching tonight to push the Mets to 11 games over .500, which would tie their season high and pull them within a game of Atlanta with the Braves coming in this weekend for three games.

Once four games under .500 and floundering early this season, the Mets are relevant again and could be in first place by the All-Star break.

Niese is more than partly attributable to that relevancy, going 5-0 with a 2.43 ERA in six starts since his June 5 return from the disabled list. The Mets are 10-2 in his last 12 starts, including beating Washington last Friday when he struck out a season-high eight and didn’t issue a walk.

What makes him successful?

“I think if I’m able to throw all my pitches for strikes,’’ Niese said. “I think I have a good variety that keeps them off-balance.’’

Off-balance is what tonight’s Reds starter, Bronson Arroyo, has kept the Mets, going 6-2 in ten career starts against them.

Jul 05

Only when Jose is ready.

REYES: Bring him back when he's ready.

I wasn’t thrilled to hear Jerry Manuel say he was hoping to have Jose Reyes back by Tuesday so he could bat right handed against Reds lefty Travis Wood.

There was such indecisiveness in the statement, in that it implies Reyes be available from one side of the plate but not another. That’s another way of rushing him back, which only means he’s not ready.

Personally, if Reyes isn’t ready by Tuesday, I’d be more inclined to back date him on the DL and give him this week and the All-Star break to get ready for the second half.

You don’t want Reyes available for one side of the plate and not the other. Pushing him into that scenario is a prelude for re-injury.

Jun 25

Mets Chat Room: The Minnesota series.

Games #73-74-75

Folks. I have an obligation this weekend I must attend and won’t be back until Sunday afternoon.

I’m leaving the Chat Room open throughout the weekend for the Minnesota series and encourage you to post your thoughts when the mood strikes.

I don’t like leaving when the team is playing so well, but this is an obligation I can’t break.

Tonight, the Mets will attempt to get back to the winning side of the ledger behind Mike Pelfrey, who is coming off a 5-3 loss to the Yankees last weekend.

Pelfrey gave up five runs and a pair of two-run homers in seven innings of a 5-3 loss.

“He’s still a young pitcher who, over the course of a season and in his career, will hit small bumps,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “He just has to look back on them and get better.’’

Johan Santana and Jon Niese will start the next two games of the series.

Angel Pagan is expected to miss tonight’s game with a muscle spasm in his right side, but should return tomorrow.

May 07

May 7.10: Should the Mets sit Pelfrey tonight?

Are the Mets pushing it with Mike Pelfrey?

After complaining of stiffness in his throwing shoulder following his last start – he was ripped in Philly last Saturday – Pelfrey underwent an MRI and threw an abbreviated bullpen session this week.

“I’ll be able to make it,’’ Pelfrey said of tonight’s start against San Francisco at Citi Field.

Pelfrey said he pushed it in his bullpen session and that he felt fine. Then again, what else did you expect him to say?

Even so, an argument can be made for pushing Pelfrey back a start, much like the Yankees are doing with Andy Pettitte.

It’s still early and it isn’t as if one start is a make-or-break deal on the season. Why push him? Give him the extra rest and let him throw a full bullpen to make sure.

It seems the Mets are taking an unnecessary risk. When it comes to a pitcher’s arm, it is better to always land on caution. What good is tonight if he misses his next two or three or more starts?

Nov 08

On the Table: Room for just one more.

I was thinking about this at breakfast: If the Mets were to sign just one free agent, who would it be? Immediately, I discarded CC Sabathia, K-Rod and Manny Ramirez, because I don’t see them paying that much.

They need bullpen help, and you could look at it a couple of ways. One, is to get reliable starters to shave the BP innings, and if Maine comes back healthy, they’ll have three. Should they sign Lowe, theoretically that’s four reliable starters, which cuts the BP innings, but still leaves you vulnerable on a fifth day and in the ninth inning throughout.

So, if I’m forced to pick one, I’m going with the closer. I know it’s tempting to think K-Rod, but my confidence level in him is he’ll break down. The next best closer on the market is Brian Fuentes. No Mariano Rivera, but who is?

My choice, if to sign just one free agent, is to go with Fuentes to plug the leak in the ninth inning. Seven games got away. If all else remains equal and Fuentes cuts that in half, that should put them ahead of the Phillies.

Remember, this exercise is about adding just one player. If you have somebody different, let’s hear it.