Sep 16

About Last Night ….

Ouch! Last night was bad on so many levels. Last night was a 2007 flashback. Here’s my thinking on arguably one of the worst losses of the season.

1. Championship caliber teams don’t lose to teams like the Washington Nationals down the stretch. Not after last season, anyway.

2. Pedro Martinez pitched better than I thought he would, but you can’t let Anderson Hernandez beat you.

3. Technically, the bullpen didn’t lose the game, but I have no faith in Duaner Sanchez, a future ex-Met.

4. Where’s the offense?

Just bad in so many ways.

Sep 14

Concerned?

Today was a crusher, and that’s even before the Phillies play their second game tonight against Milwaukee. With a win, they can close even with the Brewers for the wild-card and a game behind the Mets.

The same old issues did in the Mets today. They didn’t hit in the clutch and their bullpen caved. Oliver Perez did not pitch well, but was in position to win. It looks as if Perez regressed in his last few starts and that’s another cause for concern.

If the Mets didn’t take care of business against the Braves at home, it makes you wonder if they can do it next week against them in Atlanta. And, the Washington Nationals always play them tough. For games in DC won’t be a breeze.

Pedro Martinez goes tomorrow, but your guess is as good as mine as to what he’ll give the Mets. His durability is an issue, and you know he can’t be counted on for more than five.

Sep 09

Mets Chat Room: Delgado picks up Perez.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said Oliver Perez has pitched so well lately that he’ll let this one slide. He can afford to because Carlos Delgado is playing up to the MVP chants.

It wasn’t a good night for Perez, but Delgado hit two more homers and has 24 in his last 66 games to lead the majors.

For awhile tonight it appeared as if Perez would kick this one away, but Delgado’s two homers and one by Carlos Beltran carried the Mets to a 10-8 victory over the Nationals to increase their lead over Philly to 2 1/2 games.

Kudos also to the bullpen. It has been hot in September, but tell the truth, aren’t you holding your breath?

For those who were with me tonight, many thanks. The Room is open all night.-JD

Sep 08

Three weeks from today ….

Three weeks from today the Mets will either be cleaning out their lockers at Shea or working out in preparation for the Division Series. I’m still thinking it will be the latter.

But, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t think there wasn’t anything to worry about with this team. It was imperative they win last night and they did, with Johan Santana pitching one of his most important games as a Met. Maybe themost important.

Here’s what I see as the most important issues down the stretch.

1. Coping with last season. Last night was a start, but don’t forget the collapse including stretches of bad ball against teams with losing records. They can’t afford to let up against teams with losing records, such as Washington and Atlanta. I’m not convinced they have the killer instinct. This week should tell a lot.

2. The starting pitching is three deep with Santana, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez. Pedro Martinez can’t be relied on for more than five innings, and lately they haven’t been a good five innings.

3. The bullpen has been suspect all season. Having something definitive on Billy Wagner might help Jerry Manuel define roles, but how can they be better off without their best reliever?

4. Hitting with runners in scoring position has also been an issue. Last night was tougher than it needed to be. With pitching issues, more runs are always needed. David Wright, in particular, has been in a funk.

Sep 05

Sept. 5.08: Time to prove something.

Do you remember, their lead last year that disappeared in two weeks?

Of course, you do. Let’s hope the Mets remember, too. Willie Randolph said in spring training that the collapse was behind them, but when he took over Jerry Manuel said if he were manager he would have hammered the collapse home as a motivator.

If nothing else, the Mets should have learned about fragility. And, that’s not just in the late innings when the bullpen has the game. It is advancing runners and hitting with runners in scoring position from the first inning on. They’ve played well lately, but this remains a concern.

What the Mets should have learned from last year is the development of the killer instinct. No matter what happens this weekend, the Mets will not win or lose the NL East. But, winning two of three, at least, gives them the hammer.

Let’s hope this time, they don’t drop it on their foot.

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