Jul 22

Mets Chat Room; patchwork lineup and Takahashi tonight.

Backed by a patchwork lineup, the Mets’ Hisanori Takahashi is being asked not only to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, but stop a free fall.

Game #96 at Dodgers

The Mets have lost six of seven since the break – and should’ve lost the game they won – and eight of ten. Once 11 games over .500, tonight they are only three.

They are hitting .192 with 15 runs in the seven games since the break, prompting tonight’s sitting of Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran and Rod Barajas. Enter Jeff Francoeur and Chris Carter in the outfield and Josh Thole behind the plate.

Francoeur, acknowledged as a team leader, has been in a long funk even before losing his job with Beltran’s return from the DL. His public image is one of happy-go-lucky, but in the end it’s all about playing time and Francoeur said he’d welcome a trade. Perhaps even requested.

Against that backdrop is Takahashi, who didn’t make it out of the third in his last start, Saturday at San Francisco.

Impressive when he first entered the rotation as a fill-in, Takahashi has struggled, going 1-2 with a 10.90 ERA in his last four starts. In that span he’s given up seven homers.

This stretch is why the Mets believe he’s better suited for the bullpen, which is why it is surprising he’s getting the ball despite other options.

The Mets won’t give Pat Misch a start and the Mets refuse to start Oliver Perez, despite giving him medical clearance. Jerry Manuel said Perez will work out of the bullpen, something he proved last night he’s not equipped to do.

Jul 21

Mets Chat Room; offense remains stagnant

Game #95 at Diamondbacks

The make-or-break road trip to start the second half is breaking them. Who knows? Matter it will shatter them by the time they return home.

The Mets have Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes back, but that hasn’t helped their stagnant offense, which is hitting .203 during the Mets last ten games. The Mets have gone 2-8 in that span, including 1-5 since the break.

They’ve scored just 18 runs in those ten games and 12 in the last six. Two wins is about right.

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Jul 20

Mets Chat Room; Dickey needs to pick up Mets.

Game #94 at Diamondbacks

At 6-3, Dickey has more than just filled in the gaping hole in the Mets’ rotation caused by the injuries to John Maine and Oliver Perez.

With his dancing knuckleball, he gave the Mets’ rotation a different look and was able to confound National League hitters by winning his first six decisions.

Dickey has come back to Earth record wise, losing his last three decisions, but with a little run support he could easily have three more victories.

The Mets need him again tonight in a big way. They are 1-4 in the second half, but should be 0-5. After a hot June that vaulted them back into the race, the Mets are 5-10 in July and fading.

Jul 19

Mets Chat Room; time to stop fooling around.

It is time for the Mets and Mike Pelfrey to stop fooling around.

Game #93 at Diamondbacks

At one time the Mets were 11 games over .500 and a game behind Atlanta. They go into Arizona tonight just six games over and five games behind.

Their slide and coincided with Pelfrey’s five-start skid in which he went 1-3.

Tonight they have the Diamondbacks, one of the worst teams in the sport.

The Diamondbacks could represent an oasis in what is a desert of a schedule for the Mets, who just lost three of four at San Francisco. From Arizona the Mets have four games at Los Angeles, then return home for a brief series against St. Louis before meeting up with Atlanta and Philadelphia.

By the time that stretch is completed we should know just how much of a contender the Mets are really.

Jul 18

Mets Chat Room; Santana hopes to stop slide.

Game #92 at Giants.

At 61-19, Johan Santana has been money in the bank in his career during the second half.  The Mets will need to cash a Santana check today against the Giants to avoid being swept and perhaps falling into a free fall.

Santana gave up five hits in seven innings in beating Atlanta last Sunday to prevent a sweep in that series.

Overall, the Mets have lost six of their last seven and eight of their last ten games.

“I feel much better,’’ Santana said. “Hopefully, this second half will be a strong one.’’

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