Jul 23

Mets Should Have Short Leash With Young

How long will Chris Young last tonight before things unravel? Whether it is the fifth, sixth or seventh inning – anything later is a pipe dream – it really doesn’t matter because the third time through the order is when he loses it.

There’s a few ways around it. The first is to give him 18 outs then pull him regardless. The second, and the most prudent, is to give the 18 outs PLUS the first runner. Once somebody gets on pull him because this is when things unravel.

Against the Nationals last week it was an infield hit then a homer. Just like that, the momentum shifted. I realize the Mets have no bullpen to speak of so Terry Collins can be understood for wanting to stay out of it.

But, staying with Young isn’t a great idea, either.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Ruben Tejada, ss
Jordany Valdespin, rf
David Wright, 3b
Ike Davis, 1b
Daniel Murphy, 2b
Jason Bay, lf
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf
Josh Thole, c
Chris Young, rhp

Jul 18

Mets Fall To Nats; Chris Young Has Late Inning Trouble Again

There it was, the sixth inning and Chris Young was cruising. We have been here before. It is the third time around the order when Young loses it. Trouble is, it happens so quickly. An infield hit and a couple of batters later, Adam LaRoche homered with two strikes.

You’d take two runs over six innings every time from Young, but it would help if the offense scored. Home runs in the ninth from David Wright and Jason Bay were cosmetic more than anything.

There are two ways to avoid the late-inning Young woes. The first is to pull him out after five regardless. The second is to pull him once a runner gets on. Trouble is, with what the Mets have in the pen, you’re talking rock and hard place.

And, all this came after a team meeting in which Terry Collins wanted to salve the Mets’ growing wounds, which is now in the form of a six-game losing streak, their longest of the season.

The Mets aren’t pitching well, at least not in the pen and recently from R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana. They aren’t hitting. I wrote yesterday how the Mets were on the edge and their season was on the verge of slipping away. Nothing has changed and there aren’t any signs of things getting better.

One thing Collins told his players that if change was to come it was to be from within. There’s no promises of adding relief pitching or a right-handed bat. It could happen, but Collins said not to count on it.

In saying so, he said count on this summer slipping away.

 

Jul 18

Mets In Dire Straits; Chris Young Gets The Ball

Every season has one, a stretch of games defining how the year plays out. The Mets are in such a stretch and it is all right to wave the red flag.

Their losing streak is at five after last night’s devastating loss at Washington. They’ve lost eight of 11. Eight games over .500 is down to a shaky two. All season there was a nagging feeling the Mets were playing over their heads.

Could it be true?

The Mets are in the midst of 20 straight games without an off-day, including five more games with the Nationals and a West Coast trip to Arizona, San Francisco and San Diego, places they traditionally have not played well.

It also includes the trade deadline and whether the Mets will add pitching. They need a starter with Dillon Gee out. And, of course, you didn’t need to see last night’s game to know they need bullpen help.

The Royals designated Jonathan Sanchez for assignment. If the Mets have a chance to sign him they should. He’s still a raw talent, one with a no-hitter on his resume.. A change of scenery and return to the National League could be what he needs. And, it allows Matt Harvey more developmental time.

Reportedly, the Mets are considering Royals closer Jonathan Broxton. Perhaps the most important number regarding to Broxton is the roughly $2 million they’d have to pay him for the balance of the season. That’s a very affordable price for a chance to salvage a season.

Will the Mets get both or either? Should they regroup, beginning with Chris Young’s start tonight, and get on a roll in the two weeks left before the deadline, there’s still a chance for this to be a fun year. But, for that to happen, they must add pitching.

What was it Tug McGraw once said?

“You Gotta Believe.” It doesn’t matter if we do. It only matters if they do, and play like it.

 

 

 

Jul 09

Mets Close Exciting First Half With Concern

After a plus first half, the Mets limp into the All-Star break on the skids – definitely not the team that captivated our imagination for the better part of three months.

We all knew they had questions and issues, but played through them. Just not to the point where we can think they’ve disappeared.

Over the past few weeks, the Mets bullpen continued to implode. That wasted Chris Young start comes immediately to mind. More alarming is that both R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana have twice been roughed up. The defense has been erratic, and the overall lack of power and speed have both come into play.

Losing two series to the Chicago Cubs is just not an encouraging sign.

The Mets finished the first half with a winning record, and maybe this is just a glitch. A warming to Sandy Alderson more parts are needed.

During the break, I’ll look at what went right and wrong, what is needed, and grade the players. I’ll be back around noon.

Jul 05

Terry Collins’ Decision To Stick With Chris Young Burns Mets

The pattern is inescapable: Three times is not a charm for Chris Young.

YOUNG: Falters again late.

When Young goes through a batting order for a third time hitters tee off on him as if it were batting practice. However, yesterday’s decision by Terry Collins to stick with him was understandable, and still a learning experience.

It is also an indictment on the major league’s worst bullpen, which has a lofty 5-plus ERA.

Young was cruising and was at only 67 pitches entering the seventh. There was no indication he was about to falter. Moments later, say seven pitches, the lead was gone.

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