Sep 09

What’s wrong with Wright?

Sorry for getting out of the blocks late today. There was a job lead I needed to follow-up on and several phone calls that needed to me made. I was under consideration to cover Alabama football, but that didn’t pan out. Would have been interesting.

I’m working on several projects, one of which is ghost writing a book on martial arts. Very interesting subject. Once it is done, I’ll post where you can get a copy.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you guys again for last night’s blog. It is what I envisioned when I kept the blog going. It should be like a group of friends getting together at my house or a sports bar (better make it the bar, because I don’t want to pick up) with plenty of lively, challenging conversation. It was clean and civil. Some good-natured pokes, but isn’t that the way it should be when you’re with friends?

Most beat writer blogs are simply glorified message boards and chat rooms. Not much serious give-and-take. Intelligent conversation. Good job.

Thanks again.

WRIGHT: We miss that home run stroke.

WRIGHT: We miss that home run stroke.


i did want to talk about David Wright this morning. An absolutely horrible game last night. It’s OK, everybody has them. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays had horrible games, too. There was one error, but should have been two. A DP and a K with RISP. Wright gets a hit in one of those two spots and maybe the Mets win the game.

Wright is second behind Gary Sheffield (10) with eight homers. Daniel Murphy, Fernando Tatis, Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francoeur could all hit more homers than Wright this year. There are other ways to win besides home runs, but the Mets aren’t doing any of them. If they played consistent, fundamental baseball and kept the line moving, advanced runners, and hit when the situation declares it, their lack of power could be tolerated.

But, they don’t, and they make too many mistakes defensively, and walk far too many hitters, that dig them into holes. Power is the great eraser, but the Mets don’t have the power to erase the kind of mistakes they are making on a consistent basis.

Wright has done something with his stance and is just not driving the ball as he used to. I don’t care if he hits .320 as long as there is some run production, but there is not.

There is NOT ONE explanation for what has happened to Wright. The altercation of his stance is a contributing factor, and he obviously doesn’t feel as if he could adjust without getting into a funk. That happens. There is the added pressure of being the only one of the core playing for much of the season, and that has taken a toll. There is also the perception of Citi Field not being a hitter friendly park, but that has changed as the season wore on. Plenty of home runs are being hit, just not by the Mets.

WRIGHT: Needs hitting overhaul.

WRIGHT: Needs hitting overhaul.


Yes, lack of protection in the batting order plays a part, but then again, Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds, went seasons without serious back-up and look at their numbers. In all fairness, Pujols and Bonds are elite players above Wright’s level.

Wright has run either hot and cold all season. His average is good, but there needs to be more RBI next to it, even without the homers. Some of that could be attributed to those hitting in front of him, but remember, Luis Castillo has had a good season.

Most perplexing to me about Wright has been the strikeouts. He has 115 already and is on a pace for 138 (a little over 24 percent of his at-bats). Conversely, he’s on a pace for 79 walks. He’s also on pace for career lows in homers (10) and RBI (71), yet, his .406 on-base percentage would be the second highest of his career.

Wright’s power out age might have been more acceptable had Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado stayed healthy. Nonetheless, Wright has established himself as a power run-producer. We can write this season off as a bad one, but he’ll get no such slack next season.

Wright is the face of this franchise, like it or not, and his job description is to hit for more power. Whether we blame Wright for being stubborn or hitting coach Howard Johnson is immaterial. Wright needs to make an overhaul of his stance and mechanics this winter and return to being a run producer. That’s his job.

Sep 08

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #138; Sweet revenge?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

In each of the past two seasons the Florida Marlins put the finishing touches on a Mets’ collapse. The Mets can get a measure a sweet revenge with a three-game series beginning tonight at Citi Field.

In September of 2007, the Mets (62-75) lost 12 of their last 17 games to blow a seven-game lead to Philadelphia. Several Jose Reyes brain cramps highlighted the collapse, but the game most people will remember is Tom Glavine not getting out of the first inning in the season finale, which turned out to be his last game as a Met. Glavine further alienated Mets’ fans when he said he wasn’t “devastated,” by the loss. Glavine was speaking in the literal sense of the word, but emotionally charged Mets’ fans wanted no part of it.

GLAVINE: Sour taste in Mets' finale.

GLAVINE: Sour taste in Mets' finale.


Last season, the final at Shea Stadium, the Marlins took it to the Mets in the season finale again as they dropped 10 of their final 17 games to kick away a 3 1/2-game advantage over the Phillies. Not only did the Phillies win the NL East, but went on to win the World Series.

The Marlins (72-65) have won seven of 12 games this season against the Mets (including splitting six games at Citi Field) and including tonight, have six games remaining against New York.

Sep 08

Tonight’s line-up vs. Marlins.

The Mets (62-75) begin a three-game series with the Marlins (72-65) tonight at Citi Field, with Tim Redding taking on Rick VandenHurk.

Tonight’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Josh Thole, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Tim Redding, RP

NOTES: VandenHurk (2-2, 4.91 ERA) is 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA in three career starts against the Mets. … Redding (2-4, 5.70 ERA) is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last three starts.

Sep 04

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #135; Parnell experiment drags on.

After three horrible starts, including his last outing at Chicago, Bobby Parnell will attempt to redeem himself as the Mets begin a three-game series tonight against the Cubs at Citi Field. Parnell has given up 22 earned runs on 22 hits over his last 12 2/3 innings.

Parnell has the velocity to make it as a starter, but not command of his secondary pitches, and sometimes that fastball is arrow straight. If a ball has no movement, anybody can hit it, regardless of how hard it is thrown.

Of all the projects Jerry Manuel is evaluating this month in his rotation, Parnell has the best chance of emerging next spring as a starter when the team breaks camp.

Enjoy the game. I won’t be there for the first few innings, but will check in later.-JD

Sep 03

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #134; Dimensions to stay the same.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Reportedly, the dimensions at Citi Field will remain the same next year, probably to the dismay of National League hitters everywhere, including those in the first base dugout. The Daily News reported GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel recommended the status quo.

And, it shouldn’t, because if you’re going to tailor a stadium, it better be in favor of pitching.

According to hittrackeronline.com, Citi Field averages 1.67 home runs per game, 11th out of the 16 National League stadiums. Shea Stadium averaged 2.15 home runs per game in 2008. A significant explanation has to be the injuries to Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran, and David Wright’s horrendous power slump. The Mets enter today’s game at Colorado last in the major leagues with 77 home runs.

Said Wright: “I would say it’s probably built the opposite than for me. I think one of my strengths is driving the ball to right field. I sometimes think I have to hit it twice to get it out there. It is what it is. It’s not something I’m going to complain about or anybody else should complain about. It’s the park and we have to adapt.”

Greg Rybarczyk/Hit Tracker

Greg Rybarczyk/Hit Tracker


Shea Stadium was 378 feet in right center; Citi Field ranges from 378 to 415 feet in that area. Left center at Citi Field ranges from 364 to 384 feet, but features a 15-foot wall. Some hitters, such as Jeff Francoeur, thinks a normal sized wall would be fine.

In keeping the dimensions the same, at least for 2010, the Mets aren’t making a panic move based on one season. The injuries along with the unseasonable weather for much of the first half had to contribute to the fall off in power. As the season progressed, power numbers did spike.

In the long run, it is better to have a pitcher friendly part than a hitter friendly site such as Coors Field, where the Mets are playing today. If a franchise builds it team on pitching, defense and speed, it has a better chance of winning than a team built solely on power, such as the old Red Sox and Cubs teams in Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, respectively. As much as a launching pad old Yankee Stadium was, it was deeper in left and center, and those teams were as much pitching as power.

The Mets conclude their series with the Rockies with Pat Misch taking on Jason Marquis.

Here’s today’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Anderson Hernandez, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Josh Thole, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Pat Misch. LP