Oct 03

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #161; Looking at Maine, Misch tries to impress.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When it comes to what John Maine did last night, I have to keep telling myself, “it was only one game.’’

Yes it was, but Maine’s starts have been getting progressively better in terms of pitch count and effectiveness. Last night, he gave up one run on five hits in seven innings. Most importantly, no walks. As in zero.

Maine squeezed in those seven innings with 106 pitches. Usually with Maine, if the throws that many pitches it is over five innings.

Maine attributed the success with his slider to a new grip, which again reinforces it was good for him to come back this month.

There will be games when his slider doesn’t have movement or bite, but hopefully he’s been able to come up with a way to get out of those funks. A pitcher only learns that by pitching.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.


“I was just trying to pitch to contact a little more,’’ Maine said. “Walks always hurt me, I’d always give up a lot of walks, and that’s how they end up scoring. This start I just had a better slider, and that always makes your fastball better.’’

Maine’s start doesn’t answer all the Mets’ pitching questions, but it does offer encouragement.

The Mets (68-92) hope for another dose of positive this afternoon from left-hander Pat Misch (2-4, 4.71 ERA) who is coming off a complete-game victory over the Marlins last Sunday.

Misch has pitched well at times in his month-long audition for the No. 5 slot in the rotation next year. So has Tim Redding, but he could be more suited for the long-man role.

Here’s today’s batting order vs. Yorman Bazardo (1-2, 8.23 ERA):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Josh Thole, C
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Pat Misch, LP

David Wright isn’t hurt, so I don’t understand the need to give him a day off the day before the season finale. He had a good game last night, so why not keep it going?

I don’t like how manager Jerry Manuel has handled his line-up the last month. September was supposed to be about learning for next year.

Wright has had a miserable month for the most part, but is coming out of it. Too late, of course, but he’s hit well the past week.

I don’t like how Nick Evans has wasted away on the bench. He’s been rushed, but this month was a way to get him some consistent at-bats. Instead, Tatis and Pagan have gotten considerably more time. We don’t even know if Tatis will be with the Mets next year. It is so much more important to learn about Evans.

I’m also not crazy about the batting order. Can we please find a spot for Daniel Murphy and leave him there? Murphy has hit from second to seventh, but he’s never in one spot long enough to get comfortable. And, please spare me the injuries excuse. The juggling is unsettling for a young player.

The juggling also shows a lack of consistency from the manager. There are times to juggle, but not every day.

Oct 01

They Said It ….

Rodriguez stands up.

Rodriguez stands up.

Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez has thrown a few of his teammates under the bus this season after a blown save opportunity, notably Daniel Murphy.

Yesterday afternoon, Rodriguez gave up five runs in the ninth inning, including a game-winning grand slam to Justin Maxwell. Rodriguez hasn’t had too many save opportunities this month, but refused to accept rust as the easy way out.

“No, if I suck I suck, I don’t make excuses,’’ Rodriguez said. “To all those fans out there watching that poor effort today, I apologize. I’m really embarrassed. I just have to suck it up and keep working hard and make sure that doesn’t happen again.’’

Oct 01

About Yesterday …. Rodriguez blows save.

The Mets have had several horrific defeats this season, with yesterday’s loss at Washington taking its place among them.

The Nationals sent seven batters to the plate in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez, and with five of them scoring. Rodriguez walked in one run then gave up a game-winning grand slam to Justin Maxwell.

Yesterday drops into the category with the Luis Castillo pop-up game, Daniel Murphy’s dropped fly in Florida, blowing a five-run lead to Pittsburgh and Ryan Church’s failure to touch third. Those were more serious because the Mets were alive then. Now they are dead, but yesterday was a complete tank job.

The loss wasted another strong outing by Tim Redding, who continued this bid for fifth starter consideration next spring by giving up one run on four hits in six innings.

The Mets are 3–0 in Redding’s last three starts, He has a 2.84 ERA in that span and a 3.23 ERA in six starts this September.

Sep 26

Delgado leaves team ….

Carlos Delgado has scrapped hopes of returning this season and returned home to Puerto Rico. He obviously doesn’t want to be around this teammates for the concluding days of this lost season, and most likely said good-bye for the last time.

My feeling it the Mets won’t bring back the injury prone Delgado for one more season, believing Daniel Murphy has shown enough to be entrusted with first base for 2010.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Delgado signs with somebody and hits 30 homers next year. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he had a year like 2007 and the first half of 2008 when there were rumblings he should be traded or released.

Delgado is at the point of his career where you can’t realistically rely on him to remain healthy, and if he is, to produce the 30 homers and 100 RBI he generally has over the past decade.

Will Murphy be able to produce healthy Delgado-like numbers? Probably not right away, and maybe not ever, because Delgado was a special player. However, when the Mets can’t expect Delgado-like numbers from Delgado, it is time to cut ties and go younger.

Sep 22

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #151; Nelson, oh boy.

METS CHAT ROOM

METS CHAT ROOM

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a real major league pitcher on the mound for the Mets? I hope ownership realizes a patchwork rotation won’t cut it next year.

We have, now don’t all scream at once, Nelson Figueroa going for the Mets tonight. I liked talking with Figueroa. A nice guy. I admire his determination and perseverance. I just don’t think he’s anything more than a No. 5 at best, and most likely, a long guy and spot starter. He does deserve a chance in spring training for those slots. If they are going into spring training with anything more than that, it won’t be a good sign.

Figueroa hopes to avoid losing his fourth straight start, and second in a row to the Braves. He gave up six runs in five innings last Thursday in Atlanta. Figueroa is 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA in September.

Overall, the Mets have lost 12 of their last 16 games.

MURPHY: Getting better.

MURPHY: Getting better.


One thing that has become apparent, is with the news Carlos Delgado is done for the year, that the Mets must be looking at Daniel Murphy as their first baseman for 2010. Murphy had two more hits last night, including a homer. Over the past 14 games, Murphy is batting .358 with three homers and 12 RBI.

“I like the way Daniel Murphy is swinging the bat,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “He’s really coming on.”

Murphy is showing more signs of pop as he gets to learn the NL pitchers better, and that’s encouraging. If he could reach 20 homers next year that would be a positive development. I believe he’ll continue to improve with the knowledge of the pitching and the more comfortable he becomes. He might never hit for awesome power numbers, but that’s not currently the Mets’ primary need.

As his average increases, and if he stays in one spot in the batting order, his run production should spike.