MURPHY: Mets should maintain the course.
Daniel Murphy had one of those games last night, and because of it, the Mets lost another game. It was the second time this season a Murphy fielding blunder directly cost the Mets.
If you’re Jerry Manuel, it’s tempting to sit Murphy tonight, “to clear his head,” as the manager would put it.
That would be a mistake.
The Mets made a sizable commitment to Murphy, and the timing of a benching could send the bad message of a lack of confidence. The bottom line is Murphy had considerable defensive holes in his game that will only close with playing time. The worst thing that could happen is for him to believe his manager lacks confidence in him.
So, what to do?
From the seventh inning on, unless Murphy is tearing it up at the plate, out he comes for defense. It stays that way until he substantially improved.
I’m not saying Murphy will cost the Mets the pennant, but look at it this way, he’s already cost them two games and each of the last two seasons they missed by only one.
And, after the season, he should go to Arizona to work on his defense, both in left field and first base.
We talked about juggling the line-up a few nights ago and we have Carlos Beltran third and David Wright fifth. Still want Luis Castillo second and Daniel Murphy sixth or seventh.
Ryan Church is also back in the line-up.
Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
Carlos Beltran, 3B
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Ramon Castro, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Oliver Perez, P
We begin with the news Mike Pelfrey will miss his start tomorrow and Luis Castillo will bat second. That’s because Daniel Murphy will sit in favor of Gary Sheffield in left. Murphy was going to get a rest anyway, so this isn’t about rewarding Castillo for last night.
Johan Santana on the mound for the boys. It’s nice to have your ace going. I was thinking about that last night after Ryan Braun homered to give Milwaukee a brief lead. They lose this, and with Figueroa likely going Sunday, then Santana would be their only chance to win.
Coin Flip landed on heads. Oliver Perez was exceptional last night. The story of the game was his ability to throw his change-up for strikes to right-handed hitters. It could be the turnaround pitch he’s always needed. But, as with all things Perez, let’s see him do it again.
I’m not buying Jerry Manuel when he said Daniel Murphy’s relay throw to Jose Reyes was a planned play.
I don’t like what I’m seeing from Reyes offensively. He’s not working the count and he has too much of an uppercut to his swing.
I still like Luis Castillo hitting second and Murphy down in the order. With how the 3-4-5 hitters are getting on base there would be plenty of RBI opportunities for him batting sixth or seventh.
Still not producing with RISP. That was a gift inning that doesn’t come along a lot. Not too often will you get four runs on a bunt single.
Gary Sheffield will get his first start tonight for the Mets in right field, which next to Fenway, might be the hardest right field in the majors to play because of all the angles.
He’s got to play sooner or later, but I don’t like the timing after Ryan Church’s first bad game of the season. Then again, Church isn’t a Jerry favorite and they aren’t going to sit Daniel Murphy.
The question is where does Sheffield stand with the Mets? If he gets three hits tonight, he has to play tomorrow. Is he a starter or role player, and if the latter, can he handle that? He’s said all the right things, but it’s April.