Jul 01

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #77; avoiding the sweep.

Going into Philly – with a layover in Pittsburgh – on the heels of consecutive sweeps

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

is a very real possibility after being thumped by the Yankees and losing the first two games at Milwaukee.

Enter Mike Pelfrey, stopper.

Pelfrey (5–3, 4.67 ERA) will start for the Mets. For the most part, Pelfrey has kept the ball in the park, giving up 25 in 60 starts since 2006, the fewest in the major leagues in the span.

When Pelfrey is on his game, he’s getting ahead in the count. Opponents are batting .201 against him when he gets ahead 0-and-1. When he doesn’t get that strike, hitters are batting .361.

Yesterday, manager Jerry Manuel said he’d rest David Wright and Gary Sheffield, but today changed his mind.

Here’s today’s line-up against Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers:

Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Nick Evans, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Fernando Martinez, CF
Brian Schneider, C
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Jun 24

About Last Night ….

All those good feelings harnessed with Monday’s victory have been washed away by the rain. Getting two hits against Joel Pineiro will do that to a team. For a team not getting consistently good pitching, the Mets can’t afford to waste a strong performance such as the one Livan Hernandez gave them last night.

Three-fourths of the core is gone, and the last one standing – David Wright – is hitting, but without power. Consistent run production is lacking and there’s little help on the horizon. Gary Sheffield hasn’t played in three days, and that they are relying on his aching 40-year-old legs doesn’t do much on the optimism meter.

It was Pineiro last night. He was stifling and the Mets did little to work the count. Not that it would have mattered anyway because he was usually ahead.

The Mets must now play for one run whenever they get the chance, and they don’t get many. Bunt, hit-and-run, steal, hit behind the runner, take the extra base, work the count. Now, more than ever, the must play fundamental offense because they don’t have the eraser that can wipe it all clean with one swing.

As well as they played Monday, they still could have lost. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them lose tonight and even tomorrow with Johan Santana, who hasn’t been a sure thing since the San Francisco game a half-dozen or so starts ago.

The Mets have been extremely fortunate to be only 2.5 games behind the Phillies with how they have played this month. They could easily be seven or eight behind if the Phillies could win at home.

I get this gnawing feeling about the Mets, the same one I got the last two years, that they have this warped belief they can turn it on at will once they get all their parts back. It doesn’t work that way.

These are the Mets’ cards and they have to play them. They have to play as if there’s no help coming, because, after all, we don’t know if there is.

Jun 19

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #65; AL Champs visit.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Fernando Nieve, who pitched brilliantly in his Mets debut against the Yankees last weekend, gets his second start tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays.

It’s hard to believe with how Nieve pitched that he couldn’t make Houston’s rotation. Then again, maybe last week was an aberration, but a good one. He was in the mid-90s and hitting the corners. Can’t ask for more other than to do it again.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Ryan Church, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Fernando Nieve, RP

The Rays are in town with third baseman Evan Longoria, which begs the obvious comparisons to David Wright. Well, you can pick one. Who is it?

Jun 05

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #53; facing the Nationals.

CHAT ROOM vs. Nats.

CHAT ROOM vs. Nats.

The sluggish Mets are in DC, armed with Tim Redding, in an attempt to stop their slide at three games.

The field is a mess in DC, but the game is supposed to start on time.

Redding’s first start since coming off the DL was a good one in LA, but he hasn’t shown much since.

The Mets are a hurting group, relying way too much on their role players. And, it doesn’t help that David Wright is in a slump.

June is a critical month for the Mets in that half their core is missing and the schedule will get tougher. If they can hold it together they should be in decent position come July.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Fernando Tatis, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Fernando Martinez, LF
Brian Schneider, C
Tim Redding, P

NOTEBOOK: No timetable for Jose Reyes’ return. … Gary Sheffield rests tonight and will rest Sunday. … Jerry Manuel said it was likely (didn’t say definite) that Fernando Martinez will stay when Ryan Church is activated from the disabled list.

Jun 03

A slow day ….

Greetings all. A very hectic day for me. First a doctor’s appointment this morning and have been following up on job leads so far today. Sorry for a late post. I wanted to get one up earlier but the time got away from me.

Last night was a frustrating game in the Mets threw away a Johan Santana start. Three runs wasn’t one of his better games, but the Mets would take it anytime. So would he. When a pitcher gives up three runs he should win the majority of the time.

The problem with the Mets is their offense has been silenced since the third inning Monday night. The losses of Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran are being realized (Beltran might return tonight) as the role players can’t carry the whole load.

With the core hurting and David Wright not hitting, the offense is hard pressed to score and sustain any kind of pressure.

They try it again tonight with Mike Pelfrey, who has pitched well in his last few starts. Still, Pelfrey is a concern because he has the propensity to unravel and give up the big inning.

The Pirates are a team, that if the Mets are as good as they claim to be, they should put away. Now, the best they can do is a split. Then, it is off to Washington, another team they should handle on paper but have struggled against.