May 21

OFF DAY: Licking their wounds edition.

It’s almost noon on the East Coast. Most of the Mets are probably snoozing right about now after their red eye flight from LA. I know most of you are thinking they’ve been snoozing the last three days against the Dodgers.

I take four positive things from the last three days, but two of them are tempered:

1) Daniel Murphy seems comfortable at first base after the horror show that was left field. His bat, however, needs to come around again. I believe Murphy will get through this, so right now he’s gone down on my worry meter.

2) Tim Redding came back with a strong effort Monday night. It’s a good sign. Better, of course, than if he were bombed. But, he has to keep doing it.

3) I was encouraged by Livan Hernandez’s strong outing last night in the terms of innings. Still, he’s a question because you can’t rely on him every fifth day to give you what he gave them last night.

4) David Wright continues to hit as is Carlos Beltran. They are the only players performing to their capabilities offensively.

All that being said, there are more than enough areas of concern for the Mets, beginning with the leg injury to Jose Reyes. He reinjured his calf last night after missing five games and his availability for the Boston series is questionable. Ramon Martinez and Fernando Tatis aren’t the answers, which gives you an indication of how much they miss Alex Cora. The injuries to Reyes and Carlos Delgado are emblematic of the franchise’s lack of depth in the minor league system.

What else is going wrong?

* I have no idea what to get from start to start from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey is becoming a source of concern also. These are your Nos. 2 and 3 starters and they take the ball every fifth day more as question marks than exclamation points.

* Luis Castillo has returned to earth following a fast start. His range is limited and he’s in an offensive funk. Also struggling offensively is Tatis, especially with runners in scoring position.

* JJ Putz has not been as good as advertised.

* Ryan Church used to be a doubles machine but he’s not driving the ball anymore. He’s of little value as a singles hitter.

* Collectively, the offense has packed it in the last four games and they face three good arms in Fenway. This is not the weekend that screams breakout.

* The defense has been spotty, something you can’t afford with spotty starting pitching and a comatose offense.

May 20

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #40; avoiding the broom.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The future is now for Daniel Murphy.

Murphy, the Mets’ first baseman of the future, will start at the position tonight in Los Angeles as the club attempts to avoid being swept by the Dodgers. Manager Jerry Manuel said Murphy would also start the three games in Boston.

Manuel has been going with Jeremy Reed and Fernando Tatis at first in place of Carlos Delgado, who underwent hip surgery Monday and will be out at least two months.

All I can say is it’s about time. Circumstances dictate drastic measures and that includes seeing if Murphy can handle the position. There’s only one way to find out, and that is to play him.

Here’s tonight’s line-up”

Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Ryan Church, RF
Ramon Castro, C
Angel Pagan, LF
Livan Hernandez, P

May 20

Sporting News selects six Mets among game’s best.

A panel of Hall of Famers, former players and executives ranked the game’s top 50 players, with six Mets making the cut, more than any other team.

Johan Santana, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado made the list.

No surprise Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez were ranked 1-2. Santana was third, the first pitcher on the list.

Here’s the SPORTING NEWS’ TOP 50 PLAYERS

1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
3. Johan Santana, Mets
4. Manny Ramirez, Dodgers
5. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
6. Chase Utley, Phillies
7. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
8. Derek Jeter, Yankees
9. Mariano Rivera, Yankees
10. Chipper Jones, Braves
11. Ryan Howard, Phillies
12. Grady Sizemore, Indians
13. David Wright, Mets
14. Justin Morneau, Twins
15. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
16. Josh Beckett, Red Sox
17. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
18. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
19. Tim Lincecum, Giants
20. Evan Longoria, Rays
21. Lance Berkman, Astros
22. Jose Reyes, Mets
23. Carlos Beltran, Mets
24. Ian Kinsler, Rangers
25. Zack Greinke, Royals
26. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
27. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
28. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
29. CC Sabathia, Yankees
30. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
31. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
32. Ryan Braun, Brewers
33. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
34. Francisco Rodriguez, Mets
35. Matt Holliday, A’s
36. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
37. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
38. Jake Peavy, Padres
39. Joe Mauer, Twins
40. Carlos Quentin, White Sox
41. Jason Bay, Red Sox
42. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
43. Cliff Lee, Indians
44. Torii Hunter, Angels
45. Victor Martinez, Indians
46. Roy Oswalt, Astros
47. Carlos Delgado, Mets
48. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs
49. Cole Hamels, Phillies
50. Brian McCann, Braves

Any reaction?

May 19

It’s one thing to lose ….

…. but it is another to give away a game like the Mets did last night. Inexcusable. If Jerry Manuel didn’t read them the riot act then he’s not doing his job as manager.

How in the hell do you miss third base? All those missed opportunities …. they could have won the game three times over. It’s one thing to blow a good pitching performance from Johan Santana. I’m used to that. It’s another to blow one from Tim Redding. When will they get another one?

In the original post I said the Mets’ weaknesses would be exposed during the rest of this road trip. Well, some got exposed last night.

Ryan Church got a couple of hits. Maybe he’s showing signs. But, the baserunning was unforgivable.

Jeremy Reed, of course, is not the answer at first base. I don’t know who is, but why not give Daniel Murphy a shot. He can’t do any worse.

All teams have stinkers, but last night was maddening because we’ve seen it all too often from the Mets where it all unravels.

And, the pitching match-ups for the rest of this series favors the Dodgers. Then they go to Boston. They are on the verge of giving back all they’ve accomplished the past 10 days.

May 18

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #38: On to LA

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Tim Redding goes tonight for the Mets at Los Angeles. I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled. Redding just personifies the Mets’ lingering rotation problems. It is not a deep rotation, with Johan Santana the only starter providing consistent innings.

There’s promise with Mike Pelfrey and John Maine, but there can be no assumptions with either. Livan Hernandez is good for five only, which taxes the bullpen. Oliver Perez? Well, so far he hasn’t been good for anything, and there’s no promise he’ll ever snap out of it.

The Mets won three of their first four games on this trip, but there remain flaws with this team. The pitching match-ups in the Dodgers series favors Los Angeles, and from there the team heads to Boston for three. This isn’t a critical stretch, but it is very important as they go head-to-head with playoff caliber teams. The Mets will be tested over the next six games and their flaws will be revealed.