Jul 07

Mets Frustrating Again; Johan Santana Rocked

Didn’t we just see this movie?

Yeah, I remember. They beat the Dodgers three of four, then lose two of three at Chicago. If the Mets are as good as they claim they want to be, they can’t lose to teams like the Cubs. Championship caliber teams must beat up on teams with losing records.

This is something they must improve upon in the second half.

I am wondering a bit about Johan Santana, who was rocked with another big inning. Santana had been keeping trouble to a minimum, and that’s what he must do.

Jul 04

Fourth Of July Good Omen For Mets

History dictates that whoever is leading on July 4th will make the playoffs. That’s a good omen for the Mets, who lead in the wild-card chase. By the end of the month, if there are trades, then the Mets will be buyers.

Their top priority is the bullpen as they have enough offense, despite limited power, to get the job done.

Let’s look at the other playoff contenders.

Washington has the best record in the National League and with its pitching could sustain it into the playoffs. The question here is what will happen if, and when, they shut down Stephen Strasburg.

Atlanta could make a run, but the Marlins and Phillies have too many issues.

In the Central, it would be nice to see Pittsburgh hold on, but the Reds, Cardinals and Brewers are still close. This division should be a scramble until the end.

In the West, it is the Dodgers and Giants, with Arizona 5.5 games out.

Things seem more definitive in the American League. I expect the current leaders to hold on, with Tampa Bay, Detroit and the Angels the prime wild card contenders.

Jul 03

Fake Rivalry With Phillies Renews Tonight

The Mets and Phillies have had a fake rivalry, and it has been rare when both teams were good at the same time. That’s when the competitive edge of the rivalry comes into play. They are division rivals and geographic rivals, but there’s little tenseness.

An element of hate was removed when Jose Reyes left in the offseason. The Phillies despised him and his style of play and gloated whenever they could. Reyes is gone and took that spice with him.

This year the Mets are playing well and chasing Washington for the NL East. Meanwhile, the Phillies are down and have made it known they will listen to offers for Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels. Both would look nice in Mets pinstripes, but forget it.

The Phillies have been in the playoffs since 2007. This year they’ve been beset with injuries and sluggish play. This is the time for the Mets to put them away, to put three games worth of distance between them before the All-Star break.

If the Mets are as good as they claim to be, they need to continue their momentum from the Dodgers series – including overcoming the disappointment of not getting a sweep – and laying the wood on a wounded opponent.

In that sense, there’s an element to the rivalry that has been missing.

Jul 02

Mets Not Ready For Primetime; Defense, Pen Sabotage Dillon Gee

There was always an uneasy feeling about yesterday, beginning in the first inning when Andres Torres was picked off, costing the Mets a run.

The Mets were poised to complete a four-game sweep of the Dodgers, but there was never that growing sense of anticipation. Three errors, an offensive shutdown and the bullpen combined to throw away what could have been a watershed moment in this season.

Nope: Dodgers, 8-3 over the Mets.

Believe me, I thought it. The Mets sweep, then roll the reeling Phillies as they head into the break at least ten games over .500.

The onus is on the defense, but remember it is up to Dillon Gee and the relievers to put adversity behind them.

 

Jul 01

Mets Matters: David Wright Reax, Lineup At Dodgers

David Wright said he was disappointed in not being selected to the NL All-Star team, but would not rip the system. San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval beat him out by over 1.5 million votes.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” Wright said before tonight’s game in Los Angeles. “But, Pablo is having a very good year. The fans have spoken. That’s the way that the system is. And let’s not lose sight that it’s a great honor to go, no matter how you get a chance to go.”
Other Mets news and nuggets:
* Jason Bay, on the disabled list with a concussion, will hit off a tee and run for the Mets medical staff Monday in New York. There’s no sense in rushing Bay with the Mets playing so well.
* Reliever Frank Francisco, on the DL with a strained left oblique, will start playing catch Monday. Francisco is eligible to come off the DL next Sunday, but likely will stay on the list until after the break.
* Ike Davis has been hot, but he won’t start tonight against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. After struggling so hard, why put him in a bad situation, one compounded by the hitting in the twilight. Considering the funk Davis was in, he did drive in 24 runs for June. Who would have thought that?
* Terry Collins was pleased Johan Santana wasn’t selected to the All-Star team, saying he needed the rest. Santana has one more start remaining in the first half, but as of now has no indication of resting him. “For me, I guess I’m a little selfish,” Collins said. “And I hope he enjoys the break and rests up a little bit, because we’ve got a big second half to go.”
The Mets will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Dodgers with this lineup:
Andres Torres, cf
Ruben Tejada, ss
David Wright, 3b
Scott Hairston, lf
Lucas Duda, rf
Justin Turner, 1b
Ronny Cedeño, 2b
Mike Nickeas, c
Dillon Gee, rhp