All too often this season, the Mets gave up the ground, confidence and groove they’ve had at home once they hit the road.
Only this time, the Mets aren’t going to San Diego or Philadelphia, but Baltimore to face the horrible Orioles and then on to Cleveland.
The talk-shows have already given the Mets a 4-2 or 5-1 trip before heading into Yankee Stadium a week from today.
It doesn’t work that way. You have to play the games first and the Orioles have beaten the Yankees twice and beat up the Red Sox in a series.
If what Jerry Manuel said is correct, that the Mets alter their offensive approach on the road because of some of the smaller stadiums, they have to be doubly careful this weekend, beginning tonight, at cozy Camden Yards.
With Oliver Perez exiled to the bullpen, R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball is being brought up from Triple-A Buffalo to face the Washington Nationals.
Dickey has been Buffalo’s most effective starter and his date to pitch coincided with Perez’s so this should be seamless.
Dickey has major league experience, but it would be wrong to say he’s an accomplished major league pitcher. He was 1-1 with a 4.62 ERA in 35 games last year for Minnesota, all but one of them in relief. He is 0-1 with a 17.18 ERA in one start and one relief appearance against Washington.
The Mets have made no commitment to Dickey beyond today, but it is a safe assumption that a strong start should warrant the ball again.
Let’s face it, Mike Pelfrey has had a miserable spring, one which doesn’t warrant going north with the team. He’s given up eight homers this spring, and 12 runs over his last two starts.
Pelfrey speaks knowingly of the need for him to pitch well, but spits the bit most every time out this spring. Neither John Maine nor Oliver Perez have pitched well, either, but Pelfrey has been combustible.
It would be very simple for Nelson Figueroa to start the season in the rotation with Bobby Parnell being added to the bullpen until Pelfrey works out his problems.
It is imperative for a lot of reasons that the Mets get off to a fast start, but right now I see Pelfrey putting the breaks on getting out of the gate.
The World Series started with classic hopes. Both teams made destiny arguments with their grit persona that suggested we could have a Series for the ages. We still could, but the Rays have to beat Cole Hamels tonight and take it to Game 7 back in Tampa.
Let’s face it, the odds are long.
The last two games remind us how fragile things could be. Game 3 is the turning point of the Series, but the Phillies scored in the first and ninth innings with the benefit of a wild pitch putting the runner in scoring position.
A lot has happened to the Rays, but mostly their offense has disappeared since the end of Game 5 of the ALCS with Boston.
I’ll be blogging Game 5 with the hope it is compelling enough to where I won’t switch over to watch Peyton Manning. Join me tonight at 8.-JD
Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli, who is from Rhode Island, on beating the Red Sox in the ALCS: “This might sound funny to everyone, but I don’t want to go home and have to see every single person that I know rub it in my face every single day for the rest of my life. And that would happen [if we lost]. I’m 100 percent serious. To beat those guys and not have to listen to everyone where I live, it’s a nice feeling.”
Baldelli will be a free-agent after the World Series and would fit in nicely in the Mets’ outfield.