The talk prior to the game was how the Mets could ride the momentum behind Jeff Francoeur’s game-winner the night before if Mike Pelfrey would step up.
Jerry Manuel said he would stress upon Pelfrey the importance of the game – as if he didn’t already know – and the pitcher spoke about snapping out of his funk.
In the end, that’s all it was. Talk.
Pelfrey spit the bit last night in arguably one of the most important starts of his career.
“The team needed me to step up and be a lot better than I have been,’’ Pelfrey said. “I take full responsibility for tonight.’’
Actually, there was plenty of responsibility to go around as Pelfrey complemented perfectly the Mets’ total breakdown. Four errors, three in one nightmarish sixth inning, and a sluggish offense was how the Mets responded to their most important game of the season.
Today, the Mets could have been showing signs of life only 5 1/2 games out of first. Instead, they are 7 1/2 back and floundering as they head into Philadelphia. The Phillies won’t have Ryan Howard or Chase Utley, but does anybody really think that will make a difference this weekend?
Word is Jerry Manuel is saying “no” to John Maine and won’t let him pitch again this season. Manuel said his conscience won’t let him use Maine, who will undergo shoulder surgery on his right shoulder.
The doctors said Maine can’t reinjure himself, but they really don’t know. Should Maine try to overcompensate with his delivery, it could place stress somewhere else. That’s what the doctors ARE NOT taking into consideration.
That Manuel won’t risk Maine’s health with the season being on the line, and consequently possibly his job, shows his integrity. He’s doing the right thing.
Pedro Martinez is starting what could be his last game for the Mets tonight if they don’t get into the playoffs.
Should they somehow squeeze their way in, I can still see Manuel giving Martinez the ball by citing his experience.
That said, I don’t have faith that experience will last long then, or tonight. Not with these numbers: In his last three starts, Martinez has worked 16 innings and given up 14 earned runs on 24 hits and eight walks.
Aaron Heilman wants to be a starter and the Mets needed a starter for tonight. They came up with Brandon Knight.
Why not finally give Heilman his shot?
Well, for one thing, he hasn’t proven he can get hitters out in one inning, much less five or six. He’s only thrown 1 1/3 innings this month. Obviously, Jerry Manuel has no faith in him, and consequently, Heilman has no faith in himself.
Heilman struggled much of this season and he had one chance to piece together his fragile confidence, and that was when Billy Wagner went down. Manuel gave Heilman a chance to close a game and he blew it. Manuel then pulled the plug on Heilman in the closer role.
You want to crush whatever confidence he had left, and that’s the way to do it.
Anyway, Heilman was good in his role for the Mets, but he never seemed to recover from giving up the homer to Molina in the 2006 NLCS. He said all the right things, but something was missing.
The Mets resisted dealing Heilman the past two winters, but I don’t see that this time around. If they are offered a package they’ll bite. They have to.
The Mets are putting an awful lot of pressure on Mike Pelfrey tonight in DC. He’s been the Mets’ most improved player all year and they are depending on him to turn things around tonight. He’s proven he can throw a strong seven, but the offense has to take over tonight.
And, they have to score a bunch of runs IMO because I have no faith in whomever comes out of the pen after Pelfrey.
Here’s the lineup, and nice to see Argenis Reyes is in it:
SS Jose Reyes
RF Ryan Church
3B Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
LF Fernando Tatis
2B Argenis Reyes
C Brian Schneider
RH Mike Pelfrey
Team meeting today. Yawn. Just shut up and play.