Jul 08

Mets’ Chemistry Will Keep Bobby Parnell Out Of Closer Role — For Now

The Mets spent a good bit of time speaking of team chemistry as for a primary reason why they have played so well in the first half. You’ll hear more about that today, and deservedly so.

PARNELL: Has been terrific.

It is for that reason why Bobby Parnell – who has been pitching lights out lately – will relinquish the closer role once Frank Francisco is able to come off the disabled list. For the same reason why Jason Bay went back to left when he last came off the DL, is the same reason why Parnell will stop working the ninth – chemistry.

The Mets have been a tranquil bunch the first three months – with their aggressiveness limited to the field – and Terry Collins won’t mess with that state. The Mets signed Francisco to be their closer, and as long as he’s physically able, Collins is apt to keep it that way.

The thing that could alter that is Francisco’s injury lingering, but reports have him coming back shortly after the break.

Parnell has pitched well in the role, well enough to stay there and well enough to prove he can do the job, but chemistry is a fragile thing and Collins won’t tamper with it now.

Jul 07

Mets Matters: Dillon Gee Tries To Reignite Club

Teams cannot live by late inning rallies alone. Last night’s ninth was compelling, but the truth is the Mets would have preferred a strong game from Johan Santana and forego the drama. Maybe Dillon Gee will give them a strong outing, something he hasn’t done often this season.

Gee (5-7, 4.34 ERA) will go against Jeff Samarrdzja  (6-7, 4.77) at 4:10 p.m. In his last start,  Gee lasted a season-low five innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits and two walks in Chicago, June 26.

More Mets Matters:

 * Santana gave up a career-high 13 hits last night. Lately, he’s been beaten by a big inning. Santana used to pitch his way out of trouble and minimize the damage, but that wasn’t the case last night. Worry level on Santana? He’ll have extended rest because of the break, so wait until one or two starts before you start to worry. Santana insisted his problems weren’t related to a play at first when he twisted his ankle.
* The Post is reporting lefty reliever Josh Edgin will be promoted from Triple-A Buffalo shortly after the break. early in the second half. Edgin threw 10.1 scoreless innings in spring training.
* It is believed both Jason Bay and Frank Francisco will be activated from the disabled list after the break. Both will play minor league rehab games first. Of the two, there’s more a need for Francisco.
* Andres Torres is still out with back spasms, but will avoid going on the DL>
Jun 26

Bobby Parnell Now Mets Closer

We’ve been here before: The Mets will use Bobby Parnell as their closer while Frank Francisco is on the DL. The Mets once had visions of Parnell starting, but that fizzled. He’s been tried as the closer several times, including late last season, but never grasped the job.

Parnell got the opportunity last September after Jason Isringhausen earned his 300th save, but only converted three of seven opportunities. That forced the Mets to go after Jon Rauch and Francisco last winter in the FA market.

Collins has handled Parnell conservatively this season and believes he’s ready for another shot. In 36 appearances, Parnell is 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA with 31 strikeouts.

“I think his confidence is much better,” Collins told reporters in Chicago. “I think his experience doing it already is going to help him this year. So he’s going to get that chance.

“I wanted him to have that confidence. That’s why throughout this whole first half, when we mixed and matched who was going to pitch where, Bobby was absolutely dominant in that seventh-inning spot, where he was coming in and mowing guys down. So his confidence was high.”

Then the defense bailed on him in Washington which led to a couple of blown save opportunities.

Parnell attributed his success this season to taking something off his fastball. He’s still in the mid-90′s, but with better control.

“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Parnell said. “I’ve had good success with that. I try not to overthrow. I’m just trying to throw strikes in the bottom of the zone and flip a couple of curveballs up there and get them off balance.”

Jun 25

Mets Matters: Where’s Tim Byrdak?

For the second straight game, Mets manager did not go to lefty specialist Tim Byrdak against a left-handed hitter in Robinson Cano with the game on the line. I realize the Mets had only one lefty reliever at the time (today they brought up Justin Hampson).

BYRDAK: Not used when it counted.

It’s a nine-inning game, and where is it written the moment-of-decision must come in the ninth inning? It very well could have come down to the ninth inning without a lefty reliever, but I don’t want Miguel Batista to pitch to Robinson Cano.

The Mets have lost two straight games because they withheld using their left specialist. Hoping Terry Collins picks up on that.

Here’s more Mets notes:

* To make room on the roster for Hampson. the Mets designated for assignment Vinny Rottino. No comment from Rottino, but if you’re him and you know you’re the 25th man on the roster you couldn’t feel comfortable seeing the bullpen and knowing they needed to add.

* Frank Francisco’s strained left oblique landed him on the disabled list. I reiterate it is possible he was injured because he was overthrowing Friday night, perhaps to back up his “chickens” comments. Again, so stupid. Why antagonize a team like the Yankees who have the ability to pulverize you without any added incentive?

* Thank goodness the Mets got somebody to take that chicken off their hands. Now I can sleep nights.

* Dickey’s ERA rose to 2.31 after giving up five runs. He’s still a favorite to start the All-Star Game. Another candidate is Washington’s Stephen Strasburg. It is interesting to compare the two. Strasburg is the All-World talent with a golden future, while Dickey is the inspirational underdog.

ON DECK: Wrigley Field.

 

 

Jun 24

Mets Matters: Frank Francisco Injured

Greetings. One of the things I’d like to try on a regular, if not daily basis, is a Mets’ oriented notebook. There’s so much going on that I don’t want to get by the boards.

* Frank Francisco has a tight left oblique, and Mets fans know what a puzzling and aggravating injury that can be. A player thinks he’s better, then makes a move and is on the DL. Francisco will likely be held out of tonight’s game. Francisco was injured Friday night and it kind of makes me wonder if he hurt himself trying to muscle up on his pitches. Francisco did get into some trouble  in the end and I’m betting he did it by trying to overthrow.

* Tonight’s lineup hasn’t been posted, but I hope Daniel Murphy is in it. He’s struggled, especially against lefties, but I have a feeling about him.

* Ike Davis suffered from food poisoning the other day. Maybe that damn chicken gave him something. He should be available tonight against lefty CC Sabathia.

ON DECK: Bullpen issues.