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.
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.
Yes, I know, Frank Francisco got the save last night and backed up his boast, but not before getting into trouble. Fact is, he’ll blow a key save opportunity soon enough.
The biggest thing that came out of last night was Ike Davis’ homer in the first against lefty Andy Pettitte. I wrote earlier how that match up would be key in this series.
Davis delivered last night and that was the difference and supported Jon Niese. You have to give credit to Terry Collins for sticking with him when Davis was struggling.
What was Frank Francisco thinking when he called the Yankees chickens? Evidently, not too much.
Inciting the opposition makes no sense, and he wasn’t backing down this afternoon.
Francisco called the Yankees chronic complainers – MLB’s Miami Heat? – and laid into them again.
“I made a simple comment because, you know, they complain a lot — for every call, for everything,” Francisco said. “I thought it was funny. But I didn’t expect to make a big deal. Whatever.
“Now I’ve got to apologize to everybody. I mean the whole Yankee team. … No, I’m kidding. … I said what I said, and I’m not sorry. That’s what I think. I think they complain too much for everything. You guys haven’t watched the games? You guys don’t see it? Every game.”
No, it doesn’t make sense to aggravate the opposition, but you have to admire Francisco for not backing down and standing up to his comments.
There are several things I’d like to see happen for the Mets this weekend. If recent history is any indicator, they will be swept by the Yankees. Trading sweeps is not a way to make the kind of progress Terry Collins needs.
We’ve seen it before with the Mets. They’d come into the Yankees’ series on a roll and get dumped on. And, at home, too. That needs to stop, and here’s what we need to see.
* With the Yankees throwing left handers Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda (tight hammy) need to have a good series. Raking would be nice, but don’t get stuffed. It is easy to envision them getting shut down, but their development requires standing in against tough lefties.
* The bullpen bridge to Frank Francisco must produce. And, the sometimes shaky closer needs to show his mettle. Of course, the best thing would be to get quality innings from the starters.
* The RA Dickey success is no fluke, but the Yankees have a way of cutting down hot pitchers a notch. A strong game on national TV Sunday night against Sabathia would be a great way to start a long road trip.
There are other things I’d like to see, but if the Mets produce the above three, it should be a successful weekend.
ON DECK: Interleague play.