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The Braves in town in late September was supposed to mean something. For the Mets, beating their long-time foe and finishing the over .500 could help salvage what has become a disappointing season. For the struggling Braves, they need to wake-up if they are to make the playoffs in Bobby Cox’s last season.
As the Mets seek to rebuild next season, one of the cornerstones will be outfielder Angel Pagan. For those who are waiting for Pagan to stumble, keep waiting because it doesn’t look as if it would happen. Pagan did have a poor stretch, but has rebounded and is finishing strong and is the Mets’ MVP.
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The Mets have more than a few pitching questions heading into next year, and Mike Pelfrey is one of them. After a brilliant start, Pelfrey hit the skids in July, seemed to right himself, then was hit hard again. He’s coming off a good start and the Mets want him to finish on a roll to give him the confidence heading into the offseason.
With Johan Santana injured, unless the Mets make a stunning move in the offseason, Pelfrey will go to spring training as the No. 1 starter.
The Mets will be seeking their first four-game sweep of a team tonight at home against Pittsburgh.
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Game #146 vs. Pirates
Yes, it has been a disappointing season. There was reason for optimism around the All-Star break, but then things went south.
The Mets stand 72-73 heading into tonight’s game against Pittsburgh, already two wins better than last year’s win total. At 70-92 last year, most everybody would have grabbed a .500 season if guaranteed during spring training.
Finishing at .500 would represent significant improvement, and it could be better than that. And, it could be done with a nothing year from Jason Bay, a half-season from Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes missing significant time.
This isn’t to say all is well, because it is not. It is to say they are better than they were last year.
With the season dwindling away, there are fewer and fewer things worth watching. R.A. Dickey is one of them.
Dickey (10-6, 2.91 ERA) with career highs in wins and ERA after being thrust in a stop-gap role this season has been one of the bright spots in this gray summer. When he starts tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he’ll also be continuing his audition for the 2011 rotation.
Dickey, 35, is 6-1 with a 1.85 ERA in eight starts at Citi Field.
“I’ve just really tried to be consistent,” Dickey said. “The better I bounce back after tough outings, the more I show that I can be trustworthy.”
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Mike Pelfrey, who turned his back to Jerry Manuel Saturday in a show of disrespect, has endorsed pitching coach Dan Warthen’s return next season. So too, has R.A. Dickey. It’s a nice gesture, but it is uncertain as to the weight it will carry.
Assuming Manuel is gone and a veteran manager is named to replace him, he would want to name his own pitching coach and staff. That the Mets’ have shown significant improvement – you can chalk that up to not having John Maine and Oliver Perez- is a positive reflection on Warthen to where he merits an interview.
However, Warthen’s best chance would be if the Mets hired young and inexperienced, say Wally Backman, who might have a staff assigned for him.
Either way, the rate of progress from 2009 to 2010 has been significant and he deserves an interview at least.
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