Aug 01

Mets Chat Room; salvaging the home stand.

Game #105 vs. Diamondbacks

Despite a 6-14 slide, the Mets remain only 6 ½ games behind front-running Atlanta in the NL East. They are a similar distance behind in the wild card.

Today’s game, with Jon Niese pitching, is very important, like they all are for the Mets these days as they can’t afford to lose any more ground before they head on the road to Atlanta and Philadelphia.

The Mets have played well at home this season, going 33-18, but have been hideous on the road at 20-33. The formula to win is to dominate at home and play .500 on the road. Had they played at that clip so far for their 53 road games they would be 27-26 at home, which would translate to a 60-44 record, or a half-game lead over the Braves in the division.

But, they have dug themselves into such a hole that playing .500 on the road is no longer an option.

Aug 01

Pagan vs. Castillo ….

As a hitter, Luis Castillo’s best spot in the lineup is as a No. 2 hitter, where he can bunt, work the count and protect Jose Reyes. That spot in the order best utilizes his offensive skills.

However, his offensive skills pale in comparison to those of Angel Pagan, who can do everything Castillo can, only better. Plus, he can hit for power and at this stage of his career is a greater base stealing threat.

After batting Castillo second for much of the week, Jerry Manuel finally moved Pagan back to the two hole and dropped Castillo to eighth. Not coincidentally, the Mets finally won a game. Let’s hope Manuel learned from this and will continue that alignment in the order.

“(Angel Pagan has) done a terrific job of getting on base and setting the table and being a good situational hitter,” said David Wright. “It makes my job and Carlos’ job a lot easier when he’s creating havoc on the base paths and we’ve got a bunch of runners in scoring position…when we struggle offensively, the best thing to do is keep the line moving like we did tonight and let the next guy do the damage.”

It stands to reason the No. 2 hitter will get more at-bats than the No. 8 hitter, so why would you want to give Castillo that many more at-bats?  You don’t. Bat him eighth and be done with it.

Jul 31

Mets Chat Room; Playing out the string.

Game #104 vs. Diamondbacks.

Well, another trade deadline has come and gone without your Mets doing anything substantial. Wait, I meant, without doing anything at all. I have no problem with the organization wanting to protect its prospects. I can’t get on Omar Minaya for that.

As a general manager, his job is to protect the franchise, and that’s what he did when he said no to those vultures wanting Ike Davis, or Jonathan Niese, or Josh Thole, or Jenrry Mejia.

What I can find fault with is ownership not moving in the offseason to address its pitching needs. I didn’t like it at the time, and I’ll repeat: Their priority last winter was pitching and not Jason Bay.

With what Bay has given them, it isn’t out of line to wonder if his contract will fall in the same bin as that of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. It might be too early to jump to that conclusion, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one to wonder.

What the Mets have done today and for the last month as they floundered was choose their future over their present. They have told us they do not think they are good enough to win this season without a miracle finish.

They were further behind with less time remaining in 1969, but won. Mathematically, it is still possible. But, I’m not counting on any miracles this time around.

Hell, they haven’t been able to beat Arizona. How can we expect them to run the table?

Jul 30

Mets Chat Room; Pelfrey needs to get it straight.

Mike Pelfrey was better in his last start, but he’s still not there. At one time he was 9-1, now he’s 10-5. He needs to get back to his earlier form starting tonight against Arizona if the Mets are to break out of their downward spiral that has been the month of July.

Game #103 vs. Diamondbacks

Without a sound Pelfrey the Mets have no chance of making a second-half run at the NL East, which is slowly fading away, and made even more unlikely with the Phillies’ acquisition of Roy Oswalt.

Pelfrey is 0-3 with an 11.40 ERA in his last four starts. Included in that span was giving up four first-inning runs in his last start against the Diamondbacks.

The first inning has been a recent trap for Pelfrey.

“(In eight of my) last nine starts, I’ve given up a run in the first inning and I need to find a way of stopping that,’’ Pelfrey said. “Whether it’s throwing more pitches in the ‘pen, I don’t know.’’

Pelfrey gave the Mets a chance in his previous start last weekend at Los Angeles, giving up two runs in five innings. Even so, he still threw a lot of pitches and was removed for a pinch-hitter.

It was the first time in five starts that he made it through five innings. The Mets have lost four of those games.

Pelfrey is 0-5 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts against Arizona.

Jul 29

Mets Chat Room; getting critical.

Game #102 vs. Cardinals

Even if defeat, you have to admire how the Mets played last night. Their ace was hammered for six runs in the first inning, yet they fought back to tie the game. There was an extraordinary amount of pressure on Ike Davis, but he came off the bench to hit a game-tying single.

Still, there is no such thing as a moral victory in baseball. It remains a loss, one in which is difficult to rebound against. But, they have to do so with R.A. Dickey if they are to prevent spinning out of control as is often the case with these types of losses.

Even if they win, it remains doubtful the Mets can fix all that ails them in time to make the playoffs. They might make a run, but they don’t have enough, and now there’s word they won’t make a move for Ted Lilly or Brett Myers, the middle-tier pitchers in the market.

Oh yes, and the Phillies are closing in on a deal for Roy Oswalt.

After today,  there are 60 games remaining to the season. To win 90 games, what it would probably take to make it as a wild card, the Mets would have to go 40-20, a pace they’ve never reached this season.

But for now, it’s all they can do to reach 52 wins.