Sep 18

Mets Chat Room: Santana goes for the split.

Johan Santana pitches tonight for the split at Washington. After last night’s game, Jerry Manuel said his expectations for Santana were to go 170 pitches. He was joking, but after sending out seven relievers last night you had to wonder if there wasn’t a grain of truth to what he was saying.

We all know about how Santana has been shortchanged by his teammates this season, both in run support and bullpen help.

He really does need to get at least into the eighth inning tonight. Nine would be even better.

Luis Ayala closed last night. It’s probably a good assumption to think the same tonight.

Sep 17

Mets Chat Room: Brandon Knight tries to right the ship edition.

It has come to this for the Mets. Brandon Knight has been called upon to pull the Mets out of their funk. It has been three straight losses, so you can’t really call it a collapse. But, it has also been four losses in five games, so you tell me.

The bullpen crashed and burned Sunday, Pedro Martinez showed heart alone wasn’t enough Monday, and Monday and Tuesday the offense went into hibernation mode. Each of the past four losses carries a reminder from how they collapsed last September.

The Mets are asking a lot from Knight tonight. This has to be a game where the offense tees off, but there’s been no signs of that lately.

Sep 17

In case you were wondering ….

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.

Sep 16

About Last Night ….

Ouch! Last night was bad on so many levels. Last night was a 2007 flashback. Here’s my thinking on arguably one of the worst losses of the season.

1. Championship caliber teams don’t lose to teams like the Washington Nationals down the stretch. Not after last season, anyway.

2. Pedro Martinez pitched better than I thought he would, but you can’t let Anderson Hernandez beat you.

3. Technically, the bullpen didn’t lose the game, but I have no faith in Duaner Sanchez, a future ex-Met.

4. Where’s the offense?

Just bad in so many ways.

Sep 15

Maine throws ….

John Maine threw in the bullpen today Washington without difficulty, but there’s no word on when he’ll return. Or even if he’ll return. It’s clear, that for the time he missed, it is doubtful he’ll be able to return as a starter who could go long into a game during the playoffs.

I know he wants to pitch, but I’d be inclined to shut him down and forget the bullpen. He’s too important to risk further injury and it’s doubtful he can reasonably be expected to give the Mets anything substantial out of the bullpen.

And, with surgery a possibility, why take the chance?