Jun 25

Mets Chat Room: The Minnesota series.

Games #73-74-75

Folks. I have an obligation this weekend I must attend and won’t be back until Sunday afternoon.

I’m leaving the Chat Room open throughout the weekend for the Minnesota series and encourage you to post your thoughts when the mood strikes.

I don’t like leaving when the team is playing so well, but this is an obligation I can’t break.

Tonight, the Mets will attempt to get back to the winning side of the ledger behind Mike Pelfrey, who is coming off a 5-3 loss to the Yankees last weekend.

Pelfrey gave up five runs and a pair of two-run homers in seven innings of a 5-3 loss.

“He’s still a young pitcher who, over the course of a season and in his career, will hit small bumps,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “He just has to look back on them and get better.’’

Johan Santana and Jon Niese will start the next two games of the series.

Angel Pagan is expected to miss tonight’s game with a muscle spasm in his right side, but should return tomorrow.

Jun 18

Mets Chat Room: Round two vs. Yankees.

The Mets were struggling, in last place in the NL East when they played the Yankees for the first time at Citi Field in May.

Game #67 at Yankees

They won two of three, then shutout the Phillies in a three-game sweep, and have gone 15-6 since to pull within a half game of Atlanta.

The Mets are looking to extend their winning streak to eight games – for the second time this season – when they face the Yankees tonight at the Stadium.

Hisanori Takahashi vs. Javier Vazquez.

“When you go to play the defending world champions, you’ve got to be playing good baseball,’’ said manager Jerry Manuel. “I feel good about the way we’re playing.’’

He ought to, as the Mets will be trying for their seventh straight road win tonight. The last time they won that many was in June, 2006, when they peeled off nine straight on the road.

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Jun 12

Mets Chat Room: Don’t know what to expect from Takahashi?

After RA Dickey’s strong effort Friday night, the Mets are seeking their first road series win of the season tonight at Baltimore.

Game #62 at Orioles

It would be their first since taking two of three at Florida, Sept. 25-27. They haven’t won two straight on the road since July 25-26, at Houston.

The Mets are a dismal 9-18 away from home.

The Mets have six of their last seven after Dickey’s outing, another in a string of strong pitching performances. In that span the Mets’ ERA is 2.22 ERA and giving up just two homers.

The lone poor start was by tonight’s starter, Hisanori Takahashi, who is 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA in his last two starts. This after going six scoreless innings in each of his first two starts, against Philadelphia and the Yankees.

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May 26

Mets Chat Room: Hot Bay, Reyes hope to lift Takahashi.

Game #47 vs. Phillies

The last time the streaky Mets won four straight games this season, they went on to win eight in a row.

The Mets, who won two of three games over the weekend against the Yankees, will be going after their second straight series win tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hisanori Takahashi, who replaced the injured Jon Niese in the rotation, threw six scoreless innings in a no-decision last Friday against the Yankees.

The left-handed Takahashi made the club out of spring training because of his ability to work in long relief. He so impressed in that role that he was the first choice when Niese went down.

The Mets lost three-fifths of their rotation during the last road trip, but received Takahashi’s strong game and two strong games by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

Dickey threw six scoreless innings last night in arguably the Mets’ most complete game of the season.

The Mets are starting to feel good about themselves because of Jason Bay and Jose Reyes, both of whom struggled out of the gate, could be hitting their strides.

Over the last five games, Bay is 11-for-20 (.550) with two homers, five RBI and eight runs scored. In that same span, Reyes is 9-for-24 (.375) with five runs scored.

May 19

May 19.10: What’s wrong with Wright?/Adding tonight’s lineup.

Pedro Martinez once told me one of his greatest weapons as a pitcher is the fear he instilled in the batter’s mind about being hit.

“If the batter is afraid of being hit, then I can pitch him any way I want,’’ Martinez said.

That’s the way it seems these days for David Wright even though he will never admit it. That’s all right, because what the mouth won’t say body language does, and there have been numerous times when Wright bails out.

We see him more turning away from the inside fastball rather than turning on it and ripping it to left. Once a pitcher knows he has the inside half of the plate, there’s no reason to go to the outside.

The Matt Cain beaning last season has had a residual effect of Wright, and it mostly is mental, which leads to bad physical habits.

I’ve seen Wright pull off pitches he used to hammer, and I see him get too anxious when he does get a ball on the outside half and middle. His swing is long with a noticeable uppercut.

Statistically, Wright has made enough contact to be on a pace to hit 32 homers and drive in 105 runs. He’s also on pace to strike out 223 times and hit for a .262, some 43 points below his career average.

Those aren’t the results Wright is seeking.

“If you don’t see the results a lot, you start pressing a little bit,’’ Wright said last night after his three strikeout game in Atlanta. “It’s tough when somebody is out there playing as poorly as I am right now, costing us both offensively and defensively.’’

Wright was having an off-year in 2009 even before the beaning, which some of it being written off as adjusting to the new stadium and him being on an island in the line-up. There was no Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado or Jose Reyes for much of this year. There’s no Beltran this year, Jason Bay has done nothing to protect Wright and Reyes hasn’t been on his game. The situations are very similar, as are the results.

Wright called baseball a “humbling” game and right now the man is humbled.

It all boils down to this, that regardless of the psychological and statistical theories, if Wright is the player the Mets and he believes himself to be, things have to dramatically change. These reasons, or excuses, for him not hitting must be pushed aside.

It could start with something small, like hitting a sacrifice fly instead of striking out.

Here’s tonight’s line-up”

Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B
Angel Pagan, CF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Henry Blanco, C
RA Dickey, RP