Jun 13

Terry Collins Named To NL All-Star Squad

Terry Collins’ solid managing was rewarded this afternoon when National League All-Star manager Tony La Russa named Collins to his staff. It is a well-deserved honor for Collins, and also a testament of how others recognize the Mets are making positive strides.

Considering their pitching questions entering the season, including the physical status of Johan Santana, and a patchwork bullpen, and a list of injuries that encompassed David Wright, Jason Bay, Andres Torres, Ruben Tejada, and nagging slumps of Bay and Ike Davis, there’s a lot that’s happened to this team.

And considering what has gone on with this team, nobody could expect four games over .500. Have the Mets survived their slide? I don’t know, but Collins ┬áhas them playing aggressive, alert baseball and instilled a confidence that insists they won’t be pushed around.

“I’ve known and respected him for years,” La Russa said. “But I think the job he’s done last year, with nobody had more adversity than that, and he kept the club competing. And he’s doing it again this year.

“I just think you need to recognize when somebody is handling a ballclub and day in and day out there’s no difference in how they compete. If the starters are hurt, they still keep competing, and he keeps getting contributions. I think it’s a well-deserved honor.”There will remain dry stretches and lulls, but Collins has the Mets playing with a sense of purpose that has the rest of the league watching.

Aside from Collins, two Mets figure to be named to La Russa’s team should they continue at their current paces. I would think Wright would get on with the fan vote and R.A. Dickey should be appointed to the staff.

Here’s tonight’s lineup behind Dickey:

Andres Torres, cf

Daniel Murphy, 2b

David Wright, 3b

Scott Hairston, rf

Jason Bay, lf

Vinny Rottino, dh

Ike Davis, 1b

Mike Nickeas, c

Omar Quintanilla, ss

R.A. Dickey, rhp

Jun 10

Mets, Ike Davis Hitting Skids

It wasn’t that long ago that the Mets were seven games over .500 and a mere half-game out of first place. However, things change quickly when a team loses five of six games.

I mentioned several times during the Mets’ good start that consistency was essential. Get to .500; win series, two of three; avoid losing streaks; keep applying pressure and not getting down when tripped up.

After a good stretch that included winning three straight from St. Louis and getting the franchise’s first no-hitter, the Mets let one get away from the Cardinals, were handled by the Nationals, and lost the first two games of their series against the Yankees.

After Yankee Stadium, it’s three at Tampa Bay and back home to Cincinnati. It’s not getting any easier.

I mention this because every season has its lulls and spurts. Too many times in recent seasons we’ve seen the Mets reel off five, six games in a row. Didn’t they do ten one year? However, because of a lack of pitching or timely hitting they’d turn around and drop five or six. It’s like running in place.

The Mets have made positive strides this season, but to take the next step and make a serious run, they must develop consistency,

A good place to start is always pitching, but for the most part the pitching has been good. Right now, one of their first priorities is to get Ike Davis going. Of all the regular position players in the majors, his average is second worst.

So far, the Mets have eschewed the move of maintenance in the minor leagues. That could change after this road trip.

 

Jun 05

Trying To Figure Out Ike Davis

I remember when Ike Davis first came up to the Mets. His plate presence was praised. He would regularly take the outside pitch – breaking balls, too – to left field. He was strong as a bull, and the thinking was the power would eventually come.

You don’t hear that kind of talk much anymore.

He seems to be chasing everything, especially low-and-away junk with the intent to pull. Can you remember the last time he went the other way with a pitch?

With Davis’ impatience, there’s no reason for any pitcher to throw him a fastball, especially on the inner half of the plate.

There was talk earlier about possibly sending Davis to the minors to work out his problem. Initially, I was against this because the Mets didn’t have a first base alternative. They still don’t have, but Justin Turner could make do for a week or so.

The topic came up again this week, but Davis, whom I had the impression was a total team guy, said he didn’t think the minors were a good idea, claiming he had to learn to hit on this level. It wasn’t quite the response I was hoping for from Davis.

I would like to think if the Mets decided Davis needed a respite in the minors that he’d accept it and not go all Oliver Perez on us. I believe Davis will eventually find it and I’m leaning more and more to thinking if that’s in Buffalo, then so be it.

If nothing else, he’ll be able to get some killer wings.

 

May 25

Mets Can Make Hay With Long Homestand

The Mets got their season-long 11-game homestand off on the wrong foot last night, but at the quarter-pole of what was supposed to be a lost season they are sitting three games over .500. They have by far exceeded all expectations, so there’s no reason to get frantic over a slip or two.

Currently, the Mets are making do with four substantial players down by injury in Mike Pelfrey, Ruben Tejada, Josh Thole and Jason Bay. They are getting by with very little from Ike Davis. Andres Torres and Lucas Duda aren’t hitting to what was hoped. Conversely, nobody expected David Wright to still be over .400. We are at the point of the season where the BA numbers should be going down.

More on a bright note, but bullpen has been torn and frayed.

Even so, the Mets keep plugging away and if they can get their injured back – save Pelfrey – by the end of the homestand it could dictate for a promising summer.

The Mets have shown a resiliency and grit we haven’t enjoyed from them in recent seasons and here’s hoping it can continue.

Speaking of resiliency, I have not been what I expect of myself. This surgery has taken a toll. I realize I have missed posts and remain thankful to Joe DeCaro for posting for me. Over the years I’ve developed some loyal readers who have entertained and informed with their comments. I know I can’t go this alone much longer, so if there is anybody who would like the keys to the blog and initiate your own posts I’d like to talk with you.

Please send me an email at jdelcos@yahoo.com. Please include your phone. Let’s talk.