Aug 17

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #118; Livan stays in rotation.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The core is gone, maybe never to return this season. With the Mets well below .500 and expectations of this year faded to bitter memories, there’s really no reason to rush David Wright’s return, or that of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado.

Yes, there are reasons to see them, but none of the compelling team variety. The only one I can see them getting something for is Delgado in a waiver trade, but let’s face it, he’s not coming back.

The 55-62 Mets have played much of the year without Beltran, Delgado and Reyes, so watching Wright take a Matt Cain fastball in the earflap was especially difficult.

“He’s in our thoughts and our prayers,’’ Daniel Murphy said. “He’s the leader of this ball club.”

LIVAN: Stays in rotation.

LIVAN: Stays in rotation.

Livan Hernandez (7-7, 5.28) goes to the mound tonight against the Giants’ Joe Martinez (2-1, 6.00). Hernandez will try to rebound for his last two starts in which he gave up 12 runs on 15 hits and seven walks.

Manuel could have opted with Tim Redding or Nelson Figueroa, but stuck with Hernandez.

“Just looking back at everything, there’s been times where he’s had a couple bad outings and then he’s bounced right back,” Manuel said. “Hopefully we can get that from him now on the rest of the way.’’

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Cory Sullivan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Livan Hernandez, RP

NOTEBOOK: Only three players, Murphy, Schneider and Castillo from the Opening Day batting order. … Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano has not allowed an earned run in 14 of his past 15 appearances. … The Mets are 16-16 in one-run games, fitting for a team below .500. … Giants catcher Bengie Molina is expected to return to the lineup after Eli Whiteside replaced him Sunday. Molina, who hit the game-winning homer Saturday, is 8 for 17 with three homers lifetime versus Hernandez. … Alex Cora is still having some issues with his hand.

Aug 17

Wright on DL ….

By this time, I’m sure you are aware the Mets placed David Wright on the disabled list after yesterday afternoon’s game. The wisest of decisions.

WRIGHT: Placed on DL.

WRIGHT: Placed on DL.


Wright was examined by neurologists twice and stayed overnight at the Hospital for Special Surgery before being discharged Sunday. GM Omar Minaya said the Mets’ medical staff consulted with an external specialist in concussion management.

The recommendation was unanimous to sit Wright.

“This is not a baseball decision,” Minaya said. “This is a medical decision.”

There’s no telling, when or if, Wright will rejoin the team. With the season seven weeks away from its merciful ending, and with Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado doubtful to return from their injuries, there is no point in pushing Wright’s return.

The Mets might not be worth watching without Wright and the rest of the core, but in doing the right thing, they will be worth watching in the future.

“At this point, it’s the right thing to do,” Jeff Francoeur said. “I’m sure he doesn’t want to hear that; I hate to hear it, too, because we need him so bad. But the last thing we want is for him to go out there and dive for a ball and get hit again, and the next thing you know something’s seriously wrong.”

That was the case with Ryan Church last season. He was flown from Atlanta to Denver, but also had a handful of pinch-hit appearances that aggravated his condition. With Church, the Mets listened to what he told the training staff rather than just shutting him down. Later, Church, to his competitive credit and his foolishness, acknowledged he was driven to prove that he could play hurt.

Manager Jerry Manuel said Wright tried to fight him on the DL decision: “David wanted to try and give it a chance, and go out there and play – but, we decided to take it away from David. He really wanted to try and play, but based upon our doctors and specialist recommendations we said no… He tried to fight me, he said, ‘Come on, man, give me a chance,’ he definitely wants to be here, but he understood.”

To their credit, the Mets learned from Church. They will treat concussions more aggressively, which includes not relying on the player’s input.

Aug 08

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #110; Big night for Parnell.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The 51-58 Mets might be playing one of their most important games of the season tonight in San Diego when they start Bobby Parnell against the Padres.

The Mets, loaded with pitching questions, might not be the big players in the free agent market we all anticipate them to be. Therefore, if they are serious about considering Parnell for the rotation, it’s important they get some idea about him now.

As of now, the Mets have three givens in their rotation for next season: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and, like it or not, Oliver Perez. Let’s face it, Perez’s performance the other night bought him the goodwill needed to keep sending him out there. The Mets would like to count on John Maine, but the would have liked to have counted on him this season, too. Livan Hernandez has pitched will in half his starts. The other half, not so much.

PARNELL: Big opportunity.

PARNELL: Big opportunity.


Parnell will have a 70-pitch ceiling, which might not take him through the fifth inning. However, this is just like spring training. He’ll get ten more pitches or another inning the next time.

Parnell had been 2–3 with a 3.74 ERA in 45 2/3 innings, with 38 strikeouts. Parnell, a starter in the minors, has pitched well out of the bullpen, but his heart remains as a starter.

As a reliever, Parnell was able to get by on his 95 mph. fastball, but as a starter he’ll need to rely more on his slider, which is pretty good, and a splitter, which isn’t as refined.

Here’s the line-up behind Parnell:

Angel Pagan, CF
Alex Cora, SS
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 2B
Brian Schneider, C
Bobby Parnell, RP

NOTEBOOK: John Maine will try to play catch on Monday. … Luis Castillo might be available tomorrow. … Gary Sheffield is still bothered by a sore hamstring.

Aug 06

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #108; Brass on the trip.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Good evening. Tonight is one of those nights I wish I were still traveling with the Mets. Actually, there are a lot of them.

San Diego was always one of my favorite stops on the tour. Loved the weather and seafood. Great fish tacos. Four games in San Diego is sweet. Of course, it wasn’t for Willie Randolph last year when they lost a weekend full of heart breakers.

Interesting bit of news is Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya are on this trip. Last rites? Maybe they are doing what I suggested earlier and starting their evaluation process.

No, I don’t think they are going to sack Jerry Manuel at 3 a.m.

Livan Hernandez (7-5, 4.77 ERA) goes for the Mets against San Diego’s Clayton Richard (0-0, 1.59 ERA).

Here is the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Alex Cora, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Angel Berroa, SS
Livan Hernandez, RP

NOTES: Mike Pelfrey is now the proud father of Chase Michael Pelfrey. … Gary Sheffield’s hamstring is still barking. … Bobby Parnell is now in the rotation and will start Saturday. That was Pelfrey’s spot. Pelfrey will now start Monday in Arizona. … The Mets are ushering in Anderson Hernandez II. They reacquired the second baseman from Washington. … Jon Niese was placed on the 60–day disabled list and replaced on the roster by Elmer Dessens.

Aug 02

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #104; Finally playing after long delay.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM


Why can’t it rain when Oliver Perez pitches? Today’s game will be delayed by rain.

First things first, Perez is not inconsistent. Inconsistent means he mixes in a good game every once in awhile. It’s not that way. He’s consistent in that you know he’ll walk at least five and give up five or so runs. Yeah, that will do it.

It was a bad signing. The worst. But, that’s no longer news. I’m thinking next year they have to consider him in the bullpen role. He couldn’t do any worse because he would pitch less innings.

There’s injury news today. Jose Reyes is resting again. He’s not close to being ready. Carlos Beltran, meanwhile, took some batting practice. He’s closer, but has no date on him. Gary Sheffield has been activated from the disabled list, but isn’t in the line-up today against Arizona’s Jon Garland. JJ Putz hopes to throw Wednesday.

Here’s the line-up for the 50-53 Mets behind Pelfrey, that is, if they play:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Mike Pelfrey, RP (4-2, 3.90 ERA)

NOTE: Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of Thurman Munson. I once interviewed his widow and posted that story below. I hope you’ll take a read.-JD