Jul 28

Tonight’s lineup vs. Cardinals

Ike Davis gets the night off, to be replaced by Mike Hessman. Jason Bay’s concussion will keep him sidelined for the second straight game.

Here’s the lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS

Luis Castillo, 2B

Angel Pagan, LF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Mike Hessman, 1B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Henry Blanco, C

Johan Santana, LP

Jul 28

Manuel goes to bat for coaching staff

MANUEL: It will all fall on him.

After several swirling days of finger-pointing, at the Mets’ listless offense and hitting coach Howard Johnson, manager Jerry Manuel did his own pointing.

And, fittingly, he directed it in the same direction Mets fans have for nearly two years – at himself.

Manuel looked in the mirror and went to bat for the beleaguered Johnson and his other restless coaches.

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Jul 27

Tonight’s lineup vs. Cardinals

The Mets’ lineup tonight against St. Louis offers no surprises. We’ll see if it will be the same old story.

Jose Reyes, SS

Luis Castillo, 2B

Angel Pagan, LF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Ike Davis, 1B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Josh Thole, C

Jon Niese, LP



Jul 25

Mets Chat Room; limping home.

Game #99 at Dodgers

The Mets ended the first half with a sputter, but with optimism as they prepared to welcome Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes back to their lineup.

They started this 11-game road trip to start the second half as definite contenders in the NL East, but are ending it on a slide that could spell the end to their season.

They are 7 ½ games behind Atlanta and 1 ½ games behind Philadelphia. In fact, they are just as close to the Phillies as they are the Marlins.

In losing eight of 10 – and it should be nine of 10 – the Mets have batted .194 and averaged less than three runs a game.

“I’m not sure if it’s a matter of what they are doing to us or what we’re not doing,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “We have to find a way to score some runs.’’

Here’s today’s lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS

Luis Castillo, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Jason Bay, LF

Ike Davis, 1B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Josh Thole, C

RA Dickey, RP

Jul 22

Mets Chat Room; patchwork lineup and Takahashi tonight.

Backed by a patchwork lineup, the Mets’ Hisanori Takahashi is being asked not only to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, but stop a free fall.

Game #96 at Dodgers

The Mets have lost six of seven since the break – and should’ve lost the game they won – and eight of ten. Once 11 games over .500, tonight they are only three.

They are hitting .192 with 15 runs in the seven games since the break, prompting tonight’s sitting of Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran and Rod Barajas. Enter Jeff Francoeur and Chris Carter in the outfield and Josh Thole behind the plate.

Francoeur, acknowledged as a team leader, has been in a long funk even before losing his job with Beltran’s return from the DL. His public image is one of happy-go-lucky, but in the end it’s all about playing time and Francoeur said he’d welcome a trade. Perhaps even requested.

Against that backdrop is Takahashi, who didn’t make it out of the third in his last start, Saturday at San Francisco.

Impressive when he first entered the rotation as a fill-in, Takahashi has struggled, going 1-2 with a 10.90 ERA in his last four starts. In that span he’s given up seven homers.

This stretch is why the Mets believe he’s better suited for the bullpen, which is why it is surprising he’s getting the ball despite other options.

The Mets won’t give Pat Misch a start and the Mets refuse to start Oliver Perez, despite giving him medical clearance. Jerry Manuel said Perez will work out of the bullpen, something he proved last night he’s not equipped to do.