Jul 29

I can’t believe they walked Pujols.

Prior to every series, the manager and his coaches go over the opposition’s lineup and pick a player they won’t let beat them. He’s a player you don’t pitch to unless you absolutely need to. Albert Pujols is such a player.

Given that, Jerry Manuel’s decision to pitch to Pujols boggles the mind. That he wasn’t swinging the bat well doesn’t matter. He’s Pujols. You walk him.

Jul 24

Mets Chat Room; Pelfrey tries to halt his slide.

Game #98 at Dodgers

NOTE: Sorry about last night. I had some computer issues and watched helplessly as the Mets finally won.

The Mets stopped one slide last night, can they halt another this afternoon?

The Mets’ dismal road trip – now 2-7 after Johan Santana’s sparkler last night – continues today in Los Angeles with Mike Pelfrey attempt to end a three-game losing streak in which he has failed to make it out of the fifth inning in each.

“I’m just going through one of the worst stretches of my life,’’ said Pelfrey, who has a 15.30 ERA during that span.

In the worst start of his career Monday in Arizona, Pelfrey gave up six runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said Pelfrey has a mental block when it comes to his fastball; he doesn’t trust it anymore and is relying too much on his secondary pitches.

“He’s not a finesse pitcher, he’s not a trick guy,’’ Manuel said.  “He’s a power, sinker guy, and that’s what he’s got to get back to.’’

Jul 23

Mets Chat Room; season sliding away.

The Mets have given up most of the ground they gained in June. They are 5-13 for July, including losers of four straight and seven of eight on this road trip. They have lost 6 ½ games in the standings to be 7 ½ games behind the Braves.

Game #97 at Dodgers

There’s still time, but it is amazing how it slips away.

Things are even more pressing considering the Mets have three games with the Dodgers, and three each with St. Louis, Atlanta and Philadelphia. They also have three with Arizona, but all they need to do is look at the beginning of the week to know that’s not a slam dunk.

For all the talk about needing another starter, which is still true considering Mike Pelfrey’s slide and the erratic performances of Hisanori Takahashi, it is the offense that has collapsed, scoring four runs or fewer in their last 13 games.

Going tonight is Johan Santana, who knows something about non-support as he has watched the Mets give him three runs or less in 12 of his 20 starts.

“This is a team effort, and it’s part of the game,” Santana said. “We’re going to struggle sometimes, we’re going to do good sometimes. All I got to do is go out there and do my job and try to help to get a win. That’s the way I approach the game.’’

Santana has done his part, with the Mets winning his last three starts. He is 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA in that span.

“We’ve got to eventually turn this thing around,” said manager Jerry Manuel. “Somebody’s got to find a way to get hot and carry us for a minute.’’

Well, a little bit more than a minute would be nice.

Jul 23

Just do the math ….

I see where Omar Minaya gave Jerry Manuel a vote of confidence. Not that it matters. You know how those things work out.

Also, Fernando Nieve was designated for assignment after last night’s game. Yeah, that will do it.

Honestly, after doing the math I’m not sure anything will, even if the offense scores ten runs tonight.

Just do the math.

The Mets are 49-47, two games over .500 when they were once 11.

Assuming it takes 90 wins to qualify as a wild card, the Mets would have to go 41-25 (16 games over .500) the rest of the way.

Never mind how many days until the trade deadline, how many days until spring training?

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.