The red-hot Mets will attempt to keep it rolling tonight in Cleveland behind Jon Niese, who appears to have turned the corner since coming off the disabled list.
In his two starts since, Niese is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA, which included a one-hit shutout in his last start – missing a perfect game by that hit.
“Hopefully I don’t give up any runs the rest of the year, but that’s probably not going to happen,’’ Niese told reporters. “ I just go out there and try to put up zeroes every time, and when I don’t have good stuff that day, just do what I can to keep the team in the game.’’
Jerry Manuel is saying John Maine might need another rehab start after Friday night, which probably isn’t a bad idea considering he was clocked at 88 mph. in his last outing.
When Maine comes back he would most likely come back as a starter because Manuel fears his shoulder might not be able to handle the up-and-down nature of the bullpen.
Several years ago the Mets once toyed with the idea of moving Maine to the bullpen but resisted.
Word is Carlos Beltran is running with a limp, which still delays the timetable on his return.
Once Beltran moves from extended spring training games to a minor league rehab assignment the clock will start and the Mets would have 20 days to activate him.
NOTES: Luis Castillo is taking ground balls in Port St. Lucie and might be activated for the Yankees series at the Stadium this weekend. … With the Mets facing righthanded pitching until Sunday look for Chris Carter to remain as the DH.
Sometimes, I wish Jerry Manuel came with a mute button. Or at least a filter. Considering all that Carlos Beltran has gone through, to think he’d even consider activating him now for these games as a designated hitter is absurd.
BELTRAN: Not ready yet.
Just because he’s playing extended spring training games doesn’t mean he’s even close to being ready, even as a DH. I can understand him thinking it would be nice, but to suggest it out loud is just ridiculous. It’s like when he suggested Jose Reyes hitting third.
Doesn’t he think these things through before saying them?
Beltran doesn’t go full speed in these games, even if he’s playing in the outfield. I’m even concerned about the outfield in these games if he’s not able to go full speed.
The Mets botched this with Beltran from the outset, and to think otherwise is being naive. If the Mets are lucky, they’ll have Beltran back in August. And, that’s after an extended time in Buffalo.
The Mets are a flawed team, but one of them isn’t attitude.
Game #61 at Orioles
When asked what he liked best about his team he said “character,’’ that he has 25 players who mostly hustle and not give up on the play.
It has created a sense of chemistry. These Mets, unlike previous teams in recent years, really like each other and it goes beyond a whipped cream pie to the face during a TV interview.
These Mets genuinely like each other and it shows. Catch glimpses in the dugout during a game and you might see Johan Santana showing the grip of his change-up to another pitcher, or Jason Bay demonstrating hitting mechanics, in particular, how his shoulders are dropping.
The Mets have struggled at times, but they’ve never quit on Jerry Manuel and his message. Manuel has the clubhouse.