Sep 18

Mets Chat Room: Santana goes for the split.

Johan Santana pitches tonight for the split at Washington. After last night’s game, Jerry Manuel said his expectations for Santana were to go 170 pitches. He was joking, but after sending out seven relievers last night you had to wonder if there wasn’t a grain of truth to what he was saying.

We all know about how Santana has been shortchanged by his teammates this season, both in run support and bullpen help.

He really does need to get at least into the eighth inning tonight. Nine would be even better.

Luis Ayala closed last night. It’s probably a good assumption to think the same tonight.

Sep 17

In case you were wondering ….

Aaron Heilman wants to be a starter and the Mets needed a starter for tonight. They came up with Brandon Knight.

Why not finally give Heilman his shot?

Well, for one thing, he hasn’t proven he can get hitters out in one inning, much less five or six. He’s only thrown 1 1/3 innings this month. Obviously, Jerry Manuel has no faith in him, and consequently, Heilman has no faith in himself.

Heilman struggled much of this season and he had one chance to piece together his fragile confidence, and that was when Billy Wagner went down. Manuel gave Heilman a chance to close a game and he blew it. Manuel then pulled the plug on Heilman in the closer role.

You want to crush whatever confidence he had left, and that’s the way to do it.

Anyway, Heilman was good in his role for the Mets, but he never seemed to recover from giving up the homer to Molina in the 2006 NLCS. He said all the right things, but something was missing.

The Mets resisted dealing Heilman the past two winters, but I don’t see that this time around. If they are offered a package they’ll bite. They have to.

Sep 17

Some perspective on Tatis

This quote from Jerry Manuel on Fernando Tatis is surprising: “”When we lose Tatis, we definitely have to reassess where we are offensively.”

Huh?

He came out of nowhere and had a good season, but the truth is he is a role player. He was part of a platoon. You reassess with a full time starter.

The Mets will miss Tatis, and the cynic in me says they’ll do so because the Big Three has stopped hitting. Losing Tatis should mean more Daniel Murphy, and hopefully that will include against lefty pitchers.

There was a spark to the offense with Murphy batting second that has gone. The Mets need that back.

As far as Tatis is concerned, he gave the Mets more than they could have hoped for when they signed him and he deserves to be brought back.

Tatis separated his shoulder trying to make a diving catch on pitcher Odalis Perez’s double. He is gone for the remainder of the season and that includes the playoffs.

“He’s done,” Manuel said. “That’s very discouraging, to lose a big piece of where we are and what we’ve accomplished so far.”

Tatis hit .297 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI filling in for Moises Alou and Ryan Church.

Alou, by the way, hasn’t said anything about retirement.

Sep 16

Team meeting in DC

Jerry Manuel held a team meeting to rally the troops. Really, what can he say? With less than two weeks remaining, if the boys don’t know what is at stake now then they never will.

The bullpen has been a mess all season and they’ve been spotty hitting with runners in scoring position, and that’s still the case.

Actually, I’m tired of hearing “we’re better than this.” Well prove it.

Sep 16

Mets in the Afternoon

-Jerry Manuel said John Maine’s role next year will be as a starter and not out of the bullpen. With the possible departures of Pedro Martinez and Oliver Perez, what would you expect him to say?

-Nice job by Robert Parnell last night, but remember there was no pressure. He deserves a chance under the gun.

-Damion Easley’s quad is still not right and he’s several days away from playing in the field. I’m changing my position on Luis Castillo. I said the Mets are trying to give him the at-bats over Argenis Reyes to prepare him for the playoffs. But, there might not be any playoffs and Castillo brings nothing to the table. I’m all for buying out his contract for next year, so why not cut ties now?