No, not for a minute do I believe the Mets’ winning streak is tied to GM Omar Minaya’s comments about some of his players lacking a certain “edge” to them.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last game the Mets lost was one started by Oliver Perez that Saturday afternoon in Philly. The Mets came back to make a game of it before losing on a bases loaded walk from Sean Green.
From then on, they’ve played the way they said all along they were capable of.
The Mets are 12-3 when they get a quality start, which by definition – three runs in six innings – is kind of mediocre when you stop to think about it. Mets starters are 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA in their last seven starts.
When a team pitches well, and that should continue tonight with Johan Santana, then everything else falls into place. There’s less pressure on the offense and less strain on the bullpen. Games are crisper, smoother and played with a certain – what’s the word I’m searching for? – edge if you will.
The Mets are playing aggressive, alert baseball, and there are no worries about heart or calls for leadership.
Once the pitching goes in the tank again, and there will be a stretch when things don’t click again, we’ll hear about “edge” and grit and leadership.
The best pitcher in the sport will try to extend the Mets’ winning streak to three games tonight against the Phillies. Johan Santana could easily be 5-0 with a little more support.
Interesting changes in the line-up, beginning with Daniel Murphy batting sixth behind David Wright because Alex Cora gets the start at second. Ryan Church, who is in a dreadful slump and hitting .143 with RISP in on the bench.
Here’s the line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Jeremy Reed, RF
Omir Santos, C
Johan Santana, P
OLIVER PEREZ: The minors could help.
After all but agreeing to take a minor league assignment following Saturday’s loss, Oliver Perez’s right knee was conveniently wrapped in ice yesterday afternoon. He said it has been bothering him all year, which begs the question: Why didn’t the Mets say something earlier?
Perez might take a face-saving trip to the DL or might be used in relief sometime this week. As of now, he won’t make Friday’s start against Pittsburgh at Citi Field.
Perez can veto any demotion to the minor leagues because of his service time, which would make him incredibly selfish. If he does it would be interesting to see how many “leaders” in the Mets’ clubhouse would tell him that’s the thing for him to do.
I’d say none. Not even Johan Santana would suggest to him the minors is the way to go to fix his mechanics and attitude. The players will say it is beyond their responsibilities to tell a teammate to go to the minor leagues even if staying is the best interest of the team.
There’s something incredibly wrong with Perez that has nothing to do with his knee. And, the Mets can’t waste any more major league innings trying to figure it out.
Greetings from Citi Field. Today it is Johan Santana vs. Josh Johnson in a rematch. To update you, both Delgado and Castillo are out of the line-up but expected back Friday in Philly.
The assumption is Johan Santana will pitch well and the Mets should beat the Washington Nationals tonight. That’s always the assumption when the best pitcher in the major leagues faces its worst team.
The Mets come limping back into town losers of four straight games, the last three in St. Louis. The common denominator in the four games was the inability to hit with runners in scoring position and bad starting pitching. The only decent start came last Sunday against Milwaukee by Nelson Figueroa and he’s no longer in the organization.
As a stopper, Santana is expected to pitch well, but let’s not assume all is well with your heroes even should he throw a shutout.
Even should they sweep the Nationals, it won’t mean all is well. They need to go through the rotation two, three times getting solid starts to allay those concerns.
What we have with the 6-9 Mets is a developing trend. It obviously can’t continue at this rate, but even so, that’s still too small a sample to assume they should write off the season.