Apr 16

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #9; Maine time.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

John Maine gave up a couple of long balls in his last start in Miami against the Marlins. But, he pitched well enough to win if the offense had gotten him another hit or two.

Hitting with RISP has been a recurring theme for the Mets over the past couple of seasons, and this year has started out the same way. They made the most of a bunt single, couple of walks and an error last night, but a bases-loaded double would have saved some angst.

Although Maine pitched well enough to win, he’s still not out of the woods as far as his shoulder is concerned. It will be a little cooler tonight than it was in Florida.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Delgado, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ryan Church, RF
Ramon Castro, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
John Maine, P

Apr 10

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #4; Maine vs. Marlins.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets are in Miami tonight to face the Marlins, the team that eliminated them from playoff contention in the season’s final game in each of the last two years.

The 3-0 Marlins are for real and have loftier goals than being a spoiler this year. The 2-1 Mets will go with John Maine, who will make his first start since surgery to remove a bone spur from his throwing shoulder last August. Maine was 10-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 25 starts last season, and is 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA in six starts against the Marlins.

We can draw a couple of conclusions from the series in Cincinnati, beginning with the Mets’ starting pitching is an issue. To think the Marlins can’t handle Maine and Livan Hernandez tomorrow is absurd.

Apr 10

WANTED: Pitching

Sorry for the late post today.

I know it has only been three games, but I didn’t even need them to tell me the Mets still need to improve their starting pitching. After Johan Santana are you really convinced of what you’ll get from the other four in the rotation.

I believe in Mike Pelfrey, but his first start shows there are still growing pains. After reaching a career-high in innings pitched last season, will he hit a wall? There’s no way of knowing, but the assumption has to be made, and it has to be addressed.

John Maine goes tonight and he’s coming off shoulder surgery. Supposedly, it is minor, but everybody else’s surgery is always minor. Tonight will not be conclusive, one way or another.

Livan Hernandez is an innings eater at the end of his career. I liked the signing. Still do, but he is what he is. He’s a .500 pitcher these days, which is the definition of a fifth starter.

OK … Oliver Perez is next. He can be nails-on-a-chalkboard annoying to watch at times, such as yesterday. I don’t want to say the Mets can’t win with Perez, because afterall, he did win 15 for them two years ago. But, that’s looking more and more like a fluke.

Jake Peavy, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt could all be available come the end of July. The Mets can’t afford to be timid then. If it costs them F-Mart, then so be it. Quality pitching is more important anyway.

Apr 02

Over/under ….

Let’s take a look at what could be some of the key numbers for the Mets this year and you tell me if they’ll hit the over or under.

1. Wins 93
2. Wins over Philadelphia 9
3. Wins over Yankees 3
4. Blown saves by bullpen 16
5. Wins by Oliver Perez 15
6. Wins for Johan Santana 20
7. Wins by John Maine 15
8. Wins by Mike Pelfrey 15
9. Blown saves by K-Rod 6
10. Innings pitched by Mike Pelfrey 200
11. Home runs by Carlos Delgado in first half of season 20
12. Home runs by Carlos Delgado for season 40
13. RBI by David Wright 125
14. Stolen bases for Jose Reyes 60
15. Average by Ryan Church vs. LHP .270
16. Games played in left field by Daniel Murphy 120
17. Games played at second base by Luis Castillo 125
18. Luis Castillo average .285
19. Carlos Beltran homers 35
20. Mets to score at least 100 runs 3

Mar 31

Counting the days ….

This has arguably been the longest spring of my life. I can’t wait much longer for the season to begin. With a handful of days remaining before Opening Day in Cincinnati, the Mets remain a team with a handful of issues.

The first being pitching.

Mike Pelfrey, John Maine and Oliver Perez haven’t had the kind of seamless spring that inspires unbridled confidence. You can find something physical or mental about each that makes you wonder. Can you say there aren’t any concerns about any of them?

I like the make up of the bullpen, although a second lefty would be nice. I think they’ll keep O’Day.

I’m not worried about the catching. Brian Schneider is what he is. He’s never going to put up great numbers, but as long as he handles the staff that’s the main thing.

My belief is the most important position player as far as the offensive make-up is concerned is Carlos Delgado. He’s had a good spring so far, but we still don’t know who’ll we’ll get: Last year’s first-half or the second-half. If it’s the second half, there aren’t many worries about the offense.

Second base? Luis Castillo played well this spring. Answered a lot of questions. Here’s one more: How long can he keep it up, and where will he hit in the line-up. I’m still of the belief Castillo is at his best hitting second.

Left fielder Daniel Murphy remains impressive, but let’s remember his total body of work is small. Will he consistently hit left-handers. By the way, that’s the same question in right field with Ryan Church.

This is a good team, but these are all important and legit questions. Delgado and the pitching being the most pressing.