Jun 17

Not too early to be thinking about pitching trades.

The Mets’ June cruise has not only made them relevant in the National League pennant races, but subsequently also at the July 31 trade deadline.

LEE: July's big fish.

With management believing this is no fluke and the Mets will continue to play alert, aggressive baseball, there are serious discussions not whether they should trade, but whom to trade for – and just as important, whom they should not trade.

Their interest, despite this remarkable run by the rotation, must remain pitching. First rotation; second bullpen.

There is a sense of calm derived from how well Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey have pitched, and a feeling of optimism with Jon Niese’s run since coming off the disabled list.

Slots four and five are a house of cards.

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Jun 16

Mets Chat Room: Rolling towards first.

Game #65 at Indians

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.’’

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Jun 16

Tonight’s lineup vs. Indians

There are a lot of reasons why the Mets are sizzling, and one of them has been a relative consistency in the batting order. We have what has been the mostly normal batting order tonight at Cleveland:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Jason Bay, LF

Chris Carter, DH

Rod Barajas, C

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Jon Niese, LP

Jun 14

Friend: Oswalt would OK deal to Mets.

Just because Roy Oswalt told a friend he would accept a trade to the Mets doesn’t mean he’s in Manhattan on the off-day looking at apartments.

OSWALT: Won't come cheap.

Depending on what “friend’’ you talk to, Oswalt said he’d also accept trades to Philadelphia, St. Louis, the Yankees, Texas and Washington Nationals. However, if it means getting out of Houston, a chance at the playoffs and perhaps an extension, the list of places suddenly favorable to Oswalt could grow.

The Mets have been getting sterling pitching from rotation fill-ins RA Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi – together they are 9-2, but Takahashi is only 2-1 as a starter – but that’s not to say all their pitching concerns have been answered.

We don’t know how long this run will last as neither Dickey nor Takahashi are proven over the long haul. We don’t know that about Jon Niese, either, and John Maine continues to throw 88.

If the Mets are to get Oswalt, they should strike now while it is early. The closer to the deadline, the more the Astros will be asking.

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Jun 10

Mets Chat Room: A long day at Citi Field.

Maybe the Mets will score for him today. The Mets, winners of nine straight home games, haven’t been supportive of their ace.

Games #59/60 vs. Padres

Johan Santana has been marvelous, throwing 15 straight scoreless innings over his last two starts, but having nothing to show for it. In his last start, he threw seven scoreless at San Diego, but the Mets went on to lose 5-1 in 11 innings.

Santana’s ERA over his last five games is 0.74, but the Mets have given him two or fewer runs in four of them. Santana has four victories, but with a little support he could have eight. Easy.

Santana will start Game 1 of the day-night doubleheader at Citi Field and Jon Niese will start the second game.

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