Aug 27

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #128; Can’t anybody here play this game?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

It was the Mets’ first season when Casey Stengel asked: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

It has proven a timeless quote, as the same question must be asked this season. Sure, there have been injuries that crippled this year, but even so, the Mets should be better. As much as they miss David Wright, John Maine, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, and now Johan Santana, they are also missing something else. They are missing the intangibles possessed by all winning teams.

The Mets have given up on the season and you can see it in their faces. You can also see it in their efforts and attention to details and fundamentals. Part of this responsibility must be assumed by Jerry Manuel, who has not always cracked the whip. He treats his players like men, assuming they will focus, not like the minor leaguers they often resemble.

The Mets don’t consistently do what winners do. They don’t take the extra base. They don’t advance runners. Manuel said it himself, they habitually leave runners on third with less than two outs. They give away far too many at-bats.

Defensively, and we saw this last night, they don’t consistently execute the double play and often give the opposition extra outs. Some of this is due to players, such as Daniel Murphy, learning new positions. But, Luis Castillo has played second for a long time.

And, the pitching. Injured as it is, walks far too many batters and doesn’t finish them off when they are ahead in the count. Staggering are the number of two-strike and two-out hits, and pitches left over the plate.

And, it isn’t all Oliver Perez, either. Mike Pelfrey, a supposed rotation stalwart of the future, has taken a step back.

STENGEL: Would he be mystified?

STENGEL: Would he be mystified?


This is not a healthy team, but it is also not a fundamentally sound team, either. You are what you are, and the Mets aren’t a good team. They have been a study in creative losing.

They are in Florida today, the site where Murphy dropped the fly ball that beat Santana. … There was blowing the five-run lead to the Pirates. … The Ryan Church game in LA. … The Castillo pop-up. … The triple-play game. … The wild-pitch loss in Philly.

As Stengel once said, and we can repeat it this year: “Been in this game one-hundred years, but I see new ways to lose ‘em I never knew existed before.”

They have lost five straight and are on the verge of being swept today by the Marlins. Standing in their way is, gasp, Tim Redding, and this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Wilson Valdez, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, 2B
Tim Redding, RP

Jun 21

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #67; avoiding another series loss.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When you keep losing series, you’ll never get on track and that’s where the Mets find themselves today against Tampa Bay. The Mets began the month trying to avoid a June Swoon. It has turned out that way, but lucky for them nobody else in the division has been able to run away.

It’s still winnable, but not if this continues.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier in the coming weeks with St. Louis, the Yankees and Phillies again, and Atlanta.

Especially discouraging is how the Mets have lost this year. There have been a lot of tough losses: the Murphy dropped fly in Florida that beat Santana; the Castillo dropped pop against the Yankees; the blown five-run lead against the Pirates; the Church game in LA where he failed to touch third base; yesterday’s loss to the Rays; and several others, including a couple of games in which they blew a three-run lead.

Championship caliber teams find a way to win these games and that’s something the Mets haven’t done with any consistency.

It has to change.

Jun 05

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #53; facing the Nationals.

CHAT ROOM vs. Nats.

CHAT ROOM vs. Nats.

The sluggish Mets are in DC, armed with Tim Redding, in an attempt to stop their slide at three games.

The field is a mess in DC, but the game is supposed to start on time.

Redding’s first start since coming off the DL was a good one in LA, but he hasn’t shown much since.

The Mets are a hurting group, relying way too much on their role players. And, it doesn’t help that David Wright is in a slump.

June is a critical month for the Mets in that half their core is missing and the schedule will get tougher. If they can hold it together they should be in decent position come July.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Fernando Tatis, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Fernando Martinez, LF
Brian Schneider, C
Tim Redding, P

NOTEBOOK: No timetable for Jose Reyes’ return. … Gary Sheffield rests tonight and will rest Sunday. … Jerry Manuel said it was likely (didn’t say definite) that Fernando Martinez will stay when Ryan Church is activated from the disabled list.

Jun 02

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #51; Santana tries to get them on-track.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Last night was as brutal a loss as they come. Maybe the Ryan Church game in LA was worse. It was the kind of game that could kick off a losing streak.

Fortunately for the Mets, they have Johan Santana (7-2, 1.77 ERA) going for them. Santana is coming off a season-high six-walk performance, but with 11 strikeouts in a win over Washington.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Luis Castillo, 2B
Fernando Martinez, LF
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Ramon Martinez, SS
Jeremy Reed, CF
Johan Santana, P

Jun 02

Ripe for a June swoon?

PUTZ: What's wrong?

PUTZ: What's wrong?

One game does not make a month, but last night was not a good way to start June. Maybe the Ryan Church game in LA was worse, but it’s hard to image any more disheartening defeats than last night.

I’ve called the Mets a flawed team, and such was the case against the Pirates. The offense called it a game after the third inning and JJ Putz imploded in the eighth. Jerry Manuel didn’t help matters when he let the struggling Putz stay in after two or three hitters. It was obvious he wasn’t going to find the switch.

I wrote prior to the game that it was encouraging for the role players to step up and Reed and Valdez did that. However, role players are role players for a reason and the Mets need the return of their core big time.

We might not see Carlos Delgado this year and Jose Reyes is on the horizon. David Wright continues to slump, Carlos Beltran missed another game and there’s Putz.

The guy isn’t right. He needs to be looked at again and if something is wrong then go on the DL. He’s not doing anybody any good the way he is now.

Until Putz gets it together, Bobby Parnell should assume the eighth inning role as the bridge to Francisco Rodriguez.