Jun 23

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #69; keeping it together.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

“We have to play in the fashion we did last night,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel of how his team pieced together an impressive victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets played alert, aggressive baseball to back the strong pitching performance of Tim Redding. Tonight they’ll throw Livan Hernandez (5-1) at the Cardinals. Hernandez, as much as anybody, is responsible for the Mets only being 1.5 games behind the Phillies in the NL East.

It’s hard to believe the Mets are that close considering how they’ll played this month.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Fernando Tatis, LF
Ryan Church, RF
Omir Santos, C
Fernando Martinez, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Livan Hernandez, RP

Jun 16

Where’s the biggest hole?

I see where the tabs are calling for Omar Minaya to make a trade. So, what else is new? They are always calling for Minaya to make a trade.

But, which hole do you fill?

Do you go after a first baseman to replace Carlos Delgado and the impotent tandem of Fernando Tatis/Daniel Murphy? Delgado says he’ll be back this year, but there are no guarantees.

How about a shortstop to replace Jose Reyes, who apparently isn’t any closer to returning now than he was when he was placed on the disabled list? Alex Cora won’t hurt the Mets defensively and so far hasn’t been a offensive liability. Cora has been a fulltime player, but he won’t give them the spark of Reyes.

There’s always pitching. John Maine and Oliver Perez are on the disabled list. Mike Pelfrey has been erratic. They’ve gotten a lot from Livan Hernandez, but how long will that continue? They can’t count on big numbers from Tim Redding.

The Mets could contend with what they have at first and shortstop, but not if their pitching collapses. If they make a trade, and I believe they have to, it has to be adding pitching. I just don’t know if they have the chips to make a trade.

Jun 12

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #59; Subway (yawn) Series returns.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Followers of this blog know of my disdain for interleague play and the Subway Series, which I consider a gimmick that has run its course. It was all downhill after the 2000 World Series.

The players put on a good front, but the truth is most don’t like the Subway Series because it throws them out of their routines. There’s nothing compelling about it anymore, and there’s no such thing as bragging rights.

HERNANDEZ: Has come up big for Mets.

HERNANDEZ: Has come up big for Mets.

The Mets enter the weekend on a down note after losing two of three to Philadelphia. The Mets are hanging around with a minimum of offense because of the losses of Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado.

A big reason why they are hanging around is tonight’s starter, Livan Hernandez, who has provided the innings as a fifth starter. Hernandez is coming off a June 7 victory over the Washington Nationals in which he threw seven scoreless innings. Hernandez has a nifty 1.57 ERA over his last four starts, and has allowed three runs or less in seven of his last eight.

However, Hernandez is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five career starts versus the Yankees. He goes against Joba Chamberlain.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Alex Cora, SS
Fernando Martinez, LF
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Gary Sheffield, DH
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B

May 21

OFF DAY: Licking their wounds edition.

It’s almost noon on the East Coast. Most of the Mets are probably snoozing right about now after their red eye flight from LA. I know most of you are thinking they’ve been snoozing the last three days against the Dodgers.

I take four positive things from the last three days, but two of them are tempered:

1) Daniel Murphy seems comfortable at first base after the horror show that was left field. His bat, however, needs to come around again. I believe Murphy will get through this, so right now he’s gone down on my worry meter.

2) Tim Redding came back with a strong effort Monday night. It’s a good sign. Better, of course, than if he were bombed. But, he has to keep doing it.

3) I was encouraged by Livan Hernandez’s strong outing last night in the terms of innings. Still, he’s a question because you can’t rely on him every fifth day to give you what he gave them last night.

4) David Wright continues to hit as is Carlos Beltran. They are the only players performing to their capabilities offensively.

All that being said, there are more than enough areas of concern for the Mets, beginning with the leg injury to Jose Reyes. He reinjured his calf last night after missing five games and his availability for the Boston series is questionable. Ramon Martinez and Fernando Tatis aren’t the answers, which gives you an indication of how much they miss Alex Cora. The injuries to Reyes and Carlos Delgado are emblematic of the franchise’s lack of depth in the minor league system.

What else is going wrong?

* I have no idea what to get from start to start from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey is becoming a source of concern also. These are your Nos. 2 and 3 starters and they take the ball every fifth day more as question marks than exclamation points.

* Luis Castillo has returned to earth following a fast start. His range is limited and he’s in an offensive funk. Also struggling offensively is Tatis, especially with runners in scoring position.

* JJ Putz has not been as good as advertised.

* Ryan Church used to be a doubles machine but he’s not driving the ball anymore. He’s of little value as a singles hitter.

* Collectively, the offense has packed it in the last four games and they face three good arms in Fenway. This is not the weekend that screams breakout.

* The defense has been spotty, something you can’t afford with spotty starting pitching and a comatose offense.

May 20

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #40; avoiding the broom.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The future is now for Daniel Murphy.

Murphy, the Mets’ first baseman of the future, will start at the position tonight in Los Angeles as the club attempts to avoid being swept by the Dodgers. Manager Jerry Manuel said Murphy would also start the three games in Boston.

Manuel has been going with Jeremy Reed and Fernando Tatis at first in place of Carlos Delgado, who underwent hip surgery Monday and will be out at least two months.

All I can say is it’s about time. Circumstances dictate drastic measures and that includes seeing if Murphy can handle the position. There’s only one way to find out, and that is to play him.

Here’s tonight’s line-up”

Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Ryan Church, RF
Ramon Castro, C
Angel Pagan, LF
Livan Hernandez, P