Jul 01

Mets Chat Room; Getting Santana back on track.

Game #79 at Nationals

Johan Santana takes the mound tonight looking to avoid losing his third straight start when the Mets go to Washington.

Santana (5-5, 3.55 ERA) has been uncharacteristically poor recently, going 1-3 with a 5.96 ERA in his last four starts.

“Is he frustrated? I don’t know, but he’s a competitor,’’ catcher Rod Barajas said. “He wants the ball every five days and when he doesn’t pitch as well as he thinks he should, he takes it hard. I don’t know if frustrated is the word, probably a little anger because he knows he has the stuff.’’

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Jun 25

Mets Chat Room: The Minnesota series.

Games #73-74-75

Folks. I have an obligation this weekend I must attend and won’t be back until Sunday afternoon.

I’m leaving the Chat Room open throughout the weekend for the Minnesota series and encourage you to post your thoughts when the mood strikes.

I don’t like leaving when the team is playing so well, but this is an obligation I can’t break.

Tonight, the Mets will attempt to get back to the winning side of the ledger behind Mike Pelfrey, who is coming off a 5-3 loss to the Yankees last weekend.

Pelfrey gave up five runs and a pair of two-run homers in seven innings of a 5-3 loss.

“He’s still a young pitcher who, over the course of a season and in his career, will hit small bumps,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “He just has to look back on them and get better.’’

Johan Santana and Jon Niese will start the next two games of the series.

Angel Pagan is expected to miss tonight’s game with a muscle spasm in his right side, but should return tomorrow.

Jun 25

Jerry waffles on Beltran

MANUEL: Looks indecisive.

Carlos Beltran said he felt better than expected after last night’s Single-A rehab game in Port St. Lucie. Beltran also said he would like to play in the Marlins series next week in Puerto Rico.

Manager Jerry Manuel waffled on the subject, first intimating it was possible then saying it was unlikely. What he didn’t do was what he should have done, and slammed the door on the issue.

“No, he’s not playing,’’ Manuel should have said. “I can appreciate him wanting to, but we have a plan for him and that would be rushing it.’’

There, now it is a closed case.

Manuel waffles all the time on a variety of issues, many of them injury related. It makes him come across as unsure and uninformed.

The last thing the Mets need is a setback with Beltran, and that’s exactly what could happen if they rush him. Why is that so hard to understand? Why can’t he just say it.

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 09

Maine on the road back

John Maine will get another chance to join the Mets’ rotation, but one has to wonder if that would be the case if Hisanori Takahashi hadn’t spit the bit his last two starts.

MAINE: Feeling better

After two strong starts, the last two have found Takahashi being mauled. In his last start against the Marlins, Takahashi hit a wall around the fifth. Even in his two strong starts, he struggled to get through six.

The Mets think he’s better out of the bullpen.

“We like Takahashi as a pitcher,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “We think we have lost something in the bullpen when he’s a starter, so that’s a scenario that could work if and when John Maine is healthy and we feel he’s ready to be part of the rotation.’’

Maine threw a simulated game last night, and if he’s pain free today will make a minor league rehab start. Then it’s back into the rotation.

It didn’t look like that would be the case last month when Manuel yanked him at Washington after throwing only five pitches. The two got into it in the dugout and Manuel pulled Maine from the rotation, insisting something was wrong. An MRI then revealed shoulder tendinitis.