Apr 05

Chris Young kicks off series in Philly tonight

Much of the pre-series buzz is about sending a message to the Philadelphia Phillies. Nice hype, but I’m not buying. Even should the Mets sweep the Phillies this week, what message could they possibly send to a team that has reached the playoffs the last three years, including the World Series twice?

YOUNG: Comeback story starts tonight.

By most accounts, the Phillies – even with Chase Utley and Brad Lidge shelved – remain the class of the NL East and are well aware of the annoyance they call the Mets. It’s usually electric when the teams play, but the Phillies are the superior team and they know it.

What’s important to the Mets is they don’t believe it, even though that has been the prevailing feeling in the clubhouse when they compare themselves to Philly. With a good series, the only message the Mets would be sending is to themselves, and the best way to start is to not get ahead of themselves by making more of this series than it really is.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s Game Four,” David Wright said. “It’s obviously a very, very good team. I think it’s a challenge. I don’t think either team is out to necessarily prove anything this early in the season. But it would be nice to go in there and win a series.”

A competitive series would also help in setting the stage for the home opener this Friday. If the Mets get waxed it won’t make for a festive mood this weekend.

Chris Young gets the ball tonight for the Mets. Young threw well during spring training,but coming off a shoulder injury and signed for a bargain basement price, the Mets don’t know what to expect from him.

Young, who hasn’t started 30 games in a season since, 2007, threw 25.1 pain-free innings while compiling a 1.78 ERA in spring training.

“I feel good,” Young told reporters in Florida, where the Mets opened their season by winning two of three from the Marlins. “I’ve made some good strides. I think my arm strength’s increased, breaking ball’s gotten sharper, command’s better. It was a good spring training.”

But, will it be a good year? That’s one of the Mets’ significant questions.


Apr 04

A good weekend in Florida for Mets; Bay still ailing.

The Mets didn’t win their first road series last year until June. They didn’t win their first on the road against a National League team until August.

That’s just the beginning of a positive first impression to take out of the first weekend for the Mets, a team with lowly expectations.

Take away Mike Pelfrey on Friday, and it was a good weekend for the Mets in Florida as they received strong pitching performances from Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey, questions going in.

“The first game was more of what Josh Johnson did than what we didn’t do,’’ said David Wright. “All in all, it was a good weekend, especially since the last couple of years we’ve had a lot of trouble here. It’s good to get off to a good start. We’re going to have to play just as well in Philadelphia [next series].’’

While nobody is getting carried away by the Marlins series, following the Mets must include finding your silver linings when you can. The Mets didn’t let blowing a ninth inning lead derail them Saturday and they put a team away Sunday, both signs missing from last season.

Chris Young will start for the Mets tomorrow night in Philadelphia, where things are always different.

Meanwhile, Jason Bay’s ribs are still hurting and he hasn’t begun swinging a bat, yet. I wouldn’t be placing any bets on him returning in a week. Also, Jason Isringhausen is feeling discomfort in his back. Just as well he took the extended spring training.


Apr 03

Niese sharp against Marlins; Dickey goes for series win.

The way things started last night for Jon Niese, I didn’t expect him to last long, set alone give up only one hit in the next six innings.

NIESE: Sharp last night.

That upside I mentioned yesterday about Niese? Well, we saw it last night.  He was a definite bright spot. So was David Wright, who drove in two runs with a homer and single.


With Jason Bay down and the Carlos Beltran on the mend, the Mets need a good start from Wright.

Beltran, meanwhile, scored from first on a double by Ike Davis. He also doesn’t seem to have any problems moving in the outfield.

I like how the Mets came back from the first inning and after Francisco Rodriguez blew a save opportunity in the ninth. There was no sign of a fragile confidence.

Other good impressions after the first two games:

* Everybody is hustling. No malingerers in the batting box.

* Brad Emaus has looked comfortable at second.

* There’s pep in Jose Reyes’ step.

The Mets go for the series win this afternoon behind R.A. Dickey.

Here’s the batting order:

Jose Reyes, SS

Willie Harris, LF

David Wright, 3B

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Lucas Duda, RF

Daniel Murphy, 2B

Josh Thole, C

R.A. Dickey, RP


Apr 01

Pelfrey rocked in opener

The Mets’ 50th season opened tonight in Florida in much the way many thought it would, with the Mets losing to the Marlins, 6-2.

PELFREY: Didn't have it tonight.

Not really a surprise considering Mike Pelfrey’s track record against Florida (now 1-7) and Josh Johnson’s while facing the Mets (now 8-1).

The night was about dominance, as Johnson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Wouldn’t it have been just like the Mets to be no-hit in the first game of a new era?

Pelfrey unraveled in the fourth when he gave up a grand slam to John Buck in his first jam of the season. The Mets gave up 12 slams last season, most in the majors.

The Mets looked listless as they mustered just four hits, with half of them coming from Willie Harris. Four hits just won’t get it done.

The rotation this summer, with Johan Santana out, will be all about Pelfrey. He’s their ace, their top gun, and not making it out of the fifth is something they can’t afford.


Apr 01

Pelfrey faces Marlins in season opener; check out new poll.

I’m asking you in a new poll where you believe the Mets will finish this season. I am planning more polls this summer, so if there’s something you’d like to nominate, please feel free to contact me.


Another season starts tonight with Mike Pelfrey going against Josh Johnson. Pelfrey knew he’d be getting this start when manager Terry Collins spoke with him at a charity event in January.

“Obviously, you look at Santana, it would be his if he was here,” Pelfrey said. “But that’s still something that everyone wants to do, that everyone strives to do.”

Pelfrey’s career has been one of unfulfilled expectations for the first few years of his career until things started to fall in place last year. The lost focus suddenly sharpened, his sinker started to drop and he began to challenge hitters with his fastball and Pelfrey pitched like an All-Star in the first half of the season.

If not for a horrid July in which he went 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA, Pelfrey might have closed in on 20 wins. As it was, he won a career-high 15 games and is poised for better things.

“I learned from that stretch,” Pelfrey said. “I learned not to give up on my fastball and to not get away from challenging hitters.”

This blog continues to develop and one thing we’re going to do is hook up with Rivalroo.com and Metsmerizedonline for chat rooms. Hopefully, this will work out for the better. Just click on to the icon to the left and follow the prompts.

Wishing you all a great year.