Aug 29

A Message To Josh Thole

If not a breakout season, 2012 was supposed to be a season where catcher Josh Thole would take it to another level, both defensively and as a hitter. That hasn’t been the case, and one hopes Thole will receive the message manager Terry Collins is sending him tonight.

THOLE: Sitting tonight vs. righty.

Originally, right-handed hitting Kelly Shoppach – who homered last night – was to start against left Cole Hamels. However, when Hamels was scratched this afternoon because of a stomach ailment and replaced by right-handed call-up Tyler Cloyd, Collins stuck with Shoppach instead of going to Thole.

Maybe Collins is simply rewarding Shoppach, but somewhere in there must be a message the Mets aren’t satisfied with what Thole is giving them. Production from behind the plate is needed, but it isn’t to the dire point where the Mets will move away from Thole, so he should report to spring training as the starter, but the patience in him is getting shorter.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Ruben Tejada, ss

Daniel Murphy, 2b

David Wright, 3b

Ike Davis, 1b

Lucas Duda, lf

Scott Hairston, cf

Mike Baxter, rf

Kelly Shoppach, c

Matt Harvey, rhp

INTERESTING NOTE: Scott Hairston has already cleared waivers so there are contenders seeking an outfield bat who are scouting the Mets. Hairston is is center tonight, which makes me wonder if the Mets are showcasing his versatility.

Hairston, by the way, has been productive off the bench and is somebody the Mets should bring back.

 

Jun 02

Mets rally to win; don’t go overboard on Collins’ speech.

The easy thing to do would be credit this afternoon’s startling comeback on Terry Collins’ blistering rant last night.

Maybe Collins shamed them somewhat, but it didn’t seem that way from the outset when Mike Pelfrey gave it up early. I think falling behind 7-0 had more to do with sparking the Mets than anything Collins said last night.

When you’re a professional athlete, sometimes it takes being pushed around to catch your attention, and that’s what happened today. Maybe for one day at least, enough was enough.

Pelfrey did nothing yesterday to prove he’s a No. 1 starter, but Carlos Beltran showed his mettle with a three-run homer hit early enough in the game to make a comeback a realistic thought.

After their early hole, the Mets played an aggressive, sound game, something they should be doing all the time. That was the essence of Collins’ message in the first place.

It’s an oversimplification to say Collins going off carried the Mets. If it was that easy, he’d rail all the time. In baseball, where they play 162 games, results are rarely attained by yelling.

Maybe the Mets were just due today. Maybe it was playing the Pirates, a team as Willie Harris said, “is not much better than them.’’

The Mets have had games like this before, but weren’t able to build on them. This weekend it’s the Braves coming in and we’ll see if the Mets are able to feed off today or just burp and regress.