Sep 12

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #142; Twenty games left.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets (62-79) continue their four-game series with the Phillies (80-59) today at Philadelphia, with Mike Pelfrey (10-10, 4.83) going against Jamie Moyer (12-9, 4.98).

Including today, there are 20 games left in this dismal season. The Mets are 19 games behind the Phillies in the NL East and 19.5 games behind Colorado for a wild card. I’m just being official when I say do the math.

Pelfrey is 3-0 with a 3.70 ERA in four starts against the Phillies this season. He is coming off one of his rare good starts, when he gave up one run on five hits through a a season-high eight innings last weekend against the Cubs.

The following is yet another line-up for the Mets:

Luis Castillo, 2B
Fernando Tatis, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Omir Santos, C
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Wilson Valdez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Sep 11

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #141; Should have meant something.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets are in Philadelphia tonight for the start of a series that when the schedule was released, should have meant something. Frankly, it was just around the All-Star break when the feeling was surfacing the season would have a sour ending.

Before the end of July, it was obvious the season was lost.

The 2009 season is in its last breaths for the Mets, and manager Jerry Manuel tried to stress upon his team the need for finishing strong and upbeat. Manuel held a closed-door meeting prior to last night’s game and the team responded by getting blown out.

“I just wanted to be sure that we stay concentrating on what’s ahead,’’ Manuel said. “And, despite where we are in the standings, even though the end is very near, the quest for a championship continues.

“You have to try and prepare that mindset, despite the conclusion of the season being so close. There are enough players here who we feel are going to be a part of this, who still have to think in that mindset of championship.’’

The Class of the Division

The Class of the Division


Toward that end, Manuel wants to see an inspired series against the Phillies, but perhaps more importantly, he wants them to see and absorb how their nemesis plays the game. Usually, the Phillies play an alert, aggressive, fundamental brand of baseball, something the Mets frequently do not.

As gifted as the Mets think they are, and as dominant as they sometimes can be, too often they have this attitude where they can just throw their gloves on the field and just win. How the Phillies dissed the Mets last year in the playoffs with the Shane Victorino simulated home run trot of Jose Reyes, and Cole Hamels, “chokers,’’ comment, it is apparent they don’t respect Manuel’s team all that much.

More to the point, the Phillies know they can beat the Mets and simply believe like a hollow barrel, they make the most noise.

It would be nice to see the Mets play inspired ball this weekend. And, it is quite possible they might. However, it would be nicer to see them play inspired ball and finish the season that way. All too often, the Mets have spurted only to fizzle.

That’s not the makings of a championship caliber team, something the Mets have readily shown us the past three seasons.

MURPHY: Not a lot of happy moments this year for Mets and Murphy.

MURPHY: Not a lot of happy moments this year for Mets and Murphy.


The Mets (62-78) will send journeyman Nelson Figueroa (2-4, 4.74 ERA) against Hamels (8–9, 4.32 ERA).

As a makeshift starter, Figueroa has a 3.00 ERA in his last three starts with 20 strikeouts 18 innings. Hamels is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season, and for all his talk, has not defeated the Mets since 2006.

The weather is wet and bleak in Philly tonight, but the Phillies are saying the show will go on. Carlos Beltran will have the night off, presumably because of the wet turf. Also getting the night off is Daniel Murphy, which I don’t see. Don’t the Mets what to get a look at him in regards to their future plans and having him bat against a left-hander can be nothing but good for him.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Nick Evans, LF
Omir Santos, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Nelson Figueroa, RP

Sep 10

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #140; Trying to avoid Fish sweep.

METS CHAT ROOM

METS CHAT ROOM

A lot of bad things have happened to the Mets this season. Being swept at home by a National League team is not one of the them. The Mets with Bobby Parnell will attempt the Marlins from sweeping them out of Citi Field tonight.

Parnell (3-7, 5.25) is coming off a no-decision last Friday night in a start against the Chicago Cubs, giving up five hits over seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. Parnell, who opened the season in the bullpen, was shifted to the rotation because of injuries to Johan Santana and Oliver Perez.

PARNELL: The audition continues.

PARNELL: The audition continues.

Parnell should get at least three more starts this season, and with more showings like he had against the Cubs it should give the Mets a sense of comfort for spring training.

Of all the Mets’ make-shift starters, a list that includes Pat Misch, Nelson Figeuroa and Tim Redding, Parnell is the most likely to stay in the rotation for next year. Misch, a lefty, has a chance as a long man. Both Figueroa and Redding have only long-relief possibilities, barring surgery setbacks by Santana and Perez, and an inability to pick up a quality starter in the off-season.

Another question is John Maine, who is scheduled to pitch the second game of a day-night double-header Sunday against Philadelphia.

Sep 09

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #139; Misch tries to keep roll going.

METS CHAT ROOM

METS CHAT ROOM

The Mets’ decimated pitching rotation in tatters, it continues to be Mike Pelfrey and The Cast of Thousands, trying to see who that day can make it through five innings, or to touch the unimaginable — six innings.

Tonight’s starter, Pat Misch, Nelson Figueroa, Tim Redding and Bobby Parnell have all flashed positive signs that gives one pause to think, “maybe, must maybe, we have something here.”

Then it all goes a way in a flurry or walks and home runs, a reminder why these pitchers are journeymen to begin with. Of the four, Parnell has the best stuff and is the youngest. He has the best chance. He also needs experience. This year the Mets kept him to work out of the bullpen, then turned to him out of necessity. Next spring they should make a decision and stick with it, and that decision should be as a starter.

MISCH: Starts tonight vs.Fish

MISCH: Starts tonight vs.Fish


The others? Well, if Misch, Figueroa or Redding were in next year’s rotation, it would mean Omar Minaya didn’t have a good winter, somebody is still hurt, and count on another long year for the Mets.

Misch, Figueroa and Redding have shown enough positives to where they should be invited to spring training to compete for a long man role. Misch (1-1, 3.25) earned his first major league win Thursday at Colorado, giving up two runs (two solo homers) on four hits in seven innings of an 8-3 victory.

“The key was I minimized the traffic on the bases,” Misch said. “There wasn’t any one on when they got the home runs.”

The Mets will have Carlos Beltran in the line-up again tonight. Beltran was activated from the disabled list Wednesday and went 1-for-4 in his first game since June 21.

“It will probably take him a few games to really find his rhythm at the plate,” manager Jerry Manuel said of Beltran. “I think once that starts he will get on track, so to speak. He looked pretty good.”

Sep 08

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #138; Sweet revenge?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

In each of the past two seasons the Florida Marlins put the finishing touches on a Mets’ collapse. The Mets can get a measure a sweet revenge with a three-game series beginning tonight at Citi Field.

In September of 2007, the Mets (62-75) lost 12 of their last 17 games to blow a seven-game lead to Philadelphia. Several Jose Reyes brain cramps highlighted the collapse, but the game most people will remember is Tom Glavine not getting out of the first inning in the season finale, which turned out to be his last game as a Met. Glavine further alienated Mets’ fans when he said he wasn’t “devastated,” by the loss. Glavine was speaking in the literal sense of the word, but emotionally charged Mets’ fans wanted no part of it.

GLAVINE: Sour taste in Mets' finale.

GLAVINE: Sour taste in Mets' finale.


Last season, the final at Shea Stadium, the Marlins took it to the Mets in the season finale again as they dropped 10 of their final 17 games to kick away a 3 1/2-game advantage over the Phillies. Not only did the Phillies win the NL East, but went on to win the World Series.

The Marlins (72-65) have won seven of 12 games this season against the Mets (including splitting six games at Citi Field) and including tonight, have six games remaining against New York.