Sep 30

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #158; Limping home.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

This afternoon is the season in a nutshell: The Mets will try to salvage something from their series with the Washington Nationals.

Since when does a championship caliber team need to salvage a series with the Nationals? Oh, that’s right, the Mets aren’t that kind of team. After winning two of three in Florida, the Mets could have ended their final road trip of the season on a winning note. Instead, the Mets lost the first two games of this series to the worst team in baseball.

Last night was typified the season as they had breakdowns in all aspects of their game.

This afternoon, Tim Redding gets the honors. Thrust into the rotation with injuries to Johan Santana and Oliver Perez, Redding has made the most of his opportunity to make an impression for next year.

Sep 30

Pelfrey continues to puzzle.

Mike Pelfrey retired the first seven batters he faced last night, five of them on ground balls. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Then it unraveled for him as it usually does and you knew it would be one of those nights when Ian Desmond homered in the fifth.

I really don’t want to hear how Pelfrey has been distracted with by getting married and having a kid. The bottom line is Pelfrey has regressed dramatically this season to the point where you have to wonder if he’ll ever make it.

PELFREY: Another disappointing start.

PELFREY: Another disappointing start.


Manager Jerry Manuel said he’s in the 2010 rotation, but it’s by default as the Mets are so pitching depleted that they have to run with Pelfrey’s potential much the same way they do with Oliver Perez.

The fact is, if the Mets had other options, Pelfrey would have been better off in the minor leagues. He’s done for the season with a lackluster 10-12 record, accumulated by the same old mistakes.

Pelfrey loses his concentration when things go wrong and starts to walk hitters. He’s also not been able to develop his secondary pitches and throw them for strikes.

When he’s on, his sinker is a brutal pitch, but when he gets in trouble he tends to overthrow the pitch instead of taking something off it. When a pitcher overthrows in an attempt to throw harder, the pitch flattens out and rises. It becomes a fastball that doesn’t move, and movement is far more important than velocity.

This is what happens to Pelfrey, and consequently, hitters sit on that fastball and he gets crushed.

The physical tools are there, but he’s not thinking like a pitcher. He’s become a thrower, and far too often what he ends up throwing is batting practice.

Sep 30

About Last Night …. Ugly

Just another microcosm of the season in nine fitful innings. Mike Pelfrey pitched great at the start retiring the first seven hitters, but who didn’t have a nagging feeling he would implode?

Pelfrey blew a 3-0 lead as the Mets lost at Washington, with David Wright being robbed by Elijah Dukes for the final out. It’s way too easy to say that play cost the Mets as the night was another example of creative losing.

The Mets had the bases loaded with nobody out in the first and eighth innings and came away with one run. You should come away with more by accident. I’ve lost track of how many times the Mets have kicked away bases-loaded opportunities.

“We had some opportunities,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “That’s been the story of the season.”

Pelfrey, as usual, unraveled. He again had hitters sitting on his fastball, with this time Ian Desmond unloading for a homer in the fifth.

Defensively, Anderson Hernandez and Luis Castillo butchered double-play opportunities, which enabled the eventual winning run to score.

Sep 29

Would you extend Beltran’s contract now?

One of the core wants to stay. Carlos Beltran, 32, who returned from the disabled list earlier this month in an attempt to salvage part of his season, said he wants to finish his career with the Mets and told his agent to approach the team for an extension after the season.

That would be Scott Boras, who prefers to test the FA market.

Beltran, although not a great crowd favorite, has more than done his job with the Mets. He’s been productive and played hurt. He’s also performed in the clutch and has been an All-Star, Gold Glover and Silver Slugger winner.

BELTRAN: Plenty of expectations with his contract.

BELTRAN: Plenty of expectations with his contract.


His best season, by far, was 2006, when he finished fourth in the MVP voting. Beltran tied a club record with 41 homers, including walk-offs against the Phillies and Cardinals. Beltran also homered three times in the NLCS against the Cardinals, but will always be remembered for taking a third strike from Adam Wainwright to end the series.

That strikeout could be why he’s never been as appreciated as he should be.

What I like about Beltran, is with the season over from a competitive standpoint, he worked hard to come back from the DLwhen it would have been easy to shut down.

“Why not?’’ Beltran said. “I don’t feel obligated. This is my job.’’

Beltran is at an age where an extension wouldn’t be a terrible idea, because by the end of his current deal he’d be 34, and still a productive player.

BELTRAN: He's produced.

BELTRAN: He's produced.


However, if the Mets do this, I see it happening after next season and not this year.

My thinking is the Mets should be wary because of Beltran’s injury history the past two years. In addition, the Mets have so many holes to fill that their attention will be elsewhere.

However, there’s another reason why I see the Mets waiting, and that’s because they really don’t know what direction they are heading. Do they need a tweaking or an overhaul?

The story of this season has been the injuries, and if they return healthy and productive next year, then a case can be made that the Mets are not as bad as they appear. In that case, they’d be wise to bring back Beltran.

Of course, that includes Beltran having a good and healthy season.

However, if the Mets continue their downward spiral, and Beltran has another off-year, then it would be time to start over.

I like Beltran, but I’m not extending him this winter. There are too many variables.