Jun 23

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #69; keeping it together.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

“We have to play in the fashion we did last night,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel of how his team pieced together an impressive victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets played alert, aggressive baseball to back the strong pitching performance of Tim Redding. Tonight they’ll throw Livan Hernandez (5-1) at the Cardinals. Hernandez, as much as anybody, is responsible for the Mets only being 1.5 games behind the Phillies in the NL East.

It’s hard to believe the Mets are that close considering how they’ll played this month.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Fernando Tatis, LF
Ryan Church, RF
Omir Santos, C
Fernando Martinez, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Livan Hernandez, RP

Jun 21

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #67; avoiding another series loss.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When you keep losing series, you’ll never get on track and that’s where the Mets find themselves today against Tampa Bay. The Mets began the month trying to avoid a June Swoon. It has turned out that way, but lucky for them nobody else in the division has been able to run away.

It’s still winnable, but not if this continues.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier in the coming weeks with St. Louis, the Yankees and Phillies again, and Atlanta.

Especially discouraging is how the Mets have lost this year. There have been a lot of tough losses: the Murphy dropped fly in Florida that beat Santana; the Castillo dropped pop against the Yankees; the blown five-run lead against the Pirates; the Church game in LA where he failed to touch third base; yesterday’s loss to the Rays; and several others, including a couple of games in which they blew a three-run lead.

Championship caliber teams find a way to win these games and that’s something the Mets haven’t done with any consistency.

It has to change.

Jun 18

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #64; Hernandez goes for No. 6

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When the Mets signed Livan Hernandez this spring, there were those who thought he’d be lucky to win six games, lucky even to make six starts.

He goes after No. 6 tonight in Baltimore, prompting the question: Where would the Mets be without him?

Hernandez is looking to rebound from Friday’s game against the Yankees in which he gave up three homers over 5 1/3 innings.Hernandez is 3-1 with a 3.94 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles.

Tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, DH
Ryan Church, RF
Omir Santos, C
Fernando Martinez, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B

Jun 17

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #63; Murphy on spot.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Manager Jerry Manuel said today that as long as the team is winning he can live with the lack of production from Daniel Murphy and Fernando Martinez. The Mets are reasonably close to the Phillies, but they have only won three of their last seven games.

That’s hardly winning.

With each passing day, it is becoming more apparent the Mets are hanging in, but in need of an offensive infusion. Adam Dunn, anyone? He’ll be costly, but he will provide a 40-homer, 120-RBI bat the Mets desperately need.

Manuel also said Jose Reyes is at least a week away from beginning his rehab. Since the Mets are never right with these things, add some extra time.

Tim Redding (0-2, 6.18 ERA) is coming off a good start, giving up three runs over seven innings, June 11, against Philly.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Fernando Martinez, LF
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Gary Sheffield, DH
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B

Jun 17

Talking Jerry ….

A year of Jerry

A year of Jerry

Today is the one-year anniversary of Jerry Manuel taking over as manager of the Mets.

The Mets are basically the same place they were last year at this time, which is struggling to contend, but they are contending. It is very easy to say that had the Mets all their parts they could be in first place ahead of the Phillies. Losing Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, JJ Putz, Oliver Perez (the good Ollie) and John Maine has to amount to a handful of losses.

I’m not crazy about the inconsistency of the line-up, but I understand most of that is because of injuries. The use of some players has been puzzling, most notably Daniel Murphy. If you believe he’s your first baseman of the future, then put him there and leave him there. Scap the platoon with Fernando Tatis.

I’ve never understood the dynamic of his relationship with Ryan Church. Something isn’t right there. There are also some bullpen moves I don’t understand, such as sitting Brian Stokes for over a week.

Overall, he’s done more good than bad. They are hitting better with runners in scoring position – the numbers bear that out – but there seems to be too many instances of lackadaisical play, where balls aren’t run out and at-bats are given away. That has to get better.

Overall, what do you think of Jerry’s job over the past year. Do you approve? Disapprove? What do you like? What don’t you like?