May 22

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #41: On to Fenway.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Good evening. The Mets are in Boston tonight with Johan Santana trying to snap their four-game losing streak.

The Mets began this 10-game road trip winning three straight at San Francisco before their bats feel asleep. In addition to their dormant bats, we’ve seen several flaws in the Mets’ game the past four games. They haven’t hit with runners in scoring position, their defense has been spotty and we don’t know we’re getting from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey.

The injuries to Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado have exposed the Mets’ lack of depth in the farm system. Tonight they’ll put on a make shift line-up on the field against the Red Sox with four players starting who weren’t in the Opening Day line-up.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Daniel Murphy, 1B
Ryan Church, RF
Carlos Beltran, DH
Gary Sheffield, LF
David Wright, 3B
Jeremy Reed, CF
Omir Santos, C
Ramon Martinez, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Johan Santana, P

May 21

OFF DAY: Licking their wounds edition.

It’s almost noon on the East Coast. Most of the Mets are probably snoozing right about now after their red eye flight from LA. I know most of you are thinking they’ve been snoozing the last three days against the Dodgers.

I take four positive things from the last three days, but two of them are tempered:

1) Daniel Murphy seems comfortable at first base after the horror show that was left field. His bat, however, needs to come around again. I believe Murphy will get through this, so right now he’s gone down on my worry meter.

2) Tim Redding came back with a strong effort Monday night. It’s a good sign. Better, of course, than if he were bombed. But, he has to keep doing it.

3) I was encouraged by Livan Hernandez’s strong outing last night in the terms of innings. Still, he’s a question because you can’t rely on him every fifth day to give you what he gave them last night.

4) David Wright continues to hit as is Carlos Beltran. They are the only players performing to their capabilities offensively.

All that being said, there are more than enough areas of concern for the Mets, beginning with the leg injury to Jose Reyes. He reinjured his calf last night after missing five games and his availability for the Boston series is questionable. Ramon Martinez and Fernando Tatis aren’t the answers, which gives you an indication of how much they miss Alex Cora. The injuries to Reyes and Carlos Delgado are emblematic of the franchise’s lack of depth in the minor league system.

What else is going wrong?

* I have no idea what to get from start to start from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey is becoming a source of concern also. These are your Nos. 2 and 3 starters and they take the ball every fifth day more as question marks than exclamation points.

* Luis Castillo has returned to earth following a fast start. His range is limited and he’s in an offensive funk. Also struggling offensively is Tatis, especially with runners in scoring position.

* JJ Putz has not been as good as advertised.

* Ryan Church used to be a doubles machine but he’s not driving the ball anymore. He’s of little value as a singles hitter.

* Collectively, the offense has packed it in the last four games and they face three good arms in Fenway. This is not the weekend that screams breakout.

* The defense has been spotty, something you can’t afford with spotty starting pitching and a comatose offense.

May 20

Giving back ground ….

Well, 3-0 on this road trip went to 3-3 pretty quickly. I’m not sure what to expect from Livan Hernandez tonight, but it won’t be much more than five innings. Jeff Weaver, I think the Mets could take, but he has his moments.

All of a sudden, the offense stopped hitting and the defense went south. I don’t like how John Maine pitched last night and I’m concerned about him. He’s becoming another Coin Flip. Does anybody really know from one start to the next what to expect from him? I don’t anymore.

Outside of Johan Santana, there’s not one starter that you can be sure on. Check that – I’m sure I won’t get more than six from Hernandez. Who would have expected three balks from Mike Pelfrey?

The defense is a concern, also. Championship teams don’t give away runs and outs the way the Mets have recently.

And, how the offense can hit a wall that suddenly is also puzzling. And, it’s not like they’ve faced overwhelming pitching. They had their chances in each of the last three games.

The Mets were sizzling for awhile, winning 11 of 13 games, but that seems like such a long time ago.

May 20

Sporting News selects six Mets among game’s best.

A panel of Hall of Famers, former players and executives ranked the game’s top 50 players, with six Mets making the cut, more than any other team.

Johan Santana, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado made the list.

No surprise Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez were ranked 1-2. Santana was third, the first pitcher on the list.

Here’s the SPORTING NEWS’ TOP 50 PLAYERS

1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
3. Johan Santana, Mets
4. Manny Ramirez, Dodgers
5. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
6. Chase Utley, Phillies
7. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
8. Derek Jeter, Yankees
9. Mariano Rivera, Yankees
10. Chipper Jones, Braves
11. Ryan Howard, Phillies
12. Grady Sizemore, Indians
13. David Wright, Mets
14. Justin Morneau, Twins
15. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
16. Josh Beckett, Red Sox
17. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
18. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
19. Tim Lincecum, Giants
20. Evan Longoria, Rays
21. Lance Berkman, Astros
22. Jose Reyes, Mets
23. Carlos Beltran, Mets
24. Ian Kinsler, Rangers
25. Zack Greinke, Royals
26. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
27. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
28. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
29. CC Sabathia, Yankees
30. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
31. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
32. Ryan Braun, Brewers
33. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
34. Francisco Rodriguez, Mets
35. Matt Holliday, A’s
36. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
37. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
38. Jake Peavy, Padres
39. Joe Mauer, Twins
40. Carlos Quentin, White Sox
41. Jason Bay, Red Sox
42. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
43. Cliff Lee, Indians
44. Torii Hunter, Angels
45. Victor Martinez, Indians
46. Roy Oswalt, Astros
47. Carlos Delgado, Mets
48. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs
49. Cole Hamels, Phillies
50. Brian McCann, Braves

Any reaction?

May 19

It’s one thing to lose ….

…. but it is another to give away a game like the Mets did last night. Inexcusable. If Jerry Manuel didn’t read them the riot act then he’s not doing his job as manager.

How in the hell do you miss third base? All those missed opportunities …. they could have won the game three times over. It’s one thing to blow a good pitching performance from Johan Santana. I’m used to that. It’s another to blow one from Tim Redding. When will they get another one?

In the original post I said the Mets’ weaknesses would be exposed during the rest of this road trip. Well, some got exposed last night.

Ryan Church got a couple of hits. Maybe he’s showing signs. But, the baserunning was unforgivable.

Jeremy Reed, of course, is not the answer at first base. I don’t know who is, but why not give Daniel Murphy a shot. He can’t do any worse.

All teams have stinkers, but last night was maddening because we’ve seen it all too often from the Mets where it all unravels.

And, the pitching match-ups for the rest of this series favors the Dodgers. Then they go to Boston. They are on the verge of giving back all they’ve accomplished the past 10 days.