For all the talk about the Mets needing starting pitching, they are going through a stretch now where that seems inconceivable.
Game #63 at Orioles
After winning the first two games of their series at Baltimore behind RA Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi (who gave up one run in a combined 14 innings), the Mets have pitched to a major league-leading 2.31 ERA in June as they have won eight of their last ten games.
They look to complete the road sweep – it would be their first in two years, and first ever in interleague play – behind the sizzling Mike Pelfrey (8-1, 2.23 ERA), who is seeking his fifth straight victory.
The last three-game road series they swept was Sept. 1-3, 2008, at Milwaukee.
After RA Dickey’s strong effort Friday night, the Mets are seeking their first road series win of the season tonight at Baltimore.
Game #62 at Orioles
It would be their first since taking two of three at Florida, Sept. 25-27. They haven’t won two straight on the road since July 25-26, at Houston.
The Mets are a dismal 9-18 away from home.
The Mets have six of their last seven after Dickey’s outing, another in a string of strong pitching performances. In that span the Mets’ ERA is 2.22 ERA and giving up just two homers.
The lone poor start was by tonight’s starter, Hisanori Takahashi, who is 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA in his last two starts. This after going six scoreless innings in each of his first two starts, against Philadelphia and the Yankees.
Sometimes, I wish Jerry Manuel came with a mute button. Or at least a filter. Considering all that Carlos Beltran has gone through, to think he’d even consider activating him now for these games as a designated hitter is absurd.
BELTRAN: Not ready yet.
Just because he’s playing extended spring training games doesn’t mean he’s even close to being ready, even as a DH. I can understand him thinking it would be nice, but to suggest it out loud is just ridiculous. It’s like when he suggested Jose Reyes hitting third.
Doesn’t he think these things through before saying them?
Beltran doesn’t go full speed in these games, even if he’s playing in the outfield. I’m even concerned about the outfield in these games if he’s not able to go full speed.
The Mets botched this with Beltran from the outset, and to think otherwise is being naive. If the Mets are lucky, they’ll have Beltran back in August. And, that’s after an extended time in Buffalo.
The Mets are a flawed team, but one of them isn’t attitude.
Game #61 at Orioles
When asked what he liked best about his team he said “character,’’ that he has 25 players who mostly hustle and not give up on the play.
It has created a sense of chemistry. These Mets, unlike previous teams in recent years, really like each other and it goes beyond a whipped cream pie to the face during a TV interview.
These Mets genuinely like each other and it shows. Catch glimpses in the dugout during a game and you might see Johan Santana showing the grip of his change-up to another pitcher, or Jason Bay demonstrating hitting mechanics, in particular, how his shoulders are dropping.
The Mets have struggled at times, but they’ve never quit on Jerry Manuel and his message. Manuel has the clubhouse.
All too often this season, the Mets gave up the ground, confidence and groove they’ve had at home once they hit the road.
Only this time, the Mets aren’t going to San Diego or Philadelphia, but Baltimore to face the horrible Orioles and then on to Cleveland.
The talk-shows have already given the Mets a 4-2 or 5-1 trip before heading into Yankee Stadium a week from today.
It doesn’t work that way. You have to play the games first and the Orioles have beaten the Yankees twice and beat up the Red Sox in a series.
If what Jerry Manuel said is correct, that the Mets alter their offensive approach on the road because of some of the smaller stadiums, they have to be doubly careful this weekend, beginning tonight, at cozy Camden Yards.