Apr 30

What’s wrong with Wright?

“It won’t be long before the hits will start dropping in,” said David Wright after his miserable Wednesday afternoon in which he was called out twice on strikes.

Mechanically, Wright is off his game. He’s uppercutting his swing. He’s flatfooted at times. He doesn’t consistently take the ball to right field, which is when he’s at his best.

“I’ve been struggling,” Wright admits. “I have to start playing better.”

Talk radio is buzzing with those that want Wright out of here, but let’s not be stupid about things. The Mets aren’t going to trade him now or this winter. This is slump he’ll have to work his way out of, something he’s always done in the past and will again.

If the Mets weren’t playing the Phillies this weekend, I’d be tempted to sit him for a game to clear his head. But with this stretch against Philly and Atlanta, I don’t see Jerry Manuel sitting down his third baseman. The earliest he’d sit would be against Pittsburgh during the next homestand.

So, what to do?

The Mets pretty much have to stick with Wright until then. Ask yourself this: Who gives the Mets the better chance? Wright catching his form or going to the bench?

You’ll see Wright play this weekend in Philly and maybe he’ll get it going against the Phillies hapless rotation.

Apr 27

Hi folks …. give Coin Flip another game.

PEREZ: Patience is wearing thin.

PEREZ: Patience is wearing thin.

I just wanted to thank you all for continuing to post while I was away and your well wishes. It meant a lot to me to see your responses. It told me you like the blog and that made me feel good.

Of course, I heard about the weekend. Two up, one down, with that one again being Oliver Perez. Should the Mets give Coin Flip start this weekend against Philadelphia?

Before shipping him off the bullpen or the minor leagues, I say they should for two reasons:

1) The strength of the Phillies’ line-up are left-handed hitters Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, and he’s had success against Philadelphia. If Perez is going to turn it around, one would think it would be against a team he’s had some good fortune facing.

2) He’s due for a good game.

OK, what if he spits the bit again? If that happens, then the Mets need to seriously think about taking him out of the rotation to fix him. He can reject a minor league assignment – which I see him doing – so they probably have no choice but to stick him in the pen.

I’d rather have him correct his problems on this level because I can envision him in the minor leagues overpowering Triple A hitters and returning to the same problems. Let’s face it, the Mets have this guy for three years and the best thing is to make him better. We know he has the ability because he’s done it before.

Actually, of all the Mets’ starters who are having problems the one I’m most concerned with is John Maine because he’s coming off surgery and everybody’s body reacts differently and at different paces. It’s just an oversimplification to say, “Oh, he’ll be fine,” because we really don’t know.

Livan Hernandez? C’mon, he’s at the end of his career. For him to get hit around is expected. He was good in his first start but has been getting hit since. It should all even out to mediocrity in the end.

Perez? Well, he’s living up to his history so this can’t be too surprising. Just aggravating.

Apr 24

Let’s not get carried away ….

The assumption is Johan Santana will pitch well and the Mets should beat the Washington Nationals tonight. That’s always the assumption when the best pitcher in the major leagues faces its worst team.

The Mets come limping back into town losers of four straight games, the last three in St. Louis. The common denominator in the four games was the inability to hit with runners in scoring position and bad starting pitching. The only decent start came last Sunday against Milwaukee by Nelson Figueroa and he’s no longer in the organization.

As a stopper, Santana is expected to pitch well, but let’s not assume all is well with your heroes even should he throw a shutout.

Even should they sweep the Nationals, it won’t mean all is well. They need to go through the rotation two, three times getting solid starts to allay those concerns.

What we have with the 6-9 Mets is a developing trend. It obviously can’t continue at this rate, but even so, that’s still too small a sample to assume they should write off the season.

Apr 23

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #15; Can somebody please go seven?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Sooner or later, it won’t be early anymore. Baseball seasons tend to get old quickly, like your old college roommate after at the reunion.

Damn, he was young and spry and had hair. He’s gotten so old.

Pitching tends to age even the best teams having pennant aspirations. The Mets are now Johan Santana and pocket change, with any of the four capable of going either way. That’s right, the rest of the rotation has morphed into Oliver Perez. Good one night; bad the next.

We have a pop group: Johan and the Four Coin Flips.

HERNANDEZ: Mets need him to go long.

HERNANDEZ: Mets need him to go long.


Can you honestly say you know Livan Hernandez will pitch lights out this afternoon? Nope. You count on five and hope he doesn’t implode the third time through the lineup.

John Maine? Well, he started out on the rocks last night and settled down late. By that time, the Mets’ listless offense had called it a night. Coming off shoulder surgery, Maine isn’t right and there’s no timetable that says he’ll be a 15-game winner again.

Mike Pelfrey? He’s been sandpaper smooth so far, and now he’ll try it again this weekend. He has facing the Washington Nationals going for him.

Yes, the Mets addressed their bullpen, but did precious little to shore up their starters, who barely got five these days save Santana.

The keys to the collapses the last two years have been the bullpen, specifically, over work of the pen. The Mets are already averaging 3.2 innings per game, which would be 514.2 innings on the season.

We’ll see how that 2.06 bullpen ERA stands up with that workload.

Somewhere down the road – three months at the trade deadline – the Mets might be confronted with some hard choices if they are to pick up a viable arm. That might mean losing Jon Niese or Daniel Murphy or F-Mart. It might mean losing two. It could mean all three if somebody like Jake Peavy or Roy Halladay are on the other end.

I was on a radio talk show last night in St. Louis and was asked if the Mets were good enough to win the World Series. Even with their dismal production with runners in scoring position they are if their pitching improves.

If it doesn’t, well, then it’s another long winter.

Apr 22

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #14; Maine needs to turn it on.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

John Maine throws tonight for the Mets. I say throw, because he hasn’t done a whole lot of pitching lately. He’ll start strong, then unravel in Oliver Perez fashion.
MAINE: Needs consistency.

MAINE: Needs consistency.


Tonight its the Cardinals, who came from four runs down, and as the recipients of Daniel Murphy’s fielding blunders and Carlos Beltran’s decision not to slide at the plate, beat the Mets. It was arguably their worst game of the year.

With Maine on the mound, the Mets can’t afford another flawed performance. They have to do something they haven’t for most of the season, which is produce with RISP because there’s no promise Maine will be able to shut them down.