Aug 11

Mets Chat Room; can they win two in a row?

There are a lot of ugly stats I could throw out you to explain the Mets sliding out of playoff contention, but one sticks out: They haven’t won back-to-back games since June 22-23.

Game #113 vs. Rockies

Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

The 56-56 Mets will try to keep their faint playoff aspirations alive behind Jon Niese, who’ll try to follow up what Mike Pelfrey gave them last night. Pelfrey, who had been hit hard since last June, threw seven scoreless innings.

Niese (7-5, 3.63 ERA) is 0-1 with a 7.15 ERA in two career starts against the Rockies, including giving up five runs in five innings April 14 in a 6-5, 10-inning loss at Denver.

Niese is coming off a no-decision in his last start when he gave up a run in seven innings at Philadelphia.

The Mets went 2-4 during their Atlanta-Philly road trip, in large part because of the slumping David Wright and Carlos Beltran.

Wright, who led the National League in hitting with a .351 average in June and July, is a paltry 2-for-29 with eight strikeouts in eight game in August.

Meanwhile,  Beltran has been frigid since coming off the DL to start the second half, hitting only .195.

NOTE: I will be working tonight and out of the chat room.


Aug 11

Say good bye to Francoeur

One of the waiver deals I can see the Met pulling off this month is unloading Jeff Francoeur. A team needed outfield depth and a right-handed bat could use Francoeur down the stretch.

Since the odds of him being tendered a contract for next year are small, the Mets should be thinking about selling whenever possible, and that includes Francoeur.

Aug 10

Mets Chat Room; Pelfrey’s slide continues.

It was June, not that long ago when the Mets were surging – 11 games over .500 – and Mike Pelfrey and Ubaldo Jimenez were mentioned in the same sentence as budding pitching stars.

Game #112 vs. Rockies

Jimenez (17-2, 2.61) has been hit briefly, but still has electrifying numbers. Pelfrey, meanwhile, has gone from 9-1 to 10-6 with a 4.16 ERA. Pelfrey’s ERA has spiked nearly two runs a game, and it was eight starts ago that he pitched six complete innings.

Tired arm, tipping his pitches, poor mechanics, losing control of this splitter and sinker and a psychological step backward are just some of the partial explanations for his slide.

There’s not just one answer, but all of the above have contributed to Pelfrey’s slide to where he’s one again a reliability question.

The Mets have been waiting for Pelfrey to take that next step bit of five seasons now. At 200 innings and a 13-11 record in 2008 was a positive. Pelfrey won his first four decisions the following year to give the believe things might have sunk in, but he went 6-12 the rest of the way and the same of problems resurfaced.

Pelfrey seemed to put it together through most of June. He pitched quickly and efficiently; he had command of his secondary, breaking pitching; and he had confidence in his fastball.

All that’s gone now, and based on performance both Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey are ahead.

The slide didn’t happen overnight and neither will the recovery. The Mets falling out of contention coincided with Pelfrey’s fall.

Now, it’s in the remaining two months where Pelfrey needs to right himself and remove his name from being an off-season question.

Aug 10

The best of Beltran over?

Remember all that talk in early July about how things would be different when Carlos Beltran returned from the disabled list.

BELTRAN: Are the good times over for him?

Getting Beltran back was like making a trade for another bat and it would only help the Mets and possibly spark them into making a run.

Some rust was to be expected, but nothing like this. Beltran isn’t hitting, he’s a step or two slow in the outfield, and his presence has forced Angel Pagan to play out of position.

Based on the numbers, both Beltran’s and the team’s W-L record, it appears the Mets pushed his return too soon. And, batting clean-up and playing center was a definite mistake.

But, he’s going to keep playing. That won’t change. Hopefully, he might play well enough for a team to make a waiver deal for him, although with $18.5 million remaining it’s a longshot anybody would claim him.

The Mets, of course, have to test those water to see what interest is out there if any. Thinking practically, nobody would trade for Beltran with that contract and injury history, leaving one more year of this for the Mets next season. Beltran’s value to the Mets lies in the potential of his recovery, of which there’s been little positive signs.

Assuming this is the end of the line for Beltran as a full time productive player let along being a star, then it doesn’t bode well for the Mets.

Along with Beltran, the Mets are saddled with contracts of $12 for Oliver Perez and $6 million for Luis Castillo. That’s roughly $40 million, or maybe 25 percent of their payroll on non-productive players.

So, it’s hard to imagine any substantial additions or spending in the offseason. It’s hard to imagine 2011 being much different from 2010.

Aug 09

Back from Ohio ….

Good morning.  It was good to see my family again and I apologize for not being around this weekend.

I tried to keep up with the team as best as I could, and not really all that surprised with how they played and what happened in Philadelphia.

Emblematic of the weekend wasn’t that the lost, but in the release of Alex Cora. They waived him simply because they didn’t want to the $2 million option for next year to kick in.

Small time thinking, but indicative of this franchise. They’ll save $2 million by not having to bring back Cora, but will spend $20 million on the contracts for Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.

One thing I did like about this weekend was the promotions of Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada. If the competitive aspect of the season is over as it surely seems to be, then let’s see what these guys can do.

It was encouraging to see all the homegrown talent in the lineup yesterday. With the exception of R.A. Dickey and Carlos Beltran, the lineup was the by-product of the farm system.

The Mets played with life when Tejada was in the lineup earlier, and seemed to get flat when Beltran and Castillo returned.