We’ve seen it all too often, the Mets rise up in a big series and then stumble against teams they should beat. Hey, that is the essence of the collapses of the last two years.
The Mets have won four straight, beating the sweeping a pair of two-game series against the Braves and Phillies. The Pirates are in for three this weekend before Atlanta comes to town next week.
The Pirates are team the Mets should beat, but they can be a pesky team especially since their pitching has been decent this spring.
Even with their modest four-game winning streak, there are still holes in the Mets’ game, beginning with the offense. Last night they scored a bunch early, but their bats went to sleep and they had to hold on to win.
K-Rod has been lights out, and Bobby Parnell has risen above Sean Green in the pecking order. Green has not pitched well, and Pedro Feliciano has also taken his lumps.
The room is open, but I have to take care of some things and I’ll join you later.
Jon Niese, at 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA for Triple-A Buffalo, starts tonight for the Mets against Pittsburgh. When Niese considered his record, he admits the promotion came as a surprise.
“It was a shock, but I was real excited,” said Niese. “I had a rough start. You can’t go around that. But I figured things out working on my bullpens, trying to pound the ball in the zone, and I tried to incorporate into my last outing and was successful.”
Barring an exceptional performance that just screams for an encore, this might be Niese’s only start with the Mets for awhile because Tim Redding (shoulder injury) is close to returning.
Redding pitched six strong innings in a rehab start Wednesday for Buffalo.
“I think we’re in a situation where we can now evaluate that spot on a turn-by-turn basis,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “It will depend on how we look the next time around, basically for Niese. This will be a good opportunity for him, but if he’s not quite ready, Redding or another starter down there could take that place.”
The Mets are going for their fourth straight victory tonight against Philadelphia, and if they get it they’ll pull within a half-game of first place. For the most part they have put together this modest winning streak without Jose Reyes, who is on an 8-for-53 slide.
Reyes is falling back into bad habits at the plate such as not being patient and he’s expanded the strike zone for pitchers by swinging at garbage.
Mike Pelfrey (3-0) on the mound for the Mets against Jamie Moyer. With the lefthander, the Mets will sit Ryan Church and Daniel Murphy.
Here’s tonight’s line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Ramon Castro, C
Mike Pelfrey, P
The news is Manny Ramirez will get a 50-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.
No, I’m not surprised. I can’t be surprised by anything anymore when it comes to that. I was opposed to the Mets signing Ramirez not because I expected this, but because I always thought he was a bad, selfish guy.
This proves it.
Two victories over the struggling Braves (and it could have been two the other way) does not a season make.
Said David Wright: “When you win, you have energy and passion. When things aren’t going so well, it’s easy to pick apart things like that. We’ve got a good team. We’ve got good guys on this team. We’re well-prepared. We’re intense. When you win, that’s a plus – and when you lose, you start looking for reasons why.”
There have been some encouraging things the past two days, but enough of the other stuff to believe the Mets aren’t out of the woods. For one thing, they were dreadful hitting with runners in scoring position. They could have routed the Braves had they been more consistent.
And, if you’re going to squander opportunities, you can’t afford to give the opposition extra outs, which was was last night’s ninth inning was all about.
All they’ve done was win two straight games. They are home now with series against the Phillies and Braves, and don’t underestimate the Pirates, who have been getting good pitching.
Let’s see where they are after this homestand. I’m cautiously optimistic.