Jun 25

Mets Chat Room: The Minnesota series.

Games #73-74-75

Folks. I have an obligation this weekend I must attend and won’t be back until Sunday afternoon.

I’m leaving the Chat Room open throughout the weekend for the Minnesota series and encourage you to post your thoughts when the mood strikes.

I don’t like leaving when the team is playing so well, but this is an obligation I can’t break.

Tonight, the Mets will attempt to get back to the winning side of the ledger behind Mike Pelfrey, who is coming off a 5-3 loss to the Yankees last weekend.

Pelfrey gave up five runs and a pair of two-run homers in seven innings of a 5-3 loss.

“He’s still a young pitcher who, over the course of a season and in his career, will hit small bumps,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “He just has to look back on them and get better.’’

Johan Santana and Jon Niese will start the next two games of the series.

Angel Pagan is expected to miss tonight’s game with a muscle spasm in his right side, but should return tomorrow.

Jun 23

Mets Chat Room: Dickey goes for club record.

Game #71 vs. Tigers

When things looked bleak for the Mets about a month ago, with three of their starters out of the rotation, the Mets brought up knuckleballer R.A. Dickey from Triple-A Buffalo to make a spot start.

He hasn’t left the rotation since, and it’s not hard to imagine where the Mets would be without in 5-0 record and 2.82 ERA.

Tonight he’ll be vying to become the first Mets starter to win his first six decisions with the team, and the first Met to go 6-0 since Mike Pelfrey in 2008.

Dickey was on the ropes in his last start at Cleveland, but was able to make an in-inning adjustment to hold on for the victory.

The adjustment came at the suggestion of pitching coach Dan Warthen, who told Dickey to light a fire under the butterfly.

“I had runners on second and third and he came out and encouraged me to throw the hard one,’’ Dickey said.  “It’s about 4, 5 mph harder than my comfort-zone knuckler. It was a good step in my evolution, learning to adjust in-game.’’

It’s a risky adjustment for a knuckleballer to make because there’s always the possibility the extra push could force the pitch to spin out into a slow fat batting practice fastball.

Jun 19

Mets Chat Room: Keep Pagan hitting second.

Game #68 at Yankees

I always liked Luis Castillo in the two hole because of his ability to bunt, hit behind Jose Reyes and work the count.

However, with the way Angel Pagan has taken to that position in the order, and how the Mets have played with him there, when Castillo comes back from the disabled list I’d rather have him hit eight and keep Pagan second.

Last night, Pagan broke open a close game with a two run double, something he’s done a lot of lately with an average of well over .300 with RISP.

Reyes and David Wright are hitting now, but unquestionably the Mets’ most consistent hitter this season has been Pagan.

He’ll bat second again today in a pitcher’s duel between Mike Pelfrey and Phil Hughes, both of whom are 9-1.

Here’s today’s lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Ike Davis, 1B

Jason Bay, LF

Chris Carter, DH

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Alex Cora, 2B

Henry Blanco, C

Mike Pelfrey, RP

Jun 14

Friend: Oswalt would OK deal to Mets.

Just because Roy Oswalt told a friend he would accept a trade to the Mets doesn’t mean he’s in Manhattan on the off-day looking at apartments.

OSWALT: Won't come cheap.

Depending on what “friend’’ you talk to, Oswalt said he’d also accept trades to Philadelphia, St. Louis, the Yankees, Texas and Washington Nationals. However, if it means getting out of Houston, a chance at the playoffs and perhaps an extension, the list of places suddenly favorable to Oswalt could grow.

The Mets have been getting sterling pitching from rotation fill-ins RA Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi – together they are 9-2, but Takahashi is only 2-1 as a starter – but that’s not to say all their pitching concerns have been answered.

We don’t know how long this run will last as neither Dickey nor Takahashi are proven over the long haul. We don’t know that about Jon Niese, either, and John Maine continues to throw 88.

If the Mets are to get Oswalt, they should strike now while it is early. The closer to the deadline, the more the Astros will be asking.

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Jun 13

Mets Chat Room: Pelfrey pitches for sweep.

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.

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