Jul 04

Mets Chat Room; Need to fix a late-inning leak.

Game #82 at Nationals

Ten walk-off losses for a season sounds high, let alone 10 for the first half. That’s the number after Frankie Rodriguez’s latest meltdown yesterday.

“The worst performance I ever had in my life,’’ he called yesterday afternoon’s ninth inning, which for all practical purposes was over before Adam Dunn’s game-tying drive off the wall.

Walking Cristian Guzman on four pitches to open the ninth was as bad a sign as there is.

Rodriguez’s implosion made Stephen Strasburg a footnote and threw away what would have been RA Dickey’s seventh win.

Ten walk-off losses out of 36 is way to high a percentage and is something the Mets must address immediately. For all the talk about the eighth inning, a band-aid needed to be put on the ninth, too.

“We have our issues,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “We can’t have an issue at the end of the game.’’

But, they do.

While the Mets’ bullpen is an issue heading into the break, so to is Jose Reyes’ health. Reyes, who has a strained right oblique, won’t play again today at Washington and is now questionable for the Reds series starting tomorrow at Citi Field.

Jul 03

Mets Chat Room; Strasburg vs. Dickey.

Game #81 at Nationals

They couldn’t be any more opposite, RA Dickey and Stephen Strasburg.

One, Dickey, is a 35-year-old knuckleballer hanging on to his career with grit, guile and perseverance.  The other, Strasburg, is the rookie phenom, who despite a handful of starts in his young career already has some clamoring for him to be on the National League All-Star team.

Imagine, less than 40 career innings and already they are lobbying for him to be an All-Star. It shouldn’t happen, but you never know.

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Jul 02

Mets Chat Room; Need to beat the weak sisters.

Game #80 at Nationals

This has not been a good roadtrip for the Mets, who have lost three of four so far to Florida and Washington, teams they should be feasting on.

The Mets have played well at home this year, but have been lackluster on the road, and so far have gone 8-14 against the Marlins and Nationals. After losing last night, they are 3-6 against Washington.

If they are going to stay in contention, they must beat up on those teams.

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Jul 01

Mets Chat Room; Getting Santana back on track.

Game #79 at Nationals

Johan Santana takes the mound tonight looking to avoid losing his third straight start when the Mets go to Washington.

Santana (5-5, 3.55 ERA) has been uncharacteristically poor recently, going 1-3 with a 5.96 ERA in his last four starts.

“Is he frustrated? I don’t know, but he’s a competitor,’’ catcher Rod Barajas said. “He wants the ball every five days and when he doesn’t pitch as well as he thinks he should, he takes it hard. I don’t know if frustrated is the word, probably a little anger because he knows he has the stuff.’’

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May 25

Can Mets’ Dickey get the Phils to knuckle under.

Game #46 vs. Phillies

Next up are the Mets’ real rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, who lead then by five games in the National League East.

The Mets are feeling better about themselves these days. Can you imagine how good they’ll feel if they swept?

Because Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield baffled the Phillies Saturday, the Mets are hoping the same will happen tonight behind R.A. Dickey.

“When you haven’t seen it, basically what we were doing was popping it up,’’ Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “It wasn’t like we were striking out a lot, we were popping balls in the air, and at times, we weren’t very aggressive with it.’’

Well, now that the Phillies have seen the knuckleball, it makes one wonder if they might adopt a different approach with Dickey, who says Wakefield shouldn’t have much of a bearing on his start.

“I don’t think it has much to do with my outing,’’ said Dickey, who is taking John Maine’s spot in the rotation. “It’s good that he threw a shutout instead of giving up 15, I’ll tell you that.’’

Dickey planned to talk with Wakefield prior to this start. Dickey is coming off a no-decision last Wednesday against the Nationals in which he gave up two runs on six hits in six innings.

The Mets are hoping to feed off the good feelings generated from Johan Santana’s strong start Sunday night against the Yankees.

“You see the atmosphere around here,’’ Santana said. “Everybody’s happy. Everybody’s excited.’’

They might be happy now, but Jamie Moyer has put a damper on them before. The Phillies have won 13 of their last 16 games against the Mets, and have won six of their last eight in games started by Moyer.

NOTEBOOK: Jason Bay is sizzling, going 10-for-15 – including two homers – with eight runs scored in his last four games. … David Wright is 21-for-50 (.420) with four homers lifetime vs. Moyer. However, he has 32 strikeouts since May 3. … Luis Castillo was back in the line-up at second.