Sep 28

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #156; One more week.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets open their last road series of the season at Washington tonight against the Nationals. Nelson Figueroa does the honors on the mound and he continues his push for a spring training invite.

Figueroa (2-7, 4.88 ERA) pitched a superb game in his last start, September 22 against Atlanta, giving up two runs on two hits in seven innings. Figueroa has had both good and bad moments this season, but he hasn’t blown anybody away with his consistency.

FIGUEROA: Auditioning for 2010.

FIGUEROA: Auditioning for 2010.


I still see him as no better than a long reliever. If one from the patchwork rotation in September emerges as a fifth starter, although none has been lights out, I would say Tim Redding has been the best and Pat Misch has the advantage of being a left hander.

The best-case scenario for the Mets’ rotation next year regarding a fifth starter, would be the acquisition of a solid No. 2, the healthy returns of Oliver Perez and John Maine, and Mike Pelfrey to make a step forward. If one of those three becomes the fifth starter, and everybody pitches to expectations, then the Mets’ pitching would be greatly improved.

Here’s tonight’s line-up against Nationals starter Ross Detweiler (0-6, 5.71 ERA):

Angel Pagan, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Nelson Figueroa, RP

Jul 20

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #92; Finally, a team with even more troubles.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

According to reports, GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel will get a pass on the season, presumably because of the number and severity of the Mets’ injuries.

That’s now, and things could change if they lose 20 in a row or some other unfathomable number.

Of course, the last time such a conversation circulated about the Mets Willie Randolph was fired, so, who really knows?

The offensively challenged Mets have lost 14 of their last 20 games, and nine times in that span they’ve scored no more than one run.

They are in Washington tonight against the Nationals, who have lost 10 of their last 11. If the Mets are to get on a little run, it has to start tonight. Nine games behind the Phillies, and 10 in the loss column, the Mets have nowhere to go but up.

Technically, that’s not true, but you get the idea.

“Where do we go from here?’’ Manuel said. “We have to sit down and make some decisions. We talked about that today. We feel like we still can get some things done.’’

What those things are, he wouldn’t say, but they’ll have to be accomplished without Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, both whom remain without a return timetable.

The Mets will go tonight with Livan Hernandez, who is 2-0 with a microscopic 0.56 ERA this year against the Nationals. However, once 5-1, Hernandez has lost his last four starts and is winless since June 7.

He has given up 15 runs on 21 hits with eight walks in his last two games, totaling just seven innings.

The Mets will be without Gary Sheffield again tonight, and will go with this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Jeremy Reed, LF
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Livan Hernandez, RP

Jun 05

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #53; facing the Nationals.

CHAT ROOM vs. Nats.

CHAT ROOM vs. Nats.

The sluggish Mets are in DC, armed with Tim Redding, in an attempt to stop their slide at three games.

The field is a mess in DC, but the game is supposed to start on time.

Redding’s first start since coming off the DL was a good one in LA, but he hasn’t shown much since.

The Mets are a hurting group, relying way too much on their role players. And, it doesn’t help that David Wright is in a slump.

June is a critical month for the Mets in that half their core is missing and the schedule will get tougher. If they can hold it together they should be in decent position come July.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Fernando Tatis, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Fernando Martinez, LF
Brian Schneider, C
Tim Redding, P

NOTEBOOK: No timetable for Jose Reyes’ return. … Gary Sheffield rests tonight and will rest Sunday. … Jerry Manuel said it was likely (didn’t say definite) that Fernando Martinez will stay when Ryan Church is activated from the disabled list.

May 01

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #22; Trying to get on track.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The sluggish Mets will try to get things going tonight at Philly, with Mike Pelfrey going against Chan Ho Park. Pelfrey (2-0, 6.32 ERA) is 1-2 in four career starts against the Phillies. He is coming off a good start – two runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Nationals.

PELFREY: Mets need good start to get rolling.

PELFREY: Mets need good start to get rolling.

However, the Phillies aren’t the Nationals.

Even though they aren’t playing well, the Mets are talking about the match-up with the Phillies as a good thing, saying the NL East confrontation could give them a spark. That’s disconcerting to me because if they need a rivarly to get them going there’s something lacking.

Carlos Delgado (hip) and Luis Castillo (back) are out of the line-up, an indication their injuries are more serious than originally speculated. Manager Jerry Manuel even suggested the DL a possibility for Delgado.

Here’s the line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Mike Pelfrey, P

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.