Apr 26

Hot offense, Young face Nationals tonight.

After winning four straight, the Mets have put themselves in position of possibly righting their season. There’s reaching .500 and climbing out of the NL East basement, both of which can be reached during this road trip to Washington and Philadelphia.

WRIGHT: Has been hot.

Who would have thought it after a dreadful stretch in which they lost nine of ten games?

The improved starting pitching has gotten a lot of attention for the turnaround, but don’t forget the offense, which has scored 27 runs powered by nine homers.

Keying the attack has been David Wright, who went 6-for-14 with three homers and six RBI during the streak. Also hot has been Ike Davis, who carries a seven-game hitting streak into tonight’s game. During that stretch Davis is batting .417 with three homers and seven RBI.

The Mets have also been getting consistent production from Jose Reyes and Jason Bay the past week.

Chris Young will be activated from the disabled list tonight to face the struggling Nationals, who have lost four of its last five games. Young is 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA lifetime against Washington.

If you’d like to talk during the game, click onto the Mets Chat icon to your left.

 

Apr 11

Mets need to turn it around.

We’re nine games into the season and a few things are quickly coming into focus, few of them good.

PELFREY: Seeking first win tonight.

The team is hustling, always a positive, but how long will the attitude last if the pitching falters and the losing continues?

If you could have handicapped the first three series, you would’ve figured losses at Florida and Philadelphia, and beating Washington. A 4-5 record wouldn’t have been an unreasonable projection.

The bullpen has been terrible, the rotation spotty and the clutch hitting poor. Seventeen strikeouts yesterday against the Nationals is inexcusable. That being said, the Mets are lucky to be where they are.

It’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusions on the season, but to avoid a slide they need to show something against Colorado and Atlanta, seven games against superior competition, with four at home against the Rockies. If they lose the Colorado series, then go into Atlanta, who can’t see the basement by the time they come home again?

Winning teams focus one series at a time, and the Mets have played poorly in losing of their first three. Progress is made in little steps, and they need Mike Pelfrey to take one tonight.

Apr 09

Capuano starts for Mets tonight vs. Nationals

I’m very anxious to see Chris Capuano tonight. As the fifth starter, he was skipped the first time through the rotation. He gets his chance as the fifth starter to pull the Mets out of their three-game funk.

After winning three straight, the Mets have lost three in a row as their pitching was rocked the last two games in Philadelphia and the offense stunt their last two games, including going a dreadful 0-10 with RISP in the home opener against Washington.

If the Mets are to turn the corner this season, they must beat the lower division teams, of which the Nationals are one.

To chat tonight, click onto the Mets Chat icon to your left.

Mar 23

Plan for Beltran; Emaus inside track at second.

Although not definitive, the Mets’ roster is taking shape as spring training approaches.

The Mets remain insistent Carlos Beltran will be ready for Opening Day and are pushing him, although they aren’t likely to play him in a major league game in case things unravel and he’ll be forced to open on the disabled list.

EMAUS: Second base frontrunner.

Beltran was hitless in five at-bats today as a DH in a minor league game. He will play as a DH tomorrow and Friday, but possibly this weekend he could play in the field and run the bases.

Possibly.

“I do think it is fair to say at this point there’s not a lot of wiggle room in that schedule between now and Opening Day if he’s going to be on the active roster,’’ GM Sandy Alderson said. “As of this point he’s still on track for Opening Day.’’

DL assignments are backdated 10 days into spring training, so if things stand as they are and Beltran were to only play in minor league games he would only miss the first three games of the season (the Mets have two off days among the first five games).

Assuming this plan works out, Willie Harris and Scott Hairston, the outfield depth, will right field. Should Beltran land on the DL, Lucas Duda will be the 25th man on the roster.

Today, Alderson told reporters to take a look at today’s lineup card and use their imagination. Standing out was Brad Emaus at second base and Daniel Murphy at third.

Emaus, a Rule 5 pick-up from Toronto, has a greater upside than Luis Hernandez, who is out of options and is being shopped because he probably won’t clear waivers. The Mets have a good idea of what to expect from Hernandez, but Emaus has potential working for him.

“I like my chances, but we’re not all the way there,’’ Emaus told reporters this afternoon about his chances.

Murphy started at third today and has been getting time and first and second. He’s the projected left-handed bat off the bench.

Justin Turner, as expected because of his options, was sent down.

Meanwhile, Oliver Perez signed a minor league deal today with the Nationals.

Dec 06

Winter Meetings open with stunning Werth deal

Nobody saw this one coming. Jayson Werth was going to stay in Philly or go to Boston. He would make his money, but $126 million over seven years from the Washington Nationals was completely off the radar.

WERTH: Mets shouldn't be swayed by deal.

Losing Werth weakens the Phillies, but they are resilient, willing to spend and will find a way to replace him. No tears shed there. As for the Nationals, he can’t help but make them better, but this is a team that just lost Adam Dunn so are they upgrading the offense that much?

Werth is good player, but how much of that production comes from hitting in Philadelphia’s bandbox and the protection afforded him in that lineup? Not sure he’ll do the same for the Nationals.

Word is the Nationals aren’t done and are willing to throw money after pitching, notably Carl Pavano.

We know the Mets aren’t as good as Philly, Atlanta and probably the Marlins. Now the Nationals are making noises like they want to escape the NL East cellar. Sad to say, but they just might be the yardstick the Mets will measure themselves by in the near future.

Washington’s aggressiveness is being noted by the Mets, but hopefully they will stay the course and give Sandy Alderson’s blueprint time to develop. Trying to keep up with the Joneses with foolish spending is what got the Mets into trouble in the first place.

Mets fans have been clamoring for change since the end of the 2007 season when the team blew a seven game lead with 17 to play. There has been no structured plan for development the past three years as the Mets approached each offseason with a piecemeal approach.

This time, the Mets are trying patience and trying to build from the bottom up. That’s been the party line and Alderson has not wavered and suggested this team will be competitive by throwing large sums of money at players.

There is a lot of work to do, and most of it will come next winter after Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo and probably Francisco Rodriguez are off the books. That’s when the spending will come. For now, it’s evaluating, minor moves and hoping players stay healthy as the way to go for 2011.

It’s tempting to watch the Nationals and give in to the spending impulse, but in the long term that’s not the way to go.

We’ve wanted a front office with vision, organization and planning for three years now. We now have one, so let’s give them the time to get it done, no matter how much spending goes on this week.