Sep 17

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #146; Wrapping up the Braves.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Braves are still kicking and need a sweep of the Mets tonight to keep their slim playoff aspirations alive. The Mets’ season has long since died.

Nelson Figueroa comes off a decent start against the Phillies – two runs in 5 1/3 innings last Friday – to face the Braves. Those are decent numbers that could have been worse as he gave up nine hits and five walks. Figueroa has given up eight earned runs in his last four starts (23 1/3 innings), but because of the Mets’ anemic hitting is 1-3 in that span.

After last night, just how could things get worse for the Mets? We could find out tonight.

Sep 11

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #141; Should have meant something.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets are in Philadelphia tonight for the start of a series that when the schedule was released, should have meant something. Frankly, it was just around the All-Star break when the feeling was surfacing the season would have a sour ending.

Before the end of July, it was obvious the season was lost.

The 2009 season is in its last breaths for the Mets, and manager Jerry Manuel tried to stress upon his team the need for finishing strong and upbeat. Manuel held a closed-door meeting prior to last night’s game and the team responded by getting blown out.

“I just wanted to be sure that we stay concentrating on what’s ahead,’’ Manuel said. “And, despite where we are in the standings, even though the end is very near, the quest for a championship continues.

“You have to try and prepare that mindset, despite the conclusion of the season being so close. There are enough players here who we feel are going to be a part of this, who still have to think in that mindset of championship.’’

The Class of the Division

The Class of the Division


Toward that end, Manuel wants to see an inspired series against the Phillies, but perhaps more importantly, he wants them to see and absorb how their nemesis plays the game. Usually, the Phillies play an alert, aggressive, fundamental brand of baseball, something the Mets frequently do not.

As gifted as the Mets think they are, and as dominant as they sometimes can be, too often they have this attitude where they can just throw their gloves on the field and just win. How the Phillies dissed the Mets last year in the playoffs with the Shane Victorino simulated home run trot of Jose Reyes, and Cole Hamels, “chokers,’’ comment, it is apparent they don’t respect Manuel’s team all that much.

More to the point, the Phillies know they can beat the Mets and simply believe like a hollow barrel, they make the most noise.

It would be nice to see the Mets play inspired ball this weekend. And, it is quite possible they might. However, it would be nicer to see them play inspired ball and finish the season that way. All too often, the Mets have spurted only to fizzle.

That’s not the makings of a championship caliber team, something the Mets have readily shown us the past three seasons.

MURPHY: Not a lot of happy moments this year for Mets and Murphy.

MURPHY: Not a lot of happy moments this year for Mets and Murphy.


The Mets (62-78) will send journeyman Nelson Figueroa (2-4, 4.74 ERA) against Hamels (8–9, 4.32 ERA).

As a makeshift starter, Figueroa has a 3.00 ERA in his last three starts with 20 strikeouts 18 innings. Hamels is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season, and for all his talk, has not defeated the Mets since 2006.

The weather is wet and bleak in Philly tonight, but the Phillies are saying the show will go on. Carlos Beltran will have the night off, presumably because of the wet turf. Also getting the night off is Daniel Murphy, which I don’t see. Don’t the Mets what to get a look at him in regards to their future plans and having him bat against a left-hander can be nothing but good for him.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Nick Evans, LF
Omir Santos, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Nelson Figueroa, RP

Sep 09

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #139; Misch tries to keep roll going.

METS CHAT ROOM

METS CHAT ROOM

The Mets’ decimated pitching rotation in tatters, it continues to be Mike Pelfrey and The Cast of Thousands, trying to see who that day can make it through five innings, or to touch the unimaginable — six innings.

Tonight’s starter, Pat Misch, Nelson Figueroa, Tim Redding and Bobby Parnell have all flashed positive signs that gives one pause to think, “maybe, must maybe, we have something here.”

Then it all goes a way in a flurry or walks and home runs, a reminder why these pitchers are journeymen to begin with. Of the four, Parnell has the best stuff and is the youngest. He has the best chance. He also needs experience. This year the Mets kept him to work out of the bullpen, then turned to him out of necessity. Next spring they should make a decision and stick with it, and that decision should be as a starter.

MISCH: Starts tonight vs.Fish

MISCH: Starts tonight vs.Fish


The others? Well, if Misch, Figueroa or Redding were in next year’s rotation, it would mean Omar Minaya didn’t have a good winter, somebody is still hurt, and count on another long year for the Mets.

Misch, Figueroa and Redding have shown enough positives to where they should be invited to spring training to compete for a long man role. Misch (1-1, 3.25) earned his first major league win Thursday at Colorado, giving up two runs (two solo homers) on four hits in seven innings of an 8-3 victory.

“The key was I minimized the traffic on the bases,” Misch said. “There wasn’t any one on when they got the home runs.”

The Mets will have Carlos Beltran in the line-up again tonight. Beltran was activated from the disabled list Wednesday and went 1-for-4 in his first game since June 21.

“It will probably take him a few games to really find his rhythm at the plate,” manager Jerry Manuel said of Beltran. “I think once that starts he will get on track, so to speak. He looked pretty good.”

Sep 05

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #136; Mets go for series win.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets will try to win their first series today since the end of July, when they won a series against Colorado at Citi Field. They’ll have Nelson Figueroa pitching for that monumental feat.

The Mets (61-74) are 12-22 since winning three of four at home over Colorado, and have dropped eight of 10 series while splitting the two.

Figueroa (2-3, 4.50 ERA) had lost five consecutive starts before beating the Cubs last weekend at Wrigley Field.

“I took advantage of some aggressive swings,” Figueroa said. “I was able to do some of the things I do well — get ahead and expand the zone.”

Here’s the line-up against the Cubs’ Rich Harden:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Josh Thole, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Nelson Figueroa, RP