Aug 22

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #123; Miracle Mets honored.

The Mets honored their 1969 Championship team prior to tonight’s game. It was nice they recognized the widows of those who passed. It was a classy gesture, and sometimes it is hard to realize several of them are gone.

I’ve always loved when a franchise honors its past, and I’m glad the Mets did that tonight. I only wish the Mets had done it from the beginning when they opened Citi Field this spring. The Mets don’t have the winning history such as the Yankees and Dodgers, but they have a great history nonetheless and it should always be honored.

Tonight the Mets (57-65) continue their four-game series with the Phillies (69-50), with JA Happ (9-2, 2.66 ERA) taking on Tim Redding (1-4, 6.53).

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Tim Redding, RP

Aug 19

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #120; Where did the season go?

METS CHAT ROOM

METS CHAT ROOM

Where did it go? Where did the season disappear to? There are 42 games between now and winter, although, truth be know, from a competitive standpoint the season ended a lot time ago for the Mets.

The goal now is .500, and with it, limited respectability. They are now reduced to the Washington Nationals-like role of spoiler. How distasteful is that? The World Series window that seemed wide open when Aaron Heilman grooved that pitch to Yadier Molina has slammed shut with two year-end fades and this summer’s collapse.

The Mets are looking at the future with Bobby Parnell (3–4, 3.50 ERA) making his third start tonight against the Atlanta Braves.

Parnell’s first start was essentially a 60-pitch ineffective relief appearance, but he looked much better in his last start, an 80-pitch effort, last weekend against the Giants. His ceiling is 100. He could get maybe four more starts after tonight, which should give the Mets a good indication of whether they can slot him into next year’s rotation. That would eliminate a huge off-season headache.

As it always is with young pitchers the question is whether he’s able to command his secondary pitches to go along with his 97-mph. fastball. The fastball stuff he has, the command and movement is still a work in progress.

Here’s the Mets’ line-up against Jair Jurrjens (9-8, 2.99 ERA):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Bobby Parnell, RP

NOTEBOOK: Jurrjens is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA in five starts against the Mets. … Parnell has a 1.62 ERA in his two starts. … Johan Santana said he never asked to be traded. … Sheffield was pulled off waivers when a team tried to claim him which means he can’t be traded. Should Sheffield be put through waivers again and is claimed he’s gone. He said he believes he’ll be gone. … Billy Wagner said he has no designs on closing when he’s activated this week, but next year will be different. There are several teams in need of a closer, including the Chicago Cubs, and others in need of lefty relief, including the Yankees. I don’t see the Mets doing business in the Bronx.

Aug 18

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #119; Braves in town.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Old punching bag Ryan Church is in town with the Atlanta Braves which means a lot of David Wright questions about concussions. The Mets didn’t handle the Church injury well last season, but to his credit Church said he felt he could play and never backed off those statements. He could have done a lot of bitching and moaning but never did.

There was always a lot of anticipation to Braves at Mets, but the only suspense this time is wondering if the 55-63 Mets could fall 10 games below .500 if they were to be swept.

A couple of starts ago he was the Good Ollie in San Diego, but Oliver Perez, as has been his history, took a step back in his last start against Arizona with six walks in 5 1/3 innings. More disturbing is Perez’s attitude that “walks are part of the game.” Well, so is getting outs. He ought to try that for a change.

Year One of the three-year, $36-million bust of a contract. Re-signed for his physical gifts, Perez’s downfall has been his inability to focus and to drift away from his mechanics, which lead to wildness and frequently the big inning. There are days when you can’t touch him and other days when you’d like to wring his neck.

And, tonight?

I don’t have the vaguest idea. He is 6-4 lifetime against the Braves, which is promising, then I look at Derek Lowe and the line-up he’ll be facing. Only one player, Luis Castillo, is at his Opening Day position.

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Oliver Perez, LP

Lowe (12-7, 4.08 ERA), whom the Mets by-passed to re-sign Perez, has won four consecutive decisions, and hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start since July 5. He is 2-2 lifetime against the Mets.

Aug 16

METS CHAT ROOM Game #117; Wright sits after beaning.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

I remember talking to Willie Randolph last season and he said something incredibly odd, if not totally stupid. “We really don’t know enough about concussions in baseball,” was the essence of his comments during one pregame session when the conversation turned to Ryan Church.

It was amazing to hear Randolph say the Mets hadn’t consulted the physicians of the Giants, Jets or Rangers, teams that deal with that injury all the time.

Clearly, the Mets didn’t handle Church’s concussion properly, flying him from Atlanta to Denver, then pinch-hitting him, then shuffling him in and out of the lineup. Post Concussion Syndrome he had, and was never right the rest of the season. Hey, truth is, he hasn’t been right since.

Let’s hope the Mets learned from Church last season, but one has to wonder why he isn’t on the disabled list this morning. He might not play any time soon and with him on the disabled list there’s no temptation to push him. Leave it up to Wright and he’ll say he wants to play, but that’s his personality. Don’t given him the option.

Learn from the past and just let him rest and recover. He should be on the DL already.

Here’s today’s line-up behind Mike Pelfrey (8-8. 4.88):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

NOTES: Pelfrey balked three times against the Giants, May 17. … He is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in two career appearances against San Francisco.

Aug 10

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #112; Pelfrey vs. Snakes.

Thundering and lightning here in the Northeast. The lights have already flickered a couple of times tonight. I hope I don’t lose power and the Internet goes.

The Mets (52–59) begin a three-game series at Arizona (50–62) tonight with Mike Pelfrey (8-7, 4.75 ERA) going against Doug Davis (6-10, 3.67). The Mets have won 15 of their last 17 games at Arizona. Pelfrey is a 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in four career starts against Arizona.

PELFREY: Needs to stay away from the big inning.

PELFREY: Needs to stay away from the big inning.


With 50 games remaining there are a lot of issues surrounding the Mets, with the one of the most important being the development of Pelfrey. He appears to have taken a step back from last season and hasn’t lived up to expectations. Pelfrey was supposed to win as many as 15 games this season. Maybe more.

Working on eight days off – without throwing – there is concern Pelfrey might experience a little rust. Pelfrey’s problem this season has been an inability to limit the damage. There’s always been one inning where Pelfrey unravels, and not surprisingly, control has been the issue.

Gary Sheffield, who last played Aug. 5 against St. Louis, remains out of the lineup with hamstring tightness.

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP