Oct 04

About Yesterday ….

Yesterday’s victory over Houston assured the Mets of winning their final series of the season and a winning record at home in their first year of Citi Field. Oh boy!!!!

Pat Misch pitched well again, giving up a run on five hits in five innings before the rains came. He won for the third time this month and is meriting consideration for the fifth starter job next spring. He’s left-handed, which is always a plus. But, remember, before this stretch he was a journeyman.

A 2010 rotation with Misch in it could be interesting, but maybe not in a good way.

After a torrid start, Josh Thole hit the skids, and his triple broke a 1-for-22 slide. It was probably a good thing Thole went into a slump as to not ratchet up the expectations. He does have a presence about him, but it’s premature to say he’s ready.

Sean Green had pitched well lately, but three walks in 1 2/3 innings to force a save situation served as a reminder of his inconsistency this season. So much more was expected of him. The walks, however, brought on Francisco Rodriguez for his 35th save.

Oct 03

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #161; Looking at Maine, Misch tries to impress.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When it comes to what John Maine did last night, I have to keep telling myself, “it was only one game.’’

Yes it was, but Maine’s starts have been getting progressively better in terms of pitch count and effectiveness. Last night, he gave up one run on five hits in seven innings. Most importantly, no walks. As in zero.

Maine squeezed in those seven innings with 106 pitches. Usually with Maine, if the throws that many pitches it is over five innings.

Maine attributed the success with his slider to a new grip, which again reinforces it was good for him to come back this month.

There will be games when his slider doesn’t have movement or bite, but hopefully he’s been able to come up with a way to get out of those funks. A pitcher only learns that by pitching.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.

MAINE: Ends season on a positive note.


“I was just trying to pitch to contact a little more,’’ Maine said. “Walks always hurt me, I’d always give up a lot of walks, and that’s how they end up scoring. This start I just had a better slider, and that always makes your fastball better.’’

Maine’s start doesn’t answer all the Mets’ pitching questions, but it does offer encouragement.

The Mets (68-92) hope for another dose of positive this afternoon from left-hander Pat Misch (2-4, 4.71 ERA) who is coming off a complete-game victory over the Marlins last Sunday.

Misch has pitched well at times in his month-long audition for the No. 5 slot in the rotation next year. So has Tim Redding, but he could be more suited for the long-man role.

Here’s today’s batting order vs. Yorman Bazardo (1-2, 8.23 ERA):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Josh Thole, C
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Pat Misch, LP

David Wright isn’t hurt, so I don’t understand the need to give him a day off the day before the season finale. He had a good game last night, so why not keep it going?

I don’t like how manager Jerry Manuel has handled his line-up the last month. September was supposed to be about learning for next year.

Wright has had a miserable month for the most part, but is coming out of it. Too late, of course, but he’s hit well the past week.

I don’t like how Nick Evans has wasted away on the bench. He’s been rushed, but this month was a way to get him some consistent at-bats. Instead, Tatis and Pagan have gotten considerably more time. We don’t even know if Tatis will be with the Mets next year. It is so much more important to learn about Evans.

I’m also not crazy about the batting order. Can we please find a spot for Daniel Murphy and leave him there? Murphy has hit from second to seventh, but he’s never in one spot long enough to get comfortable. And, please spare me the injuries excuse. The juggling is unsettling for a young player.

The juggling also shows a lack of consistency from the manager. There are times to juggle, but not every day.

Sep 28

About Yesterday ….

Pat Misch threw the Mets second complete game of the season, shutting out the Florida Marlins, 4-0. The other was by Livan Hernandez in May against Washington. File that under the “Go Figure” category.

Nobody could even put the odds on what that would be entering the season.

MISCH: Congratulated by Thole after masterful performance.

MISCH: Congratulated by Thole after masterful performance.


Misch had been hit hard in his previous three starts, but did have some good moments this season. Will Misch be in the Mets’ rotation next season? Doubtful, but he pitched well enough to merit a spring training invite.

Let’s face it, the Mets have pitching holes and don’t have the luxury of dumping a guy who just threw a shutout for him. If the Mets don’t make any off-season pitching acquisitions, or if Oliver Perez and John Maine have health issues, Misch could get a chance to compete for the fifth starter role or as a long-reliever. That he is left-handed works in his favor.

In addition, Jeff Francoeur homered again, and the Mets are expected to offer a contract extension. The Mets have enough off-season wants on their shopping list, and signing Francoeur would shorten it.

WRIGHT: Sets example both ways.

WRIGHT: Sets example both ways.


Lastly, David Wright did not start yesterday. He did not hustle on a ball hit by Francoeur, and consequently didn’t cross the plate before the final out was made so his run did not count. Wright met with manager Jerry Manuel in a closed-door meeting after the game and apologized to his teammates.

If the Mets are to name a team captain, Wright would be the logical choice, afterall, he is the face of the franchise. He’s had a miserable year and the one thing the Mets can’t have is for their leader not to hustle.

In a season such as this, examples are being set all the time. That Wright did not hustle can’t be tolerated. However, that he was stand-up and took accountability is also a powerful example to his teammates.

Sep 27

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #155; Wright rests.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Good afternoon folks. Sorry to miss you last night. I had an obligation I needed to take care of. I do appreciate those who checked in and posted.

David Wright has the day off. Wright didn’t go all out on Jeff Francoeur’s hit and as a result didn’t get the run as the out was recorded at second before he crossed the plate.

There’s no reason for it and it is rare when Wright doesn’t go full out. Wright, stand up as usual, apologized to his teammates after the game.

The Mets close out their series at Florida today with Pat Misch on the mound. That’s something I don’t understand. Misch, who likely won’t be with the Mets next year, gets a start despite not pitching well, while Bobby Parnell, who is part of the future, was pulled.

Still think that’s odd and Parnell should have started.

The game means something to the Marlins, who are still alive. For the Mets, more of the same. We’ll also check in on the Jets, who are wearing the ugly Titans jersey, against the Titans. Giants are on later.

Here’s the batting order:

Angel Pagan, CF
Anderson Hernandez, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Josh Thole, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Pat Misch (1-4, 5.59 ERA), LP

Sep 26

About Last Night ….

For one game, at least, the Mets played the way they promised during spring training as they rallied in the eighth and ninth innings to severely damage the Florida Marlins’ pennant aspirations.

Three players stood out: Tim Redding, Jeff Francoeur and Cory Sullivan.

* Redding has pitched well since joining the Mets’ depleted rotation, good to the point where he should be brought back to compete for the fifth-starter or long-relief role. Of all the throw-ins into the rotation, he has outpitched Bobby Parnell, Nelson Figueroa and Pat Misch. He also has a strong track record against Philly.

* Francoeur has been a joy to watch since coming over from Atlanta. He clearly likes playing in New York and hustles all the time. He should be rewarded with an extension. Given a full season, he could hit 20 to 25 homers next year.

* Sullivan is an absolute professional. Teams need role players such as him and the Mets would be wise to bring him back, as well as Alex Cora.