Apr 06

Pelfrey goes for Mets tonight against Philly

PELFREY: Tries to get on the winning side tonight.

After a winter of gloomy projections and lowly expectations the Mets take a four-game inning streak into tonight’s start in Philadelphia. They didn’t win their fourth game last season until April 17.

It has been only five games, but the Mets are combining hitting  (a .296 team average) with sterling starting pitching (a 1.47 ERA from the rotation. They have hustled as manager Terry Collins promised and for the most part have been fundamentally sound, which the manager also vowed.

“I’ve said that I think we can play with anybody, but it will take all 25 guys,’’ said Collins.

One of those guys is Pelfrey, whose Opening Day start at Florida is the Mets’ only blemish to the young season.

I’m really looking forward to see how Pelfrey rebounds tonight against the Phillies. Pelfrey didn’t make it out of the fifth inning against the Marlins, but that’s nothing new against Florida.

Life hasn’t always been a day at the beach at Philadelphia either for Pelfrey, who is 1-2 with an 8.17 ERA while giving up seven homers in his last five starts in Philly.

After rocking Cole Hamels last night, it is easy to think the pitching match-ups favor the Mets tonight with Pelfrey going against Joe Blanton, but he’s 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA in four home starts against New York.

From today’s press briefing, Collins said:

* Since he hasn’t worked in three days, Collins said he would get Francisco Rodriguez into the game.

* With tomorrow a day game, Carlos Beltran is expected to get the day off.

* Unlike Jerry Manuel, who tended to ride horse until it dropped, Collins will continue to play his bench.

Tonight’s lineup at Philadelphia:

Jose Reyes, SS

Willie Harris, LF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Angel Pagan, CF

Ike Davis, 1B

Brad Emaus, 2B

Josh Thole, C

Mike Pelfrey, RP

 

Apr 05

Mets face Phils as rivalry renews

METS CHAT: Game #4 at Phillies

Any Mets’ fan will tell you their team’s biggest rival is Philadelphia and not the Yankees. Afterall, it is the Phillies the Mets compete against for the NL East and not the Yankees, who occupy two of their weekends.

When the Mets coughed up the lead in 2007 and 2008, it was the Phillies who were the beneficiaries, including winning the World Series the latter season. But, truth be told, the rivalry has played out more in the papers and fans than on the field, where the Phillies have been the real team to beat.

It will be interesting to see how the Mets stack up to the Phillies this season. They are the odds-on favorite to win the division while the Mets have been picked for the basement in several circles.

If you’re watching tonight, click onto the Mets Chat icon and we can chat about the game.

Apr 05

Tonight’s Mets’ lineup at Philadelphia

Here’s tonight’s lineup for the Mets in Philadelphia:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Scott Hairston, LF

Ike Davis, 1B

Brad Emaus, 2B

Mike Nickeas, C

Chris Young, RP

Lineup comments: Josh Thole gets the night off. With yesterday an off-day, it amounts to two days off for Thole. Smart maneuvering by manager Terry Collins considering Thole is going to log a lot of innings this year.

The tarp is on the field in Philly, but they expect to get the game in. No word yet on if there will be a delay.

 

Apr 04

A good weekend in Florida for Mets; Bay still ailing.

The Mets didn’t win their first road series last year until June. They didn’t win their first on the road against a National League team until August.

That’s just the beginning of a positive first impression to take out of the first weekend for the Mets, a team with lowly expectations.

Take away Mike Pelfrey on Friday, and it was a good weekend for the Mets in Florida as they received strong pitching performances from Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey, questions going in.

“The first game was more of what Josh Johnson did than what we didn’t do,’’ said David Wright. “All in all, it was a good weekend, especially since the last couple of years we’ve had a lot of trouble here. It’s good to get off to a good start. We’re going to have to play just as well in Philadelphia [next series].’’

While nobody is getting carried away by the Marlins series, following the Mets must include finding your silver linings when you can. The Mets didn’t let blowing a ninth inning lead derail them Saturday and they put a team away Sunday, both signs missing from last season.

Chris Young will start for the Mets tomorrow night in Philadelphia, where things are always different.

Meanwhile, Jason Bay’s ribs are still hurting and he hasn’t begun swinging a bat, yet. I wouldn’t be placing any bets on him returning in a week. Also, Jason Isringhausen is feeling discomfort in his back. Just as well he took the extended spring training.

 

Feb 03

Why it is important for Beltran to play center

BELTRAN: Easier to move as center fielder

Angel Pagan said manager Terry Collins has not talked with him or Carlos Beltran about who will play center, but this is an important issue for the Mets to decide as soon as possible in spring training, and it must be the veteran.

With Beltran making $18.5 million this year, the Mets know they will not re-sign him to an extension. They also know with their roster they will not overtake Philadelphia and the wild-card is also a long shot. And, that’s with Beltran and Jason Bay healthy and producing.

Pagan was the better center fielder last year and might be better this season, but the best interest of the Mets in the short term is for Beltran to prove he can play the position.

The Mets have had surface discussions with teams about Beltran, but there aren’t any serious talks because nobody wants to take the gamble on his salary, age and injury history the past two seasons. And, there won’t be any legitimate conversations until Beltran proves he can play, and that means center field.

If Beltran is back in center and hitting, he’ll be easier to trade and a contender might bite. Because Beltran won’t be returning and the Mets aren’t winning this year, his value to the franchise is not as a player but what he can bring back in prospects and the salary they might save.

And, he’ll be easier to move as a center fielder.