Well, as it turns out the Mets won’t get Cliff Lee afterall. He’s heading for Texas. It could have been worse, he could have landed with the Yankees or back with the Phillies. The Rangers’ offer is enough for a rental, then the Mets will have a chance on the free-agent market.
I wouldn’t get my hopes up about that, either. That’s when the Yankees will simply write the biggest check.
Even so, the Mets will need another pitcher if they are to catch the Braves, who are in for three to close the first half of the season. The Mets are three games behind, and to get a good feeling about themselves heading into the break they need to win two of three. That keeps them close heading into the second half, which they start off with a killer trip to the West Coast the face the Giants’ pitching, the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers, who’ll remember how they were dusted by the Mets at Citi Field earlier. If that’s not enough, they’ll come home to face the Cardinals.
Hisanori Takahashi will get another chance partly because he deserves it, but also because the Mets don’t have much choice.
TAKAHASHI: Raked again.
Takahashi has started four games; two sparkling and two stinkers. What the Mets have learned is when the unraveling starts it comes quickly, and trouble usually comes around the fifth and sixth innings.
He began to tire at this time against the Yankees and Phillies, and yesterday. However, he lost it early against the Padres, when he never had command.
The memory of the Yankees and Phillies starts, plus how strong he was until the Cody Ross homer yesterday, is what will keep him in the rotation for now.
After starting the week in scintillating fashion with a three-game shutout sweep of the Phillies, the Mets are in danger today of being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Here’s something to mull over: The Brewers had won only six home games this season, and could have half that with a victory today.
It has been a disappointing first two games, with Jerry Manuel pulling Johan Santana after eight scoreless innings Friday and Fernando Nieve spitting the bit yesterday, turning his start into nothing more than a long relief appearance.
It was infuriating to learn Manuel didn’t consult Santana on how he was feeling before yanking him. What a disrespectful thing to do to the ace of your staff.