Jul 25

Mets Chat Room; limping home.

Game #99 at Dodgers

The Mets ended the first half with a sputter, but with optimism as they prepared to welcome Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes back to their lineup.

They started this 11-game road trip to start the second half as definite contenders in the NL East, but are ending it on a slide that could spell the end to their season.

They are 7 ½ games behind Atlanta and 1 ½ games behind Philadelphia. In fact, they are just as close to the Phillies as they are the Marlins.

In losing eight of 10 – and it should be nine of 10 – the Mets have batted .194 and averaged less than three runs a game.

“I’m not sure if it’s a matter of what they are doing to us or what we’re not doing,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “We have to find a way to score some runs.’’

Here’s today’s lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS

Luis Castillo, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Jason Bay, LF

Ike Davis, 1B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Josh Thole, C

RA Dickey, RP

Jul 22

Expect Bay to sit tonight

BAY: Just horrible.

His lineup finally intact, Jerry Manuel said he is contemplating juggling things tonight in Los Angeles.

After last night’s game Manuel told reporters he might sit Jason Bay – which I called for a couple of days ago – Carlos Beltran and Rod Barajas.

Beltran and Barajas drove in runs last night, with the latter breaking out of a long home run drought.

Sitting Bay is deserved. He went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts last night and is hitting .111 with no RBI in his past ten games.

“Just lost,’’ is how Bay describes himself.

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Jul 09

Mets Chat Room; No Lee edition.

Game #86 vs. Braves

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.

Big series in July? You bet.

Jun 18

Mets Chat Room: Round two vs. Yankees.

The Mets were struggling, in last place in the NL East when they played the Yankees for the first time at Citi Field in May.

Game #67 at Yankees

They won two of three, then shutout the Phillies in a three-game sweep, and have gone 15-6 since to pull within a half game of Atlanta.

The Mets are looking to extend their winning streak to eight games – for the second time this season – when they face the Yankees tonight at the Stadium.

Hisanori Takahashi vs. Javier Vazquez.

“When you go to play the defending world champions, you’ve got to be playing good baseball,’’ said manager Jerry Manuel. “I feel good about the way we’re playing.’’

He ought to, as the Mets will be trying for their seventh straight road win tonight. The last time they won that many was in June, 2006, when they peeled off nine straight on the road.

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Jun 07

Takahashi needs shorter leash

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.

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