We’ve seen it all too often, the Mets rise up in a big series and then stumble against teams they should beat. Hey, that is the essence of the collapses of the last two years.
The Mets have won four straight, beating the sweeping a pair of two-game series against the Braves and Phillies. The Pirates are in for three this weekend before Atlanta comes to town next week.
The Pirates are team the Mets should beat, but they can be a pesky team especially since their pitching has been decent this spring.
Even with their modest four-game winning streak, there are still holes in the Mets’ game, beginning with the offense. Last night they scored a bunch early, but their bats went to sleep and they had to hold on to win.
K-Rod has been lights out, and Bobby Parnell has risen above Sean Green in the pecking order. Green has not pitched well, and Pedro Feliciano has also taken his lumps.
The room is open, but I have to take care of some things and I’ll join you later.
The best pitcher in the sport will try to extend the Mets’ winning streak to three games tonight against the Phillies. Johan Santana could easily be 5-0 with a little more support.
Interesting changes in the line-up, beginning with Daniel Murphy batting sixth behind David Wright because Alex Cora gets the start at second. Ryan Church, who is in a dreadful slump and hitting .143 with RISP in on the bench.
Here’s the line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Jeremy Reed, RF
Omir Santos, C
Johan Santana, P
Two victories over the struggling Braves (and it could have been two the other way) does not a season make.
Said David Wright: “When you win, you have energy and passion. When things aren’t going so well, it’s easy to pick apart things like that. We’ve got a good team. We’ve got good guys on this team. We’re well-prepared. We’re intense. When you win, that’s a plus – and when you lose, you start looking for reasons why.”
There have been some encouraging things the past two days, but enough of the other stuff to believe the Mets aren’t out of the woods. For one thing, they were dreadful hitting with runners in scoring position. They could have routed the Braves had they been more consistent.
And, if you’re going to squander opportunities, you can’t afford to give the opposition extra outs, which was was last night’s ninth inning was all about.
All they’ve done was win two straight games. They are home now with series against the Phillies and Braves, and don’t underestimate the Pirates, who have been getting good pitching.
Let’s see where they are after this homestand. I’m cautiously optimistic.
In what so far has been a disappointing, underachieving season, there was a lot to like in last night’s victory at Atlanta.
Of course, since everything begins with pitching and John Maine was superb after a rocky second. There’s always one inning with Maine where he gets in trouble, but if he pulls out of it he goes on a hot stretch fueled by his fastball. He’s a power guy and gets in trouble when he tries to be too cute with his off-speed stuff.
Another positive the offense came from behind from three runs down for the first time this season. Carlos Beltran, who has been stroking line drives all year, went deep twice. Beltran is a hitter who when he gets hot can carry a team for a couple of weeks. What better time with all these games with the Braves and Phillies?
David Wright also showed signs of coming out of it with a homer.
But, it’s only one game and we’ve seen that before. Let’s get a string of these before proclaiming the Mets are all right.
Livan Hernandez, who has been shaky, goes tonight for the Mets.
Today’s game at Philly has been rained out, which gives us a moment to reflect on the train wreck that is Oliver Perez.
“I’m not doing anything to help the team,” said an admittedly embarrassed Perez yesterday.
Because of Perez’s length of service (it doesn’t have to be good service) he can refuse the minor league assignment that is in his and the Mets’ best interest. Perez gave no indication he would do so, which is a good sign.
It’s better he go to the minors than hang around as a long man because he won’t get regular work in that capacity. The Mets gave Perez Saturday’s start because of his success against the Phillies, but it didn’t pan out.
It’s time to start over with Perez.