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 20

Tonight’s lineup at Arizona

Tonight’s lineup at Arizona

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, RF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Ike Davis, 1B

Jason Bay, LF

Josh Thole, C

Luis Castillo, 2B

RA Dickey, RP

Notes: Expect Oliver Perez to be activated soon. Most likely Josh Thole or Justin Turner will be optioned to make room for him. Manuel would like to keep Thole on the roster. Manuel said Perez would initially work out of the bullpen. … Hisanori Takahashi is still on to start Thursday’s game at Los Angeles. As of now there are no plans to bring up Pat Misch.

Jul 15

Tonight’s lineup at Giants; no Reyes.

MANUEL: Playing Russian Roulette with Reyes.

First Jose Reyes was in the lineup, and then he wasn’t. He still can’t hit left-handed. However, with Barry Zito going tomorrow, they are hoping Reyes will be able to play.

In a word: Stupid.

Jerry Manuel has butchered this decision unbelievably. How is it hard to figure that if he’s not good enough to bat left-handed then he’s not 100 percent.

They were lucky Reyes wasn’t seriously re-injured Sunday instead of merely aggravating the oblique. This whole scenario is absurd. They should stop listening to Reyes and say he won’t play until he’s ready. This can’t go on any longer.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Angel Pagan, RF

Alex Cora, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Ike Davis, 1B

Jason Bay, LF

Josh Thole, C

Ruben Tejada, SS

RA Dickey, RP

Jul 15

Second-half opens with questions.

The Mets open the second half of what has been a surprising season tonight in San Francisco a team with confidence and resiliency – just four games behind Atlanta despite several questions.

Many of those questions were only partially addressed and remain to the point where they are issues.

Here’s the top five questions for the Mets entering the second half:

BELTRAN: Back tonight, but at what percent?

1. QUESTION: How healthy is this team?

ASSESSMENT: The Mets will get Carlos Beltran back tonight, but don’t know how he’ll respond to a heavy workload. For now the plan is to juggle playing time between Beltran, Angel Pagan and Jeff Francoeur, with the latter’s time reduced the most. Beltran returns to center and the clean-up, but don’t expect him to immediately be in All-Star form.

Another pressing issue, or at least it’s turning out that way, is Jose Reyes, who strained his right oblique muscle, June 30. Reyes sat out a handful of games before the Mets foolishly let him return only to bat right-handed, even against righty pitchers. Had Reyes been placed on the disabled list originally, or continued to sit until he was 100 percent, he might be fine today.

Instead, Reyes is still ailing and considered day-to-day. The Mets are still toying with him batting right-handed exclusively and not waiting until he’s 100 percent. Reyes aggravated the injury and the Mets are pushing their luck.

Also, Mike Pelfrey, after a string of non-descript to poor starts, says he might have a dead arm, although not an injury it is physical related.

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