Jun 09

Bullpen a major concern; Bay benched tonight.

I recently wrote where the Mets have played exceedingly well despite a myriad of issues and stand by those words.

Not much was expected from these Mets coming out of spring training, but for the most part have played inspired, scrappy, ball. But, just when you thought it was safe to root for the Mets, along comes something like last night.

There they were, on the cusp of their fourth straight victory, the bullpen collapsed again to give up four runs in the eighth inning and one more in the ninth to watch it all slip away.

So, instead of playing for .500 tonight, the Mets are again three games under.

Also slipping away was a strong performance from Mike Pelfrey, which we haven’t had an abundance of this spring. Another good game from Jose Reyes was also wasted.

The bullpen, after a brief strong stretch, has been awful over the last 16 games with a 12.36 ERA in the seventh inning or later, with the opposition outscoring the Mets, 56-23.

Amidst the rubble of the collapsed pen has been Pedro Beato’s slide.  Hoping for Beato to recapture his early season form forced Terry Collins to, 1) stay with him too long and watch him give up three runs in a third of an inning, and 2) go to Jason Isringhausen when he wanted to rest him last night.

Collins relied on Isringhausen because he doesn’t have much faith in anybody else in the pen, especially with Francisco Rodriguez gassed lately.

There are no viable options on either the major league or minor league options, and until the bullpen rights itself the Mets improve much beyond where they are right now.

All this is a reminder what a disappointment Bobby Parnell has been. Even before his injury, he failed to perform as the set-up reliever and this has been one of the most important issues of the season.

Another key issue is Jason Bay, who is benched tonight amidst a 0-for-27 freefall. Bay, who hit 36 homers two years ago in Boston, is down to .207 with two homers and ten RBI.

I suppose it can get worse, but seeing if it does is like watching a car wreck on the highway. You watch out of morbid curiosity.

Jason Pridie replaces Bay in left tonight.

Here’s the lineup at Milwaukee:

Jose Reyes, SS

Justin Turner, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Jason Pridie, LF

Josh Thole, C

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Jonathan Niese, LP

 

May 16

Wright hurt; out at least a week with back fracture.

The Mets will be without David Wright for at least a week to ten days with stress fracture in his lower back.

WRIGHT: Out with back fracture.

Wright underwent a MRI today at the Hospital of Special Surgery, which revealed the injury. Wright said he will seek a second opinion, after which a decision would be made on the disabled list.

The Mets said Wright sustained the injury on a diving tag play to Houston’s Carlos Lee, April 19. Wright doesn’t believe this is a long-term injury, but then again, that’s what second opinions are for.

“About the first week, I felt stiff and sore, but I felt that would go away the next couple of weeks,’’ Wright told reporters this afternoon at Citi Field. “I was on some medication and some anti-inflammatories that really wasn’t doing much. That explains it now, because it’s not a muscular thing.

“It’s what could be a stress fracture. … It’s probably me somewhat being stubborn and not getting it checked out earlier. I don’t think it really limited me too much or prohibited me from doing anything. It was just a little uncomfortable.’’

VIDEO OF INJURY

Wright is off to a slow start, hitting .231 with six homers and 18 RBI.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets could promote Ruben Tejada to play second base and move Justin Turner to third, or they could bring up Nick Evans or Luis Hernandez.

Daniel Murphy is a natural third baseman, but he’s playing first base while Ike Davis is on the disabled list. Davis, out with a sprained ankle, is currently rehabbing in Port St. Lucie. Ironically, Davis was injured in a collision with Wright.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS

Willie Harris, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Justin Turner, 2B

Jason Pridie, CF

Ronny Paulino, C

Mike Pelfrey, RP

 

May 05

Mets’ May 5 lineup vs. San Francisco

So long ago seems that six-game winning streak. The Mets have lost five of their last six games since and will attempt to stop the slide this afternoon with this lineup behind Mike Pelfrey:

Jose Reyes, SS

Chin-lung Hu, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Ike Davis, 1B

Ronny Paulino, C

Scott Hairston, CF

Mike Pelfrey, RP

COMMENTS: Nothing wrong with giving Daniel Murphy the day off. Hu needs some playing time anyway. … Wright still batting third much to the chagrin of many. Terry Collins seems set on that. … Jason Bay returns to the lineup. He’s still not hitting for power. When will that happen?

 

 

 

 

Apr 14

It’s looking like the same old Mets.

We’ve heard this before.

If you didn’t know the words belonged to Terry Collins, you’d swear they were Jerry Manuel’s or Willie Randolph’s.

COLLINS: Reading from Jerry and Willie's script.

Collins held a brief team meeting after last night’s latest loss and told his players, “we’re one pitch away, one swing away from being 9-2, and we’re not.’’

In some form or another, they are the words from a manager of a losing team. His players don’t make that pitch, or connect on that swing, because they aren’t good enough collectively to do so.

Last night the bad pitch was thrown by Jon Niese, but the decision to throw it was made by Collins, who let the lefthander work to Troy Tulowitzki with first base open resulting in a three-run homer.

The offense struggled again as the Mets dropped to 4-7.

“Well, we’re answering the same questions every night,’’ lamented Collins. “It’s time to start making pitches. It’s time to start getting a big two-out hit.’’

R.A. Dickey and Chris Capuano go in today’s doubleheader in which the Mets wrap up their brief homestand before heading to Atlanta, where they rarely do well.

A doubleheader with no day off following will undoubtedly tax an already worn bullpen, something the Mets don’t need before facing the Braves.

Long forgotten was the Mets’ 3-1 start, as they have gone 1-6 since. However, didn’t we expect this, and wasn’t it a matter of time before we heard those words from Collins?

Here’s the Mets’ line-up in Game 1:

Jose Reyes, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Willie Harris, LF

Scott Hairston, RF

Josh Thole, C

RA Dickey, RP

Apr 10

Beltran has stud night; Young pitches today.

I admit, after Beltran’s big night my first thought was July and if he stays healthy the Mets would be in better position to make a deal at the trade deadline. I am under no illusions Beltran will return next season, even if he stays healthy, has a big year and the Mets are competitive.

BELTRAN: Has big night.

The Mets’ financial and legal situation will remain the backdrop for this season, and it will be that way until it is resolved.

That being said, it is a good sign he’s swinging the bat well, and I liked how the Mets came back and added runs last night. The Mets are a .500 team after eight games, showing signs of progress one day and their most glaring weaknesses the next.

If it remains that way, it will be a maddening, and yet a fascinating summer. There will be moments and perhaps long stretches of alert aggressive baseball and also times when their pitching gets torched and the bats fall silent with RISP. It is always that way with developing teams.

As far as Beltran is concerned, if he produces the only things that would prevent the Mets from making a deal in July would be his contract and if the team is surprisingly competitive. If, by chance, they are in contention they might keep him in the hopes of making a run.

That, of course, is wishful thinking, but isn’t that the way when one follows the Mets.

Meanwhile, Chris Young goes this afternoon. He was impressive in his first start and if he keeps giving the Mets six solid innings he’ll be fine. In this comeback season that’s about all the Mets can count on from him. So far, the Mets will take what they’ve gotten from Young and last night’s starter Chris Capuano.

The Mets go for their third series win this afternoon with this line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS

Willie Harris, LF

David Wright, 3B

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Lucas Duda, RF

Brad Emaus, 2B

Josh Thole, C

Chris Young, RP