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 27

Mets’ April 27 lineup at Washington.

Here’s tonight’s lineup at Washington:

Jose Reyes, SS

Justin Turner, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Ike Davis, 1B

Scott Hairston, CF

Mike Nickeas, C

RA Dickey, RP

COMMENT: Evidently, manager Terry Collins isn’t respecting the power of the streak tonight by making changes at second, center and catcher.

 

Apr 25

The Mets and their winning ways.

Good day all. Mets are off today, then on to Washington and Philadelphia. They are winners of four straight and playing good baseball, the kind of baseball they promised during spring training.

Some are saying the Mets’ recent success is because they played Arizona, but don’t forget, the Diamondbacks pretty much had their way against them recently.

So, what has been the difference?

Like with the losing, it isn’t just one thing to point to, but a myriad of issues.

First, as usual, it begins with starting pitching, which has been excellent, averaging seven innings and a 2.63 ERA over the past six games. Wouldn’t it be sweet to get that for the entire season?

In addition to shutting down the opposition the first part of the game, the length given by the starters enabled manager Terry Collins to set up his bullpen and cut down on the appearances by some of the more combustible relievers, notably D.J. Carrasco, who was optioned in order to keep Dillon Gee on the roster.

The bullpen has responded, in part by the absence of the ineffective and injured Bobby Parnell, which allows Collins to go to the more experienced and productive Jason Isringhausen. I’m not saying Parnell won’t ever make it, but for now Isringhausen is the better choice.

It will be interesting to see how Gee’s role changes over the next 10 days to two weeks. He’s been an effective starter, but he’s sure to see time in long relief.

“We think is Dillon does have to move into a different role, we want to see how he performs,’’ general manager Sandy Alderson said.

The Mets’ hot streak also coincides with the return of Jason Bay to the batting order. Bay has played well and offers a degree of protection to Carlos Beltran and David Wright. Bay also returns Willie Harris and Scott Hairston to the bench, which was thin.

Wright is hitting again and Ike Davis has been hot. Also, Beltran has stayed upright and is hitting.  Maybe it was time to catch a break, but when the struggling Angel Pagan went down, Jason Pridie was brought up and has performed.

Is there even such a player as Ronny Paulino? He was supposed to be activated tomorrow, but has a strained oblique.

 

Apr 15

Can’t anybody here play this game?

My title is one of Casey Stengel’s most memorable quotes and is applicable to how this season has started for the Mets. Yesterday’s doubleheader loss, coming hours after Terry Collins’ closed doors meeting, was a study in bad baseball.

CASEY: What would he think of this?

It made me wonder what would have happened had the Mets not focused on fundamentals during spring training.

From the outfield defense – what were you thinking Scott Hairston? – to Brad Emaus butchering a  ball at second, to the Daniel Murphy’s inexplicable baserunning, to the lack of clutch hitting and pitching, the day was a complete washout.

They were competitive, but still lost. The Mets have not learned to put away a team – they lead in every game of the four games they lost to Colorado – from either an offensive or pitching perspective.

Talent-wise, we knew going into the season that the Mets didn’t have enough to compete with Philadelphia and Atlanta in the NL East, but I, like most, bought into Collins’ emphasis on fundamentals.

It just hasn’t happened, and had they been able to execute fundamentally on defense and at the plate, they might have overcome some of their pitching weaknesses. It hasn’t happened that way.

What was Murphy thinking trying to go to third from second on a ball hit in front of him? He clearly lost track of the outs. How hard is it to count to three? Hairston’s effort on that fly ball was weak. A veteran like that needs to show more.

Bottom line: Game 1 never should have come down to David Wright’s fly ball to the warning track.

As much as baseball is a team sport, it is also an individual one. Before each pitch, a player should know what his responsibilities should be. And, prior to each at-bat, he should know what his objective should be, such has hitting a fly ball or advancing a runner.

These guys have coaches to remind them, but their objective is something they should have long since known since high school ball. It’s not Collins or the coaches, it is them. They should know to hit a ground ball to the right side with a runner on second and no outs. They should know not to chase on 2-0 at the plate. They should know where to position themselves and what base to throw to. They should know whether or not they should run depending on where the ball is hit.

And, at the plate, they should have better command of the strikezone and know how to work a walk. Again, not enough walks and too many strikeouts.

These are major league players and they should show more beyond their skill set.

And, I haven’t begun to think about the pitching, which has been atrocious. By the way, my confidence level on D.J. Carrasco tonight in Atlanta isn’t good. When Tuesday’s game was rained out and the Mets knew they had a doubleheader yesterday, and definitely when Chris Young was pushed back, they should have held back one of their minor league starters.

The bullpen was taxed already, even prior to the doubleheader, and realistically they will go deep into their pen with Carrasco pitching (considering he’s one of the relievers). Also, with Mike Pelfrey not showing much so far and Young’s arm tender, they will use everybody this weekend.

Not a good job anticipating by Sandy Alderson and Collins.

However, after yesterday’s lost afternoon, the one thing that separates itself from the bad baseball was the use of Francisco Rodriguez in the second game. With the game out of reach, and knowing Rodriguez’s contractual status of needing 55 completed games for his $17.5 million to kick in, why would the Mets let him finish a game in a non-save situation?

It made no sense whatsoever.