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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Mar 09

March 9.10: All eyes on Santana today.

Johan Santana reported to spring training feeling brash, talking about such things as winning a Cy Young Award and more importantly, a World Series.

Always confident, but what gave Santana the push is that his surgically-repaired left elbow feels good, strong and sound.

Last season long since lost, Santana shut it down in August and had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow – the second time he’s had such surgery.

“I’m able to let it go,’’ said Santana, who’ll do it for the first time this spring in a game against Houston.

Santana has been reporting full extension in his release. So far no problems in his bullpen sessions.

“I am able to throw my fastball with no problems and throw my breaking balls and my change-up without feeling that sharp pain in the back of my elbow now,’’ Santana said. “I am able to throw all my pitches pain free, so that’s a big plus for me.’’

Full arm extension means a better release point, which adds bite to his slider.

“Now I am able to extend my arm and release the ball in front of me and be able to throw my slider,’’ Santana said. “It’s a big difference from last year. I am able to now throw my pitches and let everything go. Last year I wasn’t able to do that.’’

This is huge news for the Mets, who opened camp with questions to their entire rotation, but Santana changes the entire dynamic of the team. If he’s healthy he gives the Mets a good chance to win every five days; if not, an already suspect rotation falls into disarray.

For a team desperate for positive health news, having Santana back eliminates one headache.

Jan 03

Jan. 3.10: Getting off the Pineiro bandwagon.

PINEIRO: Asking too much.

PINEIRO: Asking too much.

I started the Hot Stove Season believing the Mets should address pitching first and foremost. I feel the same way today.

One I touted was Joel Pineiro.

But, it was a surface infatuation. I looked at Pineiro’s 15 wins and thought they’d look good in the Mets’ rotation. They would.

But, after looking deeper, I’m off the Pineiro bandwagon. Those 15 wins marked the first time he won double-digit wins since going 16-11 in 2003 with Seattle. He’s 87-79 during his ten year career, which averages out to 9-8. He threw 214 innings last year, which was only the second time he threw at much as 200. Three times he’s thrown as many as 190.

There’s no way this should translate into Pineiro getting $10 million a year for four years. No way. But, would it surprise anybody if he did? Not me. When it comes to crazy contracts, somebody is always willing to pay. There’s always a GM waiting to take the plunge.

I’m hoping it isn’t Omar Minaya.