The Mets spent a good bit of time speaking of team chemistry as for a primary reason why they have played so well in the first half. You’ll hear more about that today, and deservedly so.
PARNELL: Has been terrific.
It is for that reason why Bobby Parnell – who has been pitching lights out lately – will relinquish the closer role once Frank Francisco is able to come off the disabled list. For the same reason why Jason Bay went back to left when he last came off the DL, is the same reason why Parnell will stop working the ninth – chemistry.
The Mets have been a tranquil bunch the first three months – with their aggressiveness limited to the field – and Terry Collins won’t mess with that state. The Mets signed Francisco to be their closer, and as long as he’s physically able, Collins is apt to keep it that way.
The thing that could alter that is Francisco’s injury lingering, but reports have him coming back shortly after the break.
Parnell has pitched well in the role, well enough to stay there and well enough to prove he can do the job, but chemistry is a fragile thing and Collins won’t tamper with it now.
The pattern is inescapable: Three times is not a charm for Chris Young.
YOUNG: Falters again late.
When Young goes through a batting order for a third time hitters tee off on him as if it were batting practice. However, yesterday’s decision by Terry Collins to stick with him was understandable, and still a learning experience.
It is also an indictment on the major league’s worst bullpen, which has a lofty 5-plus ERA.
Young was cruising and was at only 67 pitches entering the seventh. There was no indication he was about to falter. Moments later, say seven pitches, the lead was gone.
Johan Santana (5-4, 3.00 ERA) tries to up the Mets’ winning streak to four when he opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (0-4, 4.04) at 7:15 p.m. ET today at Dodger Stadium.
The Mets aren’t planning on shutting down Santana for the remainder of the first half following tonight’s start. It sounds like a good idea, Terry Collins said there’s no need as the left hander has held up well physically. There was concern after the 134-pitch no-hitter, but that has dissipated as Santana rebounded after a rocky start against the Yankees.
* Rueben Tejada continues to play well since coming off the disabled list. Last night he reached base a career-high five times.
* Ike Davis was fined $750 for inadvertently touching umpire Manny Gonzalez with this glove Tuesday in Chicago. There will be no suspension. It was good to see MLB go in that direction. In viewing the replay it was clear there no deliberate contact. Davis apologized to Gonzalez and the umpire acknowledged the contact was accidental.
* Jason Bay will attempt to run this afternoon. With the All-Star Game a week away, shutting Bay down for the rest of the first half would be good idea.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis is in the midst of a horrid 3-for-26 slump, looking so bad he sat yesterday against a right-hander. He’s likely to sit again tonight against lefty Chris Capuano.
Nieuwenhuis is striking out in 33 percent of his at-bats (once every three), and has 15 since June 15.
Terry Collins is careful not to quash Nieuwenhuis’ confidence, saying he’s giving him a mental breather. However, one can’t help but wonder when that breather will turn into “the need to play everyday.”
If we see Nieuwenhuis sitting more and more, don’t be surprised if he’s sent down to play every day when Jason Bay returns.
If last night’s postgame media session with Mets manager Terry Collins was animated, you could’ve seen the steam coming from his ears and his face getting fire engine red. Collins was clearly angry, and when asked about the lousy umpiring, said they didn’t leave all those men on base.
After Monday’s throwaway game, you would’ve thought the Mets would have stormed Wrigley Field and taken no prisoners. Nope. They responded with ugly baseball. Bad pitching all around, no clutch hitting, hesitant baserunning and porous defense. They brain cramped their way through nine innings.
What the Mets accomplished last night was to make us think for the first time they were morphing into “the same old Mets.”
Say it ain’t so.