Apr 22

Mr. Pelfrey, this is your wake-up call.

Spring training is over, so it is time Mike Pelfrey start pitching like he means it.  Pelfrey is 0-2, but more indicative of how he’s pitched is his 9.72 ERA. If he wants to be considered a No. 1 pitcher, he must pitch like one.

PELFREY: Time to get going.

Pelfrey is coming off a 4-0 loss last Saturday in Atlanta in which he gave up 11 hits in five-plus innings. He fooled nobody.

And, it has been that way all season. Last year, Pelfrey saw the seventh inning in 17 starts. He’s yet to last that far this year.

There are two ways to look at Pelfrey’s body of work against the Diamondbacks. He’s 0-5 with a 6.69 ERA. The first way is he’s due for some success. The other is he could be in for more trouble tonight.

“You can’t feel sorry for yourself because nobody else in the league is going to feel sorry for you,’’ Pelfrey said. “I definitely have to be better.’’

Here’s Pelfrey’s supporting cast for tonight:

Jose Reyes, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B

Mike Nickeas, C

Jason Pridie, CF

Not surprisingly, the Mets placed Angel Pagan on the disabled list this afternoon when he reported to Citi Field with persistent pain in his left side from a pulled muscle. I like that Terry Collins is not jockeying Beltran and kept him in right field.

Beltran is getting comfortable in right field, and it isn’t that he can’t play center anymore, but why put him through that?

By the way, the Mets aren’t the only team to have seen something in second baseman Brad Emaus. Colorado traded for him today after he cleared waivers and was returned to Toronto.

Chris Young will throw a bullpen session tomorrow and if all goes well he could start Tuesday at Washington. Meanwhile, Dillon Gee gets the start tomorrow.

To talk during the game, click onto the Mets Chat icon to your left.

 

Apr 22

For one night all was well.

What a difference a well-pitched game makes. On consecutive nights the Mets received length from their starter to alleviate some of the burden from the bullpen. Tonight Mike Pelfrey will attempt to snap out of his miserable start.

Chris Capuano was superb last night, giving up a run in seven innings. He only walked two, which meant the game moved along at a crisp pace.

David Wright also snapped out of a 0-for-20 funk with a homer, double and three RBI. He’s not all the way back, but for one night at least played like an All-Star. The long loop that had been his swing during a stretch of 23 strikeouts in 73 at-bats seemed shorter and quicker.

Jason Bay went 1-for-4 in his return, but more importantly didn’t hurt himself. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Angel Pagan, who pulled a muscle in his left side. That’s a tricky injury so don’t expect him anytime soon. Such injuries usually land on the disabled list.

The Mets open a three-game series tonight against Arizona at Citi Field, with Pelfrey going against Joe Saunders.

I sure hope Pelfrey took notes last night on Capuano, who challenged hitters with his fastball and whose command was nearly flawless. Also vital was his quick pace. His tempo was up all night, and unlike Pelfrey when he struggles, Capuano didn’t labor.

One thing I’ve noticed about Terry Collins, is he sometimes writes a check with his mouth that his team can’t cash. For instance, last night he said he believes the Mets are capable of playing like they did every night.

Easy, Terry.

 

Apr 20

Tonight’s line-up against Houston.

Here’s tonight’s line-up against Houston tonight at Citi Field:

Jose Reyes, SS

Josh Thole, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Willie Harris, LF

Daniel Murphy, 2B

RA Dickey, RP

LINE-UP COMMENTS: I like Terry Collins sticking with Josh Thole second in the order. … Despite some yapping on the call-in shows, there’s no real reason to move David Wright out of the three hole at the moment. There’s no other viable bat worth putting there.

Apr 18

Collins manages big; Wright gets it.

I loved the way Terry Collins managed yesterday afternoon, using RA Dickey and Chris Capuano in relief. After losing seven straight, Collins pulled out the stops yesterday in how he handled his overworked bullpen. Yesterday was their throw day anyway, so why not use them in the game to take some of the pressure off the pen.

WRIGHT: Brought some smiles yesterday.

The message was also clear to his team that every game is important. It’s something neither Willie Randolph nor Jerry Manuel would have done. There are times a manager might sacrifice a game in April or May to save his pen for later which I understand. But, all too often a manager doesn’t fully utilize a starter’s throw day, which is something Collins did and I hope isn’t reluctant to do again.

I also like how he moved Josh Thole to second. Angel Pagan hasn’t been producing and Collins took advantage of what Thole brings to the table. I also hope Collins sticks with Brad Emaus at second base. This could be construed as an experimental season and I’d like a real look at Emaus. It couldn’t couldn’t hurt.

By this time, you’ve probably seen the video of David Wright playing catch with Braves fans from the field. Wright hasn’t played well recently, but rather than sulk he continued to be a good ambassador to the sport that pays him well. There are a few guys who truly understand their role to the public and Wright is one of them. This guy gets it.

Long after those kids forget what happened in the game, they’ll remember their moment with Wright. Maybe he turned them into Mets fans, who knows? The important thing is he made a memory and there’s no price tag you can put on that.

On the field, however, Wright is again striking out too much and not delivering in the clutch, and twice this week ended games by making the final out with the tying and winning runs on base. I’m not going to bury Wright. He’s not a guy like Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard or Alex Rodriguez, who can carry a team on his back. He’s a hitter at his best when there are others around him producing. He is what he is, and that’s not going to change.

 

Apr 16

Chris Young should sit tomorrow.

Chris Young said his biceps tendinitis is better, but not completely. He told manager Terry Collins yesterday he’s not sure how long he can go Sunday.

YOUNG: Has achy shoulder.

“There’s no guarantees on how it could feel Sunday,’’ Young told reporters in Atlanta.

Given that, what is the holdup in announcing a call up?

Considering the fragile make-up of the Mets’ rotation, Young’s injury history and how early it is in the season, there’s no reason Young should even think about starting tomorrow. It is a no-brainer to push him back, if not put on the disabled list.

The Mets held back Triple-A lefty Pat Misch from his last scheduled start, or they could opt for Dillon Gee, who would be going on his normal turn Sunday.

Friday’s rainout helped in that it gave the overtaxed bullpen a night of rest, but it will only be temporary with today’s doubleheader, which features reliever D.J. Carrasco starting game one – five innings would be a miracle – and Mike Pelfrey, who has had a slow start going in the second game.

Meanwhile, outfielder Jason Bay, on the DL with a strained rib cage, could play in a minor league rehab game today. Bay’s original return date was pushed back to April 26, but these are the Mets, so always bet the over on injury return.