Jul 29

Mets Still Something To See

The Mets have lost 13 of 15 games and their season has long since gone from a fade to a collapse. And, knowing there won’t be a season-saving deal, what’s the use of watching these guys?

I’ll tell you.

Now, you know me as anything but a homer. Of all the Mets’ bloggers, I just might be one of the more critical. Even so, there’s still a lot to like about watching this team.

Remember, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and we’re about to see how they response from adversity. Winning a half-dozen games in July has dug an enormous hole.

Here’s why I still tune them in:

David Wright: He’s having a great season, his recent slump notwithstanding. He’s shown us again and again he’s not only the face, but the heart of this franchise. It’s time to reward him with the extension he deserves.

R.A. Dickey: Yes, he’s had some bumps lately, but he’s also thrown a pair of one-hitters. He gives the Mets a chance every time he pitches.

Daniel Murphy: The man without a position in spring training has taken to second base. He’s not Ryne Sandberg, but he’s improving daily.

Ruben Tejada: I won’t say, `Jose who?’ But, he’s shown he can handle shortstop and the bat. A keeper, and for years to come.

Tim Byrdak and Josh Thole: So what if they got into it in the dugout last week. They showed they still care. The losing regardless, their hearts remain in it.  If they care, then maybe we should, too. This has been a resilient bunch all year. They still might have a run in them, and it’s worth watching to find out.

 

Jul 23

Mets Now Fading Into Sellers?

Falling below .500, the Mets are no longer the National League’s feel-good story. That would be Pittsburgh and Washington, two perennial losers poking on top of their respective divisions.

As the Mets struggled the past weeks and faded, they resisted the urge to buy relief help, the commodity that will define this season. Mathematically, they remain alive, but watching those long faces in the dugout yesterday afternoon in the 12th inning, one can surmise the frowns greater than the math.

They might have another run in them, but they must start it against the Nationals, followed by ten games in the Pacific Time Zone. Yeah, no problem.

As the Mets transform from buyers into sellers, just who do the have worth putting on the block. David Wright, Daniel Murphy and R.A. Dickey would bring the most, but they are the core to next year and those beyond.

Any of their relievers, save Bobby Parnell and maybe Tim Byrdak can be had.  Byrdak, actually could bring something if the Mets were to call it quits. Off the bench, Scott Hairston and Jordany Valdespin might bring some value, but I’d like to keep both.

As the story of this season is written, things unraveled first with the bullpen and then the starting pitching. The offense, while not great, has been good enough to put them into contention.

 

 

Jul 17

Only The Mets

Yes, only the Mets could lose one like this. Reminiscent of the balk game in Atlanta. Of course, you remember?

HARPER: Bryce Harper barreling into David Wright on game-tying triple. (AP)

After a dramatic ninth-inning comeback – wouldn’t it be great if Jordany Valdespin could pinch-hit three times a game? – the Mets blew leads in the ninth and tenth innings in losing 5-4 in ten innings to the Nationals tonight.

Resiliency has been the Mets’ signature all year. So too, the Nationals, which is why they are in first place.

The Mets left runners on base. David Wright on third with no outs in the seventh and they couldn’t get him home. A bad call likely cost the Mets a run in the eighth. Andres Torres was clearly safe at first, and assuming the events would follow as they did, would have scored on Daniel Murphy’s double.

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Jun 24

Mets Have Bullpen Issues; They should have used Tim Byrdak in the Seventh

Terry Collins said he didn’t go with Tim Byrdak in last night’s fateful seventh inning because he wanted to save him for later in the game. I suggested that earlier this morning, but I’m not buying that reasoning.

Oh, I understand it, but the game-on-the-line moment doesn’t always happen in the eighth or ninth innings. Sometimes, it is in the seventh. Had Byrdak been brought in and gotten Raul Ibanez, then maybe there’s not as issue later.

All games have turning points and key stats. Last night the bullpen headlined, but let’s not forget 1-for-14 with RISP. The Mets have been superb with two-out runs and lead the majors, but they didn’t have it last night.

Hell, one or two well-timed hits earlier and the bullpen never is brought into play.

Jun 24

Terry Collins Gambles And Loses With Chris Young

It’s an oversimplification to think Chris Young made one mistake last night when he grooved a fastball Raul Ibanez drilled for a game-tying, three-run homer.

YOUNG: Dejected.

His biggest mistake that inning was the leadoff walk to Mark Teixeira. Young was already nearing 100 pitches when the inning began. I was surprised he went out, but understood it followed with Terry Collins’ loyalty to his starters.

I never would have let him pitch to Nick Swisher, was given a gift double when Lucas Duda butchered the sinking fly ball.

Then after Ibanez there was the sense the Mets let it get away.

Yes, Collins went too long with Young. Maybe his decision was based on loyalty, or perhaps it was made because he didn’t have confidence in his bullpen. That could have been a spot for Tim Byrdak, but then again Collins might have been thinking he would save Byrdak for later.

It’s only one game, but it stung because it was right there for the taking. We can dissect the seventh inning a dozen was, but the Mets had opportunities earlier to blow the game open against Ivan Nova.

They had their chances later, too.

What they didn’t have was a shutdown lefty reliever like Boone Logan who toyed with Duda and Daniel Murphy.

The Mets will be buyers at the trade deadline, and bullpen help should be at the top of their list.

 

ON DECK: Mets Matters