Monday, May 31, 2010

Mets Fans Aren't the Only Ones Who Want Ollie Out...

The Mets asked Oliver Perez to consider going down to Triple-A again, and again, Oliver refused.  Way to help the team Ollie...

In an article early this morning for The New York Post, Mike Puma, anonymously quotes some of the Mets about the Oliver Perez situation...and the reactions seem to be the same: dump him.

In what is an extremely telling article, Puma quotes one Mets player as saying, "“You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished."  Then Puma goes on to quote ANOTHER Mets player as saying, "At some point you have to cut bait...You owe him a lot of money, but for what?"

Later in the article Puma talks about when Manuel would use Perez, and he basically says only in extra innings.  That's a problem.  What's the point of keeping a guy on the team if he's basically a wasted roster spot?  Puma has another quote from a Mets player, in response to Manuel's plan on when to use Perez: "What, we need another 20-inning game and then use him after we’ve used all our pitchers and if a position player’s sinker isn’t biting?”  Yikes.

Dickey Outlasts Wolf, Mets Pound Brew'pen in 10-4 Win

Yesterday afternoon the Mets pounded out 16 hits and 10 runs in a 10-4 victory over the Brewers, and avoided a sweep in Milwaukee (box score/wrap).

Although he didn't technically throw a "quality start" R.A. Dickey continues to provide the Mets with good outings, and yesterday was no different.  Dickey went 7 innings (much needed innnings after Saturday's game) giving up 9 hits and 4 runs. 

Like I said, although Dickey wasn't "lights out" like he had been in his previous starts, it was still a good performance.  And although he'll probably be the odd man out of the rotation when Niese returns, the Mets should still find a ton of value for his rubber arm in the bullpen as a long reliever...that is, of course, assuming they can find room on the active roster.  BUT, finding room might be hard because of this guy, and with Niese having a rehab start today, there may not be much time for the Mets to find a way to keep Dickey around...

As for the Mets at the plate in yesterday's game...they mashed.  Bottom line here is basically everyone hit.  Tatis, Davis and Bay were the only position players to not record a hit, or even multiple hits.  And also, Wright, Pagan, Francoeur and Blanco all went nutty yesterday.  Francoeur had 4 hits, 3 runs and drove in 2 RBI and is now hitting .243, which is actually a higher average than Luis Cashstealo's (.241).  (I only bring that up because I think Frenchy gets too short of a leash with Mets fans, meanwhile Luis is allegedly having a "good year".  That just makes me wonder if I'm missing something...)

Meanwhile, Blanco had 3 hits, 2 runs and an RBI; Wright had 2 hits, 2 runs scored and an RBI; and finally Pagan had 2 hits, 2 runs scored, drove in 2 RBI and hit a homer.

It was a good game for the Mets all-around, and nice to see them get a win on the road.  And to take it a step further, really nice to see the Mets lay a little lumber to Jeff Suppan, who is the Milwaukee version of Oliver Perez, and a villain in the eyes of most Mets fans. 

The next step is to build on that road win.  They get their chance tonight at 10:05 pm out in San Diego against the Padres with Takahashi taking the mound against Kevin Correia...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jerry Gives Ike The Day Off Hits Tatis 4th? Come on! - Line Up

I get giving Ike a day off, but then why not shuffle the line up.  Why does Tatis HAVE to hit clean up?  To not mess with the psyche of the team?  Come on, these are professionals.  Wright hitting 4th one day won't kill him.  This is stupid, Jerry...Stupid.

Anyway here's the rest of the line up courtesy of Kevin Burkhardt on twitter:

Reyes SS
Cashstealo 2B
Bay LF
Tatis 1B
Wright 3B
Pagan CF
Francoeur RF
Blanco C
Dickey P

The Mets need to start turning things around on the road.  No better time than the present to get that going...

Mets Lose An Ugly One in Milwaukee 8-6, Lose Series

Well, after last night's ugly 8-6 loss (box score/wrap up) to the Brewers the Mets find themselves battling today to not get swept. 

Last night Fernando Nieve was given an ill-advised spot start and he did nothing to show he should be given another. Nieve was hit early and often last night, going only 2 innings and giving up 5 runs, including a grand slam to Cory Hart, who at one point between Friday and Saturday had homered in 3 consecutive at bats against the Mets.  Due to Nieve's poor performance, and a bases loaded situation for the Mets in the top of the third (which I will address in a second), Nieve was lifted in favor of Oliver Perez who didn't perform much better giving up three runs in two innings himself.  Overall it was a bad night for the Mets on the hill, which I guess is tolerable considering how well they had been pitching prior to last night...BUT...I still have beef with a few of Jerry's decisions last night starting with his decision to start Nieve...

But the biggest issue I had last night was the situation with bases loaded in the third inning.  After Jeff Francoeur was intentionally walked with first base open and two outs (WHY MACHA?  WHY?), Jerry had no choice but to lift Nieve for a pinch-hitter, which he probably was going to do anyway.  But in the grand tradition of Jerry loving righty-lefty match ups, he decided to pinch hit Matthews Jr (because of his switch-hitting [in]abilities) in an effort to counter any pitching change Macha could have made.  And there-in lies my problem... 

I get that it's the third inning and there's a chance that you'll need a "better" pinch hitter later in a clutch spot, BUT YOU CANNOT ASSUME THAT WILL HAPPEN.  Any opportunity you have to score runs needs to be taken, not taken for granted.  There was no guarantee the Mets were going to be in a good position later in the game, and that's why Jerry should have hit ANYONE better than Matthews.  Chris Carter can hit lefties and righties, so why not send him up there?...Or even Tatis would have been a better decision.

On the bright side, Francoeur, Reyes, Pagan and Bay all had multi-hit games and Davis homered, which at the time brought the Mets back into the game.  Outside of that, last night was a night to forget.

R.A. Dickey tries to help turn things around for the Mets on the road tonight against Randy Wolf and the Brewers at 2:10 on SNY...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mets vs Brewers on PIX11 Right Now, Line Up Time

Here is the line up for tonight's game, which features Fernando Nieve against Manny Parra:


This is an important game in order to gain confidence on the road, and in order to keep this series in play.  The goal is the win series, and the Mets need tomorrow and tonight to get that done...

Let's Go Mets.

Friday, May 28, 2010

How Sweep It Is

This past week's series against the Phillies could not have gone any better for the Mets, combinating in last night's 3-0 (box score/wrap) which has brought them within two games of first place in the NL East.

Not only did the Mets sweep the Phillies, but they did it without giving up a single run in the entire series.  That is impressive.  Not to downplay what the Mets did, but I think the Philly offense deserves some of that credit as they've only scored 3 runs in their past 5 games, 4 of which they were shut out in.  Either way the Mets brought the bats, and some fine pitching, which really drove them in this series.

Pelfrey was awesome last night throwing 7 shut out innings giving up only 3 hits, although he did walk 5 batters.  The Mets continued some fantastic pitching after Pelfrey left the game with solid innings from both Feliciano and K-Rod to close out the game.  This staff is looking very, very good right now...

And the revival of Reyes continues, as his great series continued last night with a 3-4 night including a huge two run double to extend the Met lead to 3-0.  Jason Bay had the other RBI in last night's game.  Reyes has been awesome of late, and it's not a coincidence that the team has been rolling when Reyes is...

Tonight the Mets will be in Milwaukee to take on the Brewers at 8:10, sending Johan Santana to the hill to face Yovani Gallardo as the Mets look to continue their winning ways.  Let's go Mets.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mets Go For Sweep at 7:10, Line Up Time...

Tonight the Mets send Mike Pelfrey to the mound against Cole Hamels, and the Phillies, looking for the three-game sweep and also looking to push their winning streak to 5 games.  Here is the Mets line up courtesy of Kevin Burkhardt on twitter:

Reyes - SS
Cashstealo - 2B
Bay - LF
Davis -1B
Wright -3B
Pagan - CF
Francoeur - RF
Blanco - C 
Pelfrey - P

Barajas gets the night off, which is fine because I really like checking out Hank White's (Henry Blanco) amazing arm tattoos.  They are wild. 

Anyway, this is a big opportunity to pick up 4 games in 4 days and establish that this division is still up for grabs.  This should be a well pitched game...but I also expected there to be some "shoot outs" earlier in the week, so I what do I know...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Takahashi Fantastic Again, Jose Reyes Hits and Mets Win

Tonight the Mets took this week's three game series from the Philadelphia Phillies, and they still have one game left to play.  The Mets beat the Phillies 5-0 tonight (box/wrap) behind another fantastic effort from Hisanori Takahashi, and the continued re-awakening of Jose Reyes' bat. 

Takahashi went 6 innings, giving up only 5 hits while striking out 6 in getting his first MLB win as a starter.  He's proven all year long that not only does he belong to be getting innings, but he deserves important innings, and to me, you can't get much more important than starting innings.  Takahashi almost NEVER walks anyone, which is a huge improvement over both Perez and Maine, and gives his team a chance to win by just throwing strikes and making the other team EARN their runs (which ironically is something Takahashi hasn't given up yet as a starter).  I can't explain how happy I am that this guy is pitching the way he is right now.  Between Takahashi and Dickey, the Mets have been getting quality from an unexpected source, and it's helped carry this team back over .500, and put them on a 4 game winning streak.

Something else I had forgotten about happened tonight...Jose Reyes' bat.  It's taken him a bit to get going this year, but it seems like over the last few games Jose is finally getting going.  And as cliche as this is, as goes Jose, so does the Mets.  Reyes had two hits tonight, including his first homer of the year, after swiping two bags last night and showing a little more life than he has in some time.  Also, and probably most importantly, Reyes looks happy.  He'd looked miserable over the first two months or so of the season, almost never smiling.  The last two days, you can't stop him from smiling.  Maybe it's because he's starting to get results, but I think it's more about him feeling like he's finally back in the swing of things.  That could be huge for the Mets...

Also, as much as I think tonight was about Reyes and Takahashi, I would be at a loss to not mention Rod Barajas driving in another three runs for the Mets.  I continue to be wrong on the Barajas's been a good move.

Now tomorrow becomes very important.  Although winning the series is great, a sweep would get the Mets to within two games of first place in the division, not to mention it would provide huge amounts of confidence for the weekend meeting with the Brewers. 

Tomorrow is a tough match up for the Mets and Mike Pelfrey, as they face off against Cole Hamels at 7:10.  Let's go Mets.

Nieve Saturday?, Line Up Tonight...

A couple things here...

First, according to Metsblog, here, Jerry is considering Fernando Nieve for the opening in the rotation on Saturday against the Brewers.  This must be the only way Jerry thinks he can get Nieve the work he needs...wait, I'm sorry he's appeared in 26 of 46 so far...Jerry must smoking something. 

Here's my issue with this, clearly, they don't want to make a roster move...but...wouldn't this be an IDEAL time to send down Mejia to get stretched out and bring up someone else to start Saturday?  I just don't see how Nieve is going to be ready to throw 80 pitches, if he does end up starting, or how he'll be effective for that long.  Seriously, that makes very little sense to me.  Although, it is interesting to note that in this same post to Metsblog Jerry is quoted as making it pretty clear that he's the one fighting for Mejia to stay up.  I know he's good, but I still don't get it.  Let him be a starter the 'pen isn't scary anymore, they can survive without him.

Also, there is something to be said about letting Valdes get the start, especially if it's a spot start and he gets a chance to rope doubles like he did last night.  Plus, in my opinion he's been better than Nieve recently...

Next on the agenda is tonight's Mets line up for a game at 7:10 where Takahashi takes the hill against Joe Blanton, as they go for four wins in a row.  Here is the line up courtesy of the Mets twitter account:

Takahashi- P

Perhaps more interesting is the Philly line up, which seems to have less teeth tonight...courtesy of Kevin Burkhardt on twitter:

Victorino CF
Polanco 3B
Utley 2B
Howard 1B
Werth RF
Francisco LF
Valdez SS
Schneider C
Blanton P

I'm not saying they aren't trying to win tonight, but they certainly don't look as dangerous with Ibanez, Ruiz and Rollins out of the line up in the same night.  All I'm saying is the Mets are really getting a chance to take the series tonight and better take advantage of it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mets Handle Phils 8-0, I Remain Undefeated

Tonight, the Mets dominated in an 8-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies (box score/wrap) in what seemed like their first "dominating" victory since the first week of the season.  In other news, the Mets remain undefeated in games I have attended.  Soon I plan on a collection jar to send me to any, and all, home games with an option for road games should my luck continue...

Everything went right tonight for the Mets, starting with an outstanding performance from R.A. Dickey who had the Phillies looking foolish all night long.  Dickey went 6 innings, scattering 7 hits and striking out 7 Phils.  It was unreal to see how bad he made certain Philly hitters look...Dickey was extremely impressive tonight.  He then gave way to my third favorite Valdes who worked out of trouble (which he got himself into) in the 7th after two consecutive hits, and then never gave up another hit to earn a good ol' fashioned 3 inning save.  Man, I love those...

At the plate, everyone hit.  Reyes had 3 hits, scored 3 runs, tripled and swiped 2 bags while Bay had two RBI, Francoeur went 2-3 with 2 RBI, Carter had a big pinch-hit RBI single and even Raul Valdes doubled over the head of Jayson Werth in the 8th off of Figueroa.

Overall, this was a fantastic game for the Mets.  They did everything right and it was great to see.  However, tomorrow is a different day...

Tomorrow the Mets send Takahashi to the hill in game 2 of the series against Joe Blanton.  Considering how the Phillies fared against Dickey tonight, a crafty pitcher like Takahashi might be able to duplicate the performance, especially considering how well he threw against the Yankees Friday night.  At the least the Mets put themselves in a good position after game 1 of this series...

Dickey vs. Moyer, Line Up for Tonight's Game

I'll be at the game tonight, and hopefully McFadden's before, but I need to get out of work first...

Anyway, here's tonight's line up courtesy of the Mets on twitter:


I left my radar gun at home in favor of the sundial in order to accurately attain the top speeds for the starters tonight.  Regardless, could be a game with a lot of off-balance hitters, or it could be a run-filled affair. 

Also, check out the new Ready to Unload tonight at 9:05, here...

SORRY, the new Ready to Unload was pushed to Thursday at 9:05.  Please tune in then...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mets Take Two of Three From Yankees, Keep Delaying the Inevitable

Last night with two on and two outs in the ninth, A-Rod up as the potential lead run against K-Rod, I found myself less worried about the Mets winning the game and more interested in what would happen tomorrow if they lose.  If K-Rod blew last night's save then I think today may have been Jerry's last day as Mets manager, but instead K-Rod struck out A-Rod and gave the Mets a nice win to end a pretty good weekend.

So, am I disappointed by the Mets winning last night?  Absolutely not...

BUT, part of me wonders if a loss would have brought about the end of Jerry, because if that had been the case I wouldn't have been too mad about it.

It just seems, to me, like EVERYONE is waiting for Jerry to fail to get him out of that position.  And since it looks like no move will be made until the team has reached the point of no return, I'd rather they hit that point sooner rather than later.  Because at the end of the day, I think the Mets have holes, but they also have enough talent to compete.  And the opportunity to turn things around, to me, is one that you need to hop on as soon as possible.  Also, everyone knows once the team loses another couple games in a row (which will probably happen over the next 120 or so games) the Jerry debate will rage on....

So, while I will ALWAYS want this team to win...I want the organization to get this Jerry situation past them because I just don't think they can win with Jerry at the helm.  So while I'm happy the team pulled out a series win against the dangerous Yankees...part of me thinks the organization is just continuing to delay the inevitable...and I wish they would just make the change.  You can still fire managers if they're winning...Can't you?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Line Up For Game Two of Subway Series

Here's the line up according to the Mets twitter account:

Reyes - SS
Cashstealo - 2B
Bay - LF
Davis - 1B
Wright - 3B
Pagan - CF
Barajas - C
Francoeur - RF
Pelfrey - P

The line up needs to step up today against Hughes.  There is really nothing more to say than that...

Oswalt, Barajas, Murphy: Do the Mets Have Options?

Let's tackle this one at a time...

First, Roy Oswalt has formally requested a trade from the Houston Astros, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Once this was reported I think every Met fan had the same reaction...go get him.  The problem with this is that the Mets would have to overcome a bunch of road blocks to get this done.  The first roadblock is Oswalt's full no-trade clause, and his preference to be dealt to the Braves, Cardinals or Rangers, according to mlbtraderumors.  The second roadblock would be getting a package together that the Astros would find acceptable for Oswalt, and that won't be easy.  And the third potential roadblock is Oswalt's contract.  If the Mets have been so hesistant to drop Cashstealo, GMJ, and Perez...what would let anyone believe they would be willing (or even able) to pick up a contract that would include $16 million next season.  From a talent standpoint, and a need standpoint, this is a no-brainer for the Mets.  If Oswalt is willing to come to NY, and the Mets can make the deal without giving up Davis or Mejia, and the team is able to pick up the contract then there is no reason they shouldn't jump on this opportunity.  But that is a whole lot of if's...

In an article by T.J. Sullivan and Chris Cox for, the Rangers are looking at Rod Barajas as a possible deadline addition.  The big issue with that is that the Mets would have to be sellers, which I don't think would happen until the possible moment, if it happens at all.  Although, I do like the idea of getting something at the deadline for Barajas, should they fall completely out of it...

And now on the Daniel Murphy front, Metsblog reported here, that he went 2-3 with a homer in his rehab start for St. Lucie.  Murphy was playing first base.  I don't know if this is because the Mets are going to try to use him as trade bait or if it's because they don't want to try him out at second base just yet...but I hope they consider using him at second, or find a place where he can play because I think Murphy has more value than people think.

Interesting stuff...

Great Takahashi + Bad Offense = 2-1 Loss to Yankees

You could not have asked for more from Hisanori Takahashi last night if you're a Mets fan.  He was fantastic last night going 6 innings giving up only 5 hits and a walk, but that wasn't enough as the Mets lost to the Yankees 2-1 (box score/wrap).

I said it before the series, and I'll say it again, the team needs to produce offensively or else this is going to be a disastrous weekend.  Last night the team only managed one hit off of Javier Vasquez, who had been struggling this season so far.  As nice as it was to see the team put up a late fight against Rivera, it was too little too late, and now they are 3 under .500 with two tough games against Hughes and Sabathia left this weekend... 

It's about time the organization decides that losing is unacceptable, and it's getting close to time for the organization to make some moves.  This should have happened in the offseason, could have happened last week, but for some reason they've decided to give Jerry one more shot...and he hasn't delivered.  If I were to take a guess I'd say Monday will be an active day for the Mets...

It's time to make changes, but in the meantime as a fan, you just keep hoping....

Friday, May 21, 2010

Line Up For Game #1 of Subway Series, 2010 Edition

It's Takahashi and Vasquez starting on the hill tonight in the "Citi."  Here's the Mets line up courtesy of the team's twitter account:

Reyes SS
Cora 2B
Bay LF
Davis 1B
Wright 3B
Pagan CF
Barajas C
Francoeur RF
Takahashi P

I have to say straight off, that with the way Pagan's been playing, I love him hitting sixth.  I also really like Davis in the clean up spot, Wright at 5 and Bay at 3.  Somehow Francoeur hitting 8th makes the line up seem deeper.  And apparently Cashstealo looks slow for a reason, as his foot is still bothering him, which is why he isn't starting tonight.  On a similar note, I don't get why whoever is playing second base ALWAYS has to hit in the two-hole, but that is an issue for a different day because with the rest of the line up tonight, it makes sense.

I'd like to see another offensive performance like we saw yesterday, because I think it's fair to assume the Mets are going to have to score this weekend to win this series. And by the way...Let's go Mets.

Mets Trying To Move Cashstealo?

I thought I was hallucinating when I saw this story on metsblog, and then read the original on, but apparently the Mets see what everyone else sees and seem willing to move Luis Cashstealo...

In the FOXSports article, Ken Rosenthal points out that the Rockies may not be satisfied with Melvin Mora as their back-up at second base, and adds "A team such as the Rockies likely would require the Mets to pay almost all of that money in any deal. But the Mets could be motivated to move Castillo for another reason as well: A desire to playDaniel Murphy at second base."

Here's what I say...

DO IT NOW!  Look, I know Cashstealo hasn't been the problem this year (as much as other things), but that is EXACTLY why they need to deal him while they can.  Even if they need to pay most of the contract they should do it.  This would be addition by subtraction, as Cashstealo has been a black cloud over this organization since his arrival, which coincided with the 2007 and 2008 late season collapses as well as last year's horror.  On a more serious note, he looks old, isn't as fast as he used to be, and almost never hits the ball out of the infield (especially for the left side).  Cashstealo has been less than adequate overall and if another team is willing to take him, then the Mets should jump on  And if they do, Murphy, Cora and even Tatis (not my favorite option) take the reigns.  

Interestingly enough, as a first baseman Murphy doesn't have enough power, but as a second baseman he would become more than passable...right?  So, in my estimation if the Mets can move Cashtealo it would really make the team better, and would continue to allow them to get younger and give Murphy a chance to fit in with this team...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mets Split in DC, Maine Pulled Very Early

After a loss last night that can only be described as disappointing (despite a great outing from Dickey), the Mets found yet another way to come back this season.  This time the Mets came back with a win the next night, and they did it with a huge hand from the bullpen. 

Tonight the Mets defeated the Nats 10-7 (box score/wrap up) on the back of a great relief effort from Raul Valdes, who relieved John Maine after only throwing 5 pitches and walking a batter, and a very nice offensive effort.

First thing's first...

John Maine threw 5 pitches tonight, because, according to Metsblog, Warthen noticed in warm ups that Maine had some messed up mechanics and his velocity wasn't where it should have been.  This is not encouraging for Maine, but somehow makes me feel better about the coaching staff.  I'm happy to know, for once, that they weren't willing to let things get out of hand before they pulled the plug on Maine.  I'm going to assume that had less to do with a philosophy change and more to do with the staff not wanting to get fired, but that's just me.  Regardless let's give my third favorite Valdes (behind Ismael and Juan) some credit for doing work tonight.  Valdes went 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 7 hits, and came in after the first batter in the game.  Mejia, on the other hand, had a tough outing tonight giving up 3 runs in an inning and 2/3 and let the Nats creep back into the game.  Eventually K-Rod would shut the door, but not after giving up a run himself.  Mixed bag of nuts on the mound tonight for the Mets... 

At the plate, David Wright's base-clearing double (also added a sac fly later in the game) in the first got the Mets going offensively.  Francoeur also had two hits, Reyes had two, Barajas had two included a homer, Bay had three hits along with Davis who scored 3 runs as well.  Bottomline here is after Atilano shut the Mets down last week, they exploded on him tonight.  The team pounded out 10 runs and 15 hits on route to what should have been an easier win than what actually was.

It was nice to get a win heading into the weekend as the Mets will be welcoming the Yankees to the "Citi" tomorrow for the start of a weekend series.  Tomorrow at 7:10 the Mets throw out Takahashi against the disappointing Javier Vasquez for the Yankees.  Saturday will be another night game, this time it will be Hughes against Pelfrey.  And Sunday night will be a battle of the aces to close the series, Santana vs. Sabathia.  I hope there's some good baseball being played this weekend...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Niese to DL, Dickey to Rotation

As reported by Metsblog, it seems as though Dickey will be taking Jon Niese's roster, and probably, rotation spot for the next two weeks or so.  Matt Cerrone of Metsblog points out that this will probably delay Mejia being sent down to become a starter, at least until Igarashi is able to return.

This all makes sense, as long Dickey doesn't get creamed tonight in his outing.  It'd be nice if Dickey can stick around and pitch well enough to give the Mets chances to win a few games with Niese out.  Then again, maybe I'm being too hopeful...

Dickey vs. Livan, Fastballs Need Not Apply: Tonight's Line Up

Tonight the Mets and R.A. Dickey take on the Washington Nationals and the sub 2.00 ERA'd Livan Hernandez.  Here's the Mets line up courtesy of the team's twitter account:

Reyes - SS
Cashstealo - 2B
Bay - LF
Davis - 1B
Pagan - CF
Francoeur - RF
Tatis - 3B
Blanco - C
Dickey - Knuckleballs

Wright gets a night off after last night's struggles, which is probably a good idea.  Barajas is still sick, I assume, so Blanco is in there again, too.  The line up doesn't have that "depth" that Jerry loves, but I think for what they have going tonight it make sense, although I still cringe every time I see Tatis in the starting line up.

I think tonight's game may become a "shoot out" of sorts, but I hope I'm wrong and Dickey comes out firing(?).  Can you even consider throwing a knuckleball firing?  Ehhh...whatever...

Was Bunting REALLY the Wrong Decision Last Night?

In this post I'm going to work through the situation in the ninth, dealing with the whole bunting situation and, look at all of the decisions, and options, Jerry available to Jerry during this sequence....

In the top of the ninth in last night's game the Mets had Cashstealo on first with no outs against Billy Wagner, with Chris Carter due to bat.  Jerry Manuel decided to try to bunt Cashstealo over the second (not a bad idea), and in doing so decided to replace Carter with GMJ to get that job done because Carter does not have a ton of bunting experience, and grounded into a DP earlier in the game.

THIS WAS AN OK MOVE...I would have rather used Alex Cora, who is a better bunter to do this, but Jerry seems to be obsessed with righty/lefty match ups.  I personally don't think it's any harder to BUNT against a lefty pitcher if you are a left-handed doesn't matter, especially if the bunter is good, so why wouldn't Jerry use his better bunter Cora to get the job done.  So, Jerry was over thinking, as per usual, but GMJ did eventually get the bunt down, so it wasn't terrible...

But before GMJ eventually executed the bunt, Wagner uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Cashstealo to move to second with no outs.  This changes the situation COMPLETELY.  Now Jerry has options.  He has three chances to try to drive in one of the "faster runners on the team" (I don't think he is very fast anymore but still...) with a single to the outfield or he can bunt the runner to third and a sac fly/wild pitch/suicide squeeze/ground out can drive in the run...

Now, before I get to what I would have done.  Let's consider this...

In a Metsblog "Essential Jerry" article, post game Jerry seemed unwilling to let GMJ hit because he had been struggling recently.  Taking that into consideration along with another article linked to Metsblog, here, the author of NY Sports Dog talks about the run expectancy numbers with a runner on second and no out versus a runner on third and one out.  According to Sports Dog, there is a higher run expectancy with a runner on second and no out...which I agree with.

So considering those things, the right move would have been pinch hitting mid-at bat for GMJ with Barajas...but since he has a stomach flu that wasn't an option.  Cora wasn't a consideration because of Wagner being a the only REAL option beside bunting was letting GMJ hit, despite Jerry not liking the way he'd been swinging.  If Jerry let GMJ hit everyone might be killing GMJ for stinking (because chances are he wouldn't have delivered) today instead of Wright for not driving in the run, which to me was the bigger problem...

Now for what I would have done...

Exactly what Jerry did.

While I understand the argument for letting GMJ swing away, I wouldn't have done it either.  All you needed to take the lead was a pop fly to the outfield, with one of your best players, DAVID WRIGHT on deck.  And, because Wagner had just thrown a wild pitch, there's also the consideration that having a runner on third puts pressure on the defense and brings the infield in making hits easier as well as allowing errors, passed balls, wild pitches, etc. to be costly.  It didn't work, but it wasn't the WRONG move per say.  I don't think they lost the game because of bunting.  They lost the game because of Wright and Davis' inability to drive the run in from third. Also, the error in the ninth from Wright didn't help.

While I am usually the first person to want Jerry out of town, you cannot blame him for last night.  I think the blame falls on Wright and Davis.  GJerry put his team in a position to win taking into account the options he had available to him and neither Wright nor Davis executed, bottom line.

So, while I think Jerry could have done things a little differently, I don't think I can kill him for the ninth inning approach...

At least not today...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tough Night For Wright, Mets: Fall to Atlanta 3-2

Yikes (box score).

Tonight was NOT a good game for David Wright who went from having a chance to be the hero, to being the goat tonight.  Wright had one out and Cashstealo at third with one out against Wagner, with a chance for the Mets to take the lead in the top of the ninth.  Instead of Wright driving in the run, he did what he's been doing a lot of this year...he struck out.

Then in the bottom of the ninth with two runners on Melky Cabrera hit a ground ball that David threw away, making his sixth error of the season and handing the Braves the win.

I really want to have a beef with what Jerry Manuel did tonight, but the bottom line is that despite his questionable moves (replacing Carter with GMJ and not Cora/replacing Carter at all), Wright is the story.  He's is really struggling right now and it's very hard to see.  He's not the same guy at the plate as he'd been in the past, but adding the error tonight really hurt.

On more positive notes, Davis and Francoeur went deep.  Nice to see Frenchy show a little life, despite a big double play later in the game.  And also Santana pitched well again tonight going 7 innings giving up only 5 hits, 2 runs and 4 strike outs.  He pitched well enough to win, but the bats were silent.

I am starting to get the feeling that changes are coming, but it'll be after this ten game swing.  Unfortunately, I think at that point it may be too late. 

The Mets will head to DC and face the Nats tomorrow.  I look forward to the verizon high speed of the game which probably won't break 85 mph, since Livan Hernandez will be facing R.A. Dickey.  At the least there should be some offense tomorrow night, although somehow Livan and Dickey both have low ERA's (granted Dickey's was in Buffalo).  Either way the offensive potential is there, and this is a big two game set for the Mets since the Nats seem to have their number and the Mets following six games are as tough as it gets with the Yankees and the Phillies...

Santana vs. Medlen Tonight at 7:10: Here's the Mets Starting Line Up

According to Metsblog Barajas has a stomach

The line up has changed since Burkhardt's tweet, because Rubin had a different line up, and this is the one it ended up being:

Jose Reyes, SS
Everyday, 2B
Chris Carter, LF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Angel Pagan, CF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Henry Blanco, C
Johan Santana, P

So here's tonight's Mets line up courtesy of Kevin Burkhardt's twitter account:

Reyes SS
Cashstealo 2B
Carter LF
Wright 3B
Davis 1B
Barajas C
Pagan CF
Francoeur RF
Santana P

Interesting line up.  Bay gets the night off and Jerry finds a way to make sure Carter stays in the line up.  I'm not wild about Jerry's neverending desire for the line up to alternate lefty/righty/lefty, etc.  But I do like the way it shuffled Frenchy down to 8.  He may be struggling, but that's a name you don't mind seeing in the eighth hole if for no other reason than potential.  

Regardless, I like the line up.  Not so sure about Carter's ability in left, but I guess we'll find out....

An Offseason Move I Wish Were Made...

I don't know if this deal was ever discussed, and I realize hindsight is 20/20...BUT...

Don't you wish that the Mets had sent Luis Cashstealo (that doesn't count as using his name) to Seattle for Carlos Silva.  It's not like the Mariners moved Silva for anything less than a headache, and the Mets could have potentially made that trade and signed a Hudson or Felipe Lopez.  But like I said something about hindsight...

Carlos Silva is currently 4-0 with a 3.40 ERA for the Cubs in 7 starts with only 9 walks in 42 innings pitched.  I know this would have been a huge risk at the time and no one knew he would have recovered like this, but it's interesting to look at...

Orlando Hudson is hitting .285 with a .368 OBP, 2 homers (homers at second base, is that even allowed?) 11 RBI and 3 stolen bases in 36 games.

Felipe Lopez, who just recently returned from an injury, is hitting .273 with a .347 OBP in 15 games with 1 homer, 4 RBI (all against the Mets) and 2 stolen bases.

Meanwhile Luis Cashstealo is hitting .265 with a .355 OBP, 11 RBI and 5 stolen bases.  He also has a slugging percentage of .311, in 32 games this season...

Like I said before there is no way of knowing what Silva would have done, but isn't it interesting to wonder if the Mets could have had one of these two second basemen and Carlos Silva, while NOT having their current second baseman.

Just some food for thought...

Sending Down Mejia To Be A Starter: Genius Idea, Wish We'd Thought of It Before...

In a post on Metsblog, citing information from Adam Rubin on ESPNNewYork, it looks like Mejia will be sent down to the minors to get stretched out in order to become part of the Mets rotation later this year.  According to Rubin, Mejia will be sent down when R.A. Dickey is called up Wednesday to start for Oliver Perez.

This is the stuff I don't get about the Mets.  I get that they were concerned about the bullpen to start the year, but it still made MORE sense to send him down to triple-A as a starter to begin the season, because at this point he might be ready to be called up to replace Perez instead of Dickey.  I'm happy they've made the decision that this should be done, I just wish it was done in Spring Training.  At least the Mets are recognizing some of their mistakes and are making moves to fix them.  I guess the theory here is "better late than never", and even at that it's not that late.

While Mejia has been good in the 'pen for the Mets, he's just too good to not at least TRY in the rotation.  Worst-case-scenario he struggles as a starter and he can be brought back as a reliever, because it takes little-to-no time to transition from starter to reliever especially when you've done it before.

Either way, this is a good move, a little late...but good.  Maybe Ricco is gaining some leverage in the front office because I see these types of moves (Mejia to minors, Davis and Carter called up, etc.) as things the Mets would not have done last year until it was too late.  I'm not sure who it is that's pushing for these moves but it's a good change in philosophy for the team and organization.  But like I've said before, I think some more moves can be made...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pelfrey Very Good in Mets 3-2 Win in Atlanta

The Mets really needed the win tonight, and Mike Pelfrey delivered a quality outing to lead the team to a 3-2 win over the Braves tonight (wrap/box score).

Tonight the story for the Mets was pitching.  Mike Pelfrey threw a solid 7 and 2/3 innings tonight giving up only 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 3.  Pelfrey left the game in the eighth leaving Feliciano with a runner on second with two outs, and Heyward up.  Pedro Feliciano then gave up a tough hit to Jason Heyward which Wright made a great play to keep in the infield (I'm ignoring for now his dangerous throw to first which could have been disastrous).  Feliciano then walked Chipper Jones, in an unintentional intentional manner.  But with the bases loaded Feliciano stepped up and struck out McCann to end the threat in the eighth.  K-Rod then let things get a little hairy in the ninth, but not too bad, before closing the door on the Braves by striking out Nate McClouth to end the game.

At the plate the Mets heroes were Barajas, Carter and Jose Reyes.  Carter scored a run and drove in the game winning run, and has made it hard for Jerry to keep him out of the line up.  Reyes, who was driven in by Carter late in the game to give the Mets a 3-1 lead, did something I haven't seen him do much of this season...create a run.  Reyes swiped third base off of Lowe, which helped him score on the slow roller from Carter.  The other hero of the night at the plate was Rod Barajas, who is somehow hitting .273 on the season.  I am still in shock from how good this guy has been.  His OBP is still awful, but with the way he's been driving the ball I don't care.  I'll say it now...I WAS WRONG ON BARAJAS.  The guy is hitting and really giving the Mets a little something extra.  He drove in two runs tonight on a double and went 2-3 in helping the Mets snap the 5-game skid.  As of right now, Omar was right, Barajas seems to be a better move than win this one Omar.  Fortunately I still have GMJ, the second baseman and Perez to complain about...

Tomorrow the Mets try to build off this win, and go for the mini-sweep against the Braves with Santana on the mound against Kris Medlen.  Should be fun...

Mets Take on Braves Tonight at 7:10: Line Up Time

Before the line up it'd be good to take note of some of the reports today.  First, it's coming from all over that R.A. Dickey has a locker with the Mets in Atlanta right now.  I first spotted this on Metsblog, here.  Also, there is apparently a closed door meeting with Manuel, Ricco, Minaya, Wilpon...about here from Metsblog as well.  Wilpon better be throwing down the axe, or at least some ultimatums...

With all that swirling around, tonight's clean up hitter is Chris Carter.  Here's the line up courtesy of the Mets on twitter:

Matthews, Jr.-CF

Couple things here...1) Manuel should be fired simply for playing Gary Matthews. 2) Omar should be fired for still having this guy on the roster, which makes Jerry think it's ok to play him. 3) Frenchy is struggling and it makes sense to play Carter a bit.  I love Frenchy but he's been TERRIBLE lately.  4) I like seeing Bay in the three spot. Hopefully he'll start showing some power with his new found ability to hit the ball...

Pelfrey against Lowe tonight at 7:10...

Bad Weekend Got Me Thinking...

After a disastrous weekend I got to thinking...

-The Mets as currently constructed will probably hover around .500 all year.

-The feeling I get from watching the moves the organization has made is that they really are committed to making this year a "cheaper" year.  There are moves that can be made that will make the team better, but these moves aren't being made because they cost money and admission of mistakes.  I'm not saying drop Perez, because even I'll admit that may be too much money to eat (and part of me thinks he still has value), but GMJ and the second baseman should be shown the door.  There is something to be said for addition by subtraction.  This isn't the NBA and bad contracts can't just be swapped for cap relief.  So really the only thing keeping the Mets from making themselves better is...well...themselves.

-What I'd do is bite the bullet on the secondbaseman, give dealing him one last try, and be willing to pay whatever you need to in order to get that done.  If that doesn't work, be prepared to drop him.  He looks old and slow, which is a dangerous thing for a player who made his career based on his speed and defense.  Tejada can come up and play secondbase, and if they don't feel he's ready for that then let Cora play and find someone for depth until Murphy can man the position.

-Also, get rid of GMJ and bring up Pridie (trade him or release him-I don't care).  He can play centerfield if Pagan gets hurt or needs a day off.  GMJ is no threat off the bench, and isn't really doing much in the field either.  It's just not worth leaving lesser players on this team just because...

-Lastly, please get rid of Manuel.  He's not the manager of the future here, so why are we even trying to make it work with him.  It makes little-to-no sense.  And while we're at it lose Dan Warthen.  He hasn't done anything for this team's pitching.  To be honest, any success the staff has had I attribute more to the catchers than to Warthen.

-Send Mejia down to become a starter.  Something LONG overdue.  The Mets had managed to convince the fans at one point that they were an eighth inning man away from competing.  That's not the case.  Even if it were the case, I still think Feliciano and Igarashi can hold that post down, because to me, they need to be in the lead for the eighth inning pitching to even matter and that isn't the case right now.  As was the case prior to opening day, Mejia is still more valuable to the team as a starter...

Overall, the team will have its ups and downs, but they'll probably hover around the middle.  So commit to something that's good for the franchise, fans and team.  Make moves that show you want to win, and want to move forward.  Don't just sit around and hope things will right themselves, because they might, but not enough to contend.  This team and it's fans deserve to contend.

Don't wait until it's too late.  The Mets should make changes while they're still close enough to contend...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Line Up Change For Tonight: Did Jerry Make the Right Move?

Maine is looking to build off another good outing, which the Mets could really use after Perez didn't help last night.  He'll face the Marlins and Nate Robertson tonight at 7:10 on PIX11.  Here's tonight's line up courtesy of Adam Rubin on twitter:


Jerry made a good move putting Jose Reyes in the leadoff spot, BUT PAGAN AT 3?

I'm not so sure about that one.  Why can't Bay, Davis or Wright hit three?  Just put one of them there and protect them in the order the same way.  Plus, I'm not seeing the benefit of hitting Pagan third.  Doesn't your best hitter bat third?  Since when is Angel Pagan the team's best hitter?  He may be hitting right now, but he's not the most dangerous hitter on the team and doesn't really provide any protection for the top of the line up.  Although Pagan CAN hit a homer, he's not a threat to do it every time up.  An opposing pitcher has the potential to work through the top three in the Mets order without throwing too many breaking pitched, and therefore not tiring out as quickly.  Because in all likelihood a pitcher will throw different to Pagan than they would to Bay, Wright or even Davis...

While I like that Jerry has put Jose back at leadoff, I would still rather see Bay, Wright or even Davis hit three over Pagan...Also, Reyes and the second baseman seem to be struggling right now, and stacking three "lighter hitting" guys like that in the top of the order doesn't make the team more dangerous.  Also, the bottom of the line up still is a strike out waiting to happen, and Jerry did nothing to address that...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mets Fall to .500 As Ollie Gets Crushed And Team Doesn't Hit

The Mets lost their third consecutive game, and dropped to .500 on the season, by falling to the Marlins 7-2 on Friday night (box score/wrap). 

You can't just blame this loss on one person, because the team only managed 4 hits tonight, which wasn't enough last night against Johnson and wasn't enough tonight either against Anibal Sanchez.  THAT BEING SAID...Oliver Perez was awful.  He didn't even give his teammates a chance to think they were in the game.  Perez went 3 and 1/3 innings giving up 9 hits and 7 runs on 4 homers. 

There's a whole lot going wrong right now for the Mets, and Jerry should be held responsible for some of it.  Although the team initially responded to Reyes in the three hole, it's not the right move, and never has been.  The fact that it worked for as long as it did was great, but baseball is a game of adjustments, and now that line up isn't working Jerry should ADJUST.  In the postgame on SNY, Ronnie made an interesting point about the Mets line up, basically saying that if he were a pitcher facing this team he would know where to get the outs.  By that Darling meant that the team has certain guys who strike out too much, and them back to back in the line up is killing the team (Francoeur, Barajas amongst others).  If Ronnie knows that, chances are other teams do too.

The adjustments Jerry needs to make should happen first in the line up because that can take effect immediately.  The other change that needs to be made is the removal of Perez from the rotation.  If Jerry wants to move Perez to the long man role, go for it.  If Jerry wants to drop him to triple-A, do it.  But this team cannot win if they have to overcome their starting pitchers.  And that's been what they've needed to do with the way Perez has been pitching lately.  I know R.A. Dickey is being talked about, but I don't like that idea either.  I think Takahashi should be the man, because he's been fantastic.  And they won't lose too much, especially considering how well Valdes has been throwing out of the 'pen lately.  Fortunately it seems as though Jerry isn't about to let Perez run out there every fifth day anymore, as he hinted to in his post game interview.  And it's about time...

Bottom line here is that the team needs change.  They've responded to it once before this season, and can respond again, but Jerry needs to put them in a situation where they can succeed, and continuing to start Oliver Perez and running this struggling line up out there day after day is not what I would call giving them a chance to succeed. 

Mets/Marlins Game 2 Line Up

After last night's disappointing loss the Mets try to bounce back against the fish.  Here's tonight's line up courtesy of the Mets twitter account:

Second Baseman-2B
Oliver Perez-SP

In an effort to get the offense going Jerry has officially made no changes for tonight's game...solid plan.  Perez faces off against Anibal Sanchez...The team better find their bats because with the way Perez has been throwing lately, they'll need to score runs to win.  Although, in Perez' favor, I would imagine it's not 40 degrees in Miami tonight.  We'll see...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mets, Santana Try To Get Back on Track Against Fish at 7:10: Line Up

Tonight's line-up courtesy of Metsblog and the Adam Rubin on twitter:

Pagan CF
Second Baseman - 2B
Reyes - SS
Bay - LF
Wright - 3B
Davis - 1B
Francoeur - RF
Barajas - C
Santana - P

Time to get back on track here with a "W".  I know Johnson's a tough match up, but it's not like we're throwing a slouch out there on the hill tonight.  I think the Mets have a good shot tonight... 

Interesting to note Barajas starting again while Blanco is still on bereavement.  Thole must literally ONLY be up for depth, which makes me wonder why he'd be the choice to come up in the first place.  Wouldn't it have made more sense to leave him in triple-A for the week and brought up someone Jerry actually is willing to use...I dunno....just wondering...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bernadina Goes Plus-6 To Lead Nats Over Mets 6-4

If stats from today's Mets/Nationals game were measure in plus/minus, like they do in hockey, Roger Bernadina would have been plus-6 on the day.  Today, Roger Bernadina led the Nationals to a 6-4 win over the Mets (box score/gametracker) with two homers and a huge run saving catch off of Francoeur with two outs and the bases loaded.  Bernadina finished the day with 3 RBI and robbed Francoeur of what would have been a base clearing extra base hit with the bases loaded...Sometimes you just have to tip your hat...

There's really nothing more to say here.  This was a stunning loss, as Bernadina, who'd never hit a major league homer prior to today, clubbed two to beat the Mets.  Shocking stuff.  It's just tough to swallow the Mets not winning a rubber game of a series yet this season...ugh.

I guess the only thing to do is move on and get ready to face the Marlins in a four game set starting tomorrow night in Miami.  Johan Santana will be facing Josh Johnson to start the series off.  It'll be a 7:10 start on SNY...

Rubber Game Today at 1:10, Line Up Time

Here's the line up courtesy of metsblog, as relayed from the team twitter account:

Pagan cf
Cora 2b
Reyes ss
Bay lf
Wright 3b
Davis 1b
Francoeur rf
Barajas c
Pelfrey p

I'm a little surprised to see Barajas in there again today, with the whole day game after a night game situation.  I thought Thole would get a shot to catch one game while he's up, but maybe not.

Anyway, it's Pelfrey against Stammen...Let's go Mets. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Carter Plays Hero as Mets Put Up 6 Run Eighth to Comeback on Nats

Very rarely are things as storybook as they were today for the Mets and Chris Carter.  Just one day after being brought up to replace Frank Catalanotto on the roster, not only was Chris Carter put in a situation to help the Mets win the game, but he capitalized.  With runners on first and second with one out, Chris Carter stepped up to the plate against Tyler Clippard and doubled down the right field line to give the Mets a lead they wouldn't relinquish.  The Mets went on to win tonight 8-6 (box score/gameday) in what was the team's biggest comeback of the year.  What a game.

I could talk about Niese's poor start, Barajas' huge double in the eighth, Pagan's single in the inning but instead I'm going to focus on three huge hits tonight for the Mets.  The first hit was a pinch hit from GMJ, which was good to see for a few reasons.  Maybe seeing Catalanotto get dumped gave GMJ a swift kick in the rear, either way it was nice to see the team get a pinch hit...but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

The next biggest hit was an unbelievably well executed bunt single from Alex Cora in the eighth inning which put Cora on base as the eventual game winning run.  Which leads me to the huge pinch hit double that Chris Carter had.  It couldn't have worked out better for Carter or the Mets.  Carter got his chance to be a hero and took it.  Although I wish Carter had been up from the beginning of the season it's nice to see the organization make a move towards being younger, and relying more on young talent than older veterans. 

Also not to be overlooked is Ike Davis' undying love for falling into the Mets bench while catching foul balls.  He did it again tonight...this time to end the game.

It's hard not to like this team more and more each day...I am an Acosta, a second baseman and a GMJ away from being completely in love with this team, and that's something I haven't felt for the Mets since 2006. 

Tomorrow the Mets go for the series win sending Pelfrey to the hill to face Craig Stammen for the Nats at 1:10...Should be fun.

Mets vs. Nats at 7:10: Line Up Time

Here's the line up for tonight's game (courtesy of metsblog as relayed from the Mets twitter account).  Jon Niese takes the hill against Scott Olsen.  Here we go:

The Usual-2B

Also on the Mets have Chris Carter in uniform and ready to give more of an effort than Catalanotto did, or at least he should get better results.  Although buzz from Metsblog, here, had the Mets talking about dropping Matthews, but instead held him as CF insurance.  To me, that means when Beltran comes back, Matthews is as good as gone...At least that's my assumption... 

Monday, May 10, 2010

While I Was Recapping...

So, while I was recapping tonight's game, a miracle happened. The Mets made their team better...

The Mets designated Frank Catalanotto for assignment and called up Chris Carter, according to Adam Rubin on twitter.  It's about time this move happened.  Carter was hitting the crap out of the ball in triple-A and Cat couldn't hit crap.  This was an overdue move.  And not to pile on Catalanotto, but he looked uncomfortable and overmatched at the plate, which are qualities I'm not looking for in pinch hitters.  I thought he was supposed to be a late inning lefty bat off the bench, turned out he was left handed but often decided not to use his bat.  I don't think Carter will have this problem.  If anything Carter might be a little too aggressive at the plate, but at this point anything is better than what the Mets bench was looking like.

This is a fantastic move by the front office, I'm just annoyed it took this long to happen.  It should pay some nice dividends as having an ACTUAL threat off the bench should benefit the team.  Basically, anything is better than marching GMJ and Cat to the plate in the late innings of games.  I'm sure Cat was a nice guy in the clubhouse, but this is a performance job and he didn't perform.  I hope Cat lands on his feet, but I'm happy the Mets improved their team tonight...Very happy. 

Maine Good, Offense Bad in Clutch as Mets Fall to Nats 3-2

Tonight Maine was good again, but the offense didn't show up when it mattered and the Mets fell to the Nats in the first game of the series 3-2 (box score).

The Mets were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position, and didn't give Maine much run support as the rookie Luis Atilano and five other National pitchers kept the Mets off balance when it matters most.  Tonight the Mets offense had 12 hits, but was only able to muster two runs.  One was on a two out single from the Mets second baseman, and the other was a ninth inning bomb off the bat of Angel Pagan.

Also of note, Reyes was tossed for arguing balls and strikes, as was Jerry.  I think the Mets should take the ump's lead and toss Jerry out of his office...Oh, and they should get a real bench too while they're at it.  GMJ and Catalanotto stink.  I'm sorry, they're terrible.  Also, I know Bay has done it before in Boston, but he has been anti-clutch so far this season and it's starting to get really tough to watch him hit in clutch situations with EVERYONE waiting for his defining Mets moment.

On a more positive note, John Maine had his third consecutive good start.  Tonight he allowed 7 hits over 6 innings, but only 2 runs (both solo homers) and managed to strike out five.  Takahashi threw a scoreless inning in the seventh in relief of Maine.  Unfortunately, Feliciano had a rough outing allowing a run in a third of an inning allowing the Nats to stretch out their lead to 3-1.  But Mejia then came in to relieve Feliciano and shut the door for the remaining inning and 2/3.

Well, it's just one game, so the Mets need to regroup and win the next two games to take the series.  Tomorrow it will be Niese on the hill for the Mets and Olsen for the Nats.  Game is at 7:10 on SNY.

Mets/Nats at 7:10, Here's the Line Up

Tonight the Mets send John Maine to the hill against rookie Luis Atilano to start off a three game set against the Nationals.  Here's the line up for the game courtesy of the Mets on twitter:

Angel Pagan-CF
Bruised Heel-2B
Jose Reyes-SS
Jason Bay-LF
David Wright-3B
Ike Davis-1B
Jeff Francoeur-RF
Rod Barajas-C
John Maine-P

So, it looks like bruised heel is back in the line up tonight after a pinch hit in yesterday's game.  The rest of the line up is the same.  Should be interesting to see just how pesky these Nats will be this season.  It'd also be nice to see Maine put another strong effort together, and put the team in position to win the series with a "W" tonight.  After the Mets last series with them, I would say the Mets owe them some pay back.  I just hope Willie Harris doesn't play...I hate that guy...

Blanco Gets Put On Bereavement List, Thole Gets Called Up

He probably won't be up for too long, but according to Adam Rubin on twitter, Josh Thole has been called up to replace Henry Blanco's spot on the roster, as Blanco has been placed on the bereavement list.  According to Kevin Burkhardt on twitter, Blanco should only be gone for a few days dealing with an illness in the family.  This should be long enough of a stint to give Thole a start since the Mets play a full week's worth of games (and a day game Wednesday), but I would bet it's not the way Thole would have liked to been called up.

I feel bad for Blanco...that kind of thing is never fun to deal with...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mets Lose Tough Game to Giants 6-5

Today the Mets fell to the Giants 6-5 (box score/wrap) on a late two-run, wind aided, homer by Aaron Rowand off of Jenrry Mejia.

I went into the day thinking that if the Mets lost today I would be ok with it...BUT...that was before they came back to take the lead after Lincecum was pulled.  Once the Mets took the lead on a poorly played fly ball by Torres off the bat of Jason Bay, everything changed.  At that point in the game the Mets NEEDED to win.  It's amazing how much perspective can change like that.  With the way Lincecum was pitching I was happy at least knowing the Mets have already won the series, but once they took the lead, I could smell blood and was eventually dissappointed in the way the game shook out.  A sweep of the Giants was within reach, and probably should have happened...until Aaron Rowand hit a ball that carried about 50 feet more than it should have thanks to the wind.  Either way, it was a good weekend with the Mets taking 2 of 3 from a very good's tough to take a loss like that when a win was within their grasps...

As far as what happened in the game, Ollie Perez was awful.  He needs to be sent to the 'pen or down or something, but he is single-handedly doing his best to kill Mets winning streaks.  I think it's about time they did something to get him in gear...On the bright side Bay, Davis, Wright and Francoeur were responsible for driving in the Mets runs, with both of Bay's RBI coming off a poorly played fly ball by the Giants left-fielder. 

Tomorrow starts a three game set with the Nationals.  The pitching match up will be John Maine against Luis Atilano at 7:10 in the "Citi"...

Blanco's Turn to Walk Off, 2B Hurt, End Of An Ollie?

I haven't been around to comment since yesterday's game ended, but I am really starting to believe in this team.  Yesterday's walk off homer from Hank White (as McCarver would say) is really indicative of what a GOOD ballclub gets, help from all over.  While Blanco might not have been the likely hero the night after Barajas did the same, it's when guys like this win ballgames that you start to really gain confidence in a team.  And the Mets took the first two of the series against the Giants knowing they would face one of the best pitchers in the league in Tim Lincecum in the third game, who they are just starting to hit a bit as I write this.  Either way they've been playing well and, I think, have established that they are significantly better than they were last year.  I'll even give credit to Omar for the Barajas signing.  Even though he seems to ONLY hit homers, they are in huge spots, and he and Blanco seem to have been instrumental in the way this team has pitched so far.

As for 2B...

He's hurt, and I don't care.  Honestly, he made a great play the other day, BUT, he looks old and hurt and I really wish they could move his contract because while he hasn't been hurting the team, I don't think he brings all that much to them.  Adam the Bull on WFAN yesterday seemed to believe the same thing, that while the 2nd baseman isn't killing them, very rarely do you feel this team cannot win without him.  I thought that was well put.  Especially considering his unnecessary plan to bunt yesterday on a 3-1 count in the first when Wellemeyer couldn't find the strike zone...Genius.  Like Howie said on the radio, "that's just his game."  But I think Howie was just as annoyed as I was when he saw that...
And finally Ollie...

He was awful again today.  Now, I think I am the only person who still thinks Perez is worth all of this trouble...but he's even wearing my patience thin at this point.  And while I still feel he will be the first Mets pitcher to throw a no-hitter...he's got the stuff to do it when he's won't be anytime soon.  He looked horrible today, walking 7 batters.  The only positive thing that came out of his performance is the way Jerry gave him a quick hook and didn't let the game (although he probably should have done it in the third).  I think Ollie needs to be moved to the 'pen so Takahashi can make his presence known in the rotation.

On an unrelated note...Can we dump Gary Matthews?  He's awful.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mets Take on Giants at 1:10: Starting Line Up

Here's today's line up courtesy of Metsblog

Angel Pagan CF
Everyday 2B
Jose Reyes SS
Jason Bay LF
David Wright 3B
Ike Davis 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Henry Blanco C
Johan Santana P

Blanco gives Barajas the break on a day game after a night game, nothing new here.  Davis and Francoeur swap spots, probably because of the righty on the hill and Davis' night last night.

Once again this is a big game for the Mets, as it would be nice to have the series won prior to facing Lincecum tomorrow.  Also Santana is on the hill against the Giants fifth starter, they need this...

Ike and Barajas Have Huge Games as Rod and the Mets Walk Off

Last Night the Mets took down the NL leading Giants 6-4 (box score/wrap) in walk-off fashion thanks to a two run homer from Rod Barajas in the bottom of the ninth.  Barajas had also hit another bomb earlier in the night, but he wasn't the only Met bringing the pop as Ike Davis also went deep twice, as the two provided 5 of the 6 Mets RBI.  The only other Mets RBI was off the bat of Jason Bay who smoked a two-out double in the first to drive in Reyes.  It's interesting to note that the homer off Sanchez by Davis in the 3rd was the first homer Sanchez had given up all year, AND was the first hit against a lefty Sanchez had given up as well all year.

Although K-Rod blew the save in the ninth the Mets were still able to bail him out in the field, on two really nice plays.  One by the second baseman with a runner on second: where he kept a two out hit on the infield, keeping the runner from being able to score.  The other was Ike Davis flipping into the Mets bench to catch a foul ball and end the top of the ninth for the Giants.  It was a fantastic play.

It wouldn't be fair to talk about last night without talking about Pelfrey's outing, which was definitely a rebound from what happened in Philly.  Mike went 7 and 1/3 innings giving up 8 hits and 3 runs, while striking out 4.  That's a quality start, and should have been enough to get the "W".  Nieve held the fort down in the eighth and kept the Mets on top until K-Rod gave up a game tying homer in the ninth, and almost more if not for the outstanding plays by the second baseman and Davis. Also it was interesting to see how 2B got up after making that play in the field in the ninth, he limped the ball back in.  Didn't look good.

But a win is a win, no matter how it happens.  So today the Mets send Santana to the hill against Todd Wellemeyer at 1:10.  This is a game the Mets should win, and probably need to win to take the series, since the Giants are throwing Lincecum tomorrow...

Friday, May 7, 2010

6 Game Home Stand Starts Off Tonight, Here's the Line Up

Tonight the Mets start a 6 game home stand where they will welcome the Giants and then Nationals to the "Citi".

After a solid start to the previous road trip the Mets ended up a disappointing 2-4 on the swing.  Well now it's time for some home cooking, which will hopefully get the Mets back on the right track.  The first two games of this Giants series is important considering the final game they will face, arguably the best pitcher in the NL, Tim Lincecum.

The Mets try to get it started tonight with this line up, courtesy of the team on twitter:

The Usual-2B

A few interesting things to note here. 1) Ike Davis has been dropped a spot in the order, probably some combination of what both he and Francoeur have been doing lately, as there is a lefty on the hill for the Giants.  2) Rod Barajas is starting as the catcher for Pelfrey for the first in a while.  This probably has something to do with making it known that Blanco is the back-up, while also taking note of how bad Pelf's last start was.

Hopefully the team will right the ship tonight, and Pelfrey's Philly outing will prove to just be a hiccup....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Neyer Discusses Saving K-Rod for Last

In an interesting article for Rob Neyer answers a tough question from a Mets fan concerned about Jerry's handling of the bullpen (specifically K-Rod) in extra innings this past week.

In the article the question is posed to Neyer as to why the Mets didn't use K-Rod more in extra innings of the Reds series.  To which Neyer responds with a detailed log of who the Mets used and when, when K-Rod has been used lately, and then launches into a discussion about extra inning bullpen usage as the away team.  In specifc Neyer talks about the issue of having the potential to need the closer on the road in extra innings and how that seems to handcuff managers.

In the end Neyer comes down against "waiting for the save situation that might never arrive."  While, on the whole, I agree with this theory, it's never that simple.  There's pitcher usage, situations and other factors to should be taken more into account when talking about extra inning usage. 

Let's take a look at the Mets/Reds bullpen usage for the series for instance...

According to Neyer, "Monday night, Oliver Perez pitched six innings and was succeeded by Jenrry Mejia, Fernando Nieve, Pedro Feliciano, and finally Manny Acosta in the 11th, when Cincinnati's Laynce Nix hit the walkoff homer."  Neyer Continues, " Tuesday night, John Maine went six innings, then was followed by Mejia, Nieve, Feliciano (notice a pattern here?) and finally Francisco Rodriguez, who dispatched the Reds with 13 pitches to earn the save. "  And  then finally, "Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Niese started and went six innings. He was replaced by Hisanori Takahashi, who went three clean innings. Feliciano took over the 10th and the game was over five pitches later."

Jerry overused Nieve and Feliciano while under-utilizing K-Rod in the series.  As for the overarching idea of closer usage in extra innings on the road.  I think managers should ALWAYS throw your best chance out there to win at all times.  K-Rod is a better choice than Manny Acosta in game one, and using Feliciano in a third game in a row probably also wasn't the best choice in game three.  So while it's not necessarily as easy as throwing your "best pitcher" out there, it should be about getting your best chance to win out there, and that's not what Jerry seems to do. 

One thing is clear about Jerry and his bullpen usage.  He has his guys and he sticks to them.  But I wonder, why isn't K-Rod one of Jerry's guys?