NY Mets Problems Run A Bit Deeper Than Obtaining A Reliever

Sorry for the hockey interuption. This young manin the picture is Rick Nash he is a good solid hockey player. When Nash woke up this morning he was a Columbus Blue Jacket and now he is a New York Ranger. Many NY Ranger fans are doing the happy dance when this was announced. Nash coming to the Rangers had a price, three very good Rangers are now Blue Jackets. Thank you to Brandon Dubinsky for 8 teriffic years as a Ranger same to Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon  all the best   

All I asked for was a summer of competitive baseball, why is that so difficult? The Mets are in the midst of another second half free fall as they have won just one game in their last ten. The last three seasons after the break have been disasters for the Metropolitans:

2011 31-40

2010 31-43

2009 28-47

During this recent run of losing baseball, I’ve thought about a question I posed to R.A. Dickey back in the winter of 2010, about the time Terry Collins was named manager, I asked Dickey what happened in the second half of the season that led to slide he said after a long pause, “lack of preparation” I asked by whom, the coaches or players and Dickey replied “both”. Last year’s collapse and now this latest second half losing streak does not in my view, fall under the lack of preparation or commitment , it seems like it’s more like a lack of major league readiness and an overachieving first half.

We have gone over the faults of the bullpen ad nauseum  and yes those sixteen blown saves and twenty loses are the biggest kick in the nuts this season but there are still many holes on this team that need addressing and no mid-season deal can cure them.

The Mets outfield is a mess. There is not one solid “every day I can count on you” player that plays in this outfield. Scott Hairston is very good vs. lefties and as a pinch hitter but Hairston is what he is, a bench player and when bench players start to get regular work, you get to see why they are bench players. I really like Kirk Nieuwenhuis and I want him to be a Met for a long time. He plays terrific defense and he has that “baseball makeup” that scouts love. He also has a lot of holes in his swing and is quite perplexed by the breaking ball to the point where he is putting up Kingman-esque strike out rates. Lucas Duda plays right field like the displaced first baseman that his is. It’s hard to get on him for the awful reads he gets on fly balls as he was put there for his bat, and that bat has gone limp. In Duda’s last 18 games he has 1 HR and 2 RBI. That is not the production you need from your corner outfielder. What more can you say about Jason Bay? At the end of this season Bay his agent and Sandy Alderson need to sit down and figure out an exit strategy for Bay. It would be best for both parties to part ways. Andres Torres does nothing useful and I’m guessing he is just here until Mike Baxter gets healthy and is re-activated. Torres should not be taking playing time from anyone.  Is Jordany Valdespin an outfielder? An infielder?  A bench player? Late for dinner? See a pattern here?

The catching situation is a mess as well (file this under lather, rinse, repeat) not just for the big league team but throughout the organization as well (we’re counting on you Kevin Plawecki )

David Wright has been an MVP quality player and after a disastrous start to the, Ike Davis has found a pulse but you still have to question if Ike is the guy to man first base in the seasons ahead. Ruben Tejada looks set at shortstop for the next ten years and Daniel Murphy at second base……………………..there’s a big question. #ImWith28 has busted out of his slump and is producing now but he could bring back value if Alderson touted him as a 3rd baseman as 3rd basemen will be demand this winter.

Lots of work is to be done to get this Mets team up and running as a true contender. A reliever at the deadline is not the answer.  

 

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Blown (Save) Away

Happy 87th Birthday to Yogi Berra, if you haven’t read Harvey Araton’s book Driving Mr. Yogi, you should it’s a terrific read    

 

 

Nothing pisses off a fan base more than a blown save that cost their team a win. As we witnessed in Miami last night, the Met s again unleashed their version of “5 O’clock Lightning” coming from behind again to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead as Mike Baxter has channeled his inner Smokey Burgess to become a potent late inning pinch hitter, drove in two runs with a double while batting for the offensively challenge Mike Nickeas.

I listened to latter part of this game in the car, enjoying the duo of Howie Rose and his partner Josh Lewin, who by the way has become a great listen and has blended in quite nicely with Howie making for such a pleasurable listen that even when I’m home I’ll tune in to hear a few innings, especially today when the game is on FOX, the sound on the TV goes mute and radio is turned up, but I digress.

When Baxter hit that double to score Captain Kirk and Ike to take the lead, the excitement in Howie’s voice was as jubilant a call I’ve heard from the radio booth in a long time. A 5-3 lead with six outs to go and the way the pen has been going it looked like you could start “putting this one in the books” but wait………..

Of all the players in the infield the last guy I’d predict making a crucial late inning error would be Ike Davis, I mean, no matter how awful a batting slump Ike has been in, he never brings that out to the field on defense so his costly error in the 8th that gave the Fish life was a bit of a shocker.

Give hat tips to Bobby Parnell and Tim Brydak who set up the save for Frank Francisco. All Frankie Frisco had to do was get three outs. Instead Greg Dobbs single gave the Fish their 4th walk off win of the year and their 9th win in 10 games.

That’s what makes this Frankie Frisco’ blown save hurt more, the Fish are red hot and here come the “5 O’Clock Lighting” Mets doing their come from behind magic again buoyed by another solid performance by their Ace Johan Santana (after a tough 1st inning Santana was masterful mixing mostly fastballs and slider but not many change ups to keep the Fish in check from innings 2-6 ) and looking to add to their dominant record against the NL East (now 13-6 after last night loss) but instead of killing Francisco maybe we have to credit Dobbs for hitting a pretty good pitch, a 94 mph fastball that was just inside the strike zone.

If we’ve learned anything about the 2012 Mets, this early in the season a loss like last nights doesn’t linger long with them, they’ll turn the page quickly.

I see where Rony Cedeno is at shortstop again today so my question is why is Jordany Valdespin here? If Terry Collins feels Cedeno is his guy until Ruben Tejada gets back that’s fine but if that’s the case maybe keeping Vinny Rottino around would have been the better move and let Valdespin play every day in Buffalo.  Rottino has played catcher so with two weak hitting catchers on the roster a guy like Rottino would be valuable.

 

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SUNDAY FUNDAY

Don’t ask me why but I’ve been thinking of Anthony Young lately

As per Kevin Burkhardt here is the Mets line up for this after noon in SOFL:

Reyes

Cora

Bay

Animal

Wright

Davis

Pagan

Blanco

Niese

Finally J-Man decides to sit Frenchy and replace him with The Animal who not only goes from a Bison, to a pinch hitter but is now the cleanup hitter.

Reyes can not stop showing off his excitement of not having to hit 3rd anymore. Way to know your personnel Jerry

12 pitches, 12 balls last time I saw something like that the players were eating orange slices in the dugout and talking about the latest Sponge Bob Square Pants episode.

Why is it the Tampa Rays who are an MLB welfare recipient can release Pat “He Got No Bat” Burrell and eat his $9mil but the Skill Sets still keep GMJ around ?

Forget Ollie P they will never release him out right. No they idea is put OP in the bullpen so if he just pitches an inning or two he can gut loose with pitches and regain arm strength and hit 90 MPH on the gun. Right, and I can rub Scotts Turf Builder on my head and look like this.

Jenry Mejia tossed 19 pitches yesterday for the Mets. They’ve almost ruined this young man, not quite there yet but give Jerry another week and the job will be complete.

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METS BASEBALL: BROUGHT TO YOU BY NEW ERROR CAPS

 

 

Talk about a buzz kill, after Thursday ‘ game and the fact that the Mets took 3 of 4 from the Cards to pull within a half game of first place in the division, I was starting to wonder could this team play just good enough to stay in the race until August when we’re told the walking wounded should all be back in the lineup plus a chance that Billy Wagner could make his way back to the pen. Could it happen? Well, after last night’s cold water in the face, bringing me back to this awful place performance, it’s  going to be mighty tough.

This one was over in the second inning as the Mets decided that the lineup they trotted out on the field wasn’t enough of a handicap that they had to help the Highlanders more by playing shitty defense to leave Big Pelf out to dry. The combination of bad D and having his nuts squeezed by home plate ump Tony Randazzo had Pelfrey close to meltdown mode.  As Ron Darling pointed out on the telecast Pelf was showing emotion but he was still in control and after that awful second inning, pitched well but at 93 pitches through 5 innings and with two on and two out, and Pelfrey due up, Manuel sent up a pinch hitter which was the right call, the batter he sent up was Argenis Reyes and that was the wrong call.

When your lone right handed bat on the bench is Argenis Reyes he doesn’t see the batters box until the game goes to the bottom of 145th inning. Manuel does not have the luxury of matching lefty righty with  this cut rate roster you have to go with your best hitter on that bench so in that spot you have to have Daniel Murphy hit for Pelfrey.   I wonder if there was some subliminal message that Manuel was sending to the front office with that move?

If ever there was a game to close the clubhouse door and air out your team it was last night but J-Man didn’t do it.  Last night in Toronto, after the Phillies lost to the Blue Jays, Charlie Manuel closed the clubhouse and laced into his club to get its head out of its ass. After the tongue lashing C-Man refused to speak to the media most likely going back to his hotel room with a big bottle of Canadian Club to wash away his frustrations. So which Manuel do you think is GANSTA’?

J-Man mentioned his roster depletion due to injury in his post game talk and it’s pissing me off that he keeps using that excuse as he needs to add a little Belichick to his game.

So now John Maine is getting a cortisone shot and will be shut down as he still has “discomfort” in his shoulder. Can we just send him to Birmingham to Dr Andrews already and get it over with? The Mets med staff is embarrassed one more time and the sad part is it’ll happen again.

The doctor who shot Michael Jackson with so much dope it killed him shouldn’t worry about a job I’m sure the Mets would gladly take him on their staff.

I agree with Gary Cohen, F-Mart is up here to play as a showcase for a trade.

MLB Trade Rumors had a link at deal with the Nats to send Nyjer Morgan to the Nats for Lastings Milledge.  I wouldn’t mind going after Morgan if I’m the Mets.

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A BIG HANG WITH ‘EM

It had the makings of a wonderful evening. The Mets with a three run lead heading to the 7th inning which has become close to automatic as the bullpen has gone from a house of horrors to as confident as one can be and still call themselves a Mets fan.

 

First there was the kicking around of Cole Hamels and then Big Pelf getting his back up on Chase Utley demanding that he “get the fuck back in the box” this game had season changer written all over it but of course it turned as it can only turn for the NY Mets.

 

First Carlos Beltran, of all people, misplayed a fly where he should not have jumped up that cost the Mets a run and got Pelfrey relived of his pitching duties. Sean Green came in and he has quietly turned his season around but gave up a hit and a run. Then Carlos Ruiz hit a ball down to D-Wright who either got caught in between or tried to rush the throw home couldn’t find a handle and Ibanez scored to make it 4-3. Rollins then hit into a fielder choice and the game was now tied at 4. Green gave up one legit hit in the inning. Hang with ‘em Sean.

 

The Mets had tons of chances after that (and before that as well as the old left the runners hanging reared it’s ugly head again in this game) in the bot of 7th  Daniel Murphy left the bags loaded, D-Wright left two on in the 8th, Castillo left a couple on in the 9th , but the killer was in the 10th.

 

Fernando Martinez got a clutch 2 out base hit as a pinch hitter and then D-Wright came thisclose to making up for his error as he drove a ball to the opposite field and Jayson Werth  made a spectacular play that was a sink or swim catch, if Werth misses that ball, F-Mart scores the game winner and the headline today would be the gritty, gutsy Mets coming back after losing a three run lead and not giving up and closing to a game of first place but no instead we talking about RISP, did Big Pelf have another melt down, Wright’s error and the comeback by the Phillies. Talk about a game of inches.    

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NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, UNLESS YOU’RE A METS BASE RUNNER

The 6th and 7th innings last night summed up the Mets early and I mean realllllllllll early problem of not busting a game wide open. When the opportunity comes up to administer an ass kicking, championship teams kick ass, pretenders come up short.

Top of the 6th the Mets catch a break as they couldn’t get a sniff of a rally off Anibal Sanchez but Freddi Gonzalez went to his pen and brought in Dan Meyer who promptly gave up a lead off homer to Carlos Beltran to get the Mets on the board. Ryan Church comes up next and singles and this is where you say “here comes the big inning”. Schneider sac bunts Church to 2nd, a good play because odds are Schneider hits in to a DP in that spot, Gimp Castillo comes up with a man in scoring position and files out. With Castillo getting lifted for a pinch hitter (Jeremy Reed) in 9th tells you the leash on Gimp is getting shorter and shorter. With 2 outs man on 2nd Gary Sheffield bats for John Maine who was great last night but Dan Meyer wants no part of Sheffield and throws three pitches out of the strike zone and then Gonzalez orders Meyer to walk him. Respect thy names is an intentional walk. Up steps Jose Reyes and an awful at bat.

Meyer was shook up by the sight of Sheffield and couldn’t throw a strike. The first pitch to Reyes was ball 1. On the next pitch Meyers tries to hit the corner low and away put the pitch was out of the strike zone but of course that doesn’t stop Jose from reaching over and popping it up to RF for an easy fly ball out. Ever hear of take a strike Jose?

On to the Mets 7th where Daniel Murphy leads off with a base hit (of course!) In comes non-roster invitee Kiko Calero (this looks to be the Marlins downfall, the bullpen that and not being able to play the Mets for 162 games) who walks D-Wright and hits Carlos Delgado with a pitch and the bags are drunk with Carlos Beltran up. Smells like a big inning right ?(“here we are now, entertain us”) uhhh NO!. Beltran drives in a run (a cheap Rib Eye Steak though) hitting into an FC but then Church walks and the bags are juiced once again as Fernando Taits bats for Schieder (J-Man ain’t fooling around, if you can’t hit you will sit) and misses a Grannie bythismuch and that would have broken this one up big. Wright scores and it’s 3-3 and if you want to take a positive out of the inning it’s that the Mets scored some runs late.

Gimp Castillo came up with 2 out worked the count 3-2 and let strike 3 sail over the plate. The clock is ticking fast on Gimp.

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