Friday, April 29, 2011

All of a sudden, they're sick

What was 6 in a row has become 2 in a row, as in, 2 losses in a row. Tonight's loss in Philly was bad, really bad. The Mets opening day starter once again did not have it, and that's happening way too often. Big Pelf has had the stomach flu and lost 11 pounds. He's not alone, as others on the team have had it, too, and J Bay and Chris Young have sinus infections. Still, if Pelf says he can take the mound, he's got to turn in a better performance than that. Bobby O says if you take the ball, it's on you, sick or not. Bobby O is right, as usual.

Twitter was lit up during the game with ideas of sending Pelf down, and giving Gee his spot. Gee was not very good in relief of Pelf tonight, giving up a grand slam to Howard. I think it's time to do something dramatic with Pelf, whether it's sending him down, trading him, whatever it may be. This guy is in his 5th full year, and he still has not put it together and figured it out. Tonight, the Phils ran Pelf into the ground, and Pelf was visibly rattled by it. Not acceptable for a guy who, at this point, is a young veteran.

It does not get any easier, with Halladay and Lee up next. The Mets could lose those games, and the 6 game winning streak will be a distant memory. Bad feelings will be back, and Citi will be empty. Or, the Mets could find a way to win one or both, and maintain some credibility with the fan base. Which is it going to be, guys?

Ronny Paulino pinch hit in the ninth, and grounded out. This is notable because it proves that Paulino actually exists.

Oh, and the Mets are back in last place, behind the Nats. Willie Harris says he misses being a Nat. He says the Mets clubhouse is "segregated". Oh, Willie, you'll learn quickly that with that statement, you opened some old wounds.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It Doesn't Take Much

Mets fans (the reasonable ones) are actually easy to please. Even after 3 straight wins, they're still in last place, at 8-13. But the mood has changed in a very palpable way. Callers to WFAN are talking about the bullpen being straightened out, with Beato, Izzy, and K Rod handling the late innings. People are extolling the return of Jason Bay, and how he "lengthens" the lineup. Even the much-maligned starting staff is being given kudos for pitching into the 6th and beyond. Finally, the main-stream media has temporarily put away the poison pen and is giving the team some props.

I'm still hoping for 83-79, my opening-day prediction. Whether or not they get there will be determined largely by who's on the team. As the first month of the season comes off the calendar, we're getting closer to decision time on Reyes and Beltran. Beltran's value is going up, due to his strong start. I'm fine with dealing him, as his future, sadly, is in the AL at DH. If the Mets were to trade, or not retain, Reyes, they would be making the second worst decision in franchise history. Reyes is productive, dynamic, and embraced by the fan base. Beyond that, please tell me where they would get .280, 12HR and 65 SBs. Tejada? Are you kidding? This will be an interesting story over the next few months.

Happy Easter, all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hope on the horizon

8..10..12..14..16

Word is that MLB will expand the playoffs next year from 8 to 10 teams, adding a wild card, best-of-3 round. At this rate, I project that by the year 2100, all 30 teams will make the playoffs. Therefore, for our Mets, it would be an automatic! Hooray!

The play just keeps getting worse. Kudos to R.A. Dickey, who finally said what we've all been thinking- maybe this team isn't better than this. Maybe there is no winning streak around the corner, just because they're better than this. Maybe they are what their record says they are.

At least we're not Dodger fans. Our owners got ripped off-McCourt is just a train wreck. Thank heaven for little favors.



Monday, April 18, 2011

Finally!

I never thought a victory in April could feel so good. Especially, when the victory leaves you at a robust 5-11. But, the winning streak (dare I say) has to start with one win, so maybe that win was it. It was a very entertaining game, with added intrigue by the way TC used Capuano and Dickey in relief. Both did the job, with Capuano getting Larry out in a key spot in the sixth. Dickey was good in the seventh. Izzy gave up an HR, but picked off McCann in a key spot in the eighth. Was McCann getting his "inner Met" on, by getting picked off? And of course, K Rod had the tying run on third when he finally closed it out.

Bay comes back Thursday? I'll believe it when I see it, but a productive Bay will be very helpful. Let's not forget, they scored 5 runs TOTAL in 3 games in Atlanta.

Houston and Arizona come in for 6. The Mets have to go 4-2 in those games. Both opponents are weak, and not to mention, AZ beat the Mets 5 of 6 last year. Time for some sweet payback.

I hear the Wilpons are close to finding an investor, and word is that they may sell 49%. Just get some cash in the till, guys. It's hard enough to win-haven't we been witnessing that?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

They're Infuriating

It's ok to lose, really it is. As Met fans, we're used to it. But the style of play so far in 2011 is abysmal. I've lived through 100 losses in 1979. I suffered through 1983 and a horrendous stretch from 2002-2004, under the worst manager in team history (the guy in place in 2003 and 2004). But try these items on for size:

The outfield play is terrible, I'd say comical, but I can't laugh. What is with Willie Harris losing balls in the lights? Is this the same guy who had a vacuum cleaner on his left arm when he played against the Mets? What was Hairston doing on the ball that dropped 5 feet behind him on Saturday, a ball he gave up on? And worst of all, did you see Beltran WALK after the bloop double in the double header? I'd have gone Gil Hodges on his ass, walk out there and say, "Carlos, you're obviously in pain. Why don't you come out of the game now?"

The bullpen is dreadful. The only one worth his salt is Izzy. How about Buckholz giving up a 3-run jack to a light-hitting middle infielder to ice game 2 on Thursday?

The team is once again showing a lack of cojones. How in the world, how in world, do you not buzz Tulowitski inside when he's covering both sides of the plate and hitting HRs at will? Are you kidding? What would Seaver have done? Ryan?

The warning signs are all over the place. Citi is a ghost town, weather or no weather. Fans are jumping ship. We all knew this is not a championship team. But there is no excuse for the play so far. Regardless of wins or losses, things need to turn around. How many more errant throws from pitcher to catcher do we have to watch? Or, maybe more importantly, will anyone still be watching?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tough to watch

Sunday's and Monday's games were just plain tough to watch. You know those games...you have the lead, you lose the lead, you have chances to win late, and...you don't. Yes, we're only 10 games in, but the last 2 have been painful. Bullpen collapses will demoralize a team, and this team is lucky if it hasn't been demoralized. Give Alderson credit for DFA'ing Boyer and bringing Izzy up. It can't hurt to change the faces, but the results have to start to improve.

Glad Duda was sent down. Frankly, I just don't see it with this guy. The NL is no place for a slow-footed, bad defense slugger. This guy's future is in the AL at DH.

Parnell needs to go down. Sure, he throws hard. So do a lot of AAA pitchers. This kid is straight as an arrow, and can't get his secondary pitches over (can't get his fastball over, either, lately). Let him work out his issues with Rick Wise in AAA.

Igarashi is just plain bad. I think this is his last shot before a DFA, and quite honestly, what has he ever shown?

Did we once have a guy names Bay? Seems he's out until late this month. Won't it be weird to see him in the lineup?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Carlos!

Carols Beltran goes yard twice, and the Mets win their first at Citi. My Saturday Plan tickets are in 336, and first one fell just below us. He really had a great game last night, and that leads to the question on all of our minds. If he continues to play well, who is the ultimate beneficiary? The Mets? Some other team who will take him at the deadline? It's unfortunate that, with the financial mess, we have to ask ourselves these questions. And of course, the same questions apply to Reyes, who had a clutch double in the eighth. But, if it were simple and easy, it just wouldn't be the Mets.

Interesting move by TC in the sixth last night, when he hit for Hu (I'll refrain from the jokes). He used Murphy, and then put Emaus in at 2B for D. Hmm, why not PH Willie Harris, and leave him in at 2B? This way, you lose one less player. I know Harris hasn't played much 2B lately, but he did some work there in spring training, and says he can do it. Then, you'd have Murph available for a lefty bat off the bench later, if necessary. Oh well, a win is a win.

Got a kick out of this article. K Rod says he fell asleep in the ninth due to the 4 run lead, and that's why he walked the first two hitters. Well, there, Frankie, how about some DD coffee in the dugout, so we don't have to be on pins and needles during your high-wire act? I mean, this guy is painful to watch. Though, I still say, he'll have a good year.

Let's win the series today, guys.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Mets and I were COLD

Yesterday was opening day. I'm telling you, it was COLD! The weather was uncomfortable, and the Mets' bats were on ice, as they went 0-10 with RISP. RA Dickey pitched courageously, with a broken finger nail (which matters a lot for a knuckleball pitcher). Mets pitching walked a ton of Nats, and the whole thing resulted in a 6-2 loss.

The atmosphere was strange at Citi. Fans seemed to be trigger happy, quick to unleash venom at the team. Now, can you blame them? Maybe not, but there did not seem to be an air of happiness that is usually present on opening day. Rather, there was anger in the air. Much of this anger was directed at Pelfrey during the pre-game announcements, and at Reyes after he struck out with the tying and lead runs on base in the 7th. Is it just me, or does everyone have a vision of Sandy Alderson holding a ledger book with Reyes' name on it, doing debits and credits with every move Jose makes? Reyes made an incredible play on a ball Ankiel hit with the bases loaded, and turned it into a DP. So his balance sheet on the day wasn't all bad.

Capuano is ready for his start tonight. He'd better be, as the three-game losing streak needs to be stopped. I'll be there, and I'm hearing it'll be slightly warmer. I hope the bats will be, too.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Battered in Philly




Though the Mets went 1-2 in the city of brotherly love, they were pretty well pounded. 10 runs Wednesday and 11 runs today, 22 in a 3-game series. Yes, the 7-run comeback Wednesday night was stirring, but then the bats went silent. It looked all too familiar....Then today, against Halladay, they were over matched. So, they come home 3-3 on the trip, ready for some home cooking. Many say they did well, and 3-3 is acceptable. I guess it is, but when you come from 3-1, it's not quite so sweet.

Pitching..well, let's not get ahead of ourselves, but big Pelf is a little bit of a concern. His pitches are lifeless, and he just looks nervous and "yipee" out there. Niese was as bad today as he was good on Saturday. All of this tells me one thing-this is EXACTLY what I expected. This is a .500 team. They'll have some ups (Chris Young Tuesday night, the 7-run rally Wednesday) and they'll have some downs (pitching the last 2 days). At times, we'll think "they're not that far away" and at times we'll think "this is more of the last 2 years". Is there a Met fan who has not experienced these thoughts in the last 7 days? I think we all have. But at least Luis and Ollie are gone, and the manager is firey and can conduct a presser. This may be a .500 year, but at least it should be more pleasant than 2009 and 2010.

Home opener tomorrow! I'll be there, and I hope Dickey will have the knuckler dancing in the Queens wind. LGM!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

UCONN and The Mets


First and foremost, how about those Huskies? Seriously, 3 championships in the last 12 years, a strong achievement, and they deserve all the credit they're getting. I think Jim is going to call it quits. If I were 68, having health issues, and the reigning NCAA champ, I would retire, too.

Now for the Mets...nice job in Florida, guys. I think the Marlins are going to struggle this year, but you have to beat whomever you're playing, and it's nice to beat those guys. As I type, Chris Young is doing an effective job against the Phillies, both on the mound and at the plate, and the Mets lead the Phils 7-1. They pounded Hammels, and on Thursday will face Halladay. It doesn't get any easier, does it?

Seems tickets remain for the home opener. That's sad, especially because I remember the days when you had to settle for "Rodney Dangerfield Day", or the second home game of the season, which "got no respect." I understand the fans' skepticism, and would love nothing more than to see them play well in Philly and stoke some interest among the faithful. All I know is I'm going Friday and Saturday, and I can't wait!