Over the last week, the Mets have been on a tear. And the key has been the starting pitching. Oliver Perez had the iffy start on Wednesday against the Cubs that resulted in the Mets only loss, since last Sunday. I think he did enough to keep the heat off of himself in the rotation. He went 5 innings and only allowed 3 runs. That’s…ok, not terrible…and that is what the Mets need (at the minimum) from him and John Maine. The problem on Wednesday was the bullpen. Newly-acquired Manny Acosta got wrecked in that game…as did Takahashi. John Maine got hurt in his start on Friday against the Braves. He was pitching better than his first few starts, but then he got hurt. That just seems to be how it goes for Maine, unfortunately. I’m not entirely sure what needs to be done with him. It’s really hard for me to see the Mets re-signing him in the off-season. I would wish him well and enjoy it if he succeeds some place else…but he just has been so inconsistent over the last 2-3 years, whether it be pitching or injury.
Jon Niese had 2 very nice starts last week. Not quite what I want to eventually get out of him (5 and 2/3 with 1 run and 5 and 1/3 with 1 run). But he’s not getting crushed and he is striking out people (7 and 6, respectively). Unfortunately, a lack of run support has stopped him from getting a win, in either game. Still, I am liking what I am seeing from him and look forward to his starts, now.
Johan and Pelfrey are both looking amazing. Each got a win last week and looked very strong, doing so. Pelfrey could get another win, tonight, pending the outcome (which is stuck in the 6th due to a rain delay…Mets are up 1-0, though). Pelf looked good (but not), tonight. He did not have the control we’ve seen him exhibit this year. He allowed 10 baserunners in 5 innings, but still managed to get out of it every time, extending his scoreless streak to 24 innings. If he does win tonight, he will be 4-0 with a .69 ERA…early Cy Young candidate, anyone?
Now…to the hitting. Sigh. Still…not good. Its getting better, as they are getting timelier hits…but, no one is tearing the cover off the ball. They still only have 50 hits over the last 7 games (including tonight’s that hasn’t been called yet). Yet, assuming they win tonight, will be 6-1?? That’s just baseball, I guess. Still waiting for the Jason Bay that we heard about all off-season. He’s picked it up the last couple games, but still no HRs and 5 RBI, while hitting .269. David Wright is a little better, but not much 3 HRs, 10 RBI, .222. Francoeur: 3, 10, .286. That’s around what I expect from him.
The Mets have called up Ike Davis. I was originally against it, but it seems that maybe its what this team has needed. He has looked right at home, playing 1st base. He’s also hit very nicely in his 7 games. 1 HR, a couple RBI, and a .318 average. Granted, its only a week, but he looks like he could be the real deal. And to have left-handed power is only going to help.
So, there has been a lot of talk about Jose Reyes hitting in the 3rd spot in the lineup. It has been thrown around quite a bit over the past couple years. I’ve thought about it in different circumstances and I finally made a decision as to what I feel about it. Under ideal circumstances (Beltran being back, Wright and Bay hitting like they are capable, etc), I am supremely against it. However, given what is going on now, I absolutely love the idea. And for these reasons:
- David Wright has not been (W)right. I still think something is up with him. Maybe its mental. Maybe there’s an injury somewhere that no one knows about. Maybe he’s just trying too hard. Or maybe (gulp) he’s not as good as we all thought he was?? I hope like everything that its not the last one. But…whatever the reason…he is not the center-piece of this lineup, right now.
- Carlos Beltran is not healthy and it doesn’t look like he will be, anytime soon. Hopefully before the All-Star Break, but…I’m not holding my breath. So, we need to move on…at least for a while.
- I know his average doesn’t reflect it now (but who on the Mets is sporting a nice BA), but I think that Angel Pagan belongs near the top of the lineup. He is making strides as a base runner. He has the speed. You can hit him in the leadoff spot, followed by Castillo, Reyes, etc..
Monday, 7:10, Citi Field, Kuroda vs. Perez…
Well, quite a few things to talk about…
First, how about Livan Hernandez? Being the 5th starter in the rotation, he was expected to be around .500 and keep his team in the game, giving them a chance to win. Well, he has been more than that. He’s probably been the 3rd most consitent starter the Mets have had (just ahead of Maine). His last two starts have been his best of the year. Tonight, he threw the Mets first complete game of the year: 9 innings, 9 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, and 6 Ks. The Mets now have 4 starters who have 4 wins, already…a feat that only the Cardinals have matched.
Fernando Martinez was called up today and made his major league debut. He went 0 for 3 at the plate, but got his first RBI of his career. He also played a solid right field with 2 putouts. As long as he’s up with the Mets, we should see him playing every day. Some people have said that without his injuries, he’d already be with the Mets. Ironically, with all of the injuries to the Mets, he now gets his shot.
The offense was again present for the Mets, Tuesday night. Pagan, Wright, and Sheffield each had 2 hits, contributing to the Mets total of 10. Sheffield had the biggest shot of the night with a 3 run bomb in the 6th. His HR blew the game wide open, making it 6-1. The Mets have needed some power pretty bad. They only have 31 HRs in 44 games. With Delgado on the DL and Wright having 3 and Beltran 6, somebody needs to step up and supply the power. It seems that Sheffield is doing that. He has 5 HRs in 21 games.
The Mets announced that Reyes and Church are finally headed to the DL. The good news is that Alex Cora threw a ball today and is slated to come off the DL next Wednesday. The Mets made a deal for Wilson Valdez from the Cleveland Indians to back up Ramon Martinez, for the time being.
- Carlos Beltran missed Tuesday’s game after receiving an MRI on his leg. It was revealed that he had a bone bruise on his knee. He will not be available for Wednesday. Manuel also mentioned that Beltran may play Friday, as the Mets open a series against the Marlins.
- Ramon Martinez had an RBI double in the bottom of the 2nd…
- Livan Hernandez induced 3 double plays Tuesday night…
- David Wright stole his 11th base of the year…he is tied for 9th overall…On a side note, the Rays have 80 stolen bases and Carl Crawford has 30 of them…the Mets lead the NL with 49…
- Much to my Tigers friends’ chagrin, Zack Greinke owns the Tigers. He pitched again Tuesday, going 9 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 0 BBs, and 8 Ks in only 116 pitches. This year, he has pitched 2 games against them, going 18 innings, 9 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 1 BB, and 18 Ks and 2 complete games. He now is up to 5 complete games! That is tied with the Rangers for most in the MLB!! He has more complete games than 28 teams…after today’s game, his ERA went up from .82 to .84
Wednesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Zimmermann vs. Santana…