Tagged: Jeff Francoeur

Not in the Cards…

The series with the Cardinals was very similar to that with the Rockies.  The Mets didn’t necessarily play that bad…they just didn’t win a majority of the games.  Which…is not good…but at least the games were watchable.  Actually, the Mets were only losing for 5 of the 38 innings played.

The one very good thing has been the starting pitching (ironically) has been the starting pitching.  Oliver Perez threw a nice outing on Friday night: 6.1 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 3 BBs and 4 Ks.  I will take that from Ollie every single outing.  But…that is not likely.  Bullpen blew his chance for a win, though.  On Saturday…(well, Saturday is a story in and of itself) Santana did a wonderful job starting as well, pitching 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 1 BB and 9 Ks.  A nice rebound from has last performance against the Nats, where he gave up a 1st inning grand slam.  And the much awaited 3rd start of John Maine on Sunday did not go terribly.  He gave up a 3 run shot to tie the game in the 5th inning.  That was so disheartening to watch b/c he always seems to get by the one inning.  His pitch count got obscenely high for only 5 innings and not a lot of runs (115). 

We just still can’t hit.  At all.  The Mets did scrap together 9 hits on Friday and did fight back to get a couple runs in the 9th, but still fell a run short.  Saturday…was awful.  They went hitless until the 7th when Pagan blooped a single in.  Despite the game going 20 innings, they could still only manage another 6 hits.  So, the got 7.  In 20 innings.  And the last 3 innings were against non-pitchers.  On Sunday, the Mets got 4 hits…and none of them after the 2nd inning.  That’s just ridiculous.  I mean, I know they faced Carpenter and Wainwright in the series, but still.  That’s 20 hits in 38 innings.  And only 2 of them were extra base hits.  And both were on Friday.  That’s just…not how you win games…regardless of how good your pitching is.  I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but…they just need to hit better.  It also would be more interesting to watch the games if you actually felt like you didn’t need 3 hits in an inning to score a run. 


Points:

  • Jeff Francoeur has cooled off considerably…coming into Monday night, he was 0 for his last 11…
  • Mike Jacobs was FINALLY sent down to Buffalo…in favor of Tobi Stoner, in order to save arms in the bullpen
  • Stoner was then sent back down in favor of much-heralded Ike Davis, who made his MLB debut Monday night…
  • Coming into Monday, the Mets are last in the NL in BA with RISP…still
  • Mike Pelfrey has more saves this year than K-Rod…1
  • Also, Craig Anderson of the Colorado Avalanche, had one of the best goalie performances I have ever seen in the NHL playoffs on Sunday night…saving all 51 shots in a 1-0 OT win over the Sharks…

Next up for the Mets: 4 games against the Cubs at Citi Field…

Ending on a Rocky Mountain High…

Despite going 1-2 this week in Denver, there are still some positives that can be had.  I really like the way Mike Pelfrey has been throwing the ball.  He had a wonderful game today, going 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, 0 runs, 0 BBs, and 6 Ks.  The number that really sticks out to you is the 0 walks.  Mike has had trouble throughout his short career with walking batters.  In his first start, he did have 4 BBs, but stayed ahead of the count very nicely, this afternoon.  He also became the first Mets starter this year to pitch into the 7th inning.  No other starter has looked even half as good as Pelfrey so far, this year.

Jeff Francoeur has continued his blazing start.  In the series against the Rockies, he went 4 for 11.  While Wright has looked solid and Bay has been….well, there, it is Francoeur who has been the consistent threat in the lineup. 

The Mets bullpen has also looked very solid this week, only allowing 4 runs in 11+ innings.  Other than Nieve (who has 1 bad outing in 6 appearances) and Jenrry Mejia (who may be in over his head right now), everyone in the bullpen has been very solid. 

I really, really want to like Jon Niese.  He has looked…ok.  I like a lot of his pitching and the way he handles himself, but he just gets beaten up by that one batter every game and it ruins his outing.  In both of his outings, he’s looked like he was figuring it out and almost making it through his 5 or 6 innings and then just gets caught.  He got bailed out by an offense that finally scrapped together some runs.  Otherwise, he would be 0-2.  Hopefully, he can finish his next start stronger.

John Maine is on his last straw.  He looked awful on Tuesday.  Gave up 1st inning runs, despite getting the first 2 hitters out.  That seems to be a theme with him.  He seems to be almost out of an inning and just can’t close it out.  His fastball isn’t where it used to be and his off-speed pitches don’t have the confidence, yet.  But…after rushing a throw to 1st and allowing more runs to score on his own error…and barely making it through the 3rd…sigh.  He’s got a chance…maybe 2…and then he’s got to be out of the rotation.  It’s that bad.

Are you telling me that the best we can do at 1st base is Mike Jacobs or Fernando Tatis?  That has to be a joke.  Tatis was a nice story 2 years ago…and he was…ok…last year, but the time has come.  Give a kid a chance.  Or someone else.  I am done with Tatis.  And Jacobs…is just terrible.  He is 3 of 18 this year.  Put Cora at 1st…or Angel Pagan (if Beltran ever gets back).  Call up Nick Evans…just not Mike Jacobs. 

My last rant is going to be on scoring runs.  We seem to be the same team as last year (in which we lead the league in BA but were 11th (?) in runs).  We can get guys on base.  We draw walks or get hits (sometimes), but we do stupid things on the base paths.  For example: David Wright came up today with no out and Reyes and Castillo on 2nd and 1st respectively.  Castillo was thrown out on a botched double steal -where Reyes didn’t run but Castillo did.  And then Reyes was thrown out at 3rd, trying to steal.  When Wright stuck out, he was the 3rd out after coming to the plate with 0 outs.  I mean…what?  How does that happen?  And that’s just one example.  We are horrible at getting runners over and using outs productively, not to mention hitting with RISP.  Coming into today, the Mets were something like .175 with RISP.  That would be last in the NL…obviously.  I am starting to think this is on Manuel.  Its almost like Herm Edwards and Time Clock management with the Jets back in 2004.  Some of these principles are very basic in baseball and this team is almost clueless on the base paths and manufacturing runs.  Hopefully, they will figure something out in St Louis, tomorrow…

Friday, 8:15pm, Busch Stadium, Perez vs. Carpenter…

Weekend Mess…

What a series with that Nationals.  They say that you can’t tell anything in the first month or so of the season.  And that you spend the first couple months figuring out who your team is and what you’ve got to work with.  Unless, either, the results are similar to the previous year or spring training.  I believe both to be the case for the Mets.  Examining how the Mets have played in their first few games reminds me exactly of what I watched all of last year.  The pitching has been average at best.  The offense is odd.  There are some proven hitters, but no one has been consistent.  And no one wants to hit in the clutch.  In the 2 wins, the Mets have scored 15 runs.  In their 4 losses, they have scored 12 runs.  Now, you would expect that to a certain degree b/c runs are how you win games.  But this is what the team did all of last year.  They would get red hot and win a game or 2, and then go ice cold and lose 3-4.  The Mets start the season with a relatively easy schedule (at least a home-favored one) and these are wins that need to be had.  Losing series at home to Florida and Washington are just unacceptable.  Granted (again), its still very early, but the way this club has been playing…I don’t see a lot of reasons why the culture of this club should change.  Getting Reyes into mid-season form and getting Beltran back with both help, but there is something deeper with this team that needs to be addressed.  And until that happens, one or two players will not make a difference.


The Good:

  • Mike Pelfrey: pitched a good game on Friday and picked up the win.  He went 6, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs, 4 BBs, and 4 Ks.  He also only threw 94 pitches, so he would have been in good shape to pitch the 7th if needed…
  • Jeff Francoeur: off to a tremendous start, hitting .476.  He leads the team in BA, hits, RBI, doubles, tied for 1st in HRs and has only stuck out twice…
  • Jose Reyes has returned…I think that’s good.  We’ll soon see…

The Bad:

  • Starting Pitching: no starters’ ERA is under 3.00.  Also, no one has gone more than 6 innings in a start.  Ok, maybe the starting pitching isn’t bad, but…it could definitely be a lot better.
  • Mike Jacobs: Cut him.  Now.  With a Knife.  Or else I will.  He has 2 hits in 15 ABs…and has 4 K’s.  Thankfully, he did not start the last 2 games.  Again, is it kind of early to be wanting to cut someone?  Maybe…but the 4th or 5th place hitter cannot only have 2 hits and 4 Ks in 15 ABs…not on this team, anyway…

The Ugly:

  • Hitting with RISP:  here is why the Mets don’t score runs.  If you don’t hit HRs, then you need to get hits with people on base.  The Mets are the worst team in the NL, hitting .188 with runners in scoring position.  Tell me you don’t remember THAT from last year…
  • Santana’s 1st Inning on Sunday:  Yikes.  This was bad.  2 hits, 4 runs, 2 BBs.  He only gave up one more run in his next 4 innings, but if Santana is pitching like that (at all), this team doesn’t have a prayer.  Ron and Keith were talking during Sunday’s broadcast and said that the Mets are going to need to win pretty much all of Santana’s starts.  Is that unrealistic?  Yeah.  But, is it necessary?  Probably.
  • Starting From Behind:  The only game that the Mets did not give up a 1st or 2nd inning run was in the 1st game of the season.  The way this offense has performed this year, playing from behind from the beginning does not bode well.

Tuesday, 8:40pm, Coors Field, Maine vs. Smith…