Tuesday, May 29, 2012

All Over Again

It's beginning to feel like 2009 and 2010 all over again, and quick, for this year's Mets team.  They got off to such a hot and positive start, only to see the last few weeks fill up with injuries.

Andres Torres, Jason Bay, Mike Pelfrey, Ruben Tejada, Josh Thole, Miguel Batista, Ronny Cedeno, and now Justin Turner have either been on or still on the Disabled List.  The line up that Terry Collins has been forced to put out there the last number of games is looking way to much like a Triple-A line up.

Mike Baxter leading off, Scott Hairston hitting cleaning, Vinny Rottino with the big club itself is a head scratcher.  As been stated before, this isn't a team that can afford to throw games away.  The NL East is to good and the Mets don't have the depth to that.  But playing with a roster that resembles a Spring Training game isn't smart at all.

The club should be getting some of their top guns back soon.  Bay, Tejada, and Thole have all started playing in minor league games to work their way back up.  Sooner than later they will be back in New York and we can all pray that it's sooner.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More Like It

Good pitching will always win games for you.  The Mets were able to see to that over the last two days, getting great starts out of RA Dickey and Jon Niese.  From their efforts, and enough offense, the Mets were able to grab the last two games in Pittsburgh, finish their road trip at .500 and move four games clear of .500 overall as they come home tonight for 11 straight games.

The NL East hasn't changed much in the past week but there seems to be signs of both Washington and Atlanta wanting to pull away from the pack.  Each sit eight and seven games, respectively, over .500 and have played some solid ball of late.  New York welcomes to town one of the worst teams in the National League, the San Diego Padres, for a three game set this weekend and would it be an amazin' time to collect at least two more wins.

In due time the Mets should be getting back some more of their initial starting line up.  Jason Bay and Josh Thole are progressing from their injuries down in Port St. Lucie and should be back in New york shortly.

Monday, May 21, 2012

So Tight

The Mets have come down to earth the last week or so, going 6-4 over their last ten games.  To add to that, the rest of the NL East is picking up steam.  The Braves are the hottest team by far and now sit 10 games over .500.  At the bottom of the barrel, the Phillies have gotten to .500 themselves.  And all other teams are in between, including the Mets, at 21-19.

This is a bit of disturbing news because of the way the club's been playing lately.  They have certainly cooled off from their great start.  But now their starting pitching has started to abandon them.  Their starting ERA is over 4.50.  Over the weekend, Jon Niese and Miguel Batista went only five innings combined.  Jeremy Hefner is slated to start in the next rotation since Batista has ended up on the DL.  And, as it's been most of the season, the bullpen continues to struggle.  Part of it is due to ineffectiveness and part of it is because of fatigue.

A silver lining is that the Mets have not played many of the soft teams in the NL.  Most of their games have been against the NL East, which they have done fairly well against, racking up the most division wins so far in the East.

They must capitalize on the weaker opponents.  Get the wins that are laying right there in front of them.  It's the only way to make the season worth while come August and September.  Need to get wins that are right in front of them and not throw any away.  They can not afford it.  Three games in Pittsburgh this week will hopefully get them on the right track.

Friday, May 18, 2012


They suck tonight. Dang Niese, can't get a pitch pass a batter if his life depended on it.

Well, thats why they play tomorrow.

Still Not Pretty

It's been a rough couple of days watching this Mets team.  Mostly, it's all because of the bullpen.  The team has lost three of its last five, but two of those loses are a direct relation to a faulty bullpen.  A leaky faucet that can't be shut off.

The team made a move to help address the issue, sending reliever DJ Carrasco packing and bringing up Robert Carsons.  Maybe a new, fresh arm is something that can help this team.  But maybe not.  Who knows?  The bullpen, all across the majors, is the biggest question mark, all the time.  Some years teams have a great one, and other years they stink.  And sometimes that changes every month.  Or week.

This bullpen does need to turn it around though.  They need to get hot and become reliable.  The National League East is extremely tight.  All five times are within four games of each other.  Every game matters.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Like It

After a blown weekend (no pun intended.  Yeah, right), in which the Mets could have, should have swept the Miami Marlins on the road, the team was able to get back on the winning side of things last night against the Brewers.  The astonishing news is that Miguel Batista was able to throw seven shut out innings.  The fantastic news is that the bullpen protected the three run lead and was able to get the final six outs to preserve the victory, although a run was scored in the ninth.

Trouble and headache were eased for one night but something tells me this problem isn't going to go away.  Frank Francisco is not a solid choice for the closer role, but he's there.  To add to the issue of his pitches are getting crushed, is the fact the guy is a bit of a loose cannon.  And with that, how much longer can he survive in the New York market?

The fans have already started to turn on him; showering him with boos upon entering the game last night.  If this guy blows another lead and causes the team to lose yet another game and it happen it home, there's a chance he may not make it to his car without personal injury.

It's only a matter of time before media completely turns on him as well.  Once that happens, in this town, it's all over.  As a player and a person, he'll have to do so much to get the media back on his side and it does not seem, at this point, that he's the person who can do such a thing.

Five games over .500 is a happy and grand place for the Mets to be right now.  But when you look at the last week or so, and think that it's possible for them to be about seven, eight, or even nine games over that mark, that's what's frustrating.  This Mets team is playing good baseball, no doubt.  Yet over the course of the season, they are not good enough to be throwing away baseball games and expect to be in the post season.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Franchise

Some how, some way, the Mets need to come up with the money and pay David Wright.  Off to one of the best starts in his career, Wright is entering today's finale against Miami with a .402 average.  Yes, that is tops in all of baseball at the moment.  He is also near the top in RBIs, Runs, and Walks, while keeping his strike outs to a minimum.

The Mets new regime is implementing their Money Ball ways.  Lots of young talent coming up through the minors, no long term contacts that will have handcuffed repercussions down the line, and slim pluckings from the off-season free agency list.

But GM Sandy Alderson needs to keep Wright.  This season's Mets club is exciting to watch.  They're winning games and beating teams from the toughest division in the National League.  As time goes on, if they continue to play well and win ball games, the fans will return to Citi Field.  It's just the way of sports.  The way of life.  It's a beaten horse, but winning really does cure everything.

When the Mets fans come back to Citi.  When they spend their hard earned money on tickets, and parking, and beer, the Mets need to reinvest that money into the reason for their return.  David Wright.

He is the main veteran in the club house.  Everyone looks up and listens to their third baseman.  He is a man that bleeds Blue and Orange; has since he was just a kid growing up in Virginia.  He is the man that belongs to become a lifer.  A few weeks ago he became the Mets all-time RBI leader, among other franchise leading stats.  He deserves the chance to add to all of those numbers.  Break every one of them.

He is also the man that deserves to lead this team back to the World Series and back to it's prominent place in baseball.

Pay the man his money!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Slowed Down

The Comeback Kids were ready to strike again.  After falling behind early in the game, in the first inning actually, the Mets were poised to win their sixth straight game as they took a 5-3 lead late in the ball game.  Things crashed back to reality for New York as the bullpen, but specifically Frank Francisco, squandered that lead and caused the Mets to lose the opener in Miami.

The Mets have made it a habit this season of winning games from behind.  I'm guessing that they wouldn't want this trend to continue all season long, but they'll take the wins when they can, so if it means beating up the opponents bullpen, so be it.  It just comes back to suck when the opposing team then beats up on the Mets bullpen.

The average is still low, below .200, but Ike Davis may be turning it around.  Another home run last night was added to his total and his strike outs seem be coming at a less frequent rate.  As long as balls are being put into play, the better the odds of him snapping out of this season funk.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Full Steam Ahead

It is early, still only the second week of May, but this is time of the season is exciting to be a Mets fan.  This team is producing results.  They're charismatic, they're energetic, they have a never say die attitude and that is translating into wins.

For the first time in six years, the Mets went into Philadelphia and swept away a series from the Phils.  At some point in all three games, the Mets found themselves down, and facing a number of quality starters.  But this team never laid down.  They fought and battled and rallied.  When they did enough damage to get the opposing starters out of the game, the Mets batters feasted on the weak bullpen of Philadelphia.

That right there is what good teams do.  They find the weakness in their opponent, wait for the right moment, and exploit it!  Teams can get an anxious and too worrisome if they are not scoring runs early enough and are always playing from behind.  But this Mets team knew to be patient, that their opportunities would be presented later in the game.  Bide your team and the results will come.  And that's exactly what's been happening.

This is a team that will still cause fans grief every now and then, but there seems to be much more positives coming from them.  Almost the entire roster is contributing in a positive nature.  It's a fun time to be a Mets fan.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Coupled with losses from both the Flyers and 76ers, last night was a just a bad night to be a sports fan of any Philadelphia team.  The Mets made sure to keep that trend going as they picked up their second win of this series.

Down 4-0 in the second inning, it would have been real easy for the Mets to have just packed it in, especially with Miguel Batista on the hill.  But this is the new Mets, the 2012 Mets.  They don't have that quit in them.  They just keep playing until the umpires tell them no more.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, and David Wright all contributed with big hits down the stretch, the bullpen held on to some narrow margins and boom! Victory for the boys in blue. 

The Mets have the best record so far against NL East teams, raking up 12 wins so far.  Keep doing this and we'll be on to something.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Bit More Like It

So by no stretch of the imagination did the Mets offense light it up last night against Roy Halladay and the Phillies, but they did score more runs than their counterpart and that's what we care about this morning.

Halladay was cruising along until a small blip in the sixth inning.  A walk and a single set the stage for David Wright and the man did what he's always done in the Mets uniform; he drove them home with a double down the left field line.

Ya knew it was a good game when this offense was able to get an extra base hit, but ya knew it was a great game when a home run was added to the mix.  And that's what happened in the top of the ninth.  Rookie Jordany Valdespin crushed a Jonathon Papelbon (the man can't close out the Mets) pitch into the right field stands giving the Mets a 5-2 lead and victory.

This team as the feel and look of a .500 team for the long haul.  Exciting, energetic and young one day but inexperienced, over-matched and lost the next day.  It's exciting and frustrating all in one for fans.  But for this team, it'll be taken.  A team everyone had counted out.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Very Offensive

In the sense that the offense has gone bye bye the last two series. 

About a week ago the Mets went to the higher air of Denver and a series against the Rockies seemed to do wonders for the offense.  But in the two series since, at Houston and at home against Arizona, the offense has gone pretty flat.  That's evident because they ended up losing the first four of those games.

Luckily, the Mets were fortunate enough to get outstanding pitching from both Johan Santana and RA Dickey the last two days and were able to get Ws in both of them.

Here's hoping that the offense can respond again due to their next stop on the map.  Heading down to Philadelphia for a few days, the Mets do face some quality pitching but will also be swinging the bats in a hitter friendly park. 

The big boys have to get going.  David Wright's been slapping some singles around, but power is needed.  Lucas Duda should hopefully have his timing back from his missed games and be a huge stick in the middle while Ike Davis is still looking for his stroke, still looking for his groove.

They dropped to .500 last week and due to their recent pitching, they've remained above it for the entire season.  Now it's time for the O to prove it's worth and help push them further away from that line.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Home Sweet Home

After a very poor series in Houston, the Mets are now home for the week and then remain on the East Coast and hopefully will be able to get them back on the winning track.  It's not going to be easy as they welcome in the young, left arms of the Diamondbacks and then head back to Philadelphia before going to Miami the first time.

The Mets should be able to get a boost back in their lineup with Lucas Duda, who missed the last three games due to the flu.  First on the team in home runs and near the top in RBI, Duda's lefty bat in the lineup was sorely missed in Houston as the Mets only scored seven runs in the three game set.

Another question that will be addressed in the upcoming days is what to do with Mike Pelfrey's pitching spot.  Chris Schwinden has taken his place the last two times through the rotation and stunk up the joint in each outing so I do not see how he can get another outing.  Jeremy Hefner seems to be the logical choice from the minors since both Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins have strongly said prospect Matt Harvey is not ready yet.

The Mets are still over .500 for the season and playing better than most expect.  They just need to right their ship soon to stay on that path.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Roller Coaster

Heading into today's finale against Houston, the Mets stand at 2-3 on this road trip. Getting this last game on the trip is important for the team and it's mentality.

Being able to go on the road, not at full strength, and to come home with a .500 road trip is a strong quality for a club. To add on the pressure, New York is throwing rookie Chris Schwinden today.

The team knows they will have tonight and tomorrow off, so they can't become complacent. Work and fight hard. Get the win.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Recap

Not many people would have thought this in March, but the Mets finished the month of April at 13-10, good for third place in the NL East.  The strongest aspect of the club as been the starting pitching.  Aside from a glitch here and a bump there, the rotation has kept the Mets in almost every game so far.  On the flip side, the overall team defense needs to straighten itself out.  The defense is directly responsible for the loss last Friday.

Team MVP: David Wright - Although he missed a few games with a broken pinky, Wright's been the best player by far.  He's second in the NL in batting average while tops in OBP.

Team LVP: Ike Davis - Call it rust, just a slow start, or to much pressure, whatever you'd like to call it, it's bad.  Davis is batting under .200 on the season and for the most part, just looks lost.

Best Pitcher: Jon Niese -  Niese brought a no-hitter into the 7th inning in his first start of the season and has been very solid ever since.  His new contract and his new nose have cleared his mind and allows him to utilize all of his pitches.

Worst Pitcher: Manny Acosta - In nine appearances so far, Acosta has allowed 11 earned runs, 15 in total.  Not as reliable out of the pen as he was last season, Acosta has also walked as many as he's struck out.

Best Moment: Following the incredible outing by Niese on Easter Sunday, the Mets were able to finish off a three game sweep of the Atlanta Braves to open their 2012 season.

Worst Moment: Absolutely no offense visible as the Mets got swept by the San Francisco Giants in a single admission double header.

Welcome Back

Last night the Mets were able to welcome back their Opening Day center fielder, Andres Torres.

Torres missed part of Spring Training with a strained calf muscle, then deemed himself ready for the season, only to pull up lame in the first game of the season which landed him on the 15 day DL.

For the Mets, there was definitely a silver lining in the Torres injury.  When he went down, they organization was able to promote Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  Known as an outfield prospect for the past two seasons, Nieuwenhuis was never able to get a shot in the bigs because of his tendency to become injured.

But this season's been different for Nieuwenhuis.  He's been able to stay healthy and provide a much needed, early season spark to the Mets.  Mostly in the leadoff spot, he's batting .325 on the season to go along with eight RBI and two home runs.  He does have seem to strike out a bit, but the Mets can live with that if he continues to get on base 39% of the time.

Nieuwenhuis has been up and down in the field as well.  He's made a couple highlight reel worthy catches in center field, but was also responsible for the dropped popup last week and, while in left field for the first time ever last night, couldn't come up with a bloop hit behind shortstop that allowed Houston to score their first run.  Torres reclaimed his centerfield position upon his return last night.

When Jason Bay returns from his DL stint in the next week or so, the Mets will have a dilemma on their hands.  Nieuwenhuis has done enough to prove to continues to play ball up here.  But it's a numbers game and someone is going to be squeezed.