I know no one wants to hear it, but I’m suspecting we may see Oliver Perez tonight, and definitely before the end of the road trip. Here’s a couple of reasons why:
1. He hasn’t pitched in ages.
2. reports that he’s “looking better” (I don’t know how this can be when he hasn’t actually faced batters)
3. The Mets have already not lost this series, and 2 road wins a trip is normal. Could be thinking it’s house money at this point?
4. Bullpen tired from yesterday.
5. B.S. about missing-Frankie need to get more value from everyone else.
At this point, with the Mets virtually eliminating and sending subtle signs that they’re very aware of this, it might be time to try to get Perez into a state where you might be able to raise his value such that an opposing GM may consider trading for him if they’ve had a couple of beers. It’s in the Mets best interest to play him since his value cannot go down, but if they could tease some modicum of success out of him down the stretch, or in Spring Training next year, they might be able to trade him for a long-shot AAA player or a down on his luck reliever.
Could this be the final test for the Mets?
I hope it’s not, but if they fail it may mean the figurative end to their season. The next two weeks are very critical, and the first order of business is just flat out winning games. The Mets have played very well at home this year, and they’ve got three games against the tough Cardinals, and then three against the not so tough Diamondbacks. There can be no excuses: They have to win games. Omar’s job, provided he still has one, is to bring in reinforcements after that. The trading deadline is next weekend, and the Mets are in need of some help. No longer can they play waiting games or decide they don’t like the price. When you drop as many games in the standings as the Mets did, you no longer have the luxury of pretending you’re not desperate for help.
After the Diamondbacks the Mets again head on the road. It’s this road trip that could prove to be critical, as they face the Braves and the Phillies. The Braves have been amazing lately, and the Mets have been making just about every other ballpark look to them like Turner Field did around the turn of the century. By falling so far back, it’s become imperative that they make up ground by beating the competition in front of them. Losing and falling further behind could very well be a death blow.
The Mets have been extremely streaky this year and they really are much better than they’ve shown lately. If they take that streak and turn it into a hot stretch where they’re again a team that’s tough to beat, they could climb right back into this race. There is still a lot of baseball to be played and August could be a good month for them. After they play the division rivals on the road, they come home for the Rockies and the Phillies before going on a road trip that one would describe similarly to the Cleveland-Baltimore trip they took that they were successful on: they play the Astros and the Pirates. Another home stretch with the Marlins and the Astros provides plenty of time to fight their way back into this race before facing the Braves again at the end of the month.
Can the Mets ace this next test and fight their way back into relevancy again? I don’t know. Neither answer would surprise me, but I’m certain they’re capable of it. They often say you need to get hot at the right time and if the Mets can capitalize on that by beating up on the division rivals, as the Phillies did in 2007, they can certainly win this division.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baseball, division, getting hot, homestand, Mets, mets cardinals, mets test, New York Mets, NL East, offense, Omar Minaya, Philadelphia Phillies, reinforcements, road trip, season, test, winning streak
I’ve been to a lot of Major League Baseball parks. Obviously I’ve been to Citi Field and Shea Stadium as well as the two most recent Yankee Stadiums. I’ve been to Fenway (Hideo Nomo one hit the Blue Jays, which I’d forgotten when I was leaving the Niese game the other day trying to think of the other one-hitters I’d seen), RFK Stadium (The final two games there ever, they were playing the Phillies in late 2007 so I even had a heavy rooting interest), Dolphin Stadium as it was known by that month, Wrigley Field, I was in St. Louis during the demolotion of the last Busch Stadium, Coors Field, Petco Park, Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Oakland Colliseum and the Giant’s Park, which I think was named SBC Park at the time, but I didn’t see the Mets play at any of them.
The only time I’ve seen the Mets play on the road (I’m ignoring Yankee Stadium, because it doesn’t really count as ‘away’) was a day-night doubleheader in early 2007 in Citizen’s Bank Park. It was a fun day and was before the rivalry. Phillies fans had no hope for the season and were reveling in 10000 losses and just hoping not to get destroyed by the defending NL East champs. This weekend I will add one more road Mets game to my credit, against the Orioles in Camden Yards on Sunday. It’s supposed to be a great park, it’s a Pelfrey start, and the Mets have won six of seven games I’ve seen this year.
One thing that’s always odd about watching the Mets on the road is the batting first thing. All of a sudden the game has started and there is Reyes ready to go. Usually we have three outs to get settled. The scoreboard never prompts us to cheer “Lets Go Mets”, even though there will be a very good representation of Mets fans at these games. Mr. Met is nowhere to be found, and they never play Lazy Mary after Take Me Out To The Ballgame.
Nonetheless, I’m excited. I have a good feeling that they’ll finally have a winning road trip, and they’ve gotten off to a good start winning the first game. I’ll also be in attendance at Yankee Stadium to end the trip, hoping it’ll be a nice capper on a road trip that finally erases the 2009 bad feelings and has the Mets in first place to start the summer.
Tags: away team, baltimore orioles, Baseball, baseball parks, camden yards, Jose Reyes, major league baseball stadiums, Mets, mets road game, mets road trip, New York Mets, NL East, orioles park, orioles park at camden yards, road trip
How much money did Wednesday’s loss cost the Mets? The different between 15-13 and 16-12 is huge, as is bouncing back from a bad series with the Phillies with a winning one against a lesser team. The Mets after their awesome home stand had a ton of good will brewing in the fan base, but they threw it all away with a miserable road trip.
Even if the Mets split the road trip, I think most fans would still be feeling good about the team. They’d buy tickets, they’d head out to Citi Field to see the Giants, and more importantly, to see the Mets. The Nationals come in again next week, and who really wants to see the Nationals if the Mets are playing poorly? (Besides die-hards like me, who’s probably going to two of those games)
So, how many fans are going to now stay home for this stretch of games? 5000 a game? 10000? The Mets haven’t been drawing well, it’s not yet summer, and they’re coming off some bad play. Between ticket prices, parking, concessions, and souvenirs the Mets are going to end up missing out on a lot of money that they may have gotten just off one more win.
I’m sure the Mets are aware of this. They know what the perception of the team is, and they have access to their own records and attendance figures. While the answer isn’t as simple as a player move, or a bad lineup, you wonder where the Mets would be and how we’d feel about the team if they’d cut Gary Matthews Jr, Frank Catalanotto, or Fernando Tatis for Chris Carter, Nick Evans or Jason Pridie. How much better would we feel if Jerry Manuel rested relievers better, didn’t rest Castillo for Cora one game in each of the last three series, or didn’t stick with guys like Gary Matthews or Mike Jacobs when everyone else realizes they have nothing to offer?
So the Mets are aware of the problem, and know some of the problem areas. It seems unlikely they’ll wise up and get a decent manager in here, but I’d definitely bet on the roster being shaken up a bit. I think the Mets trust a guy like Carter over some kind of center field replacement like Jason Pridie or Jesus Feliciano, but I’ve been wrong before. Maybe the Mets are leaning towards sparking excitement through young players, such as they did with Ike Davis when Chris Carter may have done. Could it be that Fernando Martinez could be the starting centerfielder on Friday against the Giants?
Tags: attendence, Baseball, chris carter, Citi Field, fernando martinez, fernando tatis, frank catalanotto, gary matthews, gary matthews junior, giants, gmjr, home stand, ike davis, jason pridie, jesus feliciano, loss, Mets, money, nationals, New York Mets, nick evans, road trip, san francisco giants, Tickets, wednesday, winning streak
All analysts and radio hosts wanted to do on Wednesday and Thursday is discuss the Mets upcoming road trip, how it was a ‘tough trip’, and try to break it down. I heard plenty of “You’d sign for 5-5”. I heard some guys, like Michael Kay, say you’d be happy with 4-6. Good teams should never accept a less than positive outcome, and it looks like the Mets both agree, and are a good team.
You have to play to win, and you have to try to win every series. That would have been 7-3. Maybe you drop a game here or there, on this ‘tough trip’, and go 6-4. That’s still winning baseball, and the Mets are off to that good start. They won the first series, against the weaker team, and are 3-1 on the road trip. You’d have to be crazy to accept 2-4 the rest of the way. Despite having issues, injuries, bad managing, and mistakes in the field, the Mets have been winning more often than losing lately. There is no reason to think they can’t beat the Dodgers. If this is truly a team that can, and it can, win a championship then they can beat anyone. This includes the Red Sox, who are arguably the best team in baseball and may very well be getting Kevin Youkilis back for the series against the Mets.
You don’t like how that last game went in San Francisco, but you’ll take the series. They haven’t played well in the park overall and they almost swept. Let’s see how they do against the Mannyless Dodgers, and then the Red Sox. If you’re into scoreboard watching in May, the Phillies are playing the Reds who have been looking good, and then the Yankees who are suddenly managing to win games. I’m scared for the most home runs in one game record with those two teams playing in that small park, with the crappiness of the pitching involved. There may be more home runs than singles. The Braves play the Rockies and the Blue Jays.
I was right. The Mets gained ground in the division race over the road trip. If I had any nagging doubts about this team, they’re gone now. The playoffs are decided on a best of seven series, and the Mets just played one against two teams that will likely be participants and opponents. The Mets won, winning game seven where they failed last year.
Now they come home to play the Nationals and Pirates. Hopefully they can continue this stretch of play and pick up more games in the division. They’re currently on pace to win 91 games, but with a good stretch run they can easily win more than that. The trade deadline arrives soon, and with it hopefully another little piece to this team.
I like the way David Wright is swinging the bat. He looks like he’s in a good place right now, a place where you can get the big hits and carry this team a little bit if he needs to. If the opposition starts pitching around him, hopefully Carlos Delgado can make them pay. Delgado is working on a eight game hitting streak, and has hit in 12 of his last 13 games. This is the kind of consistency that was missing from him all year, and while he only has two home runs in that stretch It gives more more confidence then when he hits a bunch of home runs over a weekend, but then stops hitting again. I’ve predicted that Delgado would atone for his slow start with a hot finish; I expect by the start of October for him to be right in his groove.
Could the worry warts please shut up about Beltran? I know his average is a little low, but he’s playing well. I have been very busy lately, and haven’t had a chance to really sit down and just watch a baseball game, but whenever I do it seems like Beltran is coming through with a big hit. Don’t compare him to the small sample size with Houston in the playoffs, don’t equate a dollar value to production ratio based on his contract. Take him for what he is; a great player, but not the only great player, on this team.
I’ve been saying it for a little while now, I think we may have gotten all we’re going to get out of Jorge Sosa. With Pedro vanishing into the Carribean, and Pelfrey being a strain on our offense I’m not sure what the solution is here. Maybe Sosa turns it around, but even if he doesn’t, I don’t want any sort of panic moves out of Minaya that bring a mediocre starter in here at the expense of any worthwhile prospects. Maybe he can pull off something like last year where he pulled in Perez and Maine from seemingly nowhere.
A day off, and then I’ll be on the field level at Shea for Tuesday night’s game. I’ll get to see John Maine pitch again, who after a couple of iffy performances is going to settle down again. I expect to see the offense play well again, and I fully expect it to be a fun day.
I’ve heard all about this tough seven game road trip the Mets are on. I just don’t agree. Surely it’s tougher than the upcoming home stand of the Pirates and Nationals, but I’m certainly not scared of the Dodgers or the Padres. Right now the Mets are doing something they haven’t quite done lately, tacking on runs late. They are leading 7-0 against the Padres re-evening the all-time series.
One game is not a trend, and they didn’t exactly play great on Monday, but I like what I saw tonight. Tomorrow night Maine should pitch a good bounce back game, and Greg Maddux hasn’t exactly been lights out against the Mets. 35-19 with a 3.40 ERA is pretty well on pace with his career numbers, but it always seems like the Mets manage to get to him. In the Mets last two good seasons he hasn’t pitched well. 2000 finds Maddux with a record of 1-3 against the Mets with a 5.64 ERA, and 2006 finds him 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA. Now the offense hasn’t been playing like 2000 or 2006 lately, but I’ll take my chances on Maine. I’m actually going to place a wager on the Mets for tomorrow night.
The Mets owe the Dodgers a measure of revenge for the last series they played, so I’m not that worried about them either. I said it before the road trip, and I still feel it; the Mets will come back home with a bigger lead in the division than when they left. When it all comes down to it, the Braves just aren’t that good. The Phillies are still reasonably close, but they don’t seem to be better than a .500 team anyway.
There is talk about the Mets needing to fall out of first to be ‘tested’ and get their drive back. I very much disagree with this statement, it’s a statement often made by the fan that wants some sort of justification for his pessimistic outlook on the season. Seeing the Braves get close is a test, finding a way to win any given game is a test, trying to get runs in with key hits is a test. By no means is this division over, like I expected it to be by this point. The Mets will figure out away to get through this tough patch, that has lasted a lot longer than anyone expected. In the end though, you can learn a lot by trying and failing. If the Mets only win 93 games this year, and only win the division by a handful of games, but in the process learn anything they can use in the playoffs, I’ll take it.
Before we do something stupid and trade needed prospects for Mark Buehrle, the Mets need to consider something. Does Buehrle help us win the World Series? The answer to that is no, not this year. I don’t want to hear any complaints about how we’re not making the playoffs, anyone that thinks that hasn’t been paying attention. Oliver Perez has been amazingly clutch for the Mets in big games, and nothing is bigger than the playoffs. Oliver Perez is probably our fourth playoff starter, and that’s if you assume El Duque would pitch out of the bullpen. Pedro Martinez is going to be our fresh ace, Tom Glavine is obviously going to be second based on experience and seniority. There hasn’t been a game this year that John Maine has started that the Mets have gone into the 7th inning thinking the game was lost. (If that’s not an All-Star pitcher, I don’t know what is) With Orlando Hernandez to pick up the slack if one of those guys struggles through the first couple of innings, where would Buehrle fit? He wouldn’t, and that’s the point. Building the rotation for the future is all well and good, but there is plenty Omar can do to make this team good now, and it’s not the starting rotation. Maybe a more reliable second baseman or outfielder, a better bench, or more importantly, a reliever.
John Maine gets a chance to continue that consistency tonight, against the Houston Astros. With the Mets desperately needing a win, and the bullpen desperately needing a rest, it would be really helpful of Maine to pitch at least 7 effective innings. He’s shown that he can keep us in these games, and if the offense can string together some hits, he should be in for his 10th win.
I’d like to see the Mets clearly win this series, end the road trip with a positive record, and go into the break on a good note. I think the couple of days rest will do some players good, particularly Delgado and Valentin. Then they can come back, put this whole losing thing behind them, and play good baseball after the All-Star break.