This week Sandy Alderson has been trying to get the fans excited about the prospects of activity at the MLB Winter Meetings this week. I don’t know about you but it’s not working on me. I know the reality of the Mets situation. They have $5 million or less to spend on free agents within the 2011 budget. That’s not good enough to bring back Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, or any other player remotely as skilled as they are.
Frankly, I would more excited if the Mets were able to dump Luis Castillo or Oliver Perez on another team. That’s the best possible scenario. And that’s a pretty sad state of the team.
Alderson was talking pretty tough to reporters this week when he said:
“I can guarantee you, we’ll come back with some good players,” Alderson said. “I can’t guarantee how high-profile they will be. Or how many. If nothing else, we’ll pick in the Rule 5 draft, just to say we brought a player back.”
We’re smart enough to understand the reality though. Alderson is trying to find a low-budget starting pitcher like Chris Young or Jeff Francis. They’re guys coming off injuries or severely under-performing seasons looking for a short-term deal until they can get back to a more “normal” performance level.
The Mets are also looking to add some bullpen help with the recent losses of Raul Valdes, Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, and Hisanori Takahashi. Middle relievers signing doesn’t generally get the fan base out in mass to buy tickets.
There is the outside chance that Jose Reyes could get traded. The one team that I think would be a good trading partner for Reyes is the Reds. I don’t think the Reds want to start 2011 with Paul Janish as their plan for the season at shortstop. They won the Central Division with 91 games and are bringing pretty much everyone of value back again except Orlando Cabrera. By the way, Brandon Phillips is making the exact same salary as Reyes in 2011, the last year of his contract with the Reds. Although the Reds do have a club option for 2012 at $12 million. Keep that in mind.
The Mets looked like they were in great shape to win this game in the eighth inning. Jon Niese had an outstanding start going 7 innings and only allowing 1 run. He was in complete control after the first inning when he got out of a bases loaded situation.
The bullpen gave it up in the eighth with Bobby Parnell and Pedro Feliciano getting rocked for 6 runs and blowing the game.
The Mets had some offense going with 10 hits but no walks. Jeff Franoeur is back on a hot streak going 3 for 4. And the Mets made a run at a come back in the ninth but it was too little too late. Mike Hessman hit a 3-run homer to make it closer than the game really was.
The Mets continue their incompetence on the road with another loss as the season goes down the drain before our eyes.
Forget Cliff Lee, how about solidifying the bullpen so that the anxiety levels of Mets fans throughout the Tri-State can subside late in games?
Yesterday (7/3), Francisco Rodriguez blew his fourth save of the season as he failed to protect a 5-3 Met lead in the bottom of the ninth against the Nationals. Following Ivan Rodriguez’s walk-off single to right, there was no pounding of the chest, no blowing kisses and pointing to the sky for our closer. Instead, the loss dropped the Mets to a disappointing 2-4 on the current road trip against sub-.500 NL East foes.
At this point, I am reluctant to even keep my television tuned into games when K-Rod enters in a save situation. Simply put, K-Rod is lacking as a stopper. He lacks the intimidation factor he once possessed with the Angels. He lacks good movement and location of his pitches. And he no longer is able to blow hitters away with plus velocity. His fastball is as straight as an arrow, and he often hangs his curveball. K-Rod’s control is erratic, and he has made a habit of getting behind in counts and putting runners on base. Basically, Franky has not given Mets fans a reason to feel confident in the 9th inning with a 1-3 run lead this season. With all of this said however, the one ounce of acclaim I will give him is that when his change-up is working he can be effective. Continue reading
There actually was some good news in a night when Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, and Jason Bay didn’t start the game. That news? Johan Santana pitched really well after four really bad starts in a row. As usual, the Mets didn’t back up Santana with any runs. The just couldn’t do anything against Livan Hernandez. Santana went 7 strong innings giving up 1 run on 98 pitches. It looked like he made an argument to Jerry Manuel to stay in the game but lost the argument.
The Mets offense was weak against Hernandez and the Nationals with only 8 hits and no walks. Henry Blanco and Jesus Feliciano had two hits apiece but all 8 Mets hits were singles.
The game was 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the Nats tied it off Santana. It was lost in the bottom of the ninth when Pedro Feliciano loaded the bases and Ryan Zimmermann hit a sac fly off Ryota Igarashi.
The Mets won their seventh straight game behind a strong start from Hisanori Takahashi. He went 6 innings of shutout baseball and got out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth on a beautiful play by David Wright. Pedro Feliciano threw 2 shutout innings and looked better than he has all season.
The Mets had 8 hits and 6 walks on offense. They scored 1 run in the first and that held up until the eighth when they tacked on 2 more runs and 1 in the ninth. Jose Reyes stayed hot going 2 for 5 with 1 double and 1 RBI.
A shutout is a great way to start the three game series in the Bronx and keep the incredible road momentum going.
The Mets got a great start from Johan Santana, as usual, going 7 IP and giving up 2 ER’s on a homer by Troy Glaus in the third inning. Santana seemed to get stronger as the game went on. Pedro Feliciano took over in the eighth and started the ninth out by giving up a hit to McCann that would eventually be the winning run.
The Mets had only five total hits in the game. The two runs were solo homers, both in the fifth inning by Ike Davis and Jeff Francoeur.
The Mets lost on a horrible bottom of the ninth. Jenry Mejia relieved Feliciano and looked scared. He fell on the mound after a pitch and walked Escobar when he was trying to bunt with a man on base. The game was lost when Melky Cabrera chopped a ball to third, David Wright picked it up and threw wide of first allowing the runner on second to score. It wasn’t a terrible throw and looked like Davis could have come off the base to get it.
Wright’s wild throw capped off a terrible night for him going 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts. It’s a rough way to lose a game.
The Mets split the two game series in Atlanta and head to Washington for two games.
The Mets won in front of Jeff Wilpon behind a really strong start by Mike Pelfrey. He went 7.2 IP and gave up only 2 ER’s on 7 hits and 2 walks. His velocity was great, at times throwing his fastball in the high 90’s. This kind of start is exactly what the Mets needed right now.
The offense wasn’t great again. Surprisingly, Chris Carter started in right field and hit cleanup again for the second day in a row. The team only had 5 hits. But Rod Barajas was 2 for 4 with 2 big RBI’s.
The game got tight in the eighth when Pedro Feliciano came in and gave up a hit and a walk. But he managed to get out of it with a big strikeout of Brian McCann. K-Rod closed it out pretty cleanly. He only gave up one walk in the ninth but got the job done.
Nice win for the Mets to break their five game losing streak.
The Mets got a good start from John Maine, his third in a row. He went 6 IP giving up 2 ER on back to back homers by Adam Kennedy and Ryan Zimmerman in the third inning. He did have a lot of traffic on the bases giving up 7 hits and 4 walks but managed to keep the damage to a minimum.
Pedro Feliciano was terrible in the eighth inning giving up 3 straight hits and a run while only recording one out. That’s where the game was lost.
The Mets did have 12 hits including a long home run in the ninth by Angel Pagan. The Mets left 11 runners on base including Ike Davis leaving 5 and Jose Reyes 4. Speaking of Reyes, he got tossed in the seventh inning for throwing his bat and helmet down after a called third strike. Jerry Manuel came out and got tossed immediately after Reyes.