I’ve got a plethora of audio clips for you this afternoon. Mike Pelfrey talks to WFAN’s Steve Somers after getting his fifth straight win last night. Don LeGreca from ESPN Radio talks about the possiblity of Barry Bonds coming to New York, and EY (Eric Young) talks Mets and Yanks. Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen talks to WFAN’s Chris Russo about his career and what he’s seeing from the Mets pitchers so far. Mets manager Jerry Manuel talks to Chris Russo about the Mets recent success.
As expected, the Mets added Tony Armas, Jr. to the active roster for tonight’s game. Armas will make the start that’s needed because of the double header against the Yankees last Friday. He’s having a nice season for Triple-A New Orleans where he worked with current Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen and first base coack Ken Oberkfell.
The surprise was that the Mets designated Andy Phillips for assignment. I think that most of us expected Carlos Muniz to be designated and sent back to New Orleans.
Now the Mets are carrying 13 pitchers. This roster configuration is almost as confounding as carrying three catchers for an extended period of time. Muniz was hit hard by the Cardinals last night so I expected Armas to make the start tonight and stick around to see if he had any success as the long man.
The Mets announced yesterday that Oliver Perez will go seven days between starts this week to put a right hander between he and Johan Santana. Pitching coach Dan Warthen wants to split up the lefties. We may see Perez get a couple of innings of relief in early in the Philadelphia series before his next start on Sunday.
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For three and a half years we’ve been watching Willie Randolph bring in his closer, Billy Wagner, to pitch the ninth inning of tied or close games. Jerry Manuel’s second game as manager of the Mets showed us a much needed strategic shift. Manuel’s intestinal fortitude was tested by his star shortstop in his first game as well, and he passed with flying colors.
Willie Randolph followed the modern “book” for closers as Mets manager. Billy Wagner nearly always pitched the ninth inning of games that the Mets led or were tied. I always disagreed with pitching Wagner in the ninth inning of a tied game. I wondered: Why not hold onto that weapon until you really need it? Apparently, Jerry Manuel agrees with me. Duaner Sanchez pitched the ninth inning, and when the Mets took the lead Billy Wagner shut the door in the tenth inning. That’s the way to play that situation! Wagner is the pitcher to close out a win, not hold over a tie.
New York Mets (34-36 Road: 14-22) at Los Angeles Angels (43-29 Home: 22-17) 10:05pm
Oliver Perez (5-4 4.98) vs. John Garland (6-4 4.13)
What to watch: Jerry Manuel is still looking for his first win as Mets manager. As usual, you never know what you’ll see from Perez. It will be interesting to see if new pitching coach Dan Warthen has any words of wisdom for Perez before the game tonight.