Mets 2010 Starting Pitchers- Question Marks Everywhere

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There’s only one certainty when it comes to the Mets starting pitchers for 2010: Johan Santana. As long as he’s healthy, there’s no reason to think he won’t be one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s had some minor injury problems but I don’t expect to see any decline in his performance. After Santana, the situation gets very murky, very quickly. This is about to get ugly, so Mets fans hold onto your hats.

Mike Pelfrey– In 31 starts Pelfrey finished the season at 10-12 with a 5.03 ERA. 2009 was a serious regression for him from his 2008 line of 32 starts 13-11 and 3.72 ERA. Pelfrey had some disgusting performances like June 4th in Pittsburgh giving up 8 runs in 3.2 innings and giving up 9 runs in 4.1 innings in Atlanta on July 17th. There were other ugly games but you get the idea. Often Pelfrey looked uncomfortable and frustrated, but who wouldn’t be while pitching poorly? He had a bad year but the Mets have too much invested in him for him not to be back in the rotation. He’ll be there. You can bank on it. But I doubt that he’ll be considered the #2 starter. He should be demoted in the rotation. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have a bounce-back year in 2010.

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Mets 4 – Cubs 1 Aug. 30, 2009

PORT ST LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Nels...
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The Mets avoided the sweep in Chicago on the back of Nelson Figueroa. He pitched into the eighth inning with 10 strikeouts and only allowing 1 earned run. He’s auditioning for someone for next season and really put on a show today. It still surprises me that they don’t give Figueroa a shot at the long man job out of the bullpen. I’d rather see him on the roster than someone like Tim Redding next season.

The offense was somewhat potent with 12 hits including 3 by Angel Pagan. Although the Mets only managed 1 extra base hit, a triple by Anderson Hernandez. The wind was blowing in today and the Cubs didn’t have any extra base hits.

The Mets are off tomorrow and start a series in Colorado on Tuesday night with David Wright back in the lineup.

Box score

Preview: Mets at Cubs Aug. 30, 2009

cubs logo.pngNew York Mets (59-71 Road: 24-40) at Chicago Cubs (65-62 Home: 38-24) 2:20pm

Nelson Figueroa (1-3 5.40) vs. Carlos Zambrano (7-3 3.80)

TV: WPIX

What to watch: The Mets are trying to avoid the sweep today before they have a road off-day and then head to Colorado. Figueroa is making his fourth start of the season and pitched well in his last start at Florida. He went 5 innings only giving up 1 earned run in a 2-1 loss. Zambrano got bombed for 8 runs in 4.1 innings in his last start against the Nationals. But prior to that, the Cubs had won five straight games that he started.

Don’t forget to visit The Mets Report Live Game Chat during the game to chat with other Mets fans!

More Mets Injuries: Johan Santana, Jeff Francoeur

NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  Johan Santana #57 of the...
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If you weren’t at work today and were watching the game, you noticed that Jeff Francoeur wasn’t in the lineup or the dugout. He was at the doctor getting his thumb examined after making a diving catch yesterday. The result is that he has a torn ligament in his thumb, the same injury that plagued Alex Cora for much of the season. Francoeur is day-to-day right now.

On a more serious note, Johan Santana will be the next victim patient of the Mets medical team for some pain in his left elbow. Apparently, he’s been feeling some pain since after the All-Star break. He won’t be in Florida for his scheduled start tomorrow. Nelson Figueroa will replace him in the rotation.

I haven’t been a proponent of sitting anyone for the rest of the season if they’re healthy enough to play. I feel that the Mets owe the paying fans something. And that something is putting some decent players on the field. But I have to say that Santana is the one guy they shouldn’t mess around with. He needs to be healthy for next season. So if he needs to call it a season now, they should err on the side of caution with him.

Cards Thompson Suspended For Throwing At Wright

David Wright wearing the Mets' alternate colors
Image via Wikipedia

MLB announced today that Cardinals pitcher Brad Thompson was suspended for throwing a pitch at the head of David Wright yesterday. The pitch appeared to be in retaliation for Albert Pujols getting hit in the forearm by Nelson Figueroa earlier in the game.

The suspension is for three games and Thompson has been fined an undisclosed amount.

Gary Sheffield was the next batter in the game. He stepped out of the batter’s box, pointed to his helmet, and appeared to say to Thompson “Throw one at my head”.

The NY Post has some good quotes about the incident in today’s issue.

Even Tony LaRussa didn’t like it. Jeff Francoeur and Wright are quoted as well as Sheffield.

It’s interesting that this didn’t escalate into a fight. The last thing the Mets need is for Wright to get suspended for fighting. The team would be completely sunk without him right now. He’s one of the few legitimate big league players on the roster.

Mets Pelfrey To Miss Next Start

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 6:  Mike Pelfrey #34 of the ...
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The Mets announced today that Mike Pelfrey left the team yesterday for his home in Kansas for the birth of his first child. Between this news and the season ending injury to Jon Niese, this really puts the Mets in a bind for starting pitching.

Pelfrey was scheduled to start against the Padres in San Diego on Saturday. With Nelson Figueroa pitching 4.1 innings yesterday, Tim Redding will probably get a start against the Padres.

Redding’s last start was July 2 against the Pirates when he gave up 5 runs in 2.1 innings, then lost his spot in the rotation.

Mets 9 – Cardinals 0 August 5, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 15:  Gary Sheffield of the Ne...
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The Mets broke out the bats for this one and rocked the Cardinals before leaving for San Diego today. The bad news is that they lost two more players in the process. Jon Niese started the game and went 1.2 innings only giving up 1 hit and 1 walk. But in the second inning he was covering first base on a ground ball and appeared to be hurt badly. He went into the splits with his front leg slipping in the dirt. He attempted to throw a pitch to test the leg and went down in a heap on the mound. And he was carried off the field by the trainers. It looked pretty serious.

Gary Sheffield left the game in the bottom of the sixth inning after hitting a ball to the wall in left center. It looked like an easy double but Sheffield stopped at first base and immediately walked off the field. Apparently, his right hamstring was bothering him again.

The Mets got some outstanding offense for a change. They were all over Kyle Lohse for 5 of their 9 runs. He couldn’t make it out of the third inning. David Wright and Angel Pagan did the most damage getting three hits apiece and both homered in the game.

Nelson Figueroa got another chance today and made the most of it going 4.1 scoreless innings in relief of Niese. Bobby Parnell then came in and threw 3 scoreless innings. After the game, Jerry Manuel said that they’re stretching Parnell out in anticipation that he’ll be moving to the rotation.

The Mets leave for San Diego feeling a little better about themselves after taking a beating at home by the D-Backs and splitting the two-game series with the Cardinals.

Box score