Thursday, December 11, 2008

Suddenly a Bullpen

After the Mets season ended, I dropped away for awhile. There's no Mets news where I am unless I go and find it, so it's easy to put them out of my mind for awhile. What I knew before I left was that Minaya was going to make some big deals to address the 'Mets-holes'. So it was with a sense of shock that I returned a couple of weeks ago to hear the news that Heilman was going to be moved to the 5th starting spot. This was a solution to what, exactly? The only thing this would accomplish would be to alleviate the tension of wondering when Heilman was going to blow the game. He could get that done a lot earlier, and then we could all head home.

But, just as I was about to give up hope, Minaya got perhaps the top saver in baseball, Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod). Anybody with a 'Rod' nickname has to be great, although, admittedly, there are more and more baseball players receiving variations on that nickname every day. The only question mark over K-Rod is: did the Angels burn out his arm last season by using him five days a week at times?

That deal was a great start; and now, Minaya has added J.J. Putz as a setup man for K-Rod. Putz had an off-year due to injuries, but in 2006 and 2007, he was one of the best relievers in baseball.

Things are looking up today!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's all over (until trade time)

I woke up this morning unsurprised to find that the Mets had lost their final game at Shea and missed out on the playoffs. For about a week, I felt in my bones that this would be the end result. In typical 2007 - 2008 fashion, the Mets lost when their bullpen (Schonweis and Ayala) couldn't hold a lead (a tie in this case) and when their hitters again failed to generate any offense late in a game.

Minaya needs to get a closer or two, as well as some experienced utilities that can pinch hit in late innings and get the Mets offense going. It may be time to look at dealing Delgado while he still has some value; his slow start to the year while the Mets pitching was a little less problematic was one of the reasons why the Mets were in position to blow it again.

Heilman has to go. And this is probably the last year for Pedro Martinez.

The Mets have some decent arms coming up from the farm, and at least one good hitter. In a weak NL east, I'm sure they can contend again next season.

And maybe they can reach the playoffs, and get that monkey off their back.

Goodbye for now. I'll be back as news and trades unfold.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

down to one

On the day that the Phillies clinched the Division, the Mets three Santana on 3 days rest at the Marlins, and he came through big-time, with a three-hit, complete game shutout of the Marlins. The Cubs helped out by beating the Brewers, and now, the Mets and Brewers are once again tied for the Wild Card, with one game to go.

With nothing better to do, I am questioning the decision to go with Santana today. Sure, he won, but now there is even more pressure on Perez. I think we might see Maine in relief tomorrow, perhaps, if Perez gets into trouble, although I don't think his velocity has completely returned. But will we see Heilman?

Check this Onion article for a possible scenario for tomorrow's game

Thursday, September 25, 2008

...and the aftermath

After making my prediction that the Mets would win no more than one out of the last five games, I turned to Gameday to see that Delgado had just cracked a grand slam, and the Mets were winning 5-1 after 4. It looked good for the Mets but bad for my prediction.

"Now wait a minute," I reminded myself, "this is the 2008 Mets we're talking about here. This game is far from won." And the Mets obliged by losing it in 10 innings, even though they had the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies lost, so the Mets are still 1 1/2 games out of first, but the bad news is the Brewers won again, so they are tied for the Wild Card spot.

Metstradamus says the season is over, and it's hard to disagree with that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Five to go (prediction time)

Yesterday, the Mets won 6-2 behind Santana; the Brewers won as well, and the Phillies lost. The Mets are 1 1/2 games out of first and 1 game up for the Wild Card. Now for some reason I feel compelled to make a prediction about how this season will pan out, and here it is:

The Mets will win no more than one more game out of the last five. They will, of course, miss out on the wild card.

I'm not sure exactly what qualifies me to make such a prediction; maybe I am just another negative fan who has been burned too many times before.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Final Countdown

With 8 games the go, the Mets are limping home, 1/2 game out of first and 2 1/2 games in front of the Brewers for the Wild Card spot. If any team could find a way to fail to make the playoffs from this point on, it is the bullpen-free Mets. But as a life-long fan, I am torn between feeling that they will blow it, and hoping that they can get in. Much like life, I expect defeat and hope for salvation. :)

I passed through New York but was unable to get to a game. But I was thrilled to catch a little bit of a live Mets game from my hotel room in New York. David Wright cracked a massive home run in a Sunday game that the Mets bullpen (Ayala this time) went on to lose to the Braves. Still, I was glad for the chance to watch a little before my five year old daughter insisted that I change to the Cartoon Network.

She's cruel, but hopefully she will not grow up to be a Yankees fan.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Recap #2: Big Runs, Strange Times

It's been a topsy-turvy last few days for the Mets and the Phillies, but throughout the week of big wins, bigger losses, big run counts, bad pitching, and changing first place margins, there has been one (occasional) constant: Aaron Heilman cannot pitch anymore.

Intelligently, Jerry Manuel has been picking spots to try Heilman again and again, and, each time, he has been well past ineffective. Last night, he came in, tried to pitch an inning, gave up a 3 run homer, and left. Other outings have been similar. Brian Stokes watched Heilman and thought, "Wow, that looks like fun!" So he came in a little later and he gave up a 3 run homer too! The offshoot of all this homer giving is the Mets managed to blow a big lead against the Nationals at home for the second game in a row, but, for the second game in a row, they managed to score more runs and win.

Meanwhile, the Phillies, coming off winning 2 of 3 against the Mets and one more on the Mets off day, were only 1 1/2 games out of first. But in their last two games, they played against the Marlins much like the Nationals are playing against the Mets. The result is that the Mets are now 3 1/2 in first.

The Phillies think they are going to do what they did last year: overtake the Mets. Last year, the Phils were more games out (about 7 at this point). But I don't see it happening, unless the Phils bullpen and the Mets bullpen do a reversal of form. Ayala has been good as the closer so far. The Phillies, however, have proven more vulnerable lately. Last night, it was J.C. Romero who gave away all chance of a comeback when he imploded in the ninth.