Archive for September, 2009

Misch Earns Himself a Second Interview

September 28, 2009

The New York Times released a startling report yesterday stating that for every six applicants searching for employment there was just one open position available. With that in mind, holding on to one’s job security should be seen as a top priority. Having already been forewarned that his starting role was in jeopardy and in no hurry to test the current job market, Mets left-hander Pat Misch gave his manager more than he could ask for. He pitched a complete game shutout earning him his second win of the season and granting the Mets a two-games-to-one series victory over the Florida Marlins at Land Shark Stadium.

Misch’s previous start, against the Atlanta Braves last Monday at Citi Field, was his shortest outing of the season as a starter. The southpaw lasted just one-and-a-third innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits. That dismal outing prompted Mets manager Jerry Manuel to question Misch’s criteria as a full-time starter and to recommend that he be placed back into the Mets bullpen.

“Someone was telling me I might not get another chance to start. I’m glad Jerry stuck with me,” Misch said.

With six games remaining for the Mets this season, Misch will most likely be asked back for a final start. For the time being, he can hold off on sending out those resumes.

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Faced With a Losing Season, Mets Fans Look on the Brighter Side

September 19, 2009

With the Mets’ season on life support these days, the will to soldier on has reached the point of absurdity. After winning for just the second time in twelve games on Saturday, any reason for a positive outlook is most welcome. Witnessing one disappointing performance after another by Mets starting pitching coupled with bad base running and worsening defensive plays, you could see why any die-hard fan would be searching for other forms of entertainment. However, before you start calling for the heads of Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan, let’s look at some of the good things that have materialized this year for the Mets.

Right fielder Jeff Francoeur, since being brought over to the team via a trade, has hit .318 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs in just 63 games. With so many questions heading into the 2010 season for the Mets, Francoeur gives them a solid number sixth hitter who can drive in runs.

Luis Castillo may be this season’s National League comeback-player-of-the-year, justifying his four-year contract by simply staying healthy. He’s played a large part throughout the majority of games for the Mets thus far this season and is currently batting .306. Castillo is among the team’s top three in hits with 136 and runs with 76. He is also second on the club with 16 stolen bases. Castillo has been their most consistent hitter in addition to playing very solid defense at second base.

Catcher Omir Santos has been a nice surprise filling in for the often-injured Brian Schneider this season. Santos’ two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning back in May that gave the Mets a 3-2 lead against Boston Red Sox closer, Jonathan Papelbon, will go down as one of the most exciting wins for the Mets in 2009.

Right-hander Elmer Dessens, the Mets unofficial long man, has quietly pitched in 25 games so far this season. Dessens has shown that he is a stable choice as a middle reliever coming out of the bullpen. One of his many bright spots this season has been his ability to hold big league hitters to a .218 batting average.

So after all is said and done, it’s been a pretty forgettable and disastrous season for the Amazins. Admittedly though, this is hopefully a one-time thing—can’t imagine there will be many more seasons where your entire set of starters end up on the DL one after the other. At least there were a few positives along the way.

Martinez Has the Last Laugh

September 14, 2009

In addition to all the Mets injuries and bonehead plays this season, the sight of veteran right-hander Pedro Martinez reeling off eight scoreless innings last night against them definitely takes the cake. Martinez threw a total of 130 pitches in which he surrendered just six hits while striking out seven to earn his fifth victory of the season.

In seven starts for the Phillies this season, including last night’s, Martinez has yet to be charged with a loss. Philadelphia signed Martinez as a stopgap, hoping to buy time until they were able to acquire a frontline starter. Eventually, left-hander Cliff Lee was brought over in a trade from the Cleveland Indians. With a surplus of starting pitching, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel decide to stick with Martinez thereby sending left-hander Jaime Moyer, another ageless wonder, to the bullpen. Martinez has struggled at times in his starts, forcing Moyer to piggy-back a majority of the right-hander’s outings. But not on this night as the three-time Cy Young-award-winner looked like the Pedro of old. As for the Mets, they were as predictable as an Armando Benitez blown save.

Not only were the Mets swept in yesterday’s day/night doubleheader, but they were also officially eliminated from this year’s post-season. They are currently eighteen games under five hundred far, far away from the first place Phillies.

With 23 Games Left, It’s Okay to Be Pessimistic

September 10, 2009

In basketball, with just thirty seconds left to play and one team up by double-digits, coaches tend to swap out their starters for the least likely of players. By substituting scrubs for stars at the very end of a game, enthusiasts have coined the phrase “garbage time” to describe the last few seconds on the clock. Unfortunately, the same could be said for the Mets.

With just 23 games remaining of what has been a very disappointing season, it’s easy to see that the Mets are playing baseball’s version of garbage time. By dropping the first two games to the Florida Marlins, the Mets have clinched another three-game series in defeat. As more and more teams around the league battle to earn the slightest bit of respect, the Mets have lowered the bar on their expectations to unprecedented levels.

Mets Strike First But End Up Looking Like a Dud

September 2, 2009

A slim layer of smoke hung around the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field for the start of the Mets and Rockies game last night. SNY’s Gary Cohen quickly assured Mets fans that it was not smog but a mixture of carbon and sulfur that had made its way from the California wildfires thousands of miles away. With such an unsettling atmosphere for a baseball game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel knew he was in store for a very eventful night.

The evening turned bizarre from the outset. In the top of the first inning, Mets leadoff man, Angel Pagan, proceeded to run the bases backwards. After poking a single into centerfield, Pagan was forced out at second base when he misjudged a single for a fly out hit by Luis Castillo. Instead of having runners on the corners with nobody out, the Mets were looking at one out and Castillo on first. Fortunately for Pagan, the Mets managed to squeak out two runs in the inning to take a 2-0 lead on Colorado. The Rockies would eventually finish off a 7-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning handing Mets starter Mike Pelfrey an early exit and his tenth loss of the season. Pelfrey surrendering seven runs, six earned, on six hits to go along with five walks.

On a more enthusiastic note, David Wright returned to the Mets starting lineup. If you recall, Wright was placed on the 15-day disabled list after experiencing post-concussion symptoms from being knocked in the head by a 93-mph fast ball. Along with his return to action, Wright managed to put a smile on everyone’s face by showcasing a larger more noticeable batting helmet. The Mets third baseman went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored to go along with two strikeouts. With last night’s 8-3 defeat, the Mets have now lost 10 out of their last 13 games.

Too Many Mets Losses Has Made Me a Dull Boy

September 1, 2009

As the Mets proceed headlong in their attempt to hit rock bottom this season, I too, have begun to slip into a creative wasteland. My motivation to watch this Mets team, let alone write about their many flaws and missteps, has reached a point of stagnation. How many blog posts can you muster up that show just how bad this team really is? With all the disappointment and frustration I have had to undergo so far this season, I feel very strongly that it is starting to catch up with me.

As a Mets fan heading into the final leg of a miserable season, I have been forced to rationalize one losing month after another. Unfortunately, I do not see any way out of it. I have tried taking a day off here and there to minimize the pain. Nonetheless, every time I seek redemption another Mets player falters and is labeled incompetent. If any of you reading this have any suggestions, I am all ears. If not, I guess my only solace will have to come by way of the pending return of the face of the Mets franchise, third baseman David Wright.