Previously, on Metstradamus: we wondered aloud which reliever would be DFA'd so that Dillon Gee can remain with the club after Chris Young came back. In a huge upset, we were kinda right. In a mild upset, it was D.J. Carrasco who took the demotion, if not the designation, to Buffalo so that Dillon Gee can remain here to be the long guy. While you may think it weird that the starter is coming up here to relieve while the reliever was sent down to start, fact is this: Gee is performing. Carrasco is not. This insightful analysis was brought to you by the masters of the obvious.
See, ballpark isn't so scary, is it Jason?
It's interesting to hear people say that the fences need to be pulled in when it only seems to be the Mets and not the visitors who have trouble with Citi Field. David Wright and Jason Bay let the park play with their heads, while guys like Mark Reynolds and Troy Tulowitzki make it a hell of a lot smaller in the limited time they play here. But Bay, in his third game back from exile hit a bomb to right field to spark the Mets to a 6-4 win for their third win in a row (three wins that turned the worst team in baseball to merely one of the worst ... parade!) Ike Davis hits bombs all the time like the one he hit a poor guy on the Nathan's line with after Bay's jack. Why can't Bay do it? See? See what happens when you don't stride to the plate and look at the ballpark and mutter "Oh, I don't know what to do it's so big!"
(All together now: that's what she said.)
And Daniel Murphy? Boy, we're going to see a lot of this with him this season ... Where his inability to field an easy ground ball basically leads to two runs (and that missed grounder had zero to do with learning a new position. That's an easy ground ball), but his bat has the ability to hopefully take it back with the two big singles he had today. A lot of Mets are loved by some and hated by others these days. Daniel Murphy? He'll be loved and hated by every single one of you in the span of an hour.
Then there's Dillon Gee. Another good outing on Saturday brings about an issue: which starter leaves the rotation when Chris Young comes back? Screw that. How about this question: which useless reliever gets DFA'd so that Gee can be the long reliever/spot starter the Mets have needed for five years until Young gets hurt again?
So let me get this straight, if Mike Pelfrey's grip isn't right, it's all over. But if he's sick, then magic happens. Okay. I'll stand behind that.
"I actually puked. But I think sometimes when you don't feel so good you lower your expectations and you focus more on executing pitches." -Mike Pelfrey
Now, everything I've said above is true ... except there's one thing: That quote was actually from a victory against Pittsburgh, where he only gave up one earned run in eight innings ... one of his better outings of the 2010 season. While throwing up ... in the bullpen after throwing ... up in the bullpen.
Now here's what Pelfrey said after Friday night:
"I actually puked. But I think sometimes when you don't feel so good you lower your expectations and you focus more on executing pitches." -Mike PelfreyYup, that was a quote from Mike Pelfrey after one of his better outings of the season. Pelfrey only gave up one earned run in seven strong innings against the Diamondbacks on Friday while feeling ill for his first win of 2011 as the Mets beat Arizona 4-1.
"Sometimes when you don’t feel good, you try not to do too much. You almost lower your expectations and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to go out here. And I’m going to grind. I’m going to make pitches.’ There wasn't a whole lot of overthrowing. I think that allowed me to throw a lot of secondary pitches for strikes, which is huge."This after throwing up in the ... sixth inning.
My lord! It's so clear now. The Mets have to keep Mike Pelfrey ... sick! All season long!
It may be crazy, but it's our only hope.
It's going to involve some planning. Poisoning his food on the road. Dropping it on the floor at home. Undercooking burgers all over the country. Locking away gallons and gallons of Purell. People close to Mike abandoning all habits of decorum and sneezing directly on their hands before shaking Mike's hand before every start. Mike Nickeas is going to have to play a huge part in betraying Pelfrey's trust in this conspiracy. It's for his own good. Mike Pelfrey must remain sick the whole season. The Mets hopes of finishing .500 absolutely depends on it.
If nothing else, it would be a welcome change from the last few seasons being the backdrop of a sappy dramatic movie. No, 2011 is going to be pure science fiction. Stomach virus: the cure for secondary pitches.
The Mets lineup built a lead that even Taylor Buchholz couldn't blow.
Maybe it was reverting to the black undergarments and caps from spring training that did the trick. It's a little disconcerting that for Game 19 we've already reverted to superstition. There was no lineup switches or shakeups or roster moves that we could have tried? The Mets have run out of ideas already? How long before we see "lineup out of a hat" or the Pedro Cerrano special: "Sacrificing a Kentucky Fried Chicken"? Or maybe have Dennis Haysbert throw out the first pitch one of these days?
Maybe it was Terry Collins getting ejected. Yeah! Maybe he should do that every game. If ever there was an ejection that screamed "please Eddings, I beg of you, toss me", that was it. (If you don't believe me, watch it again.) Collins probably knows he should have gotten tossed the last time he went out to argue on the Bill Hall transfer play. So this was the make up toss. Collins probably thought the fans in the building wouldn't let him return to the dugout without an ejections, or Eddings' head on a Mex Burger.
More likely, it was Chris Capuano going seven stellar innings along with the Mets finally being able to hit. When Mike Nickeas hits a home run, that's all the omen I need that things are going to go the home team's way for one night. Nickeas joined David Wright and Ike Davis in the dinger parade, and Jason Bay got himself a "little league home run" in his grand return when Hunter Pence was acting out Scott Hairston in his own demented game of charades that he was playing in his head. Yeah, the same Scott Hairston we could be seeing more of now that Angel Pagan is out with an upper body injury (NHL playoff references are just fine from April until June, thank you.) And there's your 9-1 win, folks. We might be seeing spring training all season with these black uniforms.
A few more losses though, and we might be seeing a spring training roster all season too.
I can always find someone
to say they sympathize.
If I wear my heart out on my sleeve.
But I don't want some pretty face
to tell me pretty lies.
All I want is someone to believe.
Seems like us Mets fans have been searching for someone to believe as Billy Joel once wrote, someone that at least wouldn't try to put lipstick on a pig like so many higher ups in this organization have been trying to do. R.A. Dickey, who gave up four runs in eight innings of the Mets' latest debacle, presents to you the pig ... sans lipstick.
"It starts with me. We have to find a way to be honest with ourselves about what kind of team we are. We can’t keep telling ourselves, ‘Oh, we’re a better team than this.’ We may not be.
“We’ve got to be honest about that and identify what we’re doing wrong and do it better. That’s the only way you have any real growth. If we want to reach the destination that we have set out, then we’ve got to be honest with ourselves about how can we take more ownership and what’s going on around us."
I for one would be in favor of taking ownership ... hostage.
Perhaps being honest and identify what they're doing wrong won't make up for a lack of pure talent. But bless Robert Alan for talking to us like adults, and for being true about the state of this team and not feeding us cliché du jour like as others have. Because it's not very good. When Angel Pagan can't get a hit with runners in scoring position to save his life ... when David Wright can't get a hit at all ... when Pagan tries to score on a wild pitch that rolled ten feet away ... when Jose Reyes gets doubled off first base on a pop-up ... added to all the other problems the Mets have while making guys like Wandy Rodriguez and Bud Norris look dominant ... again, tell me that this team can win 70 games let alone compete for something meaningful?
And bless R.A. for being honest as the losing pitcher. That's the definition of guts. Certainly not how Armando Benitez would have responded in the face of adversity.
I can remember when Cliff Floyd made a similarly honest statement years ago, and the people in charge were pissed off. Wonder what the brass would think about this, since they put part of this monstrosity together. I'm not sure it matters, since there's really nothing more they can do anyway except clean house. Or pray that Jason Bay stays healthy, becomes Hank Greenberg, and doesn't demand a trade to Beirut. Some choice.
I know, ya gotta believe. But I'm just happy that I can believe somebody in this organization. Because Robert Alan speaks truth. Go figure, the guy who has been here a year and a half leading the way. Draw your own conclusions.
Face it, you're going to need alcohol to get through the next game let alone the season. So those of you who have the intestinal fortitude to get through Thursday's game in person should head on over to McFadden's from 6-7 pm, and buy some beer to help along a good cause and raise funds for the Tug McGraw foundation. Buy a lot of beer. Tug would probably have a big ol' laugh knowing that people are doing good things through beer.
And let's continue to face it: you're going to need a lot of beer. You certainly don't want to go through a sweep by the Astros sober. Neither do the players. Watching this group play, I have my doubts as to whether some of them are getting through this series sober.
Wait, I thought these were the teams the Mets were supposed to get healthy against?
Oh I must have heard you wrong. Obviously you told me that the Mets were the team everyone else gets healthy against.
So the Mets designated Brad Emaus for assignment to make room for Justin Turner. What happens? Turner has no less than four bad throws at second base on Tuesday. But hey, at least he got a hit off Wandy Rodriguez, which is more than you can say for most of the Mets lineup. That's Wandy Rodriguez, who was 0-2 with a 7.31 ERA entering the game. Not Carl Hubbell, not Randy Johnson, and not Christy Mathewson. Wandy Rodriguez, who gave up all of three hits in seven innings as the Astros won 6-1. The comedy of the night came when Bobby Parnell, who has had enough problems pitching, committed a balk with the bases loaded because he couldn't even come to the set position without bobbling the ball. After the game came the drama, as Parnell's problems on Tuesday were explained by numbness in his finger which will probably put him on the disabled list. Hopefully it also explains his overall horrificness in 2011.
The good injury news is that Jason Bay went 4-for-4 in a rehab game which will probably put him back on the major league roster on Wednesday to take Parnell's slot. The better news: Bay's return means less Scott Hairston, who completely butchered a fly ball which led to an Astros run. I don't know if he isn't used to the Citi outfield, the Citi lights, the Citi food. I do know that I never want to see him again.
I ask this every year, and I'll ask again: Tell me what you see from this atrocious roster that makes you feel that this team will compete. In previous seasons, "compete" would mean a playoff spot. This season I want to know what you see from the team ... not the date on the calendar ... but the team, that tells you that this team can win 70 games. Because I see a roster where winning 70 games would be an accomplishment. They can't hit Wandy Rodriguez, their bullpen is pure evil, their lefty specialist can't be trusted to get Carlos Gonzalez out because he can't even get Michael Bourn out, and their supposed ace is their fifth best starter. So tell me why I'm wrong.
The Brad Emaus era is over. Adjust your ticket buying habits accordingly.
The Mets now must offer Emaus back to the Blue Jays if they can't trade him or if he isn't claimed on waivers. Either way, the Mets look stupid on some level (as opposed to their usual portrayal of brilliance, I know). If Emaus has suitors, then the Mets shouldn't have let him go. If nobody claims him, and the Jays don't take him back, then why did they waste their time with him in the first place?
He may have only gotten 42 plate appearances, but if you can't distinguish yourself as the second baseman of the Mets ... if you can't break away from that pack, well then I'm not sure if there's a pack that Emaus can break away from. Then again, if Brad Emaus is still in the pack, then who in the pack is that much better than Emaus that you'd risk losing him for good? Either way, J.P. Ricciardi's first notable contribution to the efforts of the new Superfriends is a whiff. I guess that makes him the Aquaman of the group.
But hey, they may get that $25,000 back to hire some extra people for the taqueria line, so there's your upside. One less second baseman, faster steak tacos. Enjoy your food.
Editor's note: don't worry, I'm not going to obsess over losing Emaus to Rule V as I still obsess over Darren O'Day. I know it's something I need to get over already but ... dammit Omar!
Nice that every once in a while, the other team comes up with a blunder.
The Braves wouldn't do the Mets a favor by rescheduling that rain-out later in the season, but they made up for it by calling for a squeeze play with the bases loaded, one out, and Tommy Hanson up, and it turned into a double play to help Dillon Gee along to his first win of the season, and the Mets' first win all week.
And it's nice that Gee was able to gut out a good performance with a borrowed glove, a borrowed pair of spikes, a borrowed suit, flight delays, and a last name that everybody and their mother is going to make an awful pun out of (or already has like me). Heaven forbid Mike Pelfrey makes a start with all that going on. He'd never make it to the mound without pouring barbecue sauce on his glove and eating it with a knife and fork.
Meanwhile, the bullpen is so gassed that two-fifths of the starting rotation came in on their throw days to get holds for Gee. Hopefully, appearances by Chris Capuano and R.A. Dickey with the off-day Monday will end this nonsense once and for all. I'm actually kinda sorta surprised this hasn't happened sooner.
As for Thole in the second hole? I'll take more of that. Contact hitting catcher behind Reyes? Paul Lo Duca wasn't bad at that either.
The one bad thing was that unfortunate circumstances forced me to listen to the game on the radio instead of watching it on television, and I was immediately irked hearing Howie Rose calling Jose Reyes' double leading off the game, as "Reyes comes in safe and secure at second base."
Safe and secure? Oh lord, what commercial is coming?
"And you can be safe and secure with ... "
I don't even remember what the advertisement was for, and I suppose that's a good thing. It means that the establishment's efforts to control my mind have not worked, and I could go on with my life. (Don't you find it ironic that the guy who just used a Gatorade* logo to make a Dillon Gee pun is complaining about ubiquitous advertising?)
*Editor's note: This blogger was not compensated by Gatorade, Pepsi-Co, or Peyton Manning.
"I want to make this pledge to Mets fans — our team will play the game the right way." -Terry Collins 4/1/2011
"This is a team that can't do anything right." - Gary Cohen 4/16/2011
Well that didn't take long, did it?
When the manager promises that his team will play the right way, and then one of his players goes and attempts to steal third with nobody out, then that looks bad on the manager. But then again, how long has Daniel Murphy been playing baseball that not only doesn't he know that he's not that fast, but he doesn't know that you don't steal third with nobody out? Hasn't he been doing this all his life? Or did he just appear out of a cornfield and wander into Shea three years ago?
What bothers me more than anything is Bobby Ojeda talking about how somebody like Mike Pelfrey needs to sack up and make a big pitch on his own without having David Wright give him a pep talk. And he's absolutely right. But how is anybody going to sack up on this team when the team itself complains to the commissioner's office about having to play two doubleheaders in three days? Nothing but excuses and cries for help. That's what this organization is about these days. "We're tired." "We play too much." "We have no money." It's one thing that this team is bad. I can deal with that. But nobody is ever going to get tough on this team when the people who sign the paychecks handle adversity by whining to the damn commissioner's office?
And speaking of not taking long, after Saturday's doubleheader sweep this baseball team has a chance to lose five games in 76 hours. Statistics say you can come back from that. The calendar says you can recover from 4-11. What I see with my eyes tells me something else. It tells me I'd better start preparing for another midnight massacre sometime in late July.