Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Oh No Chan Ho! / Mayday!

Florida 9, NY Mets 6 AP Recap

Chan Ho Park made his Mets debut last night starting for the injured El Duque. He retired the first 8 batters he faced and looked like he was taking advantage of his opportunity. He gave up his 1st hit on a 2 out, 0-2 pitch to the opposing pitcher then walked the next 2 on 8 pitches to have to face Miguel Cabrera with the based loaded, a .449 career hitter in that situation. Miggy hit a slow liner off of Easley's glove to plate 2 runs. It was scored a hit not an error, and rightly so, but you have to wonder if Valentin would have made that play. The next batter, ex-Met Mike Jacobs, hit a seeing eye blooper that turned into a double, that probably should have been an error, to plate another run. Followed by another perfectly placed bloop for 2 more. It was basically a perfect storm of crap. Not one ball was really hit hard except for the final out which Beltran chased down on the warning track. It wasn't pretty, but it was a 5 spot. It amazing how often a 2 out hit by a pitcher can start off a big inning. Those 9 straight balls Chan Ho threw might have cost him his next start at this level. That and the 2 HRs he gave up in the following inning to Amezaga (his first HR since August) and Ramirez. Like the Rockies game last week, the Mets scored a bunch of runs after staking the other team to a huge lead, but it was too much to overcome.

Mike and I were chatting before the game about Valentin vs. Easley, deciding that Easley was probably a downgrade in the field, apparently we were right. We always hear about how Willie values defense more than anything at his old position and yet here is Damion Easley starting at 2B over Gotay who is allegedly a superior fielder. And, don't forget we have Anderson Hernandez, a defensive wizard waiting in the wings. Omar said during that crap-storm of a 3rd inning that we brought up Gotay instead of Hernandez because Gotay has some pop in his bat which we could use off the bench. But didn't we have that in Easley? Couldn't we call up the wizard and keep Easley hitting game tying HRs in clutch situations off the bench? Again, you have to wonder if this was a personnel move based on the hitting slumps of Delgado and Wright.

Speaking of Delgado and Wright, something has to be done about the middle of our lineup. It is just getting too painful to watch. Carlos Beltran was 4 for 5 last night and crossed home once, and that was when he knocked himself in with his 5th inning solo shot. In fact, 35% of Beltran's runs scored this season he's knocked himself in. Jose Reyes had 3 hits, including 2 doubles, and only scored once, and that was Lo Duca's RBI. At the end of April, Delgado is hitting .188 with 12 RBIs, while Wright is hitting .244 with only 6 RBIs, and these guys are in the 4 and 5 holes, the spots for the big RBI guys. And they have 18 combined RBIs between the 2 of them!?! 2 of the 3 hitters in front of them in the lineup have an OPS over 1! Jose Reyes has 18 RBIs in the leadoff spot. I know that both of these guys are going to turn it around eventually, they're both too good to hit like this all season, but something has got to be done. We're supposed to have a team that can out-slug people, but despite averaging 5.5 runs per game, we haven't won a game this season in which our opponents have scored more than 5 runs. How's that for a frightening statistic? And why can't we play at Shea? At the end of April, the Mets are a .500 team at home and a .750 team on the road. Although, I suppose at 15-9 I can't be too upset with the start we've gotten off to, it's has been a frustrating strong start though. I look at the statistics and they are gosh wow fantastic, but I watch the team play and I grind my molars with my head in my hands. Maybe they're missing the moxy Mike was talking about on the off-day.

In more bad news, Moises Alou needed 2 stitches after running into the wall in the 9th last night. He is also scheduled for an MRI today on his left shoulder. According to Alou this injury is unrelated to the stitches, it's been bothering him since the Gnats series. It's his glove arm not his throwing arm, but with his age and track record of injuries, I think we can safely expect to see fan favorite Endy Chavez starting in left for a least a few games. Who knows what happens if he has to go to the DL. Lasting Milledge is on the DL already. We're really starting to test the depth of the organization, and its only May day. We're also running out of bats to pick up... ahem... the people who need to be picked up.

Mike Pelfrey gets the start tonight after a poor outing last time out. He's sporting an 0-2 record with a 7.90 ERA. Ricky Nolasco comes off the DL to start for the Fish, in his only appearance this season he got touched up for 3 runs in 1.1 innings against the Phillies. We clobbered him during his rookie campaign last season. In his career against the Mets he is 0-3 in 3 starts (4 appearances), with a 19.73 ERA, a 3.58 WHIP, and a .520 BAA in just 8.2 IP. Hopefully, this means we can score some runs for Pelfrey and get him his first win. I suspect he'll need the run support, every start for Pelfrey has been worse than the one before it, he got lit up by the pitiful offense of the Rockies last time out, and the Fish lead the majors in slugging at a whopping .479. Let's hope that late movement on the fastball is back tonight.

Let's Go Mets!!!

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