With few updates lately, I’ll just do some catch up here and hopefully we can do a little better with updates. Since I only saw one game this weekend, I’ll just hit the major points that came to light going into and coming out of Sunday’s game.
Willie Randolph insisted that Mike Pelfrey was his number 5 starter following Saturday’s thumping by the Brewers that saw Pelfrey suffer his 5th loss in 6 starts to “improve” to 0-5 with a 6.53 ERA. However, when the Mets arrived at Shea for Sunday’s matinée against Brewers, Pelf was on his way to the Big Easy, and Carlos Gomez was trying on his pristine brand spankin’ new #27 Mets jersey. From where I sit, there was nothing else the Mets could do. It was obvious Pelf had no confidence in his stuff, aiming his fastball and throwing up in the zone time after time. 17 walks in 30.1 innings, and a terrible WHIP of 1.75 just doesn’t cut it even as a #5. Pelfrey is at his best when he pounds the strike zone low and gets ground outs. So far this year, his ground out to fly out ratio is 1.43 and that is no where near where he needs to be. Now he’ll go down to AAA where hopefully he can work out these issues, because the Mets can’t afford to allow him to do that at the major league level.
As to who will take Pelfrey’s place in the rotation, that remains a mystery, but the organization appears to be looking at left hander Jason Vargas. Vargas, who was acquired in the off season from the Marlins, was scheduled to start for New Orleans Sunday against Las Vegas, however he was scratched and replaced by Phillip Humber (who lead the Zephs to an 10-3 win). This move certainly makes it look like he will be called up Thursday to face the Cubs. If it isn’t Vargas, Willie Randolph called Aaron Sele “a possibility.”
The other ramification from this move is the calling up of 21 year old OF prospect Carlos Gomez. Gomez, who had been with New Orleans in AAA, was hitting .286 with 24 runs scored, 17 walks, eight doubles, two triples, two home runs, 13 RBIs and 23 strikeouts in 140 at-bats. He also led the PCL with 17 steals.
As for the games themselves, On Friday, Jorge Sosa pitched his second solid game since being called up a little over a week ago, leading the Mets to a 4-3 victory. The Mets got long balls from Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley. Sosa gave up 2 runs on 4 hits through 6.2 innings, striking out 4 while walking 3. Aaron Heilman continued to look terrible, giving up a 2 run home run to JJ Hardy in the 8th. Billy Wagner on the other hand was efficient if not extremely impressive, pitching a 1-2-3 9th, throwing only 7 pitches.
Saturday was a game he Mets would like to put behind them in every conceivable way, losing 12-3. Pelfrey gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and walked 3 in 5 innings. Pedro Feliciano gave up 2 runs, Joe Smith’s perfect season was spoiled and spoiled hard, as he gave up a grandslam to J.J. Hardy, and Scott Schoeneweis gave up 3 runs. To say it was a bad day is a vast understatement. Offensively besides David Newhan finally doing something by hitting a meaningless HR, there was very little the Mets could hang their hats on.
When the lineup was posted Sunday, it had all the makings of an “uh oh” game. Oliver Perez, coming off a frustrating loss in San Francisco where the defense let him down and he subsequently imploded, was at best, an unknown. Would that loss mentaly defeat him for starts to come? Also, Paul Lo Duca would get the day off, although if you don’t feel confident in Ramon Castro at this point, you need to start watching a different sport. Moises Alou was out with a quad issue, Endy Chavez started in left. Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green also got the day off against a lefty, Julio Franco would start at first and Gomez would make his major league debut starting in right.
With all that said, this game was complete reversal of fortune from Saturday. The Mets dominated the Brewers, winning 9-1. Perez was brilliant, only allowing one run on 2 hits in 8.1 innings, and one of those hits was a 9th inning home run by Bill Hall, coming off the bottom half of the 8th where Perez gassed himself scoring all the way from 1st on a Jose Reyes triple. I know it sounds like an excuse, but after 8 innings pitched and a exerting himself on the base paths, it might be valid. Either way, the line of 8.1 1ER 2H 2BB 6K is impressive as Perez improved to 4-3 and lowered his ERA to 3.00. Offensively, the Mets used their speed on the bases to capitalize, even against Chris Capuano who is reguarded as having one of the better moves to first in baseball, stealing 5 bases. 3 of those steals were by David Wright, who seeming is doing whatever it takes (shaving his head, pulling up his socks and using his secondary skills) to help himself break out of his season long slump. Wright had 3 steals all season coming into this series and will head into the series against the Cubs with 7. Jose Reyes also stole his league leading 21st base. The other steal came from Gomez, who I mentioned was getting his first major league start. Gomez was 2 for 4 with a double and 2 runs scored. He also made a terrific diving catch in right field. Carlos Beltran, who must have felt he was getting a day off in the outfield, flanked by the speedy Gomez and Chavez, both of whom are natural center fielders, had a two run home run in the 8th inning, his 8th of the season. Damion Easley hit his 5th home run and drove in 4, going 3 for 5 in his 13th start this year.
Other notes: Moises Alou appears to be on his way to visting a very firmiliar place to him…the DL. Alou has made 14 trips to the DL in his 15 full (if you can call it that) major league seasons…looks like he’ll make it 15 for 15. After an MRI Saturday showed bleeding in his quad, Alou was quoted saying, “I don’t feel very good right now, I’m not very optimistic about it. How long? I’m not going to come back any time soon.” He will be re-evaluated today, and if there isn’t marked improvement, he’ll be hitting the DL. Alou’s injury necessitated the call up of Gomez on Sunday. Gomez got the call because Lasting Milledge has been out since April 28th with an injured foot, and figures to be out another 2 to 4 weeks. If Alou does go on the DL, Ben Johnson, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres during the off season, could be an option to fill the empty spot on the roster until they need a 5th starter Thursday. Johnson has struggled in limited action at AAA New Orleans, hitting just .268 in 30 ABs with 1 homerun.
In news that shouldn’t be news but was a big story, Jose Reyes finally acquiesced and joined the rest of the team of shaved heads with Aaron Sele being the lone exception. Carlos Gomez was met with the razor upon arriving at Shea.
Oliver Perez went 1 for 4 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI on Sunday. He’s now hitting .353 and is tied with the Marlins Scott Olsen for most hits by a pitcher with 6. In the most unusual stat of the year for the Mets so far, Perez has more hits in less at bats than both Julio Franco and David Newhan. He has also scored 5 runs, which is more than Franco, Newhan and Ramon Castro. GET THAT MAN ANOTHER GLOVE!
Tom Glavine was not in uniform Sunday, nor was he even at the ballpark. He may not have even been in New York. Glavine has asked, and was given permission to attend a “family function” on Sunday. While this isn’t quite Roger Clemens-esque, it does bring up the question, if Glavine does decide to play next year and wants to stay with the Mets, will they have to take a step closer to the Clemens deal the Yankees singed the pitcher two recently.
The Future: The Mets will start a 4 game series with the Chicago Cubs today as Tom Glavine takes to the hill looking for career win 295. Glavine is 4-1 on the year with a 2.98 ERA. He will go up against Jason Marquis. Marquis, who singed with the Cubs in the off season, is 5-1 with a 3rd best in the majors 1.70 ERA and a major league leading .90 WHIP (tied with teammate Ted Lilly). The rest of the series will see John Maine (5-0 1.79) face off with Carlos Zambrano (3-3 5.83) on Tuesday, Jorge Sosa (2-0 2.77) against lefty Rich Hill (4-2 2.51) on Wednesday, and Thursday will either see Aaron Sele (0 starts, 1-0 4.11 in relief) or Jason Vargas (2-3 5.30 for AAA New Orleans) for the Mets while the Cubs will most likely pitch Angel Guzman (2 starts and 4 relief appearances 0-0 3.57). The series will also see the return to Shea of Cliff Floyd. Floyd played 4 seasons with the Met before not being re-signed following last season and signing with the Cubs. Floyd is still close friends with his bag caddy while in NY the previous 3 seasons, David Wright.
The Past: A year ago on this exact date, the Mets had an identical 23-13 record.
Speaking of the Mets last year, Jorge Julio, who was with the Mets this time last year will now pitch for his third team since the Mets, as he was traded from Florida to Colorado for Byung-Hyun Kim. I bring this up simply because I love the quotes from the teams including:
- “It’s a trade of one guy struggling for another guy struggling,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said. “There are not a lot of players available in the game right now. We got a guy with a track record of doing all right.” He’s kidding, right?
- “Julio needs to be fixed. So we have some work with him.” SOME?
- “I wish we would’ve fixed him,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I wish we would’ve got him to help us.” So does Rick Peterson.
- “He’s not on top of his game right now but we wouldn’t have gotten him if he was,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said.” Good times…Good Times.