July 24, 2009

We've moved!

uhaul.jpgJust as the Mets moved into state-of-the-art Citi Field, this blog has relocated to its shiny new digital home over at the redesigned Newsday.com.

Just click here to be magically transported to the new On The Mets blog. Don't forget to bookmark it.

July 22, 2009

Gameday Live 94: Mets at Nationals

Mike Pelfrey (7-5, 5.07) vs. Craig Stammen (2-5, 4.46).

Pelfrey had been relatively effective for the past six weeks until his blowup against the Braves on July 17. Allowing nine earned runs in less than five innings of work. Prior to that, Pelfrey hadn't given up more than four earned runs in a start since June 4.

The Mets season is relatively over at this point, with the Phillies on fire and the Braves with a shot at a postseason birth still. But Pelfrey needs to establish himself as at least a No. 3 starter on this staff if the Mets are going to feel comfortable with him going into next season. He showed great promise last year, but needs to prove he's not a one-season wonder.

Stammen hasn't given up more than three earned in four straight outings coming into tonight, and has given up three or less earned runs in seven of his last 10 starts. He's not a strikeout artist by any means, but pitches to contact and exhibits good control in the zone, leading to a low amount of walks - 12 in his last 10 starts combined, as opposed to 26 strikeouts. In two previous starts against the Mets this season, he's 0-2, allowing three runs in five innings on May 26 and five runs in as many innings on June 7. But that was when Reyes and Beltran were still playing.

Back at 7:05 for first pitch.

- Cody Derespina

Today's lineup

Pagan ............ CF
Castillo .......... 2B
Murphy ............1B
Wright ............ 3B
Francoeur ........RF
Sullivan ........... LF
Berroa ............ SS
Schneider .........C
Pelfrey ........... SP

July 21, 2009

Gameday Live 93: Mets at Nationals

Look on the bright side Met fans, at least you get to play the Nationals 18 times a year. With last night's 6-2 victory, the Mets improved to 8-2 against baseball's worst team. They'll look to make it a winning streak tonight when Oliver Perez (2-2, 7.99) takes on Long Beach's own John Lannan (6-7, 3.64). You'd think the Nationals are the perfect team for Ollie P to rediscover his form against. But take a look at the lineups, do the Mets even have an advantage over the Nats?

A. Pagan cf .320, 0, 5
L. Castillo 2b .291, 0, 20
D. Wright 3b .318 , 5, 44
J. Francoeur rf .258, 6, 42
F. Tatis lf 0 .246, 4, 20
D. Murphy 1b .242, 5, 31
O. Santos c .258, 4, 25
A. Cora ss .245, 0 ,12
O. Perez p .300

N. Morgan cf .289 AVG, 2 HR, 32 RBI
C. Guzman ss .297 , 3 ,24
R. Zimmerman 3b .282, 15, 56
A. Dunn 1b .265, 24, 54
J. Willingham lf .284, 12, 26
A. Kearns rf .201, 3, 16
A. Gonzalez 2b .315, 1, 23
W. Nieves c .267, 0, 13
J. Lannan p .125

Definitely more power on the Nationals side and probably also a lineup with more potential. Can the Mets be considered the favorites today? What do you guys think?
-Mark Macyk

Today's lineup

Pagan - cf
Castillo - 2b
Wright - 3b
Francoeur - rf
Tatis - lf
Murphy - 1b
Santos - c
Cora - 2b
Perez - lhp

Live chat with David Lennon

David Lennon talks Mets and answers your questions today in a live chat at noon.

July 20, 2009

Source: Manuel, Minaya jobs are safe

With nine players on the disabled list, including three members of the Mets' core, it became apparent early on that neither Jerry Manuel nor Omar Minaya was going to take the fall for the team's dismal performance this season.

Manuel is signed through 2010, and Minaya's three-year contract extension doesn't even begin until next season. So it wasn't surprising that a source confirmed today that COO Jeff Wilpon already has assured both Manuel and Minaya that their jobs are safe. The story was first reported by SI.com.

If you want to read more about why Wilpon came to this decision, check out this Mets Insider from July 9, entitled "Mets' Manuel, Minaya will get pass thanks to injuries."

Gameday Live 92: Mets at Nationals

Good evening! Adam Ronis here to bring you through Injuries 101 and Mets therapy. What's another day without another injury in Mets land? We'll get to that in a bit. First, here are the lineups.

Mets (43-48)
Pagan (CF)
Castillo (2B)
Murphy (1B)
Wright (3B)
Francoeur (RF)
Reed (LF)
Cora (SS)
Schneider (C)
Hernandez (P)

Nationals (26-65)
Morgan (CF)
Belliard (2B)
Johnson (1B)
Dunn (LF)
Guzman (SS)
Kearns (RF)
Harris (3B)
Bard (C)
Martin (P)

On Livan Hernandez: It was good while it lasted. Hernandez was pitching better than anyone could have anticipated, but he has been awful lately. He has lost four straight and hasn't won since June 7, which came against the Nationals. He has thrown a total of seven innings over his past two starts allowing 21 hits and 15 runs. In 17 starts, he is 5-5 with a 5.10 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.

On J.D. Martin: With Scott Olsen just placed on the disabled list, Martin gets the start as he makes his major league debut. Martin went 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA at Triple-A Syracuse and gets to face a lineup not much better than a Triple-A caliber. Martin, 26, was in the minor leagues for eight years with the Indians before signing with the Nationals this season.

More injuries: It didn't look good when Fernando Nieve was carted off the field on Sunday and he was placed on the disabled list with a torn quad muscle. He could be out for the season. Nieve was 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA. Outfielder Corey Sullivan was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. Sullivan, 29, was hitting .290 with two homers and 24 RBIs. Jon Niese is expected to take Nieve's spot Saturday. He is 5-0 with a 0.72 ERA in his last seven starts at Triple-A...Gary Sheffield, who said he has cramps, is out of the lineup again and hasn't played since leaving the game Friday night.

News and notes: The Nationals designated reliever Julian Tavarez for assignment Sunday. The Nationals have lost 10 of 11. The Mets have dropped 9 of 13. The Mets are nine games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East. The Nationals are in last place; 26 games out.

Today's lineup (still no Sheff)

The Mets might want a do-over on their diagnosis of cramps for Sheffield's hamstring. Just a thought. Anyway, here's the lineup:

Pagan ............ CF
Castillo ........... 2B
Murphy ........... 1B
Wright ............ 3B
Francoeur ....... RF
Reed .............. LF
Cora .............. SS
Schneider ...... C
Hernandez ...... SP

Sell-offs? Are you kidding me? Sell-offs?

selloffs.jpgSorry, but I have to laugh when people start talking about how the Mets should just become sellers as they approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Like that's going to help them rebuild for next season or restock their farm system.

Right. We all agree that the season is over. There's no debating that. But if you're a contending team, is there anyone on the Mets you would even want? Even if Omar Minaya bought the plane ticket and sent the player to you?

Forget the players on the DL. It's tough to trade guys that can't run on dry land. Unless other teams are looking for someone to vacuum their pool, count out Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado.

There's about three guys the Mets have that would interest other teams: Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez and David Wright. I highly doubt the Mets are moving any of them.

Who's next in line? Jeff Francoeur? Gary Sheffield? Alex Cora? Brian Schneider? Jeremy Reed?

And if the Mets were able to move any of these players, who will replace them from Triple-A Buffalo? Jonathan Malo? Cory Sullivan? Robinson Cancel? Emil Brown?

Even if the Mets have a 0.00 chance of making the playoffs, they still have to field a major-league team of some sort to play out the remaining 71 games on the schedule. Let's not overrate Citi Field as a gate attraction. You can get Shack Burgers in Madison Square Park, too.

July 19, 2009

Gameday Live 91: Mets at Braves

Welcome to another evening on the Mets Gameday Live blog fans. Marcus Henry will take you through tonight's action. The Mets (43-47) take on the Braves (45-46) in Atlanta tonight in the final matchup of this four-game set.

Fernando Nieve (3-3, 3.03 ERA) faces the Braves Javier Vazquez (6-7, 2.95).

Johan Santana got the Mets back in the winner's circle yesterday, tossing seven innings of scoreless baseball in a 5-1 win for his team. The Mets dropped the first two of the series and had lost 13 of 18 prior to the win.

Nieve started off hot winning his first three starts. He dropped his last three starts, including a 3-0 loss to the Reds on July 10. Nieve can hardly be blamed for all three losses. In his three losses the Mets have scored a grand total of one run.

Offensively, the Mets will be without Gary Sheffield again. Jeremy Reed gets the start again in the left field. He went 0-for-4 yesterday. The hope is that Angel Pagan, who went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI can pick up where he left off. The Mets will also rely on Luis Castillo, who in addition to being the team's hottest hitter lately, is 24-for-70 lifetime against Vazquez.

We'll see everyone after the top of the first.

Mets fail to get run in from third with one out. Angel Pagan doubled down the rightfield line to start the game for the Mets. Luis Castillo sacrificed Pagan to third. Daniel Murphy lined to the pitcher for the second out. David Wright lined out to right to end the inning. Braves 0, Mets 0 - Middle of 1st.

Nieve has smooth first inning. Nate McLouth popped out to rightfield. Martin Prado grounded out to third. Chipper Jones walked. Brian McCann flied out to shallow center to end the inning. Mets 0, Braves 0 - End of 1st.

Former Brave Jeff Francoeur grounded out to short. Jeremy Reed struck out swinging. Alex Cora singled to right. Brian Schneider singled to left. Nieve grounded out to the pitcher for the third out and hurt himself as he landed awkwardly on first. Tim Redding is in to pitch for the Mets. Mets 0, Braves 0 - Middle of 2nd.

Tim Redding is pitching for the Mets. Garrett Anderson flied out to centerfield. Escobar hit a solo homer to left to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. Kotchman grounded out for the second out. Church flied out to center. Braves 1, Mets 0 - End of 2nd.

Pagan struck out looking. Castillo singled to shallow center. Murphy flied out to center. Wright walked. Francoeur singled to right, scoring Castillo. Wright moved to third.Reed grounded out to second to end the inning. Mets 1, Braves 1 - Middle of 3rd.

Redding gets out of trouble for Mets. Vazquez singled to center. McLouth walked. Prado grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Vazquez moved to third. Chipper Jones grounded out to first to end the inning. Mets 1, Braves 1 - End of 3rd.

Cora flied out to center. Schneider grounded out to the pitcher. Redding struck out swinging to end the inning. Mets 1, Braves 1 - Middle of 4th.

Braves get run off Redding. McCann flied out to right. Anderson doubled down the rightfield line and moved to third after Francoeur had trouble picking up the ball. Escobar singled to left, scoring Anderson. Kotchman grounded into a double play to end the inning. Braves lead 2-1. Braves 2, Mets 1 - End of 4th.

Mets fail to get a run across. Pagan flied out to deep center on a nice running catch by McLouth. Castillo reached on an infield single. Castillo was caught stealing for the second out. Murphy flied out to right to end the inning. Braves 2, Mets 1 - Middle of 5th.

Mets relief pitching breaks down. Church walked. Vazquez reached on a fielder's choice error, Cora dropped a throw from Murphy, allowing Church to second safely. McLouth walked, loading the bases. Redding was lifted for Elmer Dessens. Prado singled to left, scoring Church. Braves lead 3-1. Jones flied out to deep left, scoring Vazquez. Braves lead 4-1. Dessens was lifted for Pat Misch. McCann singled to center. Prado to second, McLouth moves to third. Anderson flied out to short left. Escobar doubled to right, scoring McLouth and Prado. Kotchman singled to right, scoring McCann. Escobar was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Braves 7, Mets 1 - End of 5th.

Mets go down in order in sixth. Wright struck out swinging. Francoeur popped out to left. Reed grounded out to first to end the inning. Braves 7, Mets 1 - Middle of 6th.

Church walked. Vazquez sacrificed Church to second. McLouth walked. Prado lined into a double play on a nice diving stop by Murphy, who tagged first to get McLouth out. Braves 7, Mets 1 - End of 6th.

Mets down in order for the second straight inning. Cora grounded out to second. Schneider lined out to the pitcher. Angel Berroa struck out to end the inning. Braves 7, Mets 1 - Middle of 7th.

Mets get through 7th unscathed. Brian Stokes is pitching for the Mets. Jones grounded out to second. McCann flew out to left. Anderson singled to right. Escobar grounded into a force play to end the inning. Braves 7, Mets 1. End of 7th.

Braves cruise in 8th. Mike Gonzalez is pitching for the Braves. Pagan popped out to second. Castillo flied out to deep right. Murphy struck out to end the inning. Braves 7, Mets 1 - Middle of 8th.

Parnell gets through 8th. Kotchman grounded out to first. Church grounded out to first. Norton walked. McLouth walked. Prado flied out to deep right. Braves 7, Mets 1 - End of 8th.

Soriano is pitching for the Braves. Wright flied out to center. Francoeur flied out to center. Reed grounded out to third to end the game. Braves win, 7-1.

The Mets drop to 43-38 and are 9 games behing the Phillies, while the Braves improve to .500 46-46. The Mets are in Washington tomorrow to take on the Nationals in a three-game set. Tim Redding gets the loss (1-4, 7.16 ERA) and Javier Vazquez (7-7, 2.86) gets the win.

Mets starting pitcher Fernando Nieve left the game in the second inning with a quad injury, running out a ground ball. He will have an MRI done on Monday.

It was a pleasure. Good night everyone.

Today's lineup

Sheffield still out.

Pagan - cf
Castillo - 2b
Murphy - 1b
Wright - 3b
Francouer - rf
Reed - lf
Cora - ss
Schneider - c
Nieve - sp

July 18, 2009

Gameday Live 90: Mets at Braves

Good afternoon Mets fans. Today the Mets turn to their ace, All-Star Johan Santana to try and halt a two game losing streak at the hands of the hated Atlanta Braves. Opposing him will be the Japanese righthander Kenshin Kawakami (5-6, 4.26 ERA). Kawakami's been pitching very well of late, he's won his last two decisions and lowered his ERA, which was at 5.74 on May 16, in 10 of his last 12 starts. The Mets are sending out the perfect lineup for him to lower that further, Gary Sheffield is not in the lineup, which boasts a combined 19 home runs this season (and five of those came while Jeff Franceour was a Brave). Luckily Santana (10-7, 3.09 ERA), who shutout the Reds in seven innings last start, doesn't typically need too many runs to win.
-Mark Macyk

Today's lineup

Pagan - cf
Castillo - 2b
Murphy - 1b
Wright - 3b
Francoeur - rf
Reed - lf
Santos - c
Cora - ss
Santana - sp

Want to see what a winner looks like at Citi Field?

While the Mets were getting waxed in Atlanta, Paul McCartney was performing the first concert at Citi Field -- or as he called it once,"New Shea Stadium." Here's a snap from section 403.


July 17, 2009

Gameday Live 89: Mets at Braves

Good evening Mets enthusiasts! Welcome to a Friday night of New York Metropolitan baseball!


I'm Chris Mascaro and I'll be bringing you all of tonight's live game action, as the Mets (42-46), 7.5 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East (and seven behind San Fran in the wild card), take on the Braves (44-45), six games behind the Phillies, in the second game of a four-game set at Turner Field in Atlanta.

This season, the Mets are 17-26 on the road, including a 2-1 mark at Turner Field. Overall, they are 3-3 against the Braves.

Last night, the Mets dropped a 5-3 decision to the Braves despite six innings of three-run ball from Oliver Perez. Yunel Escobar and Garret Anderson each homered for the Braves. The Mets have lost seven of their last nine and they won't be receiving reinforcements anytime soon.

Said David Wright: "It's easy to look at the big picture and be disappointed. But you have to try and simplify things and worry about winning tomorrow."

Tonight, Mike Pelfrey (7-4, 4.47), pictured right with Kidsday reporters Madison Rudzinski, Max Ryder and Emily Dedoyard at Citi Field, takes the hill. Pelfrey earned a win in his last outing (on Sunday), as he allowed three runs in seven innings against Cincinnati. In July, he is 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA. Here are the Braves' numbers against Pelfrey, a collective .273 average, led by Brian McCann, who is 8-for-20 with three RBIs off the 6-7 righty. Pelfrey has six balks on the year, the most by any pitcher since 2001.

For the Braves, it'll be righty Jair Jurrjens (7-7, 2.91), who has won just two of his last eight starts. The Braves have averaged just 3.4 runs in his starts.

Said McCann to the AP: "He could easily have 12 or 13 wins, that's how good he has been pitching all season long. We just really haven't been scoring for him."

Jurrjens, seventh in the NL in ERA, helped himself out in his last start by going 2-for-3 (his first career multi-hit game) with an RBI and a run. He also pitched six innings of two-run ball on five hits and three walks with three K's. The 23-year old has struck out just 78 batters in 114 1/3 innings, but he's gone at least six innings in his last five starts. Here are the Mets' numbers against him, a combined .227 average, led by David Wright's 4-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs.

These two faced each other on May 12 at Citi Field, a 4-3 extra-inning win for the Mets, but neither earned a decision. Jurrjens allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings, while Pelfrey gave up two runs in seven innings.

Finally, here are tonight's starting lineups:

1. Pagan, CF
2. Castillo, 2B
3. Wright, 3B
4. Sheffield, LF
5. Francoeur, RF
6. Murphy, 1B
7. Cora, SS
8. Santos, C
9. Pelfrey, RHP

*Tonight's Mets lineup has a total of 29 home runs on the season.

1. McLouth, CF
2. Prado, 2B
3. Jones, 3B
4. McCann, C
5. Anderson, LF (11-for-26 with three homers and four RBIs in his last seven home games)
6. Escobar, SS
7. Church, RF
8. Kotchman, 1B
9. Jurrjens, RHP

*Note: The Mets called up shortstop Angel Berroa yesterday to take the place of Argenis Reyes.

**The weather tonight in Atlanta should be great for baseball, with little chance of rain and temperatures in the high 70s.

***The Braves are retiring Greg Maddux's No. 31 in a ceremony before tonight's game.

Okay, that's all for now. But let's get the conversation going in the chat box above! And be sure to vote on the poll questions.

I'll be back after each half-inning with updates.

We're about 10 minutes from baseball on WPIX 11!

Top of the 1st: A 1-2-3 inning for Jurrjens, as Pagan grounded out to first, Castillo did the same to second and Wright flew out to right.

Bottom of the 1st: After McLouth popped out to Wright on the mound, Prado ripped his 20th double of the year to left-center. Then Chipper Jones walked, putting runners on first and second for McCann, who ripped a double off the wall in right to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.

It was McCann's 20th double and 38th and 39th RBIs of the year. He hit it on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.

Anderson struck out swinging, but then Escobar singled up the middle to score McCann and make it 3-0 Braves. It was Escobar's 46th RBI.

Church flew out to left for the third out.

Pelfrey threw 33 pitches in the inning.

Top of the 2nd: Sheffield led off the inning with a double to right-center (his ninth of the year), but then Francoeur popped out to short. Murphy walked to put runners on first and second for Cora, who grounded into a 6-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Bottom of the 2nd: A 1-2-3 inning for Pelfrey, as Kotchman lined out to center, Jurrjens grounded out to first and McLouth struck out swinging (Pelfrey's second of the game).

Top of the 3rd: A 1-2-3 inning for Jurrjens (his second of the game), as Santos flew out to center, Pelfrey grounded out to short and Pagan grounded back to the mound (nice stop by Jurrjens).

Bottom of the 3rd: On the 11th pitch of his at-bat, Prado lined a solo homer just over the wall in left-center to give the Braves a 4-0 lead.

Prado, who has two extra-base hits tonight, has five homers and 19 RBIs on the season. That was the first homer Pelfrey has allowed to a righthander this year.

Then Chipper Jones singled to left and McCann followed with a two-run blast to the first row in right to give the Braves a 6-0 lead. It was his ninth homer of the year and 40th and 41st RBIs. He's 2-for-2 with four RBIs already tonight.

Anderson popped out to shallow center, Escobar grounded out to second and Church grounded out to first to end the inning.

Top of the 4th: Castillo grounded out to short before Wright hit a double down the left-field line (his 25th of the year). But Sheffield grounded out to short (moving Wright to third) and Francoeur did the same for the third out.

Bottom of the 4th: A 1-2-3 inning for Pelfrey (surprisingly his second tonight), as Kotchman, Jurrjens and McLouth all grounded out to second.

Top of the 5th: A third 1-2-3 inning for Jurrjens, as Murphy flew out left, Cora grounded out to short and Santos flew out to right to end the inning.

Bottom of the 5th: Prado struck out looking (Pelfrey's third K) before Chipper doubled to right-center (his 16th of the year). Then McCann blooped a single to left (his third hit of the night — he's a triple shy of the cycle), putting runners on the corners for Anderson, who one-hopped a double off the wall in right to score Jones and give Atlanta a 7-0 lead.

Anderson has 15 doubles and 34 RBIs on the season.

That prompted Jerry Manuel to lift Pelfrey in favor of righty Tim Redding (1-3, 7.14). Escobar doubled to left on the first pitch Redding threw to score two and give the Braves a 9-0 lead.

On the play, Gary Sheffield came up limping. He grabbed his right hamstring, but walked off on his own power. He was replaced by Jeremy Reed.

Then Church singled to left to put runners on the corners for Kotchman, who singled to right to score Escobar and make it a 10-0 game. Jurrjens and McLouth struck out swinging to end the inning.

Pelfrey allowed nine runs on nine hits and a walk with three strikeouts and two homers allowed in 4 1/3 innings. He threw 104 pitches.

Top of the 6th: Berroa grounded out to third and Pagan flew out to right before Castillo walked (only the Mets' fourth baserunner). But Wright struck out swinging for the third out (the first K for Jurrjens).

Bottom of the 6th: Righty Elmer Dessens (0-0, 2.70) came on in relief of Redding, who allowed a run on three hits in 2/3 of an inning with two K's.

Dessens did a nice job with the 3-4-5 hitters, as he got Prado to pop to second, Jones to ground to short and McCann to ground to second.

Top of the 7th: Lefty Boone Logan (1-0, 2.57) came on in relief of Jurrjens, who allowed just two hits in six innings of work with two walks and one K. He threw just 85 pitches and lowered his season ERA to 2.77.

Logan threw a 1-2-3 inning, as Reed grounded out to first, Francoeur popped to second and Murphy struck out swinging.

Bottom of the 7th: Anderson struck out swinging before Escobar hit a ground-rule double to right-center (his 19th of the year). Church struck out swinging but Kotchman doubled down the right-field line (his 19th of the year) to score Escobar and give the Braves an 11-0 lead. It was Kotchman's 33rd RBI of the year.

Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad flew out to left to end the inning.

Top of the 8th: Righty Luis Valdez (0-1, 9.00) came on in relief of Logan, who threw a hitless seventh. He got Tatis to ground out to third before Santos walked. But Berroa grounded into a force at second and Pagan grounded out to first to end the inning.

Bottom of the 8th: Righty Sean Green (1-2, 5.40) came on in relief of Dessens, who allowed a run on two hits with two K's in two innings.

Green threw a 1-2-3 inning, as McLouth flew out to center, Prado grounded out to third and pinch-hitter Matt Diaz grounded out to short.

Top of the 9th: Righty Kris Medlen (2-3, 5.67) came on in relief of Valdez, who pitched a scoreless eighth.

Medlen tossed a 1-2-3 inning, as Castillo grounded out to the pitcher, pinch-hitter Brian Schneider grounded out to first and Reed grounded to second to end it.

That's all for tonight's game folks, as the Mets lose for the eighth time in 10 games, 11-0.
Mets: 42-47
Braves: 45-45

WP--Jurrjens (8-7)
LP--Pelfrey (7-5)

Here are your three stars for tonight's game:
1. McCann: 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs
2. Escobar: 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs
3. Jones: 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs

And a bonus fourth star: Jurrjens, who earned his eighth win by allowing just two hits and two walks with one K in six innings of work. He threw 85 pitches and lowered his ERA to 2.77.

*The Mets scratched out just two hits and were shut out for the fourth time in the last nine games.

Okay, that's all for tonight's game. Thanks to all for coming out. As always, it was my honor and pleasure to bring everyone all of tonight's live game action.

We'll see ya'll back here tomorrow, as the Mets and Braves play the third game of this four-game set at 4 p.m.

We'll see everyone then. Goodnight!

(Newsday photo by Patrick Mullooly)

Tonight's lineup vs. Braves

First pitch is delayed until 7:45 tonight because the Braves will have a pregame ceremony to retire Greg Maddux's number. Here's the lineup:

Pagan ......... CF
Castillo ....... 2B
Wright ......... 3B
Sheffield ...... LF
Francoeur .... RF
Murphy ........ 1B
Cora ............ SS
Santos ......... C
Pelfrey ......... SP

"We didn't actually beat ourselves"


Talk about setting the bar low. That's what Jerry Manuel had to say after the Mets fell to the Braves, 5-3, last night at Turner Field.

Translation: Look Ma, no errors!

Give it up to the Mets, folks. They threw to the right base, ran out every batted ball and didn't wear their caps backward on the field. Well, that and $6.50 will get you a Shack Burger at Citi Field if there isn't a W at the end of the day.

There's 74 games remaining in the season, and at this rate, about five or six meaningful ones left. A few more losses, combined with a few more Phillies' wins, and the Mets' deficit will hit double-digits. Then what?

I'm jumping ship on the whole treading-water-until-they-get-healthy thing. I was on board for a while, guzzling the Kool-Aid about the Mets reloading for the second half, but Omar Minaya's "updates" yesterday finally changed my mind.

I'm with David Wright, who had this to say last night about waiting for the likes of Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran:

"I’m so tired of talking about hurt guys," Wright said. "I’m just worried about what’s going on here. it’s to the point where, if we get them back great, if not we have to find a way. It’s just too much talk about the hurt guys. These guys aren’t having any outcome on our game and somehow we need to talk about them."

He's right, of course. But what's left to talk about?

July 16, 2009

Gameday Live 88: Mets at Braves

After a rash of injuries and comedy of errors during the first half of the season, a once formidable Mets lineup resembled a team that should be playing at Citibank Park rather than Citifield. At 42-45 and 6 1/2 games back of the division and wild card leads, the Mets are looking up in the standings at the midway point, rather than down, which may not be a bad thing considering the way the past two seasons have ended.

Met fans should take solace in the fact that they were able to stay competitive despite the loss of key components. Should those missing pieces come back healthy, perhaps the Mets will be the beneficiary of a second half collapse rather than the victim.

The Mets kick off the second half of the season in Atlanta as they send Oliver Perez (2-2, 8.77 ERA) to the mound against Derek Lowe (8-7, 4.39 ERA). First pitch is just minutes away....

Today's lineup; Berroa up

Angel Berroa has been called up to fill the roster spot vacated by Argenis Reyes. Here's today's lineup:

Pagan - cf
Castillo - 2b
Wright - 3b
Sheffield - lf
Francoeur - rf
Murphy - 1b
Cora - ss
Schneider - c
Perez - lhp

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