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Small “Non Moves” Haunting the Mets

By Mike Silva ~ July 17th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

The Mets critical West Coast trip couldn’t have gotten off to a more frustrating start. The Giants have scored 3 runs in 18 innings and have won both ballgames. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a lineup without Reyes, Jason Bay hitting singles, and Jeff Francoeur swinging at everything is struggling to plate runs. Another thing to consider is Beltran finding his legs in the cleanup spot. There is going to be “starts and stops” to this group as it finds its groove. In April that’s ok, but in July it becomes detrimental. They have fallen 2 games behind in the Wild Card, a race that currently has six teams vying for one spot. I suspect it will come down to what team gets hot in September, but clearly this is a flawed group of teams. It makes me wonder if the Mets had made a couple of small moves this offseason if they would be a clear Wild Card favorite.

I said the Mets were an 85 win team before the season. That prediction looks pretty good right now, but won’t get it done in terms of a playoff spot. The three clear needs for this club are second lefty, veteran starting pitcher, and eighth inning set up man. Out of the three they seemed to only have a plan for the eighth inning, albeit one that blew up in their face. I can’t fault them for the Kiko Calero/Kelvim Escobar roll of the dice. Right now not signing a veteran starter like Joel Pineiro or a second lefty out of the Ron Mahay, Joe Beimel, and Will Ohman group is haunting them.

The Mets have lost ten games in their final turn at bat. Much of that is due to a manager who can’t figure out bullpen construction. However, a large part is due to a pen that is clearly short. Pedro Feliciano has needed a second lefty to help him out since the day Scott Schoeneweis left town. The Mets have brought in lefties, but none who is successful in getting LH hitters out. Considering the aforementioned trio has lefties hitting for an OPS of .472, .477, and .538 just amplifies the situation. All could have been had late in the offseason for a couple of million dollars or Gary Matthews Jr. type money.

The starting pitching situation is more frustrating. Teams need about 8 starters to get through a season. Since it appears that Dillon Gee and Tobi Stoner were never serious candidates to fill in on the 25 man roster I wonder what the insurance for Maine and Perez was planned to be. Yes, R.A Dickey has been a godsend, but Hisanori Takahashi clearly thrives in the bullpen. A veteran starter like Joel Pineiro, Jon Garland, or Ben Sheets could have done wonders with this group. Think of all the lost Oliver Perez/John Maine starts and how simply 6 innings of 3 run ball could have changed the outcome. All three are capable of such a performance and now the Mets may need to give up a prospect to acquire a similar type of pitcher.

The obsessive Mets blogosphere will point out the extra money was spent on Alex Cora, Matthews Jr., and Mike Jacobs. If the Mets are at a point where those players prevent them from picking up Jon Garland for 1 year at $5 million dollars than we need to have another conversation. I believe it’s the process of how this organization handles their affairs one free agent at a time. Players are not going to sit around and risk losing a contract because Wilpon, Minaya, and company can only handle one task. I don’t understand why conversations with Joel Pineiro couldn’t continue while they were waiting for Bengie Molina to give them an answer.

The moral of the story will be the Mets missing out on the playoffs in a season where they clearly are in the mix. Perhaps they will learn from their mistakes, realize they have a nice core of players, and complement them properly this offseason. Maybe even bring in a manager that provides some lineup and bullpen stability. In any event, this Wild Card will not be lost in July, quite the contrary, it might have been lost in the cold dreary days of January.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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2 Responses to Small “Non Moves” Haunting the Mets

  1. GravediggerHebner

    You say “Perhaps they will learn from their mistakes, realize they have a nice core of players, and complement them properly this offseason.”

    “Perhaps” is the perfect word there. It’s my opinion that the greatest flaw of the Minaya regime is precisely the lack of appropriate complementary players. In my subjective opinion the only success at that was achieved in 2006.

    I’m not holding my breath that they will suddenly figure it out.

  2. RonOK

    Mike, this road trip has started out the way I thought it would — that’s why I would have signed up for the 6-5 record you and I discussed.

    Now that 6-5, needs to be 6-2 and I don’t see it. I felt 3-8 would be what we’d get and hoped for 4-7 … right now 3-8 says they go 3-5 the rest of the trip and that might be a stretch.

    And with the Braves losing again to MIL and the Phillies struggling (although they did win today), the Mets are letting an opportunity get away again.

    Those game last early with peole like GMJ, Jacobs, Perez and Maine — among others — are not the reason why the Mets are playing so miserable right now, but it might have provided a cushion for this horrid play.

    Anyway, we may be seeing the season unravel right before our eyes …. when I’d take my kids to Californina for some of these Mets series in years past, they almost alyase got beat up pretty bad …. we called in “The Massacre in Califonia” and although I am not watching these games in person during this round, it is indeed shaping up to be another massacre in CA.

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