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Another Fine Mess

Mike SteffanosWednesday, August 16, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Phillies 11 - Mets 4

I worked very late tonight, and was hoping for the opportunity to relax and enjoy a good ballgame. Needless to say, that didn't happen. El Duque was very bad tonight, and the Mets offense -- outside of Jose Reyes -- remains in the stupor they were in this weekend in Washington. You wonder if maybe two beatings like this in a row is enough to give everyone a wake-up call that the season isn't over yet.

Thoughts on the game
Orlando Hernandez has had some problems with slow starts, but this one was a non-start. He had to take a 4-inning beating because the Mets couldn't afford another fast exit by a starter after Pedro's injury yesterday. Under normal circumstances he's gone in the second or third inning at the latest.

I've been pretty happy with Hernandez overall. Still, there is the worry whether he can hold up for a full season at his age. He's already close to the 128 innings he pitched last year for Chicago. You wonder after a start like this where his velocity was down and he looked very vulnerable.

Not a good thing when we're still waiting for word on Pedro. At least Bannister had his first very good start at Norfolk, pitching 8 shutout innings. He might have a part to play in this season yet.

Milledge looks tight out there, and seems to be struggling with his confidence, both at the dish and in the field.

Seems that every time some clown starts going on about Jose being overrated, Reyes has a pretty convincing answer. Too bad he was playing alone tonight.

This game is being discussed in the MetsMerized Mets Talk Forum.

Box Score

Comments (9)

Yeah! Jose looked positively Crawfordesque up there last night. How come he saw the ball so well and no one else could see it at all?

As for Hernandez, I think this is just going to happen with him from time to time. He lives on the edges, which is a comment too true, in one way or another, of too many of the Mets starters; and Arizona made him available for a reason. I am as easy to spoil as the next fan, but considering yesterday's start from the vantage of the day we acquired El Duque, I'd have to say that this was the expected result, not all that good pitching that came before it.

I'm glad we've got him. The majority of his starts will probably be good with the occasional bomb mixed in.

Tell you, I love this team, and I love Pedro, but I won't be sad when the next wave of Mets pitchers takes that last stride forward.

What's the deal with Delgado, he's a dog!!!

dd -- Reyes having a 3 HR game the same week as that was written is priceless.

I agree with you on El Duque, but it's good to keep in mind that since his last really good year with the Yankees in 2000 he had these innings totals for the year:

2001 - 95
2002 - 146
2003 - Didn't pitch
2004 - 85
2005 - 128

This year he has 125 already combined between AZ and the Mets. I wonder if he's going to be able to hold up.
mcit -- If I knew, I'd fix him. Seriously, you hope it's just a long slump and not the start of a steep decline.

I am with you DD, for the next wave of pitchers.... I am almost giving up on Lastings,I don't think he can "last"...If you would have asked me who would hit 3 homeruns in a game this year, Reyes would not have be on that list... If someone would offer a good stater for Lastings right now, I would jump at it, and I don't mean an ace, just good.

Rev -- We got kind of spoiled by David Wright. Most kids struggle when first in the bigs. I still think he can be a very good player, and I wouldn't give up on him yet.

Hi Mike- I have to say I don't see the same level of talent with Milledge as I did with Reyes and Wright when they came up.
I don't think he is dud but I don't think he will be a star either. Maybe it's his attitude that is holding him back.
When he was up the first time he seemed more willing to listen to those with more experience, as I have mentioned I see a difference in his demeanor in his second tour of duty with the big club.

Shari -- you never know, though. It might just be that he's not ready. Most prospects take a while to "get it." Maybe the change in his demeanor has to do with the fans booing him this time around. You never know what's going through another person's head, but Willie has been very supportive, and I don't believe he would do that if Milledge wasn't listening to the coaches. I still like the kid. Either way, though, if he can't produce this year they'll need to come up with a "Plan B".

Hi Mike- I don't know, I noticed changes in his body language before the fans got on him. he had more of an arrogance about him-which is OK if you can hold your own once youre at the major league level. Confidence in a young player is fine, but arrogance is not. It almost seemed as if he went back down to AAA and got the feeling that he was a big shot because he was up with the big club. There is a night and day difference in him that I see from the first time we saw him and now.
Hey I love to be wrong on things like this, I hope he is just taking a bit longer to "get it" as you said.

Shari, I hear you on that. I'm always glad to be wrong when it comes to something like this.

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