By Mike Steffanos
The Mets had yet another somewhat disheartening loss today that featured some shoddy defense. The team hasn't been hitting particularly well, but that really doesn't concern me yet. They've been guilty of some really bonehead defensive lapses, though, and I'd like to see them tighten that up pretty quickly. It's one thing being rusty, it's another to be playing sloppy ball.
El Duque pitched the first two innings. He looked okay in the first, but labored through a 5-run second. I wasn't too worried, he's not the kind of guy that usually looks good before he gets his timing. I know some of the print writers will make a big deal out of it, but that's silly at this point.
Mike Pelfrey took over in the third and was really impressive. He's pounding the bottom of the strike zone and getting tons of ground ball outs. He looks poised and very fluid on the mound right now. Although he is still a long shot for the rotation, another outing like this one and he could steal a job out of camp.
Jason Vargas pitched two innings and looked okay, but I'm thinking his shot of making this team is in long relief now, especially if Chan Ho Park has a decent spring and Pelfrey continues to pitch like this.
Duaner Sanchez was sent home and ordered to spend the day in the time-out chair for repeatedly showing up late to workouts. I caught Ed Coleman on WFAN while I was driving this afternoon, and apparently the Mets aren't completely happy with his efforts to rehab the shoulder. At least according to Coleman, they seem to feel he could be further along if he had worked harder this winter. Something to watch.
Scott Schoeneweis looked really good pitching one inning. Joe Smith also contributed a scoreless inning, but he was leaving his pitches a little more up in the zone than he had in previous outings.
The Mets will face the Tigers in St. Lucie tomorrow. The game will be televised on SNY. John Maine and Phil Humber will be among tomorrow's pitchers.