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(Still) Lost in LA

Mike SteffanosTuesday, June 12, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Dodgers 5 - Mets 3
Played Monday, June 11, 2007

The game seemed to offer the promise of some Mets offense when they scored a pair of runs off Randy Wolf in the first inning without the benefit of a home run. Unfortunately, the only run they were able to convert the rest of the way came on a fluky 2-out bloop hit by Carlos Gomez. Although Wolf really didn't pitch that well (9 hits in 6 innings), he didn't have to. The way the offense is going right now, if you give Mets hitters the chance to get themselves out they will.

Sadly for Hernandez, his control was off all day and the 3 runs the Mets produced for him weren't enough. He never seemed to have control of his breaking pitches, and his defense wasn't particularly sharp behind him. In the end, I thought he did a pretty good job battling through with what little he had, but in these arid offensive days with the Mets only top performances seem to give a starter a chance for a win.

Orlando Hernandez (Last 5 Starts)
Season (9 Games)56.2171536392152.381.015-4

View Orlando Hernandez' Full Season Stats

The Mets did absolutely nothing in the last 3 innings against the Dodgers bullpen, making this writer feel very much like he stayed up late for nothing. When I was watching the eighth inning of a close game wishing I had gone to bed, I had a flashback to the 2004 team, and even the 2005 team who seemed to have their share of power outages like this past week. Certainly neither of those teams had the personnel this one has, but it doesn't matter what the names are if they aren't producing. They gave a stat during last night's game that Carlos Delgado was something like 9 for his last 55 at bats in RBI situations. That's a sparkling .111 mark, and he's not the only one struggling like that.

Frankly, I think it's time to take a shot at putting Lo Duca in the 2-hole again. He hasn't been producing in the RBI slots, and this team needs a shakeup. I'd rather see Shawn Green in a RBI slot than hitting second right now.

This thing will play out, because they're better than this. You hope the lack of clutch hitting will be balanced out down the road with some good production. In the meantime, it just hurts to watch some of these games. But I'll be there again tonight, hoping the real Mets decide to show up.

Box Score

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Comments (11)

Kinda indirectly refering back to some of the dialog in Dave's post, the Mets could do with a little shake up right now.

Putting CB in the 32 hole might put a little more pressure on opposing defenses, bring 'small ball' back in frame, and let LoDuca hit 3rd/green 3rd, DW 4th..(he is the only hot bat), and Del 5th. Easley/valentin/Gotay 6th.

I'd like to get back to Easley being the super-sub, playing some OF in late innings, bunting for base hits and providing double switch options galore.

SP and his sportscenter buds were marketting Lidge yesterday...Note to Metsnation, I believe Wags (a close friend)was openly petitioning for him in the preseason.Bears watching

How does the saying go? You're never as good as you are when you're hot, and you're never as bad as you seem when you're cold. But boy, this team seems real bad right now. It started with the offense sputtering a little, then spilled over to the bullpen, and now it has finally infected the starting pitching. Fueled by injuries and propogated by just a bad brand of on the field play, this team is spiraliing towards the rest of the NL East.

I'm not even sure putting Lo Duca back in the 2 hole (though he should have never been moved from it) is going to fix this team anymore. Honestly Mike, I'm not sure anything Willie Randolph can say or do will fix this team right now.

It has reached the point that I think nothing any coach, manager or GM could say or do will get this team back on the winning track. The players on the field, from the everyday position players to the last man in the bullpen, all must be accountable for their play.

They need a major shakeup Mike, but it has to come from within.

Mike, I have never been able to figure out the logic of moving LoDuca out of the 2-hole to begin with, and I think it's obvious to everyone that the move has failed miserably. LoDuca is not an RBI man, and to so drastically alter a lineup that worked so well last year, seems illogical to me. Randolph has an almost obsessive refusal to make even the most obvious of changes, and he is never willing to admit something hasn't worked; that has been one of his major weaknesses as a manager and takes away from the good work he has done. I have always been in the camp that you don't weaken the whole lineup to patch a spot where there has been an injury; getting Green back last night would have been a perfect spot to put LoDuca back to #2 in the order. That said, the team has been in an almost season-long malaise, and the fact that they have had this much success is probably due to their talent and the fact that the Phillies and Braves have their own problems. I'm not sure that there is any particular thing Randolph or Minaya can do to jump-start this team, but a kick in the tail is long overdue, and some changes in the status-quo managerial moves might help too. I'm with you Mike; it's especially painful watching this team late into the night/early morning hours continue to go through the motions with no production in sight. I too will keep waiting!

Holy Molly Sal , I would hate to see if we ever got close to 500 . We might have to talk you in off the ledge ! LOL ! Seriously bro we have for a while now had as many as 5 count them 5 of the 8 regulars sitting watching AAA guys in their place and we are still around 10 games over 500 and leading the East if not the entire league .

Yes we aren't playing very good ball at the moment but very , very few teams play good ball pole to pole the way we did last year . Everyone has their slumps and with all the injuries we have had did this really catch anyone off guard ? People really do get spoiled very easily . How comes it takes so long to get used to the bad things in life ?

Now take a deep breath and repeat after me :

We are getting healthy and our guys are better than they have showed recently .

Our three biggest run producers have one short hot streak between them all year , this won't go on all year.

Our BP is having a bad stretch and will rebound shortly .

There is no need for a major shakeup , WR knows that we have a good team going through injuries and a bad stretch at once . He also knows that this is temporary and soon we will be running away with this division and the entire NL will be looking up at our dust .

While I agree with you Ed, (none of the moves proposed are akin to firing Willy and releasing Glavine) many of the achilles tendons exposed last yr are being exposed again. The lack of a longman is a glaring one and middle relievers. Eventually I envision Vargas/Humber factoring into the bullpen.

Also alot of last yrs injuries, Delgado, Beltran, Heilman are lingering, and Willie does not rest/rotate players....definately not like BV did. BV LOOKED for platoon oppurtunities.

Ed , I still think that we have a high probability to see an Humber , Pelfrey , Collazo among others contribute in some way this year as well as Milledge . And the platoon thing is basically just the personal preference of managers IMHO . I personally like a platoon or two. But when looking to the Mets to sustain a longterm winning formula there is no doubt in my mind that WR would achieve that long before and after BV won pissed everyone and their brothers off and got fired , again !

BV might actually be the greatest or at least one of the greatest in game managers of all time . But how long can a guy like him last in NY ? My bet is not very long especially not the second time around when the media knows how to push his buttons . That is why I refrain from WR BV comparisons . They are two different animals for two very different strategies ! Win today and throw the future to the wind . Or try to have a sustained winning formula for the organization ?

I take choice number two every time.

Haha, Eduardo I'm not near the ledge yet, but thanks for the concern. By major shakeup I was referring more to the players stepping up on their own to address the team's problems. One of the many veterans on this team has to do something in the clubhouse to get this team going. Maybe that's not a major shakeup, but it's one that has to be handled by the guys who take the field and not by Willie or Omar.

We're rapidly losing our grip on this division, and that has to stop before they leave LA. There's one more game to play there. This team has to find a way to win it, and not show up in the Bronx with their tails between their legs.

True nuff Salman:

I personally disliked BV. His temporament was like an egotistic drill sgt. But i agree comparisons are unfair. but a manager has to have luck. Go figure that LaRussa is the defending WS mgr, but came within 1 game of a horrific collapse last Sept and almost let Houston in.

WR is supposedly a players manager. Ditto Omar. Remember the Mets post the Jason Bay/Payton trades? THAT was the PITS. Especially with Bay now a perennial All-star and Payton hitting .400 the rest of that yr in colorado...

Adrenaline! thats the key word here. What seperates teams; attitude and that 'Jeter-esque'(Jordan-Larry Bird) mentality of expecting to win.

On Willie: Rest! That energy Reyes brings is waning...a rest day or two please Willie...Gotay at SS, Franco at 1st. Also, A fresh arm in the pen (Humber). For me Beltran uses the interleague series to DH, rest his quads, see someone else in his spot in the field.....And I'd still like to see Beltran(SH-#2), Green(LH-3#), DW(RH-#4), Delgado(Lh#5), LoDuca-Alou(RH#6).

Agreed with Eduardo that the Mets will get some contributions from some of the youngsters before this season is done.

It's hard watching a good team go through a protracted struggle. And while I agree with everyone who expects the Mets to right themselves, I also think that this team could really, really benefit from having one or two leaders among the players. Think of it: nearly all of these Mets are accurately described a nice guys. But sometimes in life we have need a son of a bitch.

Most winning teams have had one or more players who set the tone for the day-in, day-out grind; someone who, if you didn't stay focussed you heard about it from him. Kirk Gibson; Don Baylor; ol' Penitentiary Face, Jeff Leonard; Larry Bowa; Sal Bando; Rick Burleson; that sort of personality.

Who on the Mets could possibly fill that bill? The closest I can come would be Carlos DelGato or possibly Jose Valentin; and frankly neither of them is a perfect fit. Lo Duca, perhaps.

The '80's Mets had that job covered admirably, of course, with Hernandez, Knight, Backman. Who is there to step forward on this team?

Ed - For me, the ship has sailed long ago on Beltran batting second. He just needs to hit, but I like him third. I'd love to have Lidge, but I could only imagine the price tag Houston would demand now that he's pitching decent.
Salman - I agree, this is on the players now. This is a veteran club, and they need to find the push from within.
George - I don't know why Willie won't try Lo Duca back in the two hole, it makes no sense to me. It worked well last year, and should be worth a try.

I agree with you that these problems have been here all along, and the great early starting pitching and a few big innings covered them up for a while.
Eduardo - I do agree with you to a point, but I think the Mets offensive approach has been bad all year, and needs to change.
dd - Amen. I agree completely.

I'm not happy with the slump that the team's in right now (it doesn't help that they haven't been getting help at all from the umps) but I'll take solace that it's happening now and not in September. If anyone wants to see a team flounder in September, I give you last year's Red Sox and the 2005 Indians. Ouch.

That being said, Reyes needs to stop swinging at everything. He's completely lost his patience at the plate, and it's affecting everyone else on the team. I'd be ok with it if it's something where he's hitting the ball hard- but he's just getting these infuriatingly stupid 1-1 count popups. It's like he's afraid of taking a walk and being stranded on base- and trying to win the game all by himself. He needs to calm down, and get back to basics. Reyes, I hearby order you to bunt your way on base for the rest of the week!

Beltran also needs rest. He's just trying- and hitting the ball well but right at fielders- but it's clear that his defense is hurting with his bum knee. I'm seeing huge outfield gaps that shouldn't be there with Beltran, Gomez, and Green in the OF. Green and Gomez are basically out of position trying to cover territory that Beltran can't cover, due to his injury. That's hurting the Mets defense- they're letting alot of liners and well hit fly balls fall in as a result.

The Mets should consider at least 1 day a week where Beltran sits and Valentin does some OF work, or Milledge gets some time in the OF when he gets off the DL. If Chavez and Alou were healthy, I'd give Beltran 2-3 days off straight.

However, with Alou on the DL for an extended- and increasingly annoying- amount of time, the Mets should consider replacing him completely in the lineup. Trade time, anyone?

Jason B

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