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Mets Can't Pull Off the Sweep

Mike SteffanosMonday, July 2, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Phillies 5 - Mets 3
Played Sunday, July 1, 2007

It seemed like a lot to ask coming into the game for a team that had been sucking wind a week and a half earlier, particularly when I heard Oliver Perez wouldn't be making the start. Mike Pelfrey, while still throwing way too many pitches, pitched credibly enough to give the Mets a chance in this one, but the bats went dormant once more despite facing a pitcher they should have hit. It's hard to complain about taking 3 of 4 on the road from a tough opponent, but I can't help feeling the sense of opportunity lost.

Mike Pelfrey did a couple of things right yesterday that were good to see. He came out aggressive in the first inning and got out clean. That was his downfall early in the year. Then after really struggling in the third inning, he settled down and gave the team a strong fourth and fifth that kept them right in the game. It may not have been a dominant start, but it was a baby step forward for Mike Pelfrey.

Mike Pelfrey (Last 5 Starts)
Season (7 Games)35.1252440162036.111.701-6

View Mike Pelfrey's Full Season Stats

Just a couple more quick thoughts on this one. First of all, while I agree it's time for the struggling Julio Franco to go. He just doesn't seem to have the bat speed to compete against good fastballs. Unlike so many Mets fans, though, I'm not going to kill him for not running hard yesterday. He has a good track record of playing the game right, and everyone succumbs to frustrations at times. It's up to Mets management to make the call on a player like Franco, and I'm not going to hold it against him for a decision that's not Franco's to make. Blame Omar and Willie for this one.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm a little concerned about the upcoming games before the break. Colorado was very good until a recent slump, and the Astros are always tough at home. Now it sounds as if Perez won't pitch tomorrow, and may not at all before the break. The Mets can't afford to fall asleep again over these seven games or the NL can tighten right back up. I'd like to see them finish up strong heading into the All Star Break.

Box Score

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Comments (7)

Hey, Mike, debmc from F.U. here.

You know, I feel the same sense of semi-let-down as you do about yesterday's game. But I have to tell you, I felt that before the game even started, because I just knew for whatever reason that the team was not really focused on knocking the Phillies, uh, private parts, lol, in the dirt.

And this pissed me off for a couple of reasons.

Not the least of which is because of the fact that all weekend long, their pitchers had a field day knocking down or otherwise attempting to intimidate our hitters.

And I have to wonder, after watching our lack of on the field retaliation time after time after time, combined with the team's lack of focus and desire to slam the open door shut, what it will take to get this team sufficiently motivated to do one, or the other, or both.

They seem to think they almost can turn it on and off at will, and it doesn't appear to me that they learned their 2006 NLCS lesson -- that they can't. I'd like to see them take better advantage of opportunities with which they are presented during the year, and I'd like to see one of our pitchers, once and for all, do a Tom Seaver and knock one of the opposition's "stars" flat on his ass.

mike - i hate to focus on the negative and criticize willie (because i really to do like him as a manager), but you know how badly i just want them to win and i really wanted a 4 game sweep and it was so possible - so here goes: i don't agree with willie pinch hitting ledee for gomez (and this is the second time he has done this)...i would leave gomez in to hit and then use ledee to pinch hit instead of franco...i agree with you that since he is on the roster, he has to play but how about if willie uses him in less critical situations? i think omar needs to face the fact that he doesn't really deserve a roster spot at this point in time - especially because he can no longer spell delgado at first. he can't hit to left and he can't catch up to a fast ball. i wish they would just make him a coach and bring someone up from the minors to take his spot and help the team in these situations. i think gomez is handling himself just fine offensively and ledee is a much better option than franco. i'd rather see castro pinch hit than franco although i understand it presents a back-up catcher issue if we tie the game. just my opinion and my frustration with our diminished bench this season.

The Mets should have won yesterday. You're right about Pelfrey, he pitched well enough to keep the Mets in the game, and if he had an umpire that wasn't a tightwad with a strike zone, he'd probably have done better. Mechanically and personality wise, he looked very good out there.

The Mets bats went dormant primarily because they shot themselves in the foot, alot. Early in the game they would get runners on, but they'd hit into double plays, or get some hard-hit balls, but right at a Phillies' glove. It was just one of those days that the only way the Mets would have won would have been if the Phillies choked badly.

Otherwise, taking 3 of 4 from the Phils, and nearly taking all 4 of them, must really depress the Phils. They're not ready for primetime.

debmc - I definitely think someone needs to deck Cole Hamels next time they face him.
Joyce - I just think it's time for Franco to go, period. He doesn't have the bat speed to compete against pitchers with live fastballs anymore.
Jason - I meant to say something about the strike zone but didn't have much time to write my piece earlier. You're right about that.

Ironic, isn't it, that it's the very starting pitching that was supposed to be the strength of the Phillies that is their downfall. They've had some bad luck, but anyone who saw Garcia pitch last year had to wonder if there was an injury waiting to happen. Was glad the Mets didn't trade for him.

I thought Wright's error left Pelfrey exposed, and he got bit; otherwise I thought he did a good job. More and better to come I am hoping.

I just heard that Oliver Perez is following Jorge Sosa onto the DL. No big deal apparently, more a matter of erring on the side of caution with the All Star break, etc.

All's I can say is, are we not spoiled? We've gone all year without our number 1 starter, watched our #2 go down for a considerable time, now have to do without numbers 3 and 4, or 3 and 5 you might say; not to mention a left fielder scheduled to miss at least a total of six weeks, our secret weapon fourth outfielder looking to miss at least a month, plus our second baseman missing a month and coming back diminished, our right fielder missing a couple of weeks and returning sans his bat. Somehow the team is still at the top of their division, and we can all find time to ponder whether LoDuca is a bigot, and where the fighting spirit has gone from our team.

It was easier to figure out the team's problems three or four years ago, back in the days when Jason Phillips was manning first base; easier, but less satisfying.

dd - I'm just grateful we have Pelfrey and Vargas to plug in here. Thank God Lima time is over for us. I kind of miss the hair, though.

Did anyone else see the David Wright promotion sponsored by Vitamin Water? It’s pretty cool and you can sign up for the chance to play David in his video game. Check it out at www.davidwrightorwrong.com.

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