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Why Can't It Be Friday the 13th for the Other Guys?

Mike SteffanosSaturday, July 14, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Reds 8 - Mets 4
Played Friday, July 13, 2007

The season of Schizophrenia continues for the Mets, as they could look very sharp one night and then get pummeled the next. Last night John Maine looked rusty from the break, and was also betrayed by his defense. In an all too familiar scenario for the 2007 season, the Mets went into a big hole early and couldn't dig themselves out of it. By the time they scored their first run it was 4-1 Reds, and they didn't score again until they were down 8-1. Just once I would love to see them battle back from a big early hole, but that isn't the makeup of this year's edition, at least not up to this point. They had their opportunities all night, but couldn't cash in enough to ever make a game out of it.

What chance they had diminished drastically in the fifth inning when Ruben Gotay committed a pair of errors to put two on and no outs for the Reds. It could have been worse -- his throw to second on the second error almost got Reyes killed. As it was, the two miscues hastened the end of Maine's disappointing night as the Reds plated 3 unearned runs to jump out to a 6-run lead.

John Maine (Last 5 Starts)
Season   (18 Games)114.14137919643112.911.1712-6

View John Maine's Full Season Stats

Just a couple of observations on the rest. The time has come to move Lo Duca out of the RBI slots in the order and down towards the bottom. I love Lo Duca as a player, but he's been pressing at the plate terribly, and his inability to produce any runs is killing this team. Lo Duca needs to bat in the bottom of the lineup, and Castro needs to get more starts.

If Jose Valentin made those 2 misplays in the fifth inning, there would have been a large contingent of Mets fans screaming for his head. Yesterday I mentioned that I felt Valentin's struggles and Gotay's hot bat earned Ruben Gotay the bulk of playing time at 2B. Apparently that wasn't enough for some readers, who were upset with me for saying I thought that Gotay looked like a utility infielder rather than the 2B of the future. The kid had another couple of hits and an RBI in the game to partially offset his defensive mistakes, but could we please sit back a little and see what he looks like playing every day before we anoint him as the chosen one? I've been following this game a long time, and have seen many guys look great for a month or two over the years and then fade. Sorry if I choose not to drink your Ruben Gotay Kool-Aid, but could you please acknowledge the fact that I agree he deserves to show how good he really is? He's a nice kid, and he is hustling and playing hard, and I respect him for that. Jeez...

One last thought. Is there some sort of rule that I am unaware of that both Carloses can't be hitting at the same time?

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (4)

I'm with you, Mike, about liking Gotay and wanting him to get some more playing time to see if he has what it takes to be an everyday player. I mean, I [heart] Endy, but I remember hearing all those "everyday endy" chants and wondering if those people were actually paying attention. Gotay could really help us out, but we haven't come anywhere near solving our 2d base problem.

Look at the bright side Mike. At least Milledge snuck a HR in there. The kid has looked good so far. And I completely agree with your assessment of the Lo Duca situation. Willie seems to be the only person in baseball left who thinks Lo Duca is a run producer. And he simply is not.

Lo Duca's biggest strength is his ability to take pitches, be patient, work the count and settle for walks and 2-strike singles. Sticking him anywhere from 3-7 puts him in a position where he's required to do the exact opposite - not take pitches, swing at hittable pitches early in the count, try to drive the ball rather than going for singles. He's just not that sort of player, and his lack of production in those spots is proving that.

I think the best lineup right now would have Milledge and Lo Duca swap spots in the order. A righty bat with power would sit behind Delgado. And Milledge is a natural line drive hitter who can produce if he sees some fastballs. Lo Duca is a guy who can do things like get on base and clear the pitcher's spot. Leave Gotay behind Reyes because he puts together solid at bat after solid at bat.

I think that having a natural line drive hitter / run producer behind Delgado would help this team get on the board with more consistency, and likely take alot of pressure off our pitchers and even guys like the Carloses, Wright and Green. One thing's for sure, Lo Duca isn't the answer in that spot right now.

Mets 2 Reds 1.... The Mets owe Glaven a blowout game someplace down the line.(but then again they owe every Met starter a blowout game too.)

MetsGrrl - He deserves to play right now, that's for sure. I like the energy he brings to the game. He needs to learn how to protect himself better when turning double plays or any discussion of his future could be moot.
Salman - I think they need to get Castro playing at least a couple of times a week in place of Lo Duca, too.
Al - All too true, my friend.

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