By Mike Steffanos
I will be leaving in a short while to make the trip into NYC, watching tonight's game live and in person with Greg Prince from Faith and Fear in Flushing. I'll have to keep my recap on last night's game brief.
Padres 7 - Mets 5
Played Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I understand that the Mets feel they can receive dependable, if unspectacular, starts from the veteran Brian Lawrence in that fifth starter's role. In fairness, he didn't receive the best defensive support last night. Still, after starting out with respectable starts against the Brewers and Marlins, he has allowed 4 earned runs in 5 innings to both the Pirates and Padres -- two teams that are hardly elite offenses. He's also issued 4 walks in both of those starts. He's made a career of giving up a lot of hits but being stingy with bases on balls, but he has issued 11 walks in his last 16 innings of work.
I know that, barring some physical problem, Pedro will replace Lawrence fairly soon. Still, I can't help but wonder if I wouldn't rather see Pelfrey or perhaps Phil Humber get a start or two and a little experience for the future. Lawrence's numbers are not appreciably better than Pelfrey's (Lawrence: 5.57 ERA, 1.81 WHIP -- Pelfrey 5.92 ERA, 1.66 WHIP). Pelfrey's numbers in July (18.1 IP, 4.91 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) are much better than Lawrence's. Again, I know we're probably only talking about a couple of starts.
|Brian Lawrence (1-1)|
|Season (4 Games)||21||13||13||27||14||11||2||5.57||1.81||1-3|
The Mets are going to have to make a decision on Guillermo Mota soon. There was a point when he looked like he might be turning it around. He can still look really dominant at times, as he did through 7 outs last night. As soon as he gets a runner on base, however, he seems to lose all his confidence in his stuff and overthrow. You just can't trust him, and I don't see how that would change.
I'm more sanguine about the bullpen than most. I think that if they get hot at the right time they are good enough to get the club through the playoffs. The Cardinals bullpen was abysmal last year, but look what they did in October. There are issues that need to be addressed, however, and Mota's ineffectiveness and the reluctance to pitch Sele in all but lost causes are two of them.
As much as last night sucked, it was nice to see the Mets fight back again. Even in defeat, they are looking better than they did in most of June and July.