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Mets Can't Pull Off the Sweep

Mike SteffanosMonday, April 21, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 17: Phillies 5 - Mets 4

It was cheering in a way that the Mets fought back from a 4-0 deficit, and again that they made Brad Lidge sweat a little in the ninth. Still, when it was all over I was left with a bit of an empty feeling. This game was there for the taking all night, and the Mets just couldn't take it away. It wasn't a horrible loss that made me lose sleep, but it was a head-shaker.

After a couple of nice starts, Mike Pelfrey put up the sort of performance that lets you know he is still a work in progress. 10 hits in 5 innings and 2 homers was typical of Pelfrey from 2007, although his strike percentage was more positive, as was the 2 walks. Given all the hits allowed, he did limit the damage somewhat in holding the Phillies to 4 runs. Still, I'm sure Mike wasn't happy with this one.

If Pelfrey at least is showing progress, Carlos Delgado's season has again regressed from his promising start. Another 0-4 has dropped Delgado to the Mendoza line, and it's hard to find positives to take away. He hit the ball a little better and didn't strike out, but the guy is looking less like a viable mid-order hitter every game.

With Alou close to a return (knock wood), the short-term solution will see Delgado dropped to sixth in the order, but he'll need to show some signs of life to continue to take a lineup spot, period. This bears watching, with a Frank Thomas-like fate not out of the realm of possibility.

Castillo is another player who needs to pick it up. The 4-year contract ensures him a spot for a while, and I suspect he'll hit better, but he needs to execute better on the sacrifice. That one in the ninth inning wasn't the first one he's blown in an important spot, and is the sort of thing he simply must do to justify his existence in the lineup.

View Mike Pelfrey's Full Season Stats

Box Score

Comments (6)

Regarding DelGado, I wish Frank Thomas could play in the field. He's probably still good for 26 homers, 90 RBI, 60 bases on balls.

Castillo.....wasn't it plain that he was in decline during the 2003 World Series? I know he has been a productive player in the past, but today he is a speedster who walks with a limp, a slap hitter with zero power -- a very thin array of talents, and next to nothing to fall back on if the principal talents decline, as they clearly have. And he is ours for another three years, five months going forward.

Maybe the two taken together will be a big enough pill to wean Omar from always choosing the "established talent."

Mike, Castillo does look like a bad choice to sign for four years. He looks to be in decline and when they signed him, it made me twinge a little. He does perform in the field turning D.P.'s as well as anyone. This makes me wonder if his skiils with the bat are the only problem. From watching him last year, he doesn't have the power to consistantly get the ball to the outfield. His offense looks comparable to Harrelson. I feel that's about all you will get from him. Batting him second in the order like Willie did really isn't a good idea but he had to have some protection after Delgado. Please Willie, put him back to the eighth hole.

mike, i was convinced before the season started, that delgado was done..castillo was a horrible signing..alou is due back soon..what are your thoughts on playing him at first against lefties and sitting delgado.we wasted a real good effort by maine tonite.heilman awful again.if willie says i have to stay with heilmnan, i'm going to get sick.what for??did i miss something the last few years, like heilman getting big outs in clutch games.if sanchez is healthy, the mets should see if they can trade him and endy to the pirates for nady..too many automatic outs in this lineup right now..please move heilman before the fans boo him out of shea amd he has no trade value.

Gary, Do you really think he has trade value now? He won't be traded until the deadline and until then we need to find a way to use him with big leads and hope he doesn't blow them. I remember he struggled when Sanchez was last effective for us. Right now it looks like Willie is going to have to use Sanchez in the eighth sooner rather than later. While I agree we need more offense because it just isn't there on a consistant basis so far this year, other teams will not trade anyone who will make that difference now unless they have above average run scoring ability but need pitching badly. Who fits this mold? I know the Yankees do. Picking up Aaron would free up Joba to the rotation like Hank wants done. Would we ever trade him there? Not likely. And for who? They have their own issues with carrying a lot of dead weight. They won't trade a guy like Duncan who could possibly fit in for us. What is going to happen is with the Delgado situation. Something will be done there in due time but I'm not so sure it won't come from within the organization.

heilman's achilles heel is the homerun ball..in close games in the eigth inning a reliever who is prone to the longball is going to kill u in the long run..i'm just tired of watching this guy come in and implode.granted we probably can't do anything with him and delgado till july..the one thing we can do is use them less and try someone else in those spots.. first base is not that hard a position to play plus delgado is a lousy fielder with little range..maybe we can try alou or pagan at first..knowing willie and his "loyalty" it probably won't happen.

Gary, they don't have enough in the bullpen to trade Heilman. Sanchez sure can't pitch every day. I just think he's being used too much right now.

William - If you trade one of your better relievers for a position player, you're weakening one area to strengthen another. Respectfully, I honestly don't understand this desire just to get rid of someone without thinking through who's going to take his place.

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