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It Could Have Been Worse, I Guess

Mike SteffanosSunday, July 20, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 97: Reds 5 - Mets 2 (Friday)
Game 98: Reds 7 - Mets 2 (Saturday)
Game 99: Mets 7 - Reds 5 (Sunday)

Going into this series I wouldn't have called a 2-2 split a bad result. The Reds have been playing well and they were throwing a couple of tough pitchers at us. Of course, the Mets wound up winning those two games, but losing to Bronson Arroyo (who came into the game with an ERA just under 6) and the legendary Josh Fogg.

After allowing Arroyo to breeze through 8 innings against them on Friday night, the Mets allowed Fogg to handle them for 6 on Saturday. The Arroyo game seemed over early as John Maine struggled again, but they wasted a pretty good effort by Ollie Perez on Saturday night.

And for all of the frustrations of those past two nights, the Mets go into the Phillies series tied for first and at least coming off a win. It just scares me to think that they were a Thursday night comeback against a good closer and an extra innings win away from being swept this series. But maybe that is progress, I don't know.

John Maine is starting to worry me. This was his third consecutive bad game, and he doesn't look like he's figuring it out, either. On the other hand, you can almost feel the confidence that Oliver Perez brings to the mound again. You really do get the feeling Maine kind of misses Rick Peterson while Perez has been freed by his departure.

On Sunday, I thought Mike Pelfrey was as impressive as you can be while allowing three home runs that were crushed. He gave up the big inning in the fourth, but then managed to go three more with only the one mistake to Brandon Phillips. It was a good sign, but I wonder if he gets hit hard again next time out if Pelfrey might start getting a little gun shy about throwing strikes like he was during his early struggles. It will be interesting to watch.

Carlos Delgado continues to impress -- not just because he's been hot, but because the quality of his at bats have improved so much. If he can really keep this going, and if Ryan Church is able to get past the post-concussion syndrome and contribute, this offense is a lot more impressive. Maybe even good enough to get them to October if the starting pitching holds up.

The 10-game streak was nice while it lasted, but now I'm curious to see if the Mets can sustain solid play or revert back to that win one, lose one type of inconsistent ball from earlier this season.

View John Maine's Full Season Stats
View Oliver Perez's Full Season Stats
View Mike Pelfrey's Full Season Stats

Game 97 Box Score
Game 98 Box Score
Game 99 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 (5)

I'm with you in hoping that a few home runs don't knock Pelfrey out of what has worked for him. I do wonder, though how three guys managed to hit that heavy ball of his out of the park, since he seemed to be on his game otherwise.

Cincinnati seems like a great place to hit, beyond the outfield dimensions. Try not to learn too much from a bad moment, Pelf.

I think Maine might have an injury, I'm not sure but something is just not right. I thought it was funny that the Mets did better against Cueto & Volquez, but struggled against Arroyo (not the first time they seemed lost against him) & the immortal Josh Fogg (whom they should have hit all over the ballpark). Just hope it was a case of looking ahead to the Philly series and nothing else. Still think they need a righthanded OF-1B to stablize the lineup. It will allow the Mets to play Tatis just enough while still having him available for PH duties. I'm just looking for the Mets to play consistent, and with that won some ball games.

I'm not usually superstitious, but...

Back on July 7th, during our pilgrimage to Noo Yawk, my daughter NostraDenise got me a gift from the gift shop at Dave & Buster's. It was a baseball card/mini-plaque of Carlos Delgado.

While this wasn't quite so inappropriate as giving a Mets fan a Yankees cap, Delgado sure wasn't the Met I'd be prompted to put up on a plaque. At the time, he was hitting .237, and we Mets fans were scrambling to find his replacement in triple-A ball.

Being the good dad I am, though, smiles, hugs and thank yous were exchanged, and I put the plaque up in a place of honor (currently the bulletin board in my office). Since I received that plaque, Carlos has hit a robust .462, and has regained the confidence of this Mets fan.

I'm thinking of taking the plaque down off the wall for a few days, just to see if it stops working. Not until after the Phillies series, though. I may not be superstitious, but I'm not an idiot.

Pelfrey pitched well for the most part Sunday. His biggest problem was a bad 4th inning where he gave up 3 runs. And that only happened becaue Marlon Anderson, in his infinite wisdom, lollylagged towards a fair ball that should have been caught. If Tatis, Chavez or hell, Evans was in the game, that ball is easily caught, there's 1 out in the inning, and Pelfrey doesn't pitch to Phillips and Encanarcion the same way. Can the Mets get rid of Marlon, STAT?

As an asides, it's really nice to see the Mets win the game AFTER Encanarcion made his stupid style-a-thon swagger for just tying the game up with a homer. Next time Mets see him, don't be suprised if he gets thwacked with a bean ball. Congrats Edwin, you tied the game with a homer- you didn't take the lead, and you even lost the game. Save the fireworks for a homer that matters.

And as much as the Mets were near a 4 game loss in the series, so were the Reds. We'll see how the Phillies series goes.

And I'm also laughing at Jayson Stark's article about the Phillies being better than the Mets. And yet.......the Mets are 7-3 against the Phillies. Hey Stark, wait for the trade deadline to see what the Mets get. If the Mets are able to pull off a Carlos Lee or a Huston Street deal, what will you say then? And also, Ryan Howard- with his mendoza line batting average and strikeout totals- is better than Carlos Delgado right now? Delgado's hot, and it looks like he may STAY hot. Howard is looking like Dave Kingman. Shudder. Oh, and how much of the Phillies' stats are padded because they play in a bandbox? Yeah, alot. I fear the Marlins more than the Phillies, to be honest.

Sorry, the above "anonymous" comment was by me. Sorry for the confusion!

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