Mets should provide stepping stone for bounceback

"Redemption can be found in hell itself if that's where you happen to be." --LIN JENSEN, Bad Dog!

Okay, so we're not exactly in hell, though some of us may have felt like it after losing five straight.  Whatever low funk the Rockies are in though, it is time for redemption.  The Rockies ought to be really mad.   Last week was terrible and Colorado is primed to take out their frustrations on a lowly opponent.  It doesn't help the Mets' sake that they embarrassed the Rockies in July.   It's payback time, doubletime.

Since the Mets won that series six weeks ago, New York has come crashing to earth.  That series against the Rockies marks the last time the Mets won three games in a row or even won a series.  They have lost 9 of 11 and just finished a 10-19 August.  

Their season has been nothing short of a tire fire.  They ought to bench their first baseman, because his Law has completely governed their season.  The rotation has entireely fallen apart - Nelson Figueroa and reliever Pedro Feliciano led the team with two August wins, and Jerry Manuel saw three left-handed starters (Niese, Perez and Santana, all of whom pitched against the Rockies last time) go down for the rest of the season with injuries.  Overall, thirteen players are on the disabled list today, more than the Rockies have had all season. 

Only four teams have more road losses than the "Amazin's," and since taking a series at Fenway in May, New York has lost 10 of 11 road series.   Amazin Avenue had a well-recieved fanpost last Thursday begging Omar Minaya to replace the guy they were using as their cleanup hitter with Matt Murton.  Man, this is brutal.  I won't continue.  It hurts.

Quite frankly, losing this series would be embarrassing.  We need a sweep.

Check out Amazin Avenue if you want to see hurting Mets fans.  I almost feel bad for them.

  

Nym1234_medium

New York Mets (59-72, W2, 4th, 17.5 GB Div) 

Tuesday-Thursday: 3-game series at Coors Field


The Bats: D

One might think that a lineup riddled with injuries and replacement players would experience great turnover.  However, Jerry Manuel's lineup looks very much the same as it did when we last saw them - the only change is an underwhelming one in the 8-hole/shortstop.  Francouer and Hernandez are both performing two levels higher with the Mets than their previous clubs, but it's not enough to make the lineup fierce.  Wright should come off the DL in time for tonight's game - if not, Fernando Tatis will be starting at third.

The Mets' .321 team wOBA ranks 6th worst in the NL, not surprisingly placing them sixth from the bottom in runs scored.  You won't see this team swinging for the fences - they rank dead last in HR in MLB with 76, a whole 18 less than the 29th ranked Giants.  New York also has accumulated the lowest number of strikeouts in the league, helping them lead the NL in BB/K.  They are largely a dink and dunk team.   Basically, throw the ball over the plate - they can't hurt you too badly.

LINEUP Avg HR RBI OBP SLG wOBA
Angel Pagan - CF .294 6 26
.340 .489 .352
Luis Castillo - 2B .312 1 34
.402 .362 .348
David Wright - 3B
.324 8 55 .414 .467 .387
Daniel Murphy - 1B .260 7 46 .315 .390 .307
Jeff Francoeur - RF .271 11 64 .300 .406 .301
Cory Sullivan - LF
.258 0
9 .320 .360 .311
Brian Schneider - C .189 3
24
.272 .318 .304
Anderson Hernandez - SS .258 1 30 .319 .332 .288

By wOBA metrics, the lineup features one All-Star caliber player (Wright), two solidly above average hitters (Pagan and Castillo), four very below average hitters (Murphy, Francoeur, Sullivan and Schneider), and one flat terrible hitter (Hernandez).  Just like last time, I can say the only legitimate threats are the top three in the lineup, but we know how much that can mean sometimes.

Jeremy Reed (.244, 0, 7), Nick Evans (.229, 1, 6) and Gary Sheffield (.279, 10, 43) are the backup outfielders while Fernando Tatis (.263, 7, 36) can play IF and OF.  Wilson Valdez (.244, 0, 4)  is on the bench as an IF, and Omir Santos (.267, 6, 37) is the platoon catcher.  Rookie catcher Josh Thole got a callup today.  Wright still needs to be activated from the DL if he is to play in tonight's game, though he will.

Hop after the jump for the scouting report on the arms, the D, the pitching matchups and the hot/cold players.

The Arms: D-

Rotation:  This isn't how Omar Minaya pictured his rotation in September.  There's no reason why a New York team should be playing a series with Mike Pelfrey (ERA+ of 88) as their best starter. Redding and Misch have been given up on as starters by poor teams and have been forced into the rotation based on injuries to Johan Santana and Oliver Perez.  Basically, the 4th worst NL rotation by ERA got worse.  Every member of the current rotation is below MLB average, and their season tRA is a troubling 5.14.

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Francisco Rodriguez 3-4 58 0 0 0 28 5 59.0 43 25 20 6 33 61 3.05 1.29

Bullpen:  K-Rod is fine as the closer, but there's no real help otherwise.  Manuel still has two lefties in the bullpen with Pedro Feliciano and Ken Takahashi.  Joining closer Francisco Rodriguez are righties Sean GreenElmer Dessens, Lance Broadway and Brian Stokes.  Feliciano, Green and K-Rod are worth worrying about, but the others are not.


The D: D-

New York has made 80 errors, good for 10th-most in MLB.  However, by UZR, they have the worst range in the majors, which fangraphs takes into account to claim the Mets are MLB's worst defense.  There might be some UZR issues at Citi Field though, as Wright, Castillo and Sullivan are all listed as below average defenders.  Pertinent for any Coors series, CF Angel Pagan is listed as the only positive fielder.


Probable Pitchers:

Tonight, 6:40 pm MDT

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Mike Pelfrey 9-9 25 25 0 0 0 0 146.1 167 84 78 10 55 84 4.80 1.52
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Jorge De La Rosa 12-9 26 25 0 0 0 0 148.2 148 82 78 19 62 152 4.72 1.41

 

Pelfrey has only two starts in 25 this season where he was not scored upon, and one came against the Rockies in July.  Since that game, he has gone 1-3 with a 5.10 ERA.  He has a very poor 1.53 K/BB rate, which plays right into the Rockies' hands if they remain patient.  The big difference from 2008 is Pelfrey's fastball, which has dropped from a stout 21.9 rating to -5.9 this year.  Jorge de la Rosa has a dizzying streak of 18 straight starts that he's earned a decision in, having lost in his last start for just the second time in 12 outings.  He has scuffled a bit lately but remains the better pitcher in the matchup hands down.  Still, if the Mets hope to win a game in the series, this one is the most likely.  Favors: ROCKIES moderately 

 

Wednesday, September 2, 6:40 pm MDT

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Tim Redding 2-4 24 11 0 0 0 0 83.1 93 58 55 14 36 54 5.94 1.55
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ubaldo Jimenez 12-10 27 27 1 0 0 0 181.1 153 69 67 10 69 158 3.33 1.22

 

After losing his rotation slot in July after four bad starts, Redding is back thanks to injuries to his teammates.  This will be his third start since returning, and he allowed just 3 runs on 6 hits in 11.1 IP in the first two starts.  However, he gives up plenty of home runs, has a worse K/BB than Pelfrey, and has a season FIP and tRA in the 5's to support that ERA - he's having a bad year.  Ubaldo Jimenez keeps building on the franchise record of 6+ IP starts.  He threw 8.0 IP in four of his six starts, allowing no more than 2 ER in all six games.  The Rockies' only loss in those starts was to Lincecum last Friday.  As long as U-ball doesn't pull a Letdown After the Timmy Showdown, this is a no-brainer.   Favors: ROCKIES extremely strongly


Thursday, September 3, 1:10 pm MDT

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Pat Misch 0-1 20 1 0 0 0 1 29.0 30 11 11 1 15 15 3.41 1.55
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Jason Marquis 14-9 29 26 2 1 0 0 177.1 172 77 71 12 55 86 3.60 1.28

 

Misch, a former Giant, will be making his second start of the season.  He did decently in the bullpen and allowed 1 ER in 7 innings at Wrigley Field in his first start, but I'd be remiss not to note he was facing the Cubs.  He has very poor K and BB rates, albeit in a fairly small sample.  The lefty's slider and fastball come in at about the same speed, but his stuff won't overpower you.  Marquis is coming off his worst start since June at the Angels but allowed 2 ER over 17.0 IP in his last two starts at Coors Field.  He has the chance to pull within one win of the NL lead in wins with Adam Wainright.  Favors: ROCKIES strongly


My take

On paper, this series should be a sweep clincher on par with both Nationals series.  Of course, actually pulling off a sweep is tricky business, and if good Pelfrey shows up tonight, we could have issues.  Otherwise, this is a prime opportunity to take a stranglehold on the wild card again with the Giants in Philly.  I would panic more from losing this series than having been swept by the Giants, and even winning just two games would leave a bit of an empty feeling.  Go kill some Mets, please.

 

33_15_10---fire-flame-texture_web_mediumLuis Castillo, David Wright, Fernando Tatis, Angel Pagan, and Jeff Francoeur each hit over .300 with an .800+ OPS in August.  Pagan hit all six of his home runs this season in the month, while Francoeur had 3 bombs and 10 doubles himself.  K-Rod blew two straight saves in early August, permitting 7 ER in 1.0 IP over the two appearances, yet he has converted 4 straight opportunities and has 5 straight scoreless appearances.


IceBrian Schneider had only 4 singles, 3 doubles, one walk and 11 Ks in 48 August PAs.  Gary Sheffield hasn't homered since June 28 and had a .670 OPS in August.  Jeremy Reed has only 6 TB's in his last 28 ABs.  


The Mets injury list is dizzying:

Bandaid_medium

New York Mets Injuries


15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Carlos Delgado hip 05/11/2009
Jose Reyes hamstring 05/21/2009
John Maine shoulder 06/07/2009
Carlos Beltran knee 06/22/2009
Fernando Martinez knee 07/04/2009
Fernando Nieve thigh 07/20/2009
David Wright concussion 08/16/2009
Johan Santana elbow 08/21/2009
Oliver Perez knee 08/24/2009
Alex Cora thumb 08/13/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ramon Martinez fingers 06/03/2009
Jonathon Niese hamstring 08/06/2009
J.J. Putz elbow 06/05/2009
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker