July 17, 2010

Shutout in More Ways Than 1

As the Mets open the "2nd" half of the 2010 season, hopes and expectations are riding high.
The star of this 11 game west coast swing through San Francisco, Arizona and Los Angeles has to be looked upon as a key indicator of the Mets in their quest to play "meaningful September and October baseball.
In games 1 and 2 of the series in SF RA Dickey and Jon Niese continued to build upon their unexpected great 1st half contributions holding a better than average Giants line-up to 1 run each. Unfortunately the Mets season long case of offensive anemia was magnified as the Giants got outstanding performances from Little Timmy Hippie Lincecum and Barry Baked Zito as the Giants took both games via shutout. The much anticipated return of CF Carlos Beltran was offset by both Giants starters' efforts as well as the lack of Jose Reyes presence in lineup and the YoYo managing of Jerry Manuel who has apparently decided that the full time 1st half consistency provided by Angel Pagan only warrants part time playing time as Manuel has "promised" playing time for the virtually unproductive Jeff Francoeur. Don't get me wrong, as most Mets fans will attest to, Frenchy has a very fine OF arm and a nice smile and does try hard, but his presence in this line-up presents yet another "automatic" out versus quality pitching like that provided by Lincecum and Zito.

While the efforts of Dickey and Niese were going for naught as well as the Mets chances to gain ground on Atlanta (Milwaukee was pleasantly able to hold off the Braves for a win on Fiday), it was learned that Mets #2 starter Mike Pelfrey will not pitch in this series as he developed a "stiff neck" on the plane trip to SF. How such things occur is beyond my realm of comprehension as these are professionally trained and cared for highly paid athletes. Just another chapter in the "You Can't Make this Stuff Up" Mets saga.

The Mets will in the absence of Pelfrey, push Hisanori Takahashi into the starting role on Saturday against a middle of the road Matt Cain in an effort to get their 1st win of 2010 Part 2.

Remarkably, Manuel has penciled Carlos Beltran into the clean up spot, playing CF, in the line-up for a 3rd consecutive day in direct contrast to the announced plan of playing Beltran for 2 games and giving him a day of rest to see how his surgically repaired knee responds to back 2 back MLB game action. We shall see if this "Plan of Attack" yields any rewards or only pushes the rehab of Carlos into reverse.

Hopefully Lincecum bobblehead giveaway at AT & T Park will not delay tonight's start as the "honoring" of broadcaster Jon Miller did last night..

Lets Go Mets

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