Patience Young Grasshopper
What was so utterly baffling about the Mets last game against Al Leiter is that the Mets had a first hand experience of Al's control issues. Al runs high pitch counts and the Mets should know this. With their ace on the mound, they should feel content taking pitches knowing Pedro will do his job and keep the Mets in the game. In a game where you have Josh Beckett or AJ Burnett on the mound pounding the zone in the high 90's, you may choose to not sit back and wait and jump on him early. Against a guy who routinely goes 3-2 on pitchers, patience is a virtue. Even if you cannot hit him, he should be exiting around the fifth inning and the Mets should get into a horrifyingly hittable bullpen. Let him beat himself.
Last week, Al Leiter threw 104 pitches through seven innings. The word economical and Al Leiter should never be used in the same sentence. If given the chance, Leiter will beat himself. He had a .218 BAA in 2004 and a .206 BAA in 2004 and 2005 so far. If the Mets plan on getting their hacks in on him and not working his pitch count, they will lose again. Leiter has a knack for not being real hittable and has a .244 BAA since 2002 but a .330 OBP since 2002. The Mets were pressing in the last game and today, they need to be the anti-Mets and take some pitches.
"If you’re not excited about this team, you’re not a Mets fan."
"He got away from his game plan a little bit," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He tried to overthrow the ball and didn't mix in his off-speed stuff enough. It looked like everything was pretty much the same speed.
"Sometimes when you go back-to-back, you try to make adjustments and sometimes there's no need to make adjustments. It's pretty much do what you've been doing."
I have to say, I thought Heilman would do well. Not necessarily win the game since beating Beckett twice in one week would be a tall order, but do good. He kept the ball up in the zone and got hammered. Facing the same team twice in one week is tough for a Cy Young award winner, but I thought he would do good since he really did not use the off speed again. Little did I know....
GOT LEFTIES? The Mets have made overtures to the Pirates about obtaining left handed reliever Mike Gonzalez, so far to no avail, according to an MLB source. The Mets also are believed to have interest in John Grabow, another Pittsburgh southpaw.
With Felix Heredia on the disabled list, Mike Matthews and Dae-Sung Koo are currently the only lefthanders in the Mets' bullpen.
"They said it was a nerve or a muscle. They didn't diagnose it properly," Bell said. "In August, one day I would throw 95, the other day I'd be throwing 86, and I couldn't figure it out. I just said, 'My arm doesn't feel right.' I begged and begged and finally got an MRI in August. I mean, I was on the 40-man roster at the beginning of the year but they took me off, so I figured they would give me one right away. And then in August they go, 'Oh, your bone is cracked.' I mean who does a player have to blow around here for an MRI?"
Disheartening to hear that the Mets handle so many players entirely wrong. Looks like DeJean and Reyes were not the only two with breaks that were missed. It is just really disturbing.
“We’re still trying to find a vehicle to get the deal done,” he said. “Stephen hasn’t played since last May, so it’s probably a good idea for him to get out and play. It’s important for him to get out and compete and face live pitching, just to knock off some of the rust. But the tools and the ability is still going to be there.”
9. Brian Bannister, rhp, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
Another 3-0 pitcher . . . smell a trend? The son of former major leaguer Floyd, Brian has yet to allow an earned run in any of his three starts, with opposing batters going 0-for-11 with five punch outs with runners in scoring position.
Phil Humber and Brett Harper were honorable mentions.
Opponents are hitting .317 off Yankee starters and .307 off relievers. Mel Stottlemyre might consider early retirement.
All that and a losing record for $200 million dollars. Early predictions are that this 2005 Yankees team with be the worst team money can buy.