Reading Between the Lines
During the end of Spring Training, Willie Randolph was questioned about Felix Heredia. He was basically asked if he trusted Heredia. Randolph replied that if he did not trust Heredia, he would have no place on this team. Enter Kaz Ishii. Ishii has been wildly inconsistent and has posted either really bad starts, or really good starts. Unfortunately, more of the starts have been bad starts, but Willie's handling of him in his last two games tells me he has no confidence in him in any form.
When Ishii got banged up for five runs in his last start against the Phillies, he sat there in the fourth inning with one out and the bases empty after giving up a three run homer to Chase Utley. Coming to bat was a Mike Lieberthal, who was batting .228 coming into the day, followed by Corey Lidle. With the Mets four game set with the Nationals looming and the Mets in the midst of thirteen consecutive days of baseball, Randolph would have normally let Ishii go out and see if he can get through a few more innings with relatively small damage. He was only at 68 pitches at the time, but Willie did not hesitate to ever yank him before he could face Lieberthal, who hits like a pitcher, and a pitcher.
Yesterday, Ishii had a short leash yet again. After pitching a solid game, he had one out in the sixth inning and the Nationals just scored a run on Jose Guillen's double. With an un-aweinspiring group of hitters in Catilla, Byrd, and Baerga coming up with a combined six homers on the year in 476 at bats, Willie yanked him. The pitcher spot was due up the next inning and Willie knew he was basically going to burn a pitcher on two outs, but Willie has no confidence in his pitcher to get the job done. Worrying about a big inning starting with the Mets only down two runs, he turned to Heath Bell to close the door in what could have been the most important decision of the game. I'll knock Willie on the bad moves, but he played this card well and made the right move.
Ishii is on a short least and will be while he remains a starter. The Mets were able to steal the opener in what is the most important series of the year with three pitchers slated to go in the remainder of the series who can all win their games. It was a coup of sorts for the Mets to essentially steal a win in the Kaz Ishii vs. John Patterson match up with Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, and Kris Benson slated to take on a banged up, and seemingly punchless Nationals offense. Over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see how long the Mets keep running a guy out there who Willie has little confidence in and will get the hook at the first sign of trouble.
- The Tides lost to Syracuse 2-1. Angel Pagan went 3 for 4 with a double and Mike DiFelice went deep for the Tides only run. Jae Seo pitched brilliantly in the loss again and went eight innings, giving up only three hits, one earned run, three walks, and struck out five. In his last twelve starts, he is 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA, 7.16 H/9, 8.57 K/9, and a 3.59 K/BB in 83 innings.
- New Hampshire beat Binghamton 10-9. Aarom Baldiris went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a walk and Brett Harper went 3 for 6 with two runs scored, two doubles, a homer, and two RBIs. Jeff Duncan went deep twice in a 3 for 4 night with three RBIs, a walk, and three runs scored.
- Vero Beach beat St. Lucie 6-4. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 3 with an RBI, Andy Wilson went 2 for 5, and Shawn Bowman hit his fifteenth homer of the year. Phil Humber had a rough start and went five innings while giving up six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out four. His record dropped to 2-6 and his ERA is 4.99.
- Delmarva beat Hagerstown 6-5. Jesus Flores went 3 for 3 with a run scored, a walk, and an RBI while Grang Psomas went 0 for 2, but walked three times.
- The Brooklyn Cyclones beat New Jersey 1-0. Caleb Stewart scored the only run and went 2 for 2 with walk and a double. Robert Parnell started the game and went four innings of one hit ball. He has now pitched 10.2 scoreless innings so far this season and only given up three hits, but has walked seven as well.
- Kingsport beat Johnson City 11-10. Nick Evans had a ridiculous six RBIs in a 5 for 5 game in which he scored three runs, hit three doubles and hit his sixth homer on the year in just thirteen games. He is batting .357/.400/.804 on the year with twenty-two RBIs. Joan Martinez had a big game also by going 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs. In fourteen games, Kingsport has hit double digits in run five times already.
- The GCL Mets beat the GCL Marlins 10-5. Junior Contreras went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a homer, and two RBIs.
I'm still in the lineup," he said. "No big deal."
I hope Willie gives the new look at least a few weeks to see how it gels together. Ideally though, if he wants to keep Beltran in the second hole, Floyd bats fourth, Piazza bats fifth, and his buddy Marlon sixth with Wright in the three hole. That way, he still gets his balanced lineup and Wright bats in a spot where he can create more runs.
The Mets' Batting Order Is Stirred, Not Shaken
Corny? Yes, but it cracked me up.
Hernandez (4-2) hasn't allowed a run in his last 14 appearances, dropping his ERA from 2.82 to 1.78. He has pitched 13 innings in that span, allowing eight hits, with five walks and 12 strikeouts.
Hernandez also hasn't allowed an earned run in 17 2/3 innings on the road this season.
Yankee fan proposed trade:
A-Rod and Cano for Ishii and Beltran
Met fan proposed this trade:
Pudge and Bonderman for Piazza and Valent
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