A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Critical Keith

I hate to repeat myself....but.....

I know I have been taking a lot of crap for my doubts on Brian Bannister, but Keith was all over him during yesterday's broadcast. If you missed the game and did not watch it, he was throwing a lot of pitches up in the zone and struck Khalil Greene out with the bases loaded in the first on an absolute meatball. On a 3-2 count with the bases loaded and everyone and their grandmother knowing a fastball was coming, Bannister got lucky it wasn't launched into the San Diego Bay. But that wasn't the only one that was missed. If this was not the Padres and there was a competent offense, Bannister might not have made it through three innings. No matter how many times you point to his record or his ERA, what I see with my eyes scare me. Of course there is nothing to do until he actually does fail, but with two five inning pitchers at the end for the rotation, the bullpen is going to be very busy.

Again, to not mention his knack for getting out of trouble would not be fair. Some guys have that ability, however, that was not his MO when he was in the minors. He was a control pitcher and not someone who was continually working from behind and working out of jams. First game? Jitters and cold weather. Second game? Much of the same. Third and fourth game? I'm not sure. People want me to cool it until he actually does blow up and maybe he can be Houdini for the rest of year, but the guy makes me nervous. Now that Keith spoke up, I know I'm not taking crazy pills. In his last two games, he has a 1.80 ERA and that is miraculous considering his WHIP was 2.10 in those two games.

Hey look. The kid has not lost yet. He is sporting a tidy ERA, but he got away with a lot of bad pitches yet again and walked the opposing pitcher on four pitches to get a guy into scoring position with David Roberts up, who has had a solid series so far, and was just about split 50/50 with balls and strikes after walking Williams. I know what you are thinking. "Hey asshole, why can't you just be happy that the Mets are winning!" You might have an argument, but it's my nature to worry. If you want to read about lollipops, gumdrops, unicorns, rainbows, how many homeruns Carlos Delgado is on track for, and how much I like David Wright's sneaker combination with his long pants then I'm sorry. I was debating whether or not I should even write this piece as I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I've spoken my mind again. Hopefully Brian finds his groove and the strike zone now that he has his fourth start behind him. But to ignore two very large potential problems in the rotation would be like asking someone to ignoring a tumor growing off the side of their head. You might not feel anything yet, but eventually, shit is going to go down and it might be very ugly.

Now, I'm not suggesting anything be done yet and a lot of what I said has been taken like I want to shake things up now. But that is not the case. Contingency plans not including Lima Time!™ or Jermi Gonzalez need to be ready to implement. Is Iriki it? Is Maine it? Is Pelfrey it if they can hold out longer? Can Bell replace Heilman in the bullpen if disaster strikes and there is no other choice than put Heilman in the rotation? The problem I have, is there are no answers or any good ones at the very least. Like it has been said before, if this team does not play up to expectations because of a huge oversight in the rotation, it will be inexcusable. Inexcusable because of the moves that have been made.

* * *

  • Did anyone else hear the inordinate amount of heckling by what sounded like some loud woman? I know, shocking. A loud woman, but it's true. "Mets suck" and "whoooooo" (amongst other things) were plain to hear all game. In between pitches you could hear a pin drop in that place and it could not be easier to hear the crowd tell every goddamn Padre hitting to hit a homerun or telling the Mets to (and this was inventive) "go home". That's just as annoying as the people yelling "get in the hole" when you are watching golf on TV.

  • ESPN's Power Ranking's suggest Lastings should be called up as the Mets plummet one spot to number two. To Lastings or not to Lastings. That is the question and I'm sure that will be a hot topic among Met fans. We all have very good memories and are cursed with reoccurring nightmares...like the 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 seasons. So when certain things come up, we have a good memory and hence a correlating negative reaction. Carlos Beltran sat out on May 22nd, 2005 for his hamstring issue. The then missed three games and came back to pinch hit. At that point, they could not retro him on the DL because he played in a game. Turns out, he wasn't ready. He then missed the next four games and had leg problems for pretty much most of the year.

    This year's problem seems a lot less serious, so ultimately, it may be a moot point. However, it does represent a tough situation for Beltran because you only really know if you are healed until you bust it down the line or go after a fly ball. Problem is, when you bust it and it's not ready, you hurt it again. You maybe even hurt it more. That's why leg injuries are tough to shake and with the history of Reyes' issues and Beltran's last season, you have to wonder if they have been cautious enough. That being said, they have come this far so there is no way that Beltran gets DL'd, but if Beltran is going to be sitting another chunk of games, it certainly bears a look to see if it makes sense that Lastings should be in the fold. Watching Endy Chavez completely butcher a scoring chance and watching this lineup struggle is tough to swallow. If you take out that six run inning from two games ago, the Mets have had nineteen hits and four runs in their last forty innings. If Beltran's leg issues are going to continue, something more effective is going to have to be put into action.

  • The problem I have when I'm not watching the game at home is that I forget to talk about things. Well, I forgot to talk about Tracshel's curveball. The other night, Steve had the best curveball I have ever seen him have. The thing was tight and he was throwing it harder than he usually does. I'm not sure if the stars aligned and it was just one of the days or if it had been something he has been working on, but it was impressive. If he can keep that up all year I might rethink my stance that the Mets have three number fives in their rotation.

  • Oh boy.

    Time will tell if the Blue Jays may have lost the war long before they won the battle.

    Hours before the Jays would rally to win last night's grudge affair 7-6 in the 12th inning, they suffered the crushing news that something once again is wrong with A.J. Burnett's right elbow.

    After missing his first two starts of the season it appears Burnett will be going on the shelf a second time and his continued absence could scuttle the Jays' hopes of bidding for post-season contention.

    Yes, I remember I wanted him. You can point and laugh.

  • Everyone (by everyone I mean the media) settle down.

    "Yeah, SoCal is great; I love Southern California," Zito said before Friday's game against the Angels.

    "The Angels have a great stadium, a great team, you know, but right now I'm not thinking about it."

    I've said it before, Zito would talk about how great the Devil Rays stadium is and how great the St. Petersburg area schools are if he was asked. He's a soon to be a free agent and is a professional. He will say nice things about the cities he is in.

  • Ziiiiiiiiiiinnnng!

    "If that's the reason the Mets make a trade, it doesn't seem like a good way to make business decisions," she said. "So is it all working out for them?"

    For once, I agree with you.

  • Straight filth...

    pr 19 The Detroit Free Press' John Lowe reports Detroit Tigers SP Justin Verlander threw a pitch to end the sixth inning that was clocked at 101 mph Wednesday, April 19.

    The Mets were one pick away from having this guy. One pick. Humber is not a bad consolation prize though, but I do think they are in different categories.

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