Has rock bottom been hit? After such a horrific series on Philadelphia, have the Mets woken up out of some funk? Perhaps. You cannot get too knee jerk because the red hot Phillies are within striking distance to say the least, but there have been encouraging signs.
As Keith stated the other day, Delgado had four really good and productive at bats on Friday and he followed that up with another solid game on Saturday. Might they all be coming around? It is certainly worth keeping an eye on Delgado to see if he still utilizes the left part of the ball field it will be a positive.
As for Pelfrey, I did not watch the game for a myriad of reasons, but it's a good thing we are covered.
Poor fifth inning. Lost all command from the stretch after hitting Francoeur.
Flashed a plus slider and a decent change. Definitely the most impressive slider i've ever seen Pelfrey throw. Nasty bite, great tilt.
Fastball command was okay. Definitely mediocre. He seems to have the same disease Maine does, only worse. His fastball moves more than Maine's and being that tall only exacerbates the issue.
I got blacked out today (thanks FOX), but the radio guys were raving about him. Sounded like he lost control once or twice, but went right after guys otherwise. Set down first 11, mostly on broken bat grounders. 7 K's, 3BB's, 1 H in 6 IP is pretty darn good...
Wow Pelf. We hardly knew ye! Surprising performance as he was aggressive and threw the change even though he knew maybe 30% of them would be strikes. Braves are a strikeout team, but it was still nice to see 7 k's. And best of all, when Francoeur got all hippity about being him, Pelfrey walked towards him like he wasn't going to back down if it came to that. All in all, the most satisfying stuff I've ever seen from him. Not perfect but really workable. Is it a game comparable to Johnny Maine in last year's playoffs or Ollie's sudden appearance in the same? This could realistically change what we may come to expect from Pelf (as it was for the other two mentioned).
I’m not sure of the Fox guns accuracy but Pelfrey touched 97 at times and 95 more than a few times. The movement on the fastball was good and although it makes it tougher to command his pitches I don’t want him to reign in that movement or ease up on the velocity. It caused all the broken bats and ground balls.
I was most impressed with his slider or slurve that he threw in a couple of critical points in the game to left handed hitters in fastball counts that made the Braves hitters look inept.
All good and encouraging stuff and if he can build some sort of consistency, he could be extremely useful out of the pen to say the least with his propensity to get groundballs off of his fastball.
Definitely great to see those two wins after that horrific Philly series with Philly losing one yesterday to drop three back. However, it simply cannot be overlooked how fast things could deteriorate and how just vulnerable the Mets lead could be. And it cannot be stressed enough that the division will be won in the head to head matchups within the division.
I know many just expect the Mets to roll over non-Brave and Philly opponents and think it is irrelevant what happens when they play the Braves or Phillies, but I think it is clear the Mets need to wake up and start playing better and more consistent balls. I have no idea if there is a big complacency issue in the clubhouse, but it sure explains a lot.
If there is, hopefully they have been given a reality check on what they have to do for the rest of the season so the can manage to stay on track.
I'm sure a lot of the talk of the day centers around Buchholz being the sandwich pick the Red Sox got from the Mets signing Pedro. I do not want anyone to confuse that with that pick really having anything to do with the Mets. They had already picked Pelfrey ninth overall and only gave up their second rounder for signing Pedro.
Even if it was a pick they did surrender, you have to give up something to get Pedro. Congrats to Clay and congrats to the Red Sox fans for having a young kid with a tremendous curveball, tremendous change-up which already might be one of the best in the bigs, and apparently has a big set of cojones to watch for a long long time. It should be exciting to watch the Red Sox and the Yankees over the next few years with all the homegrown talent doing battle.
"It's just retaliation. There's nothing wrong with Alex Rodriguez. He's a great player. It was tit-for-tat entirely," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I said, 'It's an illegal bat.' I said, 'I can't see inside it, but there might be something inside that bat. I don't have X-ray vision. He's got 45 home runs, it's Sept. 1.' That was my argument."
Some people think Maddon was being out of line and immature by retaliating that way, but I do not see it that way. It was just a response to a ridiculous move by Torre, who did the immature and ridiculous thing in the first place.
Talk about a sign of the times: Former Met Julio Franco, having signed with the Braves and called up by the major league team Saturday, wandered into the visitors' clubhouse to say hello to his ex-teammates.
Not only did Franco's visit violate the unwritten rule of fraternization among players, it clearly irked some Mets, including Willie Randolph and Tom Glavine.
The manager said, "That wouldn't go over too well in the clubhouses I grew up in."
Added Glavine: "You play long enough, I guess you see everything."
Turns out the great Franco might not be so great after all. Of course it could have been him taking at jab at the Mets outright disrespecting them, but whater it was, I am glad he is not on the Mets.
Another hit, and who knows, maybe the Braves would've started peeling away layers of Pelfrey's psychological flesh. Maybe they uncover the self-doubting rookie who, until Saturday, had been winless in the big leagues, sporting an embarrassing 0-7 record.
All that might've unfolded – had Pelfrey actually thrown a fastball. Instead, he delivered the kind of slider that lights up the major leagues' gossip network. It won't be long before scouts are talking about the downward trajectory of Pelfrey's slider, how it handcuffs hitters who already are defending against his 95 mph fastball.
Johnson? Never had a chance. He swung right over the slider, ending the Braves' rally and all but ending their season, too. The Mets' 5-1 win at Turner Field ensured a series triumph against their toughest opponent this year, putting them 6½ games ahead of the Braves and three games up on the Phillies, who lost to the Marlins in a night game.
And don't just take Klap's word for it.
"I don't know if he was well-rested or what, but the ball came out of his hand really well," said Teixeira, the Braves' first baseman. "He got it up to 97 mph, he was sitting at 95. And the way his ball moves, he really didn't give us much to hit over the plate."
"His ball just bores in on you," said Bobby Cox. "When he throws that breaking ball, it's hard to lay off."
Hitting Frenchy on top of it and jawing back at him certainly earns tons of bonus points.
Minaya did say Pelfrey might be used in relief this month. But he said, unlike the Joba Rules, there would be no restrictions enforced from above. "I don't believe in locking yourself into rules," Minaya said. "You try to use common sense as far as being careful with things like back-to-back situations."
There have been rumblings of dissatisfaction for Randolph both in the front office and in the clubhouse. Four different major-league sources said Mets upper management has expressed concerns about Randolph both tactically and in failing to get his team to play with consistent passion this year. Two agents with players on the Mets both said their clients have conveyed the sense of a clubhouse that is more consistently second-guessing managerial strategy.
Vindication is mine...sort of. How many people defended Willie to the ends of the earth when anyone said anything negative about his lack of skills? A lot. Some here, but not as much as on other pages. Also, from 2005 and on he has showed a lack of ability to get it done tactically and I for one think that playing in the majors and coaching there for 30+ years should have prepared him better and if doesn't know now, what can we reasonably expect from him in the future?
I'm still pulling for a miracle and that would entail Gary Carter or Ken Oberkfell. Sorry to the Willie lovers, but he is simply to inconsistent for my tastes, but of course, he just got extended. Good times....
Nevertheless, while voicing displeasure about the inconsistency of both the play and emotion of his team, Jeff Wilpon said, "Not at all," when asked if his manager was in trouble. "There have been no conversations at all about Willie Randolph."
Omar Minaya said, "With all the injuries we have had, Willie has done a very good job. We are very happy to have Willie Randolph as our manager. That (his removal) has not even been a topic of discussion."
What else would they say? I do not think he is close to getting fired, but I can see this ending when his contract is up and not in the most pleasant of manners with animosity in the clubhouse in the way there was between the players and Art Howe a few years ago. For me, he is just Art Howe with more of a personality.
MLB.com reported that the contract of Rudy Jaramillo, the Rangers' highly regarded hitting coach, expires on the last day of Texas' season. That is unusual, as coaches' contracts more often run until November or December.
The Rangers are working to re-sign Jaramillo, but if they can't agree to terms, he figures to be in demand. Mets general manager Omar Minaya has such a good relationship with Jaramillo that he interviewed him as a managerial candidate in 2004.
Just how would he fit on the Mets? With HoJo as the hitting coach, jerry manual on the bench coach, Willie as the manager...I'm not seeing it. Not that I would mind, but I'm not seeing it.