Claudio Vargas has cleared waivers and will report back to Triple-A New Orleans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vargas back at some point. I thought that he might even get taken off waivers. He pitched as well as I thought that he would this season. He had a 4.62 ERA with a 1.189 WHIP, not bad for a spot starter and long man in the bullpen.
Pedro Martinez came off the disabled list to pitch today. He hasn’t pitched since straining his hamstring on April 1st in Florida, his first start of the season.
To make room on the roster the Mets sent Carlos Muniz back to Triple-A New Orleans.
We had a glimpse of the Mets plans during last night’s game in San Francisco. As Oliver Perez got bombed in the first inning, Claudio Vargas came into the game for long relief. He did a great job of pitching 4.2 innings without giving up a run. That’s a great job to stop the damage in a tough situation.
Carlos Muniz also got into the game last night and gave up four runs in 1.2 innings.
I liked most of what I saw from Muniz. He’s got a good arm and a good makeup for a reliever. I’d feel comfortable if the Mets traded a reliever to have him on the roster in the second half of the season.
There’s no denying that David Wright was the star of tonight’s game. He had two homers off Brad Penny (who can’t do anything against the Mets for some reason). He hit a two run home run in the third inning and then again in the fourth.
The fourth inning was strange with a catchers interference call on Russell Martin with Claudio Vargas hitting. There was a crazy throw by Juan Pierre to third base and he has one of the worst arms I’ve seen since Bernie Williams. The throw got past Blake DeWitt and Brad Penny wasn’t backing him up. The Mets ended up with four runs in the inning.
Claudio Vargas was fair tonight. He went 5.2 innings giving up four runs. It was enough to keep the Mets in the game and give some length to the start, but not a great start for him. He should be trying to take Mike Pelfrey’s job when Pedro Martinez comes back next week. But this start won’t solidify his spot in the rotation.
Once again, the bullpen was incredible. Pedro Feliciano, Carlos Muniz, Scott Schoenweiss, and Joe Smith locked down the Dodgers after Vargas left the game. Those guys have been doing an incredible job. It’s good to see Schoenweiss having some success after last season was such a disaster for him.
I found it hard to believe that I was watching the same team that got clocked by the Braves and Rockies last week. This team has energy, hustle, and desire. Even Carlos Delgado made two nice plays in the field. I can’t believe that I’m even writing that sentence. He must be getting worried about losing significant playing time to guys that want it more than he does.
Los Angeles Dodgers (26-26) at New York Mets (25-26) 7:10pm
Brad Penny (5-5 5.32) vs. Claudio Vargas (1-2 3.93)
What to watch: The Mets, winners of two in a row, suddenly appear to be alive after two months of slumber. The second place Dodgers and Joe Torre are in town for four games. The Mets usually have Brad Penny’s number, but shouldn’t take him for granted. He’s still a big right handed power arm. Claudio Vargas is auditioning to keep his job when Pedro gets back next week. We’ll see if Willie keeps the same or similar alternate lineup that he’s won with the last two nights.
The Mets are planning to start injured star pitcher Pedro Martinez on June 3 in San Francisco. He’ll make one start for the St. Lucie Mets before joining the team on their road trip next week.
The Mets will have to make a decision about keeping Mike Pelfrey or Claudio Vargas in the rotation, and on the team, at that point. Vargas threw a stinker in Atlanta last week but his other two starts have been solid. He looks to be more consistent than Pelfrey.
Vargas could opt to become a free agent if the Mets designate him for assignment. It’s not a huge loss, but something to consider when making a decision.
My opinion is that Pelfrey needs some time in the minors to perfect his game. He’s got good stuff but isn’t consistent enough. He’s hurting the team.
Rookie Nick Evans was the story of the day playing in his first game as a Met. He went 3 for 4 with three doubles and two RBI’s. Now that’s the way to start your career! He played a solid left field, getting six putouts as well.
Claudio Vargas was excellent for seven innings today pitching on short rest. He only allowed 2 runs on four hits and a walk to go along with three strikeouts. Two of his first three starts have been really good. He could give Mike Pelfrey a run for the fifth starter spot when Pedro Martinez comes back next week.
Carlos Beltran had the big hit in the first inning; a three run double that set the tone for the Mets. Carlos Delgado also chipped in with his third home run in as many games. His average is still at .222 but at least he’s showing some power. His homer came in the ninth inning off Josh Newman in garbage time after looking silly against lefty starter Jeff Francis.
David Wright also had a solo homer in the second, went 1 for 3 and had a stolen base. Nice comeback game for him after looking pretty bad last night.
Ramon Castro went 3 for 4 with one RBI as well.
The Mets losing streak comes to an end after five games. Uhhh.
New York Met (22-24) at Colorado Rockies (19-29) 3:55pm
Claudio Vargas (0-2) vs. Jeff Francis (1-4)
What to watch: The Mets have turned into a train wreck on this road trip, finding every possible way to lose. Vargas pitches on short rest this afternoon. His last start in Atlanta was pretty bad going five innings and giving up four runs. Jeff Francis has been pretty bad this season as well. He’s been the Rockies ace but hasn’t had a good season. After losing the first game of the series last night, the Mets need to take the next two games if there’s any chance of staving off the vultures over Willie Randolph’s career with the Mets.