Pitching was the story of this game. Claudio Vargas had a terrific first start for the Mets going 6.1 innings and gave up only only two runs. That was much more than the Mets expected from the journeyman pitcher just up from Triple-A New Orleans.
On the other end of the spectrum, Aaron Heilman was horrible again. I was dumbfounded when Willie Randolph brought in Heilman in the seventh with one out, one runner on base, and a tie game. Randolph said after the game that Scott Schoenweiss and Matt Wise were unavailable. Wise because he just pitched two days in a row, and Schoenweiss was sick.
Heilman threw gallons of gas on the fire by pitching .1 innings and gave up three runs plus let the inherited runner from Vargas score. He was booed mercilessly by the crowd throughout the inning. Randolph heard a lot of booing from the crowd too.
Earlier in the game Moises Alou was ejected for slamming his bat after being called out on strikes.
I feel like we’re watching this job slip away from Randolph before our eyes. The best that the Mets can do now is a split of a four game home series with the last place Nationals. There doesn’t seem to be any spark with this team. It’s becoming a problem.
I never thought that the Mets would go into Arizona and sweep the D-Backs. They’re playing so well this season, it would seem almost impossible to win all three games there. So if the Mets were going to take two out of three, I figured that they wouldn’t be able to Brandon Webb. And they didn’t.
Webb didn’t pitch that well, so it’s a shame that the Mets couldn’t take advantage of a rare off day for him to get a win. Blame it on Mike Pelfrey, the bullpen, Carlos Beltran’s .208 average, or Endy Chavez’ non-existent bat. Blame it on all of them.
I’m just not seeing the tremendous upside of Mike Pelfrey that the Mets management does. The minor leagues are littered with guys who have great “stuff” but keep hitting bats and can’t throw strikes consistently. That’s what I see in Pelfrey. He was below average again today. His ERA is up to 5.27 now and that’s unacceptable in the rotation. He walked four and struck out one… that’s completely unacceptable!
Pedro Feliciano was pretty bad too, but his ERA was hurt by Scott Schoenweiss coming in and throwing a first pitch meatball to Augie Ojeda with the bases loaded. Ojeda hit it into the corner in right for a double for his 6th RBI of the game. How do you let a number 8 hitter beat you with six RBI’s?
The bullpen has been taxed far too much so far this season. The Mets really need the starters to get deeper into games badly. They can’t keep leaning on the bullpen to cover four or more innings in almost every game. There’s going to be a breaking point.
The Mets still have a chance to win the series tomorrow. Hopefully, they’ll be able to take this series before moving on to Los Angeles on Monday.
Bart Hubbach of the New York Post writes that after last night’s game in Philadelphia Billy Wagner had some comments about the rude reception he received from the Philly crowd:
“They were booing so loud, I thought Schoeneweis was running in with me,” Wagner, an ex-Phillie, said of the reaction he received from the crowd during his ninth-inning appearance.
It’s good that they can joke about Schoenweiss being the target of frequent boo birds. Schoenweiss doesn’t put smiles on Mets fans faces but that comment from Billy made me laugh.
That is the question…
The Mets blogs and mainstream media have been on the topic of booing home players since 4:00pm yesterday. The Brewers hit some bombs and won the game yesterday which caused a mild stirring of booing in Flushing. Some have taken the ridiculous stance that fans should never boo home players. Others have gone to the argument “Stop booing you mean people”. I’ll take the high road and assume that booing home players isn’t an extremist group of drunken so-called “fans” on a Saturday afternoon at Shea.
The subject of booing home players has, once again, surfaced. Do fans have the right/responsibility to boo home players? In a word: Yes!
If there’s a new ace pitcher that’s working on a 6 year/$137.5 million contract that’s under performing, the fans have a right to boo. If there’s a relief pitcher that’s got a 3 year/$10.8 million contract that’s been reduced to being a lefty specialist and not doing it well, the fans have a right to boo.
I fully support booing home players when the subjective decision has been made that a player is sorely under performing, a.k.a. stealing the Mets money. I’ve participated booing home players with some ferocity on two occasions:
- Scott Schoenweiss (2007)- 0-2 record, 70 games, 59.0 innings, 62 hits, 33 ER, 8 HR, 28 BB, 41 SO, 3 wild pitches, 4.97 ERA. Summary: Schoenweiss should have been arrested for grand larceny for all of the Mets money that he stole last season.
- Mike Stanton (2003)- 2-7 record, 50 games, 45.1 innings, 37 hits, 23 ER, 6 HR, 19 BB, 34 SO, 2 wild pitches, 4.57 ERA. It’s hard to remember a pitcher as ineffective as Stanton in 2003. It looked like batting practice when he pitched.
Although those are two occasions that I’ve engaged in booing home players, some fans could make other arguments as well. In 2007, Carlos Delgado was difficult to watch. I think that an argument could be made there.
To conclude this post, Mets fans do have a right and responsibility to boo home players that are sorely under performing especially when their contract is deemed excessive. I don’t think that was case yesterday at Shea. In my opinion, Johan Santana pitched extremely well in Florida, very well in Atlanta last Sunday, and not very well yesterday. Does that justify booing a two-time Cy Young Award winner? No way! There just isn’t enough of a body of under performing work to justify booing Santana at this point in the season. Mad Dog Russo would say “That’s a bad job by Mets fans yesterday”.
I was disappointed to read Charlie Nobles’ column in the Times today about Scott Schoenweiss. The interview is filled with excuses about his deplorable performance last season. He has excuses about injuries from 2005 and getting down on himself because the fans and media were tough on him.
I don’t buy any of his excuses and I felt insulted as a fan while reading this article. This is professional sports, it’s not a game being played for fun. We’re playing to win, Scott! So if a player is on the field, he can’t have any excuses. If you’re injured, go to the trainers room. If you’re hurt by fans and media that are tough on you, go play in Tampa or Pittsburgh. Continue reading
Joel Sherman of the Post reports that Omar Minaya has to word out that several players are available for trades now. Joe Smith is apparently available now. Sherman writes:
Aside from Smith, the Mets also would consider trading Orlando HernandezOrlando Hernandez , Scott Schoeneweis, Jorge Sosa and Anderson Hernandez. Ruben Gotay, who was out of options and, thus, could not be sent back to the minors without facing waivers, also was on that list before injuring his foot.
The Mets will need to pay a big portion of Schoenweiss’ bad contract to unload him. That was one of Omar’s biggest missteps. Three years was utterly ridiculous for him.
Good luck Omar! Scott Schoenweiss has 2 years and $7.2 million left on his contract. Jorge Sosa has one year and $2 million left. Look at last year’s numbers:
Schoenweiss: 70 games 0-2 5.03 ERA
Sosa: 42 games 9-8 4.47 ERA
Neither one of these two is a prize out of the bullpen. Hang on to your hat when they come in the game because it’s going to be a wild ride. Sosa can start but I don’t see him having much value there either. He started 14 games last year and wasn’t particularly effective.
Omar Minaya must be hoping that some desperate team for bullpen help will take one or both of these bad contracts off his hands.