baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

July 4th Weekend Part 2

The Mets are still ten games over .500 after a 3-4 road trip that should have been a 4-3 road trip if Francisco Rodriguez had been able to hold a two-run lead on a Saturday afternoon when 35 year old knuckleballer, R. A. Dickey, out-pitched the future Hall-of-Famer, Stephen Strasburg.

They have six games left before the All-Star break, with one off-day conveniently scheduled right in the middle of the week. If Jerry Manuel does not take advantage of the off-day to move Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana up a day, he should be fired on the spot.

vs. Cincinnati, July 5-7

vs. Atlanta, July 9-11

This accomplishes several things, including putting Takahashi back in the bullpen for the Atlanta series where he belongs for the rest of the year. It also gives Pelfrey the first start of the second half on normal rest, and keeps Santana from having eight days rest before his first start after the break. Most importantly, it gives the Mets their best chance to win at least four of the next six games going into the break, and a great chance to cut into Atlanta's lead in the NL East.

And, if the Mets manage to acquire Cliff Lee in the next few days, they could throw this trio against the Braves:



I am beginning to think I know the Mets better than Jerry Manuel. I said out loud to myself before Takahashi pitched to Ryan Zimmerman in the sixth inning today to remove Takahashi. Manuel left him in to give up a three-run home run to Zimmerman. Takahashi is fairly predictable at this point, and it was clear that he had reached his expiration date after putting the first two guys on base in the sixth inning. Fortunately, they were able to hold on this time.

I also had a strong feeling that Dickey would outpitch the phenom, and I thought the Mets would win the game before it started. However, when I checked in on the CBS Sports Gametracker and saw that Rodriquez was pitching to Adam Dunn with the bases loaded, one out, and a 5-3 lead, I knew that the Mets would lose. I checked back when my subway rose above ground for a few moments, and sure enough, they lost 6-5. If I know these things, why doesn't the manager?

Beltran On His Way Back Soon

Everyone is obsessing about what the Mets should do when Beltran comes back. My solution is to make Beltran the 4th outfielder, starting him no more than four times a week until he proves he is physically capable of playing more than that. I would rest Bay once a week, Pagan twice a week, and Francoeur once or twice a week, allowing Beltran to start four games and Chris "The Animal" Carter to start once.

Of course, injuries and slumps will force some adjustments, but I don't think Beltran should play every day, because he will just get hurt again. He has arthritis, which doesn't actually go away. Playing him four days a week should keep him fresh and productive the rest of the way, which is all the Mets need from him.

Catching a Break

Here's how the catching should work for the next few week at least. Barajas obviously needs more rest than he has been getting. He is a hitter that needs to be fresh in order to produce, and with the extra catcher on the roster, there is no reason to burn out Barajas.

Josh Thole has shown that he can hit well enough to stay in the major leagues, and he has also shown, surprisingly to me, anyway, that he is the best at catching R. A. Dickey. From here on out, Thole should absolutely be Dickey's personal catcher, and should maybe start one other game a week, and spend the rest of the time as an ace pinch hitter.

So, I would start Barajas four times a week at the most, with Blanco and Thole splitting the other games, depending on the Mets' starter and the other team's starter. I like Blanco catching Pelfrey and Santana whenever possible, and Barajas catching Niese all the time.

Caroms Off the Wall

I will be very satisfied if the Mets can win 4+ games going into the All-Star break, and stay ahead of the Phillies. And I'd be more satisfied if the Mets can pull off a couple of brilliant trades in the next few weeks to bolster the rotation and bullpen. As it is, they are adding an All-Star in Carlos Beltran without having to surrender any prospects or money. That's better than most teams will be able to do.

© Judy Kamilhor 2010


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