Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Does K-Rod suck, and did Pelfrey melt down?

A few things about the Fourth of July weekend:

The holiday schedule was a full one, and while we went to a party Saturday I forgot that the Mets were on in the afternoon. So I was surprised to get the following text message from my brother:

'Krod sucks'

That's never good news.

Soon after, from someone with an iPhone, I got the gory details of how the Mets chased Stephen Strasburg but lost because Frankie Rodriguez blew the game in the bottom of the ninth for yet another walk-off loss.

I'm not ready to call K-Rod a problem, but he fits right in with other Mets closers of old who made you sweat. He got the save Friday night by picking off a runner at second (nice play by Ruben Tejada) and bounced back to get the 12-pitch save Sunday. His overall numbers are good but he falls in love with the changeup and has trouble throwing strikes. His pitch to I-Rod on the game-winning hit wasn't a bad one, low and away, but he had put himself in a huge hole.

I said in my previous post that I would have been happy to see the Mets split in Washington, which they did, thanks to Sunday's effort against Craig Stammen. Eight runs in the first four innings, four RBIs by Jason Bay and three hits by a healthy Angel Pagan helped Hisanori Takahashi pick up his seventh win.

Monday's homecoming against the Reds didn't go well, but while many are picking on Mike Pelfrey's "meltdown," I can't fault him too much. It was less a meltdown than Pelfrey getting into trouble with a single, a blooper and a walk to lead off the fifth. After that it just got weird and while Pelfrey was ultimately undone, it took a terrible call reversal by the umpires and an equally bad non-strike call on Drew Stubbs to get there. Pelfrey battled — it looked as if he might get out of it with only one run across — but Stubbs and Sal Fasano lookalike Corky Miller put the inning away.

Credit the Mets for having plenty of fight in the dog by coming back to cut the 7-1 deficit down to one, with five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Alex Cora came up big with a two-run double. Fernando Nieve allowed a one-out, solo homer to Votto but then retired the next eight in a row.

Despite the loss, you have to like how things line up for the remaining five days before the break. As of this morning it's still  "undecided" against Johan Santana, and then Niese goes in game three. The Braves series will see Dickey, Pelfrey and Santana, and if Reyes can (finally) get back on the field, maybe the Mets can win four of the next five and the final two series.

And congrats to David Wright for getting (properly) voted in as an All-Star starter. Oh, ye of little faith — how's Wright doing now? In the top 10 in most every offensive category. Reyes was named to the team as well, and while Charlie Manuel did a good job in leaving off Strasburg, I'm not sure how Votto could be left off in place of Ryan Howard. Mind-boggling.

Yeah, maybe Pelfrey got snubbed, but I'd rather see him relax and recharge for what should be a very interesting second half.

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