Elster's World

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Some Thoughts On The Mets

Just some random thoughts I've been wanting to write about since the season started:

- In sports like football and basketball, I enjoy watching great goalies in hockey and I enjoy watching a superb pitcher being an artist on the mound. In fact, of all of the above, i probably enjoy watching great pitchers the most. Even eyeing a diminished Pedro these last few years has been a joy - despite the low velocity on his fastball, he found other ways to make hitters get out. That being said, and no disrespect meant at all, I take no pleasure at all in watching Tom Glavine pitch. I don't know if it's the 86 mph heater, the fact that he doesn't have classic up/down or sideways movement or what - he simply bores me. To be at 293 wins means you are a very good pitcher and I don't mean to take that away from him. he has spent an entire career hitting spots and winning with average stuff. But that don't mean he's an experience you know?

- David Wright's early struggles are puzzling. He seems to be really pressing up there which makes you wonder: Is he drowning under the expectations? Is the new contract weighing him down? Or is he simply going through an early season funk which he will snap out of as soon as he launches that elusive first home run? The real troubling aspect is that if you look at it, this slump is really a continuation of his poor performance in last years' playoffs. I don't think there is any reason for concern, but I'll be keeping a close eye on Mr. wright.

- Let's see if Carlos Delgado's homerun last night (his first) gets him untracked.

- Carlos Beltran's great play so far this season makes you note how SMOOTH he is out there. Everything he does looks effortless. It's amazing. Even his swing is smooth. He's right back in the MVP race this season.

- I asked my buddy Brian the following question on the train this morning: How long can John Maine be a sub-2 era pitcher with an assortment of two pitchers (fastball slider) especially when that fastball tends to the 89-91 range (as it did last night)? Though in his defense, his fastball has good movement on it and hitters seem to have trouble picking it up. So we will see. In the meantime, he's developing into a 7 inning guy for the Mets, a pleasant surprise (though probably not completely unexpected considering his age and run support).

- As yesterday's comments indicated, I do not yet trust the bullpen despite their league low era.


  • "How long can John Maine be a sub-2 era pitcher with an assortment of two pitchers (fastball slider)"

    Put him in the bullpen! Only an idiot would think a two pitch pitcher can start for the Mets.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:54 AM  

  • Well the difference is that Maine doesn't give up a soul crushing home run in the one inning he's supposed to protect.

    I think that Heilman may best be a starter if only because he can't pitch out of the bullpen. Or it may simply be that he isn't that good. I'm drifting toward the latter. Lefties are knocking him around at something like .750 this season - and his supposed "stopper" pitch is that changeup that lefties can't hit. bad sign.

    Maybe Pedro can be the 8th inning guy come August (that's a joke by the way).

    By Blogger Elster, at 11:32 AM  

  • Oh and another difference: maine IS a sub 2 era guy so far this season as a starter, going more than the standard 6 innings. Heilman is over 3.5 and that's tossing an inning at a time.

    By Blogger Elster, at 11:33 AM  

  • Heilman may not be very good (which would be very bad for the Mets). However, whenever I've argued he should start, you submitted the stupid Mets line about him only having a fastball and a slider. Comparing their performances is the wrong analysis. The question is whether a top curveball is required to be in the rotation. Answer is no, though it may be required to be a top starter over the long haul.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 11:39 AM  

  • Heilamn doesnt have a slider - he has a fastball changeup. He doesnt have a complimentart type breaking pitch.

    And the difference is (or this is my interpretation of the mets thinking) - Heilman's 2 pitches arent good enough to get him out of trouble. Maine has a slower fastball than Heilman but it moves and fools hitters. He also has a slider to complement his fastball. Helman doesnt have a breaking pitch - just a fastball and offspeed pitch I assume that makes it easier for the hitter.

    Si I thin it depends on the type of pitches you have and how good they are. Obviously the more pitches you can throw for strikes, the more you can keep good hitters guessing so they cannjot lock in on what you have.

    And for the record, Maine has a 12 to 6 curve which he junked because he couldnt control it. my guess is that once he continues to gain confidence he'll add it back in.

    By Blogger Elster, at 1:11 PM  

  • ZZZzzzzz

    By Blogger Sara, at 1:29 PM  

  • Wake up Sara - there are imortant sports issues to address!!!

    By Blogger Elster, at 5:30 PM  

  • I'd like Sara's thoughts on Julio Franco being the Mets first player off the bench.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 11:05 PM  

  • I think I can sum that up for her. She'd say "zzzzz" - you'd say "Just more evidence as to how old the mets are - too old to make a serious run at the world series". I'd say "Franco saved the Mets season last year by forcing Beltran out of the dugout for a curtain call. Now Beltran is the perennial MVP candidate we paid big $$ for and he help anchor a scary good, Yankee type lineup that no National League pitcher can get through (except maybe El Duque or John Maine).

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:38 AM  

  • I didn't say the Mets are too old to make a run.

    Last season was last season. As for this season, can the Mets pay Franco lots of money to be a coach? His bat speed looks shot, yet Willie keeps putting him up in big spots. You can't carry 12 pitchers and still keep a spot for this geezer.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 9:46 AM  

  • As soporific as I find the game, Elster, I never ever hesitate to provide my opinion when so politely requested.

    I feel that Franco's worth keeping around. He's had a magnificent career (stint with the White Socks {Ugh, Chicago} in '94 excluded) and obviously his judgment is still useful to the team. Maybe he's been slipping a little, but I feel that he has a lot of good baseball left in him. Old or not, we've got to hold on to the winners.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

    By Anonymous Sara, at 10:29 AM  

  • The truth is that I have not seen enough of Franco to make a judgement one way or the other - My point was more along the lines of bringing him to NY was a great move. If he cannot perform, then his bat will be replaced by Easley and other right handers more and more until he's faded out of a first off the bench status.

    Good win for the team last night - Pen looked much better last night than it did on Sunday (except wagner - though I found Willie's decision to keep him in for 2 innings curious) and Endy provided some real cool heroics.

    Oh and before i forget - LET'S GO RANGERS!!!

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:49 AM  

  • It's getting close to the point where the Mets may have to send Mike Pelfrey back down. He looks horrible. I'd give him one more start. If he is ineffective, let him get more seasoning in AAA, and let Sele or Jorge Sosa have a shot. (Chan Ho has pitched poorly, so he's hopefully not an option.)

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 2:04 PM  

  • I'm totally with you on Pelfrey. I do believe he has the tools, but he doesn't ahve the confidence yet and he really needs to refine his second and third pitches. If he doesn't pitch well tonight 9and after last night, the mets really could have used a starter to pitch deep into the game tonight), I'd send him down. i don't nkow who to bring up though. i like Sele in the darren oliver role and Sosa is a home run derby type pitcher. According to the times this morning, Phillip (don't confuse me with Hughes) Humber has been pitching well in his 2 starts at AAA (era well couth of 2) so maybe he should get a shot? If the ets can get production from one of the 2 rookies this year - and without having to move Sele from his valuable roel - it would be a HUGE boost.

    By Blogger Elster, at 2:43 PM  

  • tonight? the mets played today and he got shelled.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 3:47 PM  

  • Wooops - I totally forgot thay had an afternoon game. i made my comments before I even knew what happened. alas.

    By Blogger Elster, at 3:51 PM  

  • OK - just saw the scoreboard. Pelfrey shuld go down ASAP. What's the point of having him get shelled again next week? Not only did he suck, he only lasted three innings, effectively killing the bullpen.

    By Blogger Elster, at 3:56 PM  

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