Thursday, July 2, 2009

Can't spell 'meeting' without M-E-T

John Franco offered his two cents on the Mets:

It seems like, to me, they're not having fun, even when they were winning. Playing in New York, the pressure cooker here, I'm sure there's a lot of pressure on them, but they need to relax a little bit and look like they're having fun.

The Mets did look like they were having fun when they were winning in 2006 and throughout most of 2007. But it's hard to relax and have fun when you're coming off two late-season collapses, numerous bullpen collapses in 2008 and numerous late-inning collapses of a disturbing variety this year.

Remember early in the season when the game seemed won when the Mets got to the eighth inning? And in the ninth, K-Rod was automatic.

I don't know if Jerry Manuel's meeting resulted in the Mets having fun today, but it was no fun to watch. Even when K-Rod came in, he immediately gave up a hit and then a line drive that Alex Cora fortunately snared. No relaxing until this one was in the books.

What the Mets need more than meetings and players with "C" on their uniforms are winning performances like Mike Pelfrey's today and no more blooper reel specials.

Pelfrey, the man most responsible for the win, wasn't even at the meeting.

But thanks to him, sandwiched around a five-game losing streak, the Mets have now beaten two of the best pitchers in the National League - Chris Carpenter and Yovani Gallardo.

Gallardo had a similar outing to Pelfrey's last opponent, CC Sabathia, last Friday. Both Gallardo and Sabathia pitched seven innings and allowed one run. Gallardo allowed five hits and struck out twelve, while Sabathia allowed three hits and struck out eight.

Pelfrey pitched better tonight than last Friday, but the big difference between the two games was the Mets' three-error meltdown in the second inning, which resulted in four runs (two earned).

Pelfrey often lets such things get to him, but today, Pelfrey kept his cool, losing it momentarily after the balk, but quickly settling down.

By contrast, Johan Santana last night gave up a walk, bases-clearing double and committed an error after Fernando Martinez' drop, then capped it off by losing his temper in the dugout.

Jerry Manuel mentioned after the game that it was supposed to be raining in Pittsburgh, so Thursday's game could be in jeopardy. For the first time in a week, I hope it doesn't rain.

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