Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jerry Manuel: 'You have to applaud the fight'

Art Howe's losing Met teams "battled." Jerry Manuel's losing Met teams put up a fight. Manuel believes it's a fight worth cheering:

You have to applaud the fight. We have, at least in these first 10 games, given ourselves a shot and haven't been able to come away with anything significant. I think if we continue to do that, it will eventually turn for us. If we continue to keep this attitude and fight, and bring it every day, some things are going to start going our way."

So if last night's game was at home, and the Mets came back from 4-1 down in the ninth to lose, 4-3, the fans should have applauded the fact that the Mets "gave themselves a shot." Good luck with that.

About the only player I would have applauded last night was Oliver Perez. I didn't have a problem with taking Ollie out during the seventh; it was good to see him walk away with a positive outing for a change.

But to bring in Fernando Nieve for his seventh appearance in the first ten games was questionable at best. And bringing in Raul Valdes with the bases loaded - shades of Javier Vazquez in the '04 ALCS. For the second time in three days, Manuel went to an unproven pitcher in a big spot, and just like Jennry Mejia on Wednesday, Valdes gave up a game-deciding homer.

With Pedro Feliciano unavailable, Manuel could have turned to Ryota Igarashi. If he insisted on a lefty because the great Felipe Lopez had to be turned around, bring in Hisanori Takahashi.

And there's nothing to applaud about Mike Jacobs and Gary Matthews Jr., both now batting .190. Yet Jacobs is still hitting fifth against righties and Matthews still finds his way into the starting lineup way too often.

Before booing Jason Bay, wouldn't it be great to see how he can do without Jacobs hitting behind him?

Meanwhile, Jeff Francoeur is hitting .457, but by-the-book Manuel bats him behind Jacobs instead of Bay.

The Mets are in last place, two full games behind the Nationals. The only team worse in the National League is the 1-9 Astros.

But look on the bright side. We can "applaud the fight."

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