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New York Mets

Posted By Cliff Corcoran On June 12, 2009 @ 5:21 pm In Cliff Corcoran,Game Thread,Series Preview | Comments Disabled

New York Mets

2009 Record: 31-27 (.534)
2009 Pythagorean Record: 31-27 (.534)

2008 Record: 89-73 (.549)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 89-73 (.549)

Manager: Jerry Manuel
General Manager: Omar Minaya

Home Ballpark (Park Factors): CitiField (100/99)

Who’s Replacing Whom:

  • Fernando Martinez is filling in for Carlos Delgado (DL)
  • Alex Cora is filling in for Jose Reyes (DL)
  • Wilson Valdez is filling in for Alex Cora, who actually replaces Damion Easley
  • Omir Santos replaces Ramon Castro
  • Dan Murphy replaces Endy Chavez
  • Gary Sheffield replaces Marlon Anderson
  • Jeremy Reed replaces Nick Evans (minors)
  • Tim Redding is filling in for Oliver Perez (DL)
  • Fernando Nieve is filling in for John Maine (DL)
  • Livan Hernandez replaces Pedro Martinez
  • Francisco Rodriguez replaces Billy Wagner (DL)
  • Robert Parnell replaces Joe Smith
  • Sean Green replaces Duaner Sanchez
  • Ken Takashi replaces Scott Schoeneweis
  • Jon Switzer is filling in for J.J. Putz, who replaces Aaron Heilman

25-man Roster:

1B – Dan Murphy (L)
2B – Luis Castilla (S)
SS – Alex Cora (L)
3B – David Wright (R)
C – Omir Santos (R)
RF – Ryan Church (L)
CF – Carlos Beltran (S)
RF – Fernando Martinez (L)

Bench:

R – Gary Sheffield (OF)
R – Fernando Tatis (UT)
L – Brian Schneider (C)
L – Jeremy Reed (OF)
L – Wilson Valdez (IF)

Rotation:

L – Johan Santana
R – Mike Pelfrey
R – Tim Redding
R – Livan Hernandez
R – Fernando Nieve

Bullpen:

R – Francisco Rodriguez
L – Pedro Feliciano
R – Robert Parnell
R – Sean Green
R – Brian Stokes
L – Ken Takahashi
L – Jon Switzer

15-day DL:

SS – Jose Reyes (hamstring)
OF – Angel Pagan (groin)
IF – Ramon Martinez (dislocated finger)
RHP – John Maine (shoulder fatigue)
LHP – Oliver Perez (patellar tendonitis)
RHP – J.J. Putz (bone spur in elbow)

60-day DL:

1B – Carlos Delgado (torn hip labrum)
LHP – Billy Wagner (TJ)

Typical Lineup:

L – Alex Cora (SS)
S – Luis Castillo (2B)
S – Carlos Beltran (CF)
R – David Wright (3B)
L – Dan Murphy (1B)
L – Ryan Church (RF)
L – Fernando Martinez (LF)
R – Omir Santos (C)

Notes: Fernando Tatis is platooning with Murphy at first base. Santos and Brian Schneider are splitting the catching duties. Gary Sheffield has been spelling Martinez and Church in the outfield corners, but will more likely DH for all three games at Yankee Stadium.

The Mets can’t buy a break. Literally. After a pair of September collapses kept them out of the postseason in 2007 and 2008, they diagnosed their problem as a weak bullpen, then went out and dropped $37 million on closer Francisco Rodriguez and made a nine-player trade with the Mariners to bring in J.J. Putz and Sean Green as set-up men. Rodriguez has been awesome, converting all 16 of his save chances while posting a 0.61 ERA, but Putz and Green have posted ERAs over 5.00, and Putz just had surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow and will be out until at least mid-August.

Meanwhile, the Mets stars-and-scrubs roster construction has blown up in their faces as two of the four stars in their lineup, Carlos Delgado (torn hip labrum) and Jose Reyes (torn hamstring) are also on the DL until roughly the All-Star break, leaving the lineup to Carlos Beltran and David Wright (both of whom are having tremendous seasons), and the scrubs.

Injuries have hurt the Mets’ rotation as well, as Oliver Perez, resigned over the winter to a contract one million bucks short of K-Rod’s, posted a 9.97 ERA in five starts before hitting the DL himself with patellar tendonitis, and John Maine, who was supposed to start tonight, just hit the DL with shoulder fatigue.

The result is a team with four stars (Beltran, Wright, Rodriguez, and Johan Santana, who will start Sunday) and a whole lot of filler. That’s still enough to remain competitive in the National League East, but it’s not terribly intimidating on days that Santana doesn’t pitch.

Tonight, the Mets will send veteran innings eater Livan Hernandez to the mound against Joba Chamberlain. Hernandez, who won the fifth-starter job as a non-roster invitee out of camp, has been the Mets’ second-best starter thus far this season. That’s partially an indictment of the Mets’ rotation, but it’s also a tribute to the fact that Hernandez is pitching better than he has since he was a 29-year-old All-Star for the Montreal Expos in 2004. Hernandez is striking out twice as many men as he walks for the first time since 2004, and since the calendar flipped to May, he has gone 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA.

As I mentioned in my appearance on Kenrick Thomas’s podcast [1] last night, Chamberlain has been the Yankees’ second-best starter this year, which was not unexpected. The Yankees have won five of Chamberlain’s last six starts and are 7-4 in his starts overall. Two outings ago he dominated the Indians, allowing just two runs in eight innings. His last time out he turned in a quality start against the Rays. He’s never started against the Mets before.


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[1] Kenrick Thomas’s podcast: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2009/06/12/dont-start-me-talkin/

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