Note: Where is Jerry Manuel?

Typically, by now, 25 minutes after the game’s final pitch, Jerry Manuel will have addressed the media, but he has yet to do so tonight, according to SNY.

This would suggest he is still in the clubhouse, hopefully screaming at his team, who should be ashamed of their performance tonight, regardless of how many people are on the disabled list.

Update, 11:17 pm:

Manuel emerged to speak with reporters and described his 25–minute, closed-door meeting with the team as simply a ‘family talk.’

He said it was ‘nothing serious,’ he was just ‘keeping things in order.’

The key to the meeting, he said, ‘was to say we have enough talent in here to get it done, so let’s get it done… We gotta do what we gotta do, we are who we are.’

Post Game: Brewers 6 Mets 3

The Mets (37–39) lost to the Brewers (42–35) tonight, 6–3, in Miller Park.

For a full recap and boxscore, go here.

The Least You Should Know:

The Brewers scored four runs in the fourth inning against Johan Santana, thanks in part to a dropped pop up by Fernando Martinez and a throwing error by Santana.

David Wright hit a two-run home run to left-center field during the first inning, it was his first home run in three weeks.

The Mets left eight men on base.

Misc., Etc., and Other Observations:

The fourth inning was ugly.  It was Little League.  Martinez misjudged a pop up, with one out and a runner on base, then caught his spike in the grass as he tried to readjust his footing, and so he literally flopped at the knees right on his face as the ball dropped to the ground behind him.  Santana looked pissed off, to say the least.  However, moments later, after walking the pitcher, Ryan Braun hit a bases clearing double on an 0–2 pitch from Santana, but the throw from cut-off man Alex Cora sailed over Omir Santos’s head and in to the hands of Santana, who then air-mailed the ball over third base in an effort to get Braun, who then trotted home to score yet another run.

Frankly, the Mets should be embarrassed.  Santana looked angry at Martinez, but Martinez is 20 years old, while Santana is the veteran who walked the pitcher on four pitches on the next play and let up a double on an 0–2 pitch.  To me, this is far more inexcusable than Martinez having the misfortune of his cleat getting stuck in the grass.  Ugh. 

Like I said, it was ugly.  What’s worse, I had no reaction.  I mean, nothing surprises me at this point.

Between innings, Santana stormed around the dugout yelling and cursing.  I have no idea what he was saying, but he wasn’t happy.

Price Fielder hit a home run off Santana in the seventh inning that was absolutely crushed.  It landed in the back row of the seats in center field.  It sounded like someone cracked an egg on his bat when he hit it.

Dan Warthen was ejected for arguing the strike zone with the home plate umpire following a meeting on the mound with Santana, who had been shrugging his shoulder most of the night, suggesting he thought he was getting squeezed.  I am not sure I have ever seen a pitching coach get ejected.

Martinez hit the first F-Bomb of his career, hitting a home run to right-center field, though I hope he’s still thinking of the pop up.

Tonight will be interesting for this team.  I’ll be curious to hear reports of how the clubhouse is following the game.  I hope they do not start pointing fingers, and pulling back from blame.

The Mets play the final game of their series with the Brewers tomorrow afternoon starting at 2:05 pm, with Mike Pelfrey taking on Yovani Gallardo.

Recap: Jerry Manuel on WFAN

Mets manager Jerry Manuel was a guest of Mike Francesa on WFAN today, which you can listen to here.

Manuel said Jose Reyes will start rehabbing today in St. Lucie, and could begin running the bases during the next week.

He continues to start Fernando Tatis, despite him batting .250 in his last 21 games, because he believes he is a player who can get hot, like he did last season.

in other words, the only way to get tatis going, who can provide power, is to let him play

David Wright and Gary Sheffield will likely get tomorrow off, on the same day, Manuel explained, being a day game following a night game.

Manuel believes Fernando Martinez is close to putting it together, and since he’s playing such a strong defense, especially in center field, he will continue to put him in the starting lineup.

In the end, he says the team can’t afford to have its starting pitching hit a ‘bump in the road,’ because with good starting pitching the team is capable of winning.

Lastly, Manuel says he is a fan of Westerns.

Pre Game: Mets at Brewers (Game 2)

Fernando Tatis will start at second base tonight.

Alex Cora returns to shortstop and will bat leadoff, followed in order by Tatis, David Wright, Gary Sheffield in left field, Ryan Church in right field, Nick Evans at first base, Fernando Martinez in center and Omir Santos behind the plate.

The Mets are 8–26 when the opposing team scores first, whereas the Brewers are 17–22 when the opposing team scores first.

LHP Johan Santana (9–5, 3.08 ERA) will start for the Mets.  Tonight is Santana’s 50th start since joining the Mets, during which he is 25–12 with a 2.69 ERA.  Santana has a 4.79 ERA on the road this season.  He threw seven shutout innings against the Brewers in April.

RHP Mike Burns (0–1, 3.72 ERA) will start for the Brewers.  He was called up from Triple-A late last month, where he was 7–2 with a 2.56 ERA.  He pitched in relief against the Mets while playing for the Reds last season, and allowed no runs and two hits in two innings.  However, the only batter he faced from tonight’s lineup is David Wright, who he got to ground out.

Update, 4:55 pm:

The Mets have essentially confirmed Adam Rubin’s report in the Daily News, which stated Carlos Beltran will need rest, not surgery, as he works to rehab a bruised knee.

Beltran will travel to New York for additional treatment, according to a team spokeman, but will not resume baseball activities until he is pain free.

Buzz: Nationals trade Milledge to Pirates

According to Dejan Kovacevic, of the Post-Gazette, the Nationals and Pirates have agreed in principle to send Nyjer Morgan to DC and Lastings Milledge to Pittsburgh.

…wow, two of the worst run franchises in baseball team up to make a deal, each swapping young outfielders… i have no idea how to judge this deal, because i have no faith in anything either club does…

Morgan, 28, is hitting .277 with 13 extra base hits and 18 stolen bases in 71 games for the Pirates this season, and he’s not eligible to be a free agent until 2014.

Meanwhile, Milledge underwent surgery on a broken finger in May.

He had hit .167 in seven games for the Nationals this season, before being demoted to Triple-A.

Milledge hit 268 with 14 HR and 61 RBI in 136 games for DC in 2008.

Speaking of trades…

“The Yankees acquired veteran Eric Hinske from the Pirates for two minor leaguers not considered significant prospects,” reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

In a post to Twitter, Sherman points out that Hinske cleared waivers two weeks ago, “which means any team could have had him for rest of salary, about $800,000,” i.e., the Mets.

Hinske had been hitting .255 with one HR in 106 at bats for the Pirates.

Lastly, according to MLB.com, the Phillies continue to look for a starting pitcher, but are growing frustrated with the trade market.

Blog: What Would MetsBlog Do?

In a post to Bats, the baseball blog for the New York Times, Jay Schreiber opens the suggestion box, and asks what you would do if you were Omar Minaya.

well, honestly, i’m not sure i’d want to be Omar Minaya right now

Rich Coutinho of 1050 ESPN Radio lists five reasons why he should do nothing.

In an e-mail to MetsBlog.com, Ryan G asked:

“If you were the GM, not Omar, but Matthew Cerrone, GM of the Mets, and are in this exact scenario, what would you do?  What could you do?”

…i would not trade my best young talent for a rental player…

…first, i would create a long-term goal upon a strategy that fits Citi Field, i.e., pitching, athleticism and defense… and i would be sure all of my moves, be it for this season or beyond, support that goal, which would be to build around my captain, David Wright, with young hitters and experienced role players to create a Run-n-Shoot Offense for baseball, like the Rays

…for instance, i’d keep Alex Cora, because he’s the definition of a smart, experienced role player, who can suit up at multiple positions… i’d look to trade for a player like Mark Teahen from the Royals, who would be useful on the infield this season and next season, and who will not cost a lot in trade because he’s about to start earning more money through arbitration… in the off-season, i’d pick up his option and look to trade J.J. Putz to a team in need of a closer, in an effort to make up for the prospects minaya gave up to get him in the first place… i’d also cut Luis Castillo and his $12 million in the off-season, and finally bring in Orlando Hudson to bat second, a move that should have been made last off season… i’d consider trading peanuts for 28–year-old OF Alex Rios and his five-year, $60 million contract, because he has a strong arm, he’s fast and sprays the ball around the field… i would not trade any of my young pitching, like Mike Pelfrey, Brad Holt, Jenrry Mejia, Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell, because i do not trust that the free-agent market for starting pitching will offer much over the next decade…

…lastly, i’d have to think long and hard about what can be had for Jose Reyes, whose ultimate potential i am starting to lose faith in… last month, Boston talk-radio host Danny Picard suggested on his blog I’m Just Sayin, that, in the off season, the Red Sox should offer RHP Clay Buchholz, top prospect RHP Michael Bowden, OF Jacoby Ellsbury and SS Jed Lowrie to the Mets for reyes… this would be super tempting, to say the least

i’d then look to wrap these players around a young, aggressive manager, who values statistics as much as his gut

for now, though, i’d hold tight and hope my injured players return from the disabled list, all while keeping that long-term goal in mind, without doing anything drastic… so, if this means acquiring a player like OF Ryan Spilborghs from the Rockies, rios or teahen, fine, but i’m not trading a ton of talent to get Matt Holliday, who will never sign a deal to play in my pitcher’s park… then, if i have little faith of making the playoffs in August, and guys are not returning from injury and performing and nothing is going as i hoped, i’d look to get something small in return for a player like Livan Hernandez, who can moved through waivers

…and then i’d wake up, and remember i’m a blogger, not a GM…

News: Beltran needs Rest, not Surgery

The second opinion Carlos Beltran received from Dr. Steadman on his knee in Colorado provided a ‘reassuring diagnosis,’ according to Adam Rubin of the Daily News, citing a source familiar with the examination.

Instead of season-ending surgery, Rubin believes Steadman will recommend Beltran remain inactive through the All-Star break, as a result of a bone bruise.

Read: Today in the NL East

marlins-hatThe Marlins played the Nationals last night in the only other game involving NL East teams on the Monday schedule.

Ricky Nolasco struck out eight while allowing just two runs on four hits over eight innings as the Marlins rallied to beat the Nationals, 4-2. Hanley Ramirez led the offense with three hits.

Scott Olsen returned from the DL for Washington and tossed seven strong innings.

Ryan Zimmerman hit his thirteenth home run for the Nationals.

In other news…Phillies pitcher J.C. Romero may face battery charges for an incident that took place on Thursday after the team’s game against the Rays.

Meanwhile, according to MLB.com, it’s unlikely Philadelphia outfielder Raul Ibanez will be back in action for this weekend’s series against the Mets.

For more news, notes, analysis and statistics from around Major League Baseball, be sure to visit Baseball Daily Digest.

Read: Spiraling Downward

In the Bergen Record, Bob Klapisch writes, “Faster and faster the Mets keep swirling downward, heading toward oblivion.”

Following last night’s loss to the Brewers, Jerry Manuel said:

“If we’re below .500, we’re a below-average team.  We’re trying to do everything we can to stay around there until we can get some people back or get healthy, but right now we’re a below-average team… I’m trying to get this group to the All-Star break and then re-access and see where we are.”

…it does feel like things are about to spiral out of control, especially with a weekend series in Philadelphia looming on the horizon…

…the thing is, nobody knows when the supposed cavalry will return… and, when they do return, who knows how they’ll perform

“We have to come out with the same intensity no matter what the situation is, because no one is going to feel sorry for us,” said Gary Sheffield, according to Adam Rubin in a report for the Daily News.

The thing is, in the Star-Ledger, Brian Costa writes:

“The Mets’ clubhouse is becoming more funereal by the day.  It was hard to find an optimistic voice Monday night.”

this is the big concern… has the clock hit midnight for this team… last week, the depleted Mets took of three of four from the Cardinals in St. Louis, which is no easy task… so, it’s possible for these Mets to get good results… the thing is, how long can they keep getting them… last night, Fernando Nieve returned to earth… who’s next, Gary Sheffield, Nick Evans… i mean, the team’s leadoff hitter, Argenis Reyes, entered last night’s game batting .143… eventually, i fear the .143s, the nieves, the sheffields, etc., are going to catch up with this team, leaving a wide gap filled with losses between today and when the supposed cavalry returns, and that gap may finally be upon us

Read: Trouble; UZR; Refund; NL East, etc…

The Brooklyn Met Fan lists several ways you know the Mets are in trouble, such as:

“You know the Mets are in trouble when you’re actually encouraged by 3 runs in the 9th despite a 4 run loss… You know the Mets are in trouble when Matt Cerrone is scolding Manuel for laughing in a post game press conference.”

James K from Amazin Avenue explains Ultimate Zone Rating, an defensive statistic, and how it hates the Mets.

In a post to his media blog for Metro International, Chris Baldwin feels the Mets owe their fans a refund on tickets due to the lousy product they’ve been putting on the field, despite charging top dollar for tickets.

In a video for On the Black, Kerel Cooper discusses the NL East, which he believes is the worst division in baseball.

Lastly, to read more about last night’s loss to the Brewers, check out Amazin Avenue, the Real Dirty and Mets Today.

Buzz: The Jays will Give Away Rios and Wells

In a report for the Globe and Mail in Toronto, Jeff Blair reports the Blue Jays will essentially give away Alex Rios or Vernon Wells, so long as it saves them money to help re-sign Roy Halladay, who is a free agent at the end of next season.

The 28–year-old Rios is batting .263 with 30 extra base hits, 13 stolen bases and a .321 OBP in 76 games for Toronto.

He ended the last two seasons hitting roughly .290, with around 15 stolen bases, 15 HR, 80 RBI and 40 doubles.

Rios will earn roughly $60 million through 2014, after which he is eligible to be a free agent for the first time in his five-year career.

rios is interesting… he is reminiscent of a young Carlos Beltran… rios has played both center field and right field… essentially, i bet the Mets could send very little to toronto to get him, but would have to take on every dime of his deal… meaning, it’d be like signing rios to a five-year, $60 million deal, plus giving up some talent to get him, which seems steep… intriguing, though… the biggest concern, however, is, how will be handle new york, having played his entire career in the quiet confines of canada

If he was a free agent…

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