Note: Castillo can Hit, but is Struggling in the Field

Last night, in the eighth inning, with a runner at first base and one out, Sean Green induced a ground ball to shortstop, but Anderson Hernandez missed Luis Castillo covering second base and so both runners were safe.

The next batter hit a ground ball, which Hernandez grabbed with a diving stop, he flipped to Castillo for one out, who then threw the ball wide of first base, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

…i realize castillo is hitting .309, and he’s worked hard to play in 139 games, and he’s a great story, etc., but he has looked terrible on defense this season… he has made weak and wide throws on several on too many occasions this season – and, most important, his range seems to get more narrow and more narrow with every day that passes… he is also out of position at times, leaving him unable to even attempt at getting ground balls in the hole between him and Daniel Murphy… and that’s the thing, i could accept his weak defense if not for the rookie standing to his left, who is working to learn a new position

Castillo will earn $6 million next season, and $6 million in 2011, after which he will be a free agent.

Jon Heyman of SI.com believes the Mets might try to trade Castillo this winter, ‘and take a look at Orlando Hudson.’

…from what i recall, hudson wanted to be on the Mets or Yankees last season, and waited quite a while to see if one of the two teams would create a spot for him… instead, the Mets stuck with castillo, though they did consider ways to bring hudson in the fold…

…i believe hudson fits in better with what the Mets should be trying to do, in terms of his specific talent and type of leadership… we are going to hear his name in the rumor mill a lot this winter however, i hope the Mets do not make the same mistake with him that they made with castillo, giving him a long-term, unmovable contract, as hudson looks to be slowing down in his career as well

I'm Reading: about Cheating on the Mets; Cubs; & Callus

For more on last night’s loss to the Nationals, read Brooklyn Met Fan, Mets Today, Amazin Avenue and Mets Fans Forever.

Michael Ganci of the Daily Stache reminds Mets fans that things could be worse, we could be Cubs fans.

Jason Fry of Faith and Fear in Flushing has had enough baseball for 2009, writing, “I just want the embarrassment and anger to be taken away until I’ve built up six months of desperately needed emotional callus.”

Lastly, Coop of My Summer Family is cheating on the Mets with the Angels.

Post Game: Nationals 4, Mets 3

The Mets lost to the Nationals by the score of 4-3 in Washington D.C. tonight.

For a full recap and box score, click here.

The Least You Should Know:

Mike Pelfrey was handed a 3-0 lead, he retired the first seven batters he faced, but had to wiggle out of minor trouble in the third inning.  Pelfrey ran into real trouble in the fifth inning when he allowed a two run home run to Ian Desmond and then Ryan Zimmerman singled in Willie Harris and Elijah Dukes to tie the game for the Nationals.

The Mets had a chance in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out, but Brian Schneider popped up for the first out, and then Jeremy Reed lined into an inning ending double play.

Of course the Mets paid for their inefficiencies at the plate in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to a comedy of errors by their middle infielders, starting with a poor flip by Anderson Hernandez to Luis Castillo on a routine double play ground ball, and ending with an air-mailed throw by Castillo to first base that scored Justin Maxwell for the go-ahead run.

Elijah Dukes made a spectacular catch to end the game for the Nationals on a missile hit by David Wright with Angel Pagan on with two outs.

Other Observations and Notes:

The Mets find very creative ways to lose games, but it always seems to come down to a lack of fundamentals…tonight being a prime example of that.

The Mets once again had a ton of base runners, but managed to end their own threats with poor situational hitting and bad luck.

I thought Anderson Hernandez was supposed to be a defensive oriented player – but the error on the routine double play in the eighth inning makes me wonder about his usefulness.

This was definitely one of Pelfrey’s better performances this year despite not earning the victory – he had good action on his sinker when he was pitching out of the windup, and outside of a rough fifth inning, mainly scattered hits before coming out of the game.

I am waiting for Pedro Feliciano to make a pitch, and have his arm fall off – this guy pitches every day and he has been splendid all year.

Up Next:

The Mets will end the road portion of their schedule tomorrow afternoon at 4:35 pm with the conclusion of their series against the Nationals, with Tim Redding facing John Lannan.

News: Pelfrey Will Miss Final Start

Prior to tonight’s game, Jerry Manuel told reporters that Mike Pelfrey will not make his scheduled start on Sunday against the Astros at Citi Field.

Manuel told reporters:

“This will be it for him…He will get a chance to kind of reflect back on the season, what was good and what he went through. I think it was a really growing experience for him. It’s all for the good. It’s all a part of the growth of a young pitcher.”

…i’m really not sure what Jerry found to be good about this season for Pelfrey after June 16, as he is 5-10 since then not including what happens tonight…

…it has been frustrating to watch Pelfrey this season, going back to his first start against the Reds…he would be brilliant for a few innings and then suddenly a hit would turn into three or four runs and the wheels would fall off the wagon…he is still young, but he won’t be young forever and i have not seen the progression that a pitcher of his supposed caliber should have made at this point and a determination has to be made at this point as to whether or not he is a part of the problem or will be part of the solution in the future…

Pepsi Refresh Pre-Game: Mets vs. Nationals

The Mets will look to even their series against the Nationals tonight at 7:05 pm, at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

Angel Pagan will lead off, followed in order by Luis Castillo David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Daniel Murphy, Jeff Francoeur, Brian Schneider, and Wilson Valdez.

Mike Pelfrey (10-12, 5.08 ERA) will start for the Mets.  He last faced the Nationals on September 18 at Citi Field and took the loss, allowing five runs in seven innings.  He’s 1-2 in three starts with a 4.12 ERA against Washington this season.

J.D. Martin (5-4, 4.71 ERA) will start for the Nationals. Martin earned the win against the Mets on September 18, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He made one prior start against the Mets earlier this season, and is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA against them this season.

News: Bobby V returns to ESPN, per Bobby V

Bobby Valentine said on a conference call today that he considers himself a Mets fan, and he is disappointed in their 2009 season, which he described as a ‘tragedy.’

According to Valentine, there is an out-clause in his contract that will allow him to take a job managing in MLB.

Valentine would not say if he is or isn’t interested in managing the Mets again.

Original Post, 10:16 am:

Bobby Valentine announced his return to the ESPN broadcast team this morning on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning.

To read more of this story, click here

I'm Reading: about HR, Mike Schmidt, and Destiny

To learn about the 66 players who hit just one home run for the Mets during their career, check out Mets Walkoffs.

…by the way, if you have Mets Walkoffs bookmarked, note his domain name changed back to the blogspot address

In an effort to accept David Wright’s poor season, Fire Jerry Manuel looks to Mike Schmidt.

Speaking of Wright, Joe Janish of Mets Today seems angry that Wright was not punished for his base running mistake last weekend.

In a post for Blue and Orange, Chris Wilcox explains why, “I am sick and tired of Jerry Manuel.”

For more on Wright’s mistake, check out Steve Popper in the Bergen Record, who talks with him and Jerry Manuel about the situation.

Ed Ryan of Mets Fever wonders if the Rays and Mets could flip bad contract for bad contract, bringing Pat Burrell to Citi Field.

Are the Mets capable of making the playoffs in 2010, asks Yankees 2000: Promote the Curse.

Lastly, Mark Healey of Baseball Digest continues his look at why the Mets are destined to fail - for part one, go here.

News: Brewers owner talks Fielder Trade

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that 1B Prince Fielder is at the peak of his trade value.

The 25–year-old Fielder, who hit 43 home runs with 137 RBI this season, will earn $10.5 million next season; he eligible for arbitration in 2011, after which he will be a free agent.

Attanasio is quoted as saying, regarding Fielder:

“I don’t like thinking about the Milwaukee Brewers without Prince Fielder, I’ll tell you that.  It’s a challenge, because on the other side, if you concentrate too much on one player… It’s not like basketball.  If LeBron James or Michael Jordan is on your team, you can dominate.  Prince could not have been more of a dominant player and we’re scuffling to get to .500 with the challenges we’ve had with starting pitching.  What do you do?”

…well, i’d like to think you trade him to the Mets for a group of minor league pitchers, but something tells me you guys are going to want more, like, say, Matt Cain, like was discussed here

…at this point, i am not even sure Mike Pelfrey is good enough, considering fielder is under contract for at least two more seasons… it’s a shame, though, because he is perfect for the Mets, in that he’s a uncontained power hitter, he’s young, under contract, he negates his k’s with walks, he’s got a bit of an attitude, he’ll take out your catcher at home plate, he’s brash and he’s exciting… and, the Mets have no chance to get him, because every one of their young, major-league ready pitchers, from pelfrey to Jon Niese to Bobby Parnell, are at the bottom of their value

Speaking of acquiring offense…

Rays reporter Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times believes Tampa will keep Carl Crawford for 2010.

News: Red Sox DFA'd 1B Chris Carter

The Red Sox have designated 26–year-old Chris Carter for assignment.

In August, the Boston Globe said Carter would be one of the two player’s to be named later in the swap between the Mets and Red Sox for Billy Wagner.

Carter hit .279 with 14 HR and 59 RBI this season for Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Yankees claimed Carter off waivers in August, which you can read about at MLB Trade Rumors, in an effort to complicate Boston’s 25–man roster in September, which delayed Carter from being traded to the Mets this season.

however, i have no idea what it means now that he has been designated for assignment, with just a week left in the regular season… i have had several insiders e-mail me with how or what will happen, assuming carter is even the player to be named later from the wagner deal, and all of their insights contradict one another… so, so much for the insider label… anyway, from what i can gather, it is very, very unlikely that a team will claim him with five games left in the regular season, so, in all likelihood, the Mets will claim him, get him, and the wagner deal will be complete… stay tuned

According to the Providence Journal, the second player to be named later in the Wagner deal is Eddie Lora, a 20-year-old first baseman, who hit .222 for the Red Sox rookie-league team.

News: Mets Fire more in Minor Leagues

The Mets have fired Double-A Binghamton manager Mako Oliveras, and Gulf Coast League manager Julio Franco, according to Adam Rubin of the Daily News.

last week, the Mets reportedly fired minor-league Special Assistant Ramon Pena and Field Coordinator Luis Aguayo… from what i can gather, basically, Omar Minaya is planning to replace all of Tony Bernazard’s guys with ‘his own guys,’ so to speak… i get the impression omar hired tony b, and tony b filled out the minor league staff… so, now that tony b is gone, all of his staff is getting the boot as well

News: Mets and Egg-Shell, Pinstripes Uniform

Update, 10:15 am:

Shannon of Mets Police e-mailed with Paul Lukas of Uniwatch, who says the retro jersey will still have the black drop-shadow.

Original Post:

According to the Bergen Record, a Mets representative gave a vague confirmation that the team might drop their pinstripe uniform and adopt a creme-colored jersey next season.

actually, it’s both, i think… from what i can gather, the Mets are adding a ‘retro jersey,’ next season, modeled after the 1969 uniform, i.e., egg-shell fabric, thin pinstripes, blue hats and stirrups, and no black frankly, i think there is a strong movement inside the Mets - and certainly outside in the stands – to eliminate the black altogether, and i bet this is the first step in doing that

To read more of this story, click here