Vote: Final Grade for Mike Pelfrey

Mike Pelfrey will not pitch again this season, according to Jerry Manuel, who told reporters yesterday the pitcher will now have time to reflect on the season, “what was good and what he went through.”

i think this is one of the seasons for pelfrey, in which he might have taken one step back so he can take two steps forward

Pelfrey ends the season 10–12 with a 5.03 ERA, compared to going 13–11 with a 3.72 ERA last season.

Pelfrey and Jon Niese were on a pre-season list of red-flagged pitchers by Tom Verducci of SI.com, who said both pitchers could be prone to a poor season in 2009 due to the number of innings pitched in 2008, a.k.a. ‘The Year-After Effect.’

that said, he was pitching in front of a terrible, ever-changing, often-out-of-place defense… also, he seemed to get more ground balls than in previous seasons, and that is important for him to be effective… the problem was his walks, and putting himself in a position to fail, which is something no pitcher should do with that sort of defense behind him… i mean, because he was striking out more batters and getting more ground balls than in previous season, had he had a better defense up the middle, i.e., Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and anyone better than Luis Castillo, i bet he would have allowed less runs and put up much better stats

i still believe in pelfrey, who is under contract and not eligible to be a free agent until after 2012… if he learns to stop getting in to fights with himself on the mound, if he can learn to command his fastball better, keep getting ground balls, and learn to feel his way through an at bat, i.e., know how to pitch front to back, not just what pitch to throw; i think he’ll be fine… next season is huge for mike, since he now has 80 career starts – meaning the time to turn the corner is quickly approaching, if it isn’t here already… this season’s perceived hiccup is understandable… but, it’s time for him to get it together…

…have a good off season, mike… happy thinking

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…i will posting other players to vote on throughout the day

Read: Heads are Likely to Roll

In a report for Newsday, David Lennon writes, “The Mets decision-makers have been meeting regularly for the past six weeks in an effort to sort out what went wrong this season.”

umm, are you sure six weeks is enough time, guys…

…here, let me take a crack at it: everyone on your team got hurt, your GM struggles with foresight, you have one reliable starting pitcher, and your players are soft

According to Lennon, “The only thing they know is that the task is far from finished and more heads are likely to roll.”

…i bet the beginning of the end for Razor Shines started the day he flaunted his Phillies World Championship Ring in the Mets clubhouse towards the end of spring training

i can argue that every coach on the staff should be fired, but it’s also difficult to be honest in that criticism when you consider who they were being asked to coach, due to all of the injuries… but, that is not the point… if the Mets want to change the culture and attitude around their ballclub, they need to ditch these guys and bring in a new crew… and, that may need to include Jerry Manuel, as well

For details on planned meetings between Omar Minaya, ownership and Jerry Manuel, and when they’ll occur, read Lennon’s report in Newsday, here.

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.