Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?

Its looking more and more that the entire roster was the problem, not just the bullpen…and not just Willie Randolph.

Here we are in the third week of the 2009 campaign and not much has changed with the Mets.  Not much at all.

SAME.  OLD.   METS.  (Except for Luis Castillo, who is actually getting hits…lots of them)

Last night in St. Louis was a disgusting abomination of a ballgame.  The Mets had staked Oliver Perez to a 4-0 lead after 4 innings…and of course, he imploded following 3 pretty good innings.

In the 4th, Perez loaded the bases and somehow managed to get out a full count, 2 out Joe Thurston at-bat thanks to a generous strike call by Tim McClelland.

In the 5th inning, Ollie got into a mess again.  Hegave up a 2-run double to Albert Pujols and then proceeded to load the bases again.  This time, he wasn’t so fortunate.  He walked Khalil Greene and then was yanked by Jerry Manuel.

Recent call up Casey Fossum was brought in and issued a 4 pitch walk to force in anotjher run and tie the game at 4.

But the fun did not stop there.

In the top of the 8th inning, Carlos Beltran was tagging up from 2nd to 3rd on a Ramon Castro fly out.  The throw got away from Thurston at 3B and Beltran broke for home.  Thurston threw home and the ball got there right around the same time as Beltran did.

Beltran DID NOT SLIDE and said after the game:

“I was too close to slide into home plate,” Beltran said. “I was running, looking at the ball, and I didn’t realize how close I was.”

Seriously?

How could you not realize hoe close you were to home plate?  At some point, you HAD TO BE looking at home.  You weren’t running blindly towards home.  I am not buying it.

So the Mets fail to add the go ahead run in that half inning which really came back to haunt them in the bottom half of the frame.

With JJ Putz now on the mound for the Mets, Brendan Ryan scorched a line drive almost right at Daniel Murphy in LF.  Murphy had to charge in a few steps, then tried to go back and proceeded to fall on his ass as the ball zoomed by his glove.

It was a 3 base error that that probably wouldn’t have happened if Beltran slide into home & scored in the top of the inning.  Murphy would have been replaced by Jeremy Reed for (obvious) defensive purposes.

Putz then gave up the go ahead run on a double by the next batter, Rick Ankiel.  The Cards added another run and won the game 6-4.

I really like Murphy but he is clearly playing out of position, the experiment is not working.  This is the 2nd loss this season where Murphy’s fielding hurt the Mets.  During the first week of the season, his error in Miami lead to 2 unearned runs and Johan Santana’s only loss on the season.

Also, last night, Murphy managed to get picked off of 1st and got thrown out at home on a play where he did not slide either.

Murphy is bring his fielding struggles with him all over the field.  Championship teams simply do not have left fielders learning a new position at the major league level.  Murphy’s position is 2B but there is no room there because of Luis Castillo’s ridiculous contract handed out by Omar Minaya.

While Castillo has started out the first few weeks of the season getting hits and playing a decent 2B, after last season’s I can only assume this kindof play will not last.

The Mets entered this season with a vastly improved bullpen, who so far has been tops in the league, and Minaya needs to be commended for that.  But there where far too many other problems with this team that went unaddressed during the off season.

Not one major hitter was added and 2009 has picked right up where 2008 ended, with the Mets not getting runners home and generally not showing a killer instinct.

The starting rotation is also unchanged, unless you want to do cartwheels over the addition of Livan Hernandez, the 643rd former Expo/National that Minaya has brought to the Mets. (Omar really excels at bringing in former Nationals and I don’t get it.)

So here are your 2009 New York Mets.  More of the same old, same old. With Willie Randolph gone and Jerry Manuel in charge from the get-go, not much has changed with this team.  Clearly something is wrong with the make up of this team and even the manager seems to have his Randolph-esque shortcommings.

Last season, Willie was made to be the fall guy.  I don’t think Minaya can go that route again with Manuel.  Minaya will be on the hot seat before too long if things keep up with this team.

Or at least he should be on the hot seat.  I think Minaya holds some sort of Svengali like spell over the Wilpons, who are enamored with his mediocrity.

For far too long, it has been the same malaise, the same mistakes with this team… and it is about time the Wilpons address the real problems with this team.

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