UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: A late start for both me and for the game. It’s Pedro Martinez (4-3, 5.22) vs. Scott Olsen (6-8, 4.19).
Martinez has already allowed two runs on an RBI double from Luis Gonzalez and a sac fly by Mike Jacobs.
I’ll be here to answer any questions this afternoon. I’m sure many of them will be Niese-related, but first let me comment on how the Mets came to the decision.
Jerry Manuel told us the last few days that he would trust the organization’s decision on Tuesday’s starter. He hasn’t seen any of the possible starters pitch as much as other members of the club have, so he left it to their recommendation.
In the end, Manuel was told Niese was the best option. Obviously, he and Dan Warthen aren’t thrilled about throwing three straight LHP against the Brewers, but “that’s just where we are right now,” Manuel said.
Here’s Tony Bernanzard on Niese:
â€œThe organization feels he is the pitcher that is most advanced,â€ assistant general manager Tony Bernazard said. â€œHe has a very good record in Triple-A. He is our future.â€
Will he be able to handle the situation:
â€œWe expect him to be fine,â€ Bernazard said. â€œYou never know until youâ€™re there, but all the indication that he has shown me is that heâ€™s going to be OK.â€
UPDATE, 2:01 p.m.: Three big-boy home runs have put the Mets ahead 3-2. The last, by David Wright, was some clout. It sailed over the scoreboard in the LCF alley â€” not all that far from the 434-foot sign in center.
Props to Nick Evans, kind of the forgotten rookie, who finally hit his first big-league homer. His ball snuck over the scoreboard in LCF â€” not too far from where Wright’s ball ended up.
Pedro doesn’t look great so far, but he’s been economical. Just from watching him pitch so far it appears he’s being careful with Hanley Ramirez and Mike Jacobs and going after everyone else.
UPDATE, 2:08 p.m.: The Cubs are lucky to be so far in front. For just about every other NL contender this would be a disaster.
Big Z has had these problems before and he always bounces back quickly. If he’s out for an extended period of time, however, the Cubs could be had. Their rotation isn’t nearly as formidable minus their ace.
UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: BILLY WAGNER UPDATE
Bernazard said the Wagner watch will continue tomorrow at either Shea or at Keyspan Park. Depending on how he feels, Wagner may even throw off the mound. It’s all very conditional, but if Wagner feels good, and if he throws off a mound, and if he feels good after that…well, he may actually pitch in games this week. Brooklyn’s season doesn’t end until next Sunday.
Stay tuned tomorrow for that. Hopefully the Mets will have more info. Omar Minaya told us in Philly that he may make the trip to Milwaukee, so we may speak to him tomorrow.
UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: Good job sticking in the game by Pedro, who finished with: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (101 pitches/64 strikes). Pedro wasn’t particularly sharp, but he gave the Mets a chance to win working primarily between 69-83 m.p.h.
Jose Reyes had a big base hit just now to give the Mets’ bullpen an insurance run, but the at-bat that extended the inning and drove Scott Olsen from the game was Dan Murphy’s walk. … I don’t know if this will make sense, but Murphy has a certain Jason Giambi-like quality about him. An at-bat against him is just no fun for the pitcher. Murphy really makes them work, and never gives in. Even in his later years, Giambi still does that…it just goes somewhat unnoticed now that he’s no longer an MVP-type.
UPDATE, 3:32 p.m.: I’m surprised Scott Schoeneweis pitched today. He hurt his back stretching on Friday and it didn’t seem like Manuel planned on using him when we spoke to him this morning.
One of you commented about Schoeneweis never throwing a clean inning. I concur. I don’t know what role he can have after today with callups on the way.
UPDATE, 4:09 p.m.: He’ll be 29 in a week and has allowed 139 hits in 105 IP during a brief big-league career. But, yeah, Brian Stokes is your closer. Wow!
Honestly, as incredible as it is, Stokes is the right choice right now, even if he’s pitching for the fifth time in six days and for the fifth game in a row. What’s that say about the Met ‘pen?