Diamond Report: New York Mets Push Toward the Playoffs

Mets first baseman Ike Davis is one of four starters from last night's game that is on the bench tonight against Colorado | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

At one time Jeff Francoeur was one of the most highly touted outfield prospects in the league. Now it looks like he is the odd man out in New York.

Hitting just .241 with 10 home runs in his second season as a Met, the right fielder’s time in Queens could be coming to an end. While Francoeur once again said he was happy to be in New York after last night’s 1-0 win over the Rockies, his agent today refuted that claim.

“We want to play every day,” Francoeur’s agent Molly Fletcher said. “We prefer to play in New York. But if we’re not going to play every day in New York, we absolutely welcome the opportunity to play every day somewhere else.”

Despite seeing his playing time decrease with the recent call up of outfielder Fernando Martinez, the disgruntled right fielder is in the starting line up tonight against Colorado.

While Francoeur hasn’t started since Saturday, the real story here is the major changes that manager Jerry Manuel has made to the line up.

After one of the biggest wins of the season against the league’s top pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, Manuel has opted to sit the kids. Catcher Josh Thole, first baseman Ike Davis, second baseman Ruben Tejada, and left fielder Fernando Martinez are all on the bench for tonight’s game.

What in the world is Manuel thinking?

These four players each played a critical role in helping the Mets get their league leading 15th shutout of the season last night.

Thole scored the only run of the game after leading off the 7th inning with a double to right field, Davis prevented the tying run from getting on in the 9th with a beautiful play to rob Carlos Gonzalez and Martinez made a spectacular diving catch in left field to prevent the Rockies from starting a rally in the 8th.

In the lineup tonight for New York are Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, Henry Blanco, Mike Hessman and Franceour. This is the exact opposite of what the Mets need to do to build momentum.

Starting the day 7 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card, Manuel needs to start the Mets that have brought this team back into contention.

It is completely ridiculous to give all four youngsters a day off on the same night. A move like this shows that the manager has no confidence in his guys.

Manuel is messing around with the lineup at a time where the Mets desperately need stability.

Beltran and Castillo are simply not the guys that deserve to be in the lineup at this point in the season. If anything they could be considered the blame for the Mets downward spiral.

On July 10, the Mets sat 5 games back of the Braves in the NL East and just 1.5 games behind the Rockies in the Wild Card. Beltran returned to the lineup that day against the Giants and Castillo came off the DL for the following series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It has been a month and the Mets have lost 16 of their last 24 games.

While fans welcomed their return with joy, it looks as though the two aging veterans ruined the chemistry that the Mets had going.

However Mets fans all faith is not lost just yet.

New York still has a chance of making the playoffs, but the only way that is going to happen is if Jerry Manuel gets his lineup in order.

It is time for the youngsters to shine and the veterans to come off the bench sparingly. New York’s season will come down to the 22 games that follow the Phillies series this weekend.

During this stretch 18 of the 22 games that the Mets play are against sub .500 teams. However, the Mets will be on the road for 17 out of the 22 games where they have posted a record of just 22-37 away from Citi Field.

After all of the late season struggles that New York has had over the season, it should be interesting to see how things will finish after they have already done their collapsing this year.

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Posted in MLB

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