Sunday, July 10, 2005

Science Lab Blows Up

Saturday night's 11-4 loss to Pittsburgh may have signaled the end of a couple of experiments for the Mets.

First to explode: the Kaz Ishii experiment. In a season of good start, bad start, good start for Ishii, tonight was due to be bad start, and it was. But unfortunately, the Mets absolutely needed Ishii to pick to club up after their worst loss of the season on Friday. Instead, he was the ultimate downer. Not only did he put the Mets in a 3-0 hole, including giving up a HR to the immortal Humberto Cota (fast becoming the Pirates version of Pat Burrell) on an 0-2 count, but he committed the cardinal sin of giving up a run immediately after the Mets tied the game in the 6th on Cliff Floyd's solo HR (an inning after Mike Cameron pounded a two run dinger to put the Mets on the board). And it was a run created solely after two men were out. So on a night where the Mets needed Kaz Ishii to step up and help his club, he showed the intestinal fortitude of soggy mashed potatoes.

Next to explode: the Danny Graves experiment. With the game still in reach at 6-3, Danny Graves came in for a struggling Heath Bell. Graves gave up an RBI double to Cota, and a grannie to Jack "95 lbs soaking wet" Wilson to basically end all hopes.

Graves and his tattoos were a cheap option, and it's not like he replaced someone useful. But the Mets had to find out about him, and unfortunately, they'll probably go to him again. Sometimes when you don't particularly care for someone working under you in a real job, you need an excuse to get rid of that person. Sometimes that excuse comes when you stop coddling that person and you let them run with a normal workload...and when said person fails, you have your excuse to get rid of them. With the Mets having a $5 million option on Graves for next season, they can't just use him exclusively in mop-up situations and expect to have a good excuse to decline the option for 2006. They needed to give him a normal workload, and that was tonight. He failed, so that's that. The Mets will probably use him a couple of more times for confirmation, just as they did with Hitaway DeJean in Seattle.

The one thing about the Mets this season is that a struggling player will get enough rope to hang himself. But Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya will have no problem playing executioner and pull the level on that's player's career, even if it is in the middle of the season. I see it happening with Graves at the end of this campaign, and I see it with Ishii much sooner than that. In any event, next time you see either of these experiments in the game, always be sure to wear your protective goggles.


Anonymous said...

We have to make some changes and fast. First,get Ishii out of the rotation now,before Trax comes back.Second,move Piazza down and Wright up in the batting order. Third,work out a trade for some offense at the 1B position. Casey,Overbay and Helton may be available. Fourth,take a chance and bring up Anderson Hernandez to play 2B,what do we have to lose,this guy could be our Cano,give him a chance,Cairo and Anderson are glorified bench players and Matsui is not the answer.

Metstradamus said...

Nothing wrong with any of those options. I think if Ishii is ever booted from the rotation, he's off the team.

I whole heartedly agree with flip-flopping Wright and Piazza.

As far as Anderson Hernandez, I can't say I know enough about him to make a judgement (my minor league knowledge is minor league, at best), so I'll go with that. As I've said, I would sell off parts and stock the farm system to make a run next season. Look at what the Braves are doing with 10 rookies on the roster. You can still build your team around Pedro, Beltran, Floyd, Cameron, Wright, Reyes, Ring, Benson, and Heilman. Anyone else should be available in the correct deal. But I think you stock for 2006 and beyond, and only give up the farm if you are going to get someone like Adam Dunn, who can be a core player for the future as well as the present.

As for Overbay, I think the best bet is to get him in the offseason, when the price may be a bit lower than what it is right now. Casey would be a good option as well. Helton's back and his slump this season scare me.

Metstradamus said...

And if you want to add Heath Bell to the core player list too, you can. He's borderline.