Pregame: New York Mets (22-19) at Boston Red Sox (25-17)

Below is some fantastically thorough information that I have taken from contributor Acesfull86.  I am sticking in the lineups, everything else from the NY Mets forums, a place any Met fan should visit often.

May 23, 2009: Mets @ Red Sox (Pelfrey-Beckett)

RADIO: WFAN 660, WADO 1280
Fenway Park
7:10PM EDT

New York

Murphy ……… 1B
Pagan ……….. RF
Beltran ………. DH
Sheffield …….. LF
Wright ……….. 3B
Reed …………..CF
Santos ………. C
Martinez …….. SS
Castillo ………. 2B


Mike Pelfrey

#34 RHP

(4-1) 4.61 ERA 11 SO

Pelfrey certainly pitched well his last time out, against the Giants, but he endured some problems when he wasn’t actually pitching. Three balks directly led to two runs in San Francisco, and though Pelfrey allowed nothing more, he received no offensive support and lost his first game of the year. Pelfrey threw only 78 pitches in the outing and therefore may feel stronger than usual — not necessarily a good thing for a sinkerball pitcher — in his first career start against the Red Sox.

Josh Beckett

#19 RHP

(4-2) 5.85 ERA 46 SO

The ace right-hander is finally getting into a rhythm, turning in quality starts his last three times out. In Beckett’s last start, he went seven innings for the first time since Opening Day, giving up four hits and two earned runs in a win over the Mariners. At Fenway this season, Beckett is 2-0 with a 5.63 ERA in four starts. Beckett has fared well against the Mets throughout his career, going 6-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 13 starts. Opponents are hitting .289 against Beckett this season.

Mets hitters vs Josh Beckett

2009 2004-2008
Beltran, Carlos .182 11 0 0
Castillo, Luis .000 4 0 0
Castro, Ramon .500 4 0 0
Church, Ryan .100 10 0 0
Martinez, Ramon
Murphy, Daniel
Pagan, Angel
Reed, Jeremy .000 3 0 0
Reyes, Jose .071 14 0 1
Santos, Omir
Sheffield, Gary
Tatis, Fernando
Wright, David .067 15 0 0


The Mets desperately need Jose Reyes back soon.

Ramon Martinez, his fill-in at shortstop, had two more errors on Friday night at Fenway Park, giving Martinez four errors in two starts at the position since being summoned from Class AAA Buffalo.

Manager Jerry Manuel said he simply doesn’t have anywhere else to turn. Fernando Tatis is the only alternative with Alex Cora on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right thumb. However, other than playing six innings at shortstop when Cora was forced to leave a game in San Francisco earlier in the Mets’ three-city road trip, Tatis hasn’t manned shortstop in a major league game since 1998.

“I don’t know if I have choices,” Manuel said. “That’s the problem. I’d hate to put Tatis there, who has not played.”

GM Omar Minaya even floated the possibility of promoting 19-year-old shortstop Ruben Tejada, who is hitting .232 at Class AA Binghamton, but that move isn’t considered imminent. And Minaya said Reyes should be back in the not-too-distant future, since the diagnosis was tendinitis behind the right calf and not a tear.

“It shouldn’t take two weeks,” Minaya said. “Why should we DL him two weeks?”

METS 5, RED SOX 3: Johan Santana limited Boston to three runs (two earned) in seven innings despite his teammates committing three errors as the Mets snapped a four-game losing streak. Gary Sheffield homered off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the victory.


—LHP Johan Santana didn’t appreciate Kevin Youkilis glaring at him when the ace plunked him on the right forearm in the fifth inning Friday. Youkilis later said he was joking. “If you’re looking at me like that, you’re going to get it back because I’m a gamer, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Santana said. “I just told him to take his base, and that was about it. But he was still looking at me and talking. And it fires me up.”

—Hitting coach Howard Johnson returned to Fenway Park for the first time since the 1986 World Series. “I was curious more than anything,” HoJo said. “I haven’t been here in awhile.”

—RHP Nelson Figueroa cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Class AAA Buffalo. Figueroa lost his roster spot Monday when the Mets needed to make room for RHP Tim Redding’s activation from the disabled list.

—CF Carlos Beltran, initially slated to play center field on Friday, was moved to DH because of right knee soreness. Manager Jerry Manuel intended to use David Wright at DH on Saturday, but may need to stick with Beltran there because of the knee issue. “I got to the ballpark, and during batting practice it was kind of tight,” Beltran said. “It’s bruised. I don’t know from what.”

—RF Ryan Church left the game in the fourth inning with right hamstring soreness and was replaced by Angel Pagan. Church said the hamstring has been troubling him for a while, and has caused his body to become contorted and send the pain elsewhere, including the hip.

—3B David Wright extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He’s hitting .500 (23-for-46) with 14 RBI during that span.


RF Ryan Church (right hamstring) left the game May 22. He was day-to-day.

SS Jose Reyes (tight right calf) did not play May 14-18. He returned to the lineup May 19, but he left the May 20 game with the same ailment. He is day-to-day.

INF Alex Cora (torn ligament in right thumb) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18. He is expected back in early July.

1B Carlos Delgado (labrum tear in right hip) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 11. He had surgery May 19, and he won’t return before late July.

LHP Oliver Perez (right knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 3. He pitched in extended spring training games May 16 and May 21.

C Brian Schneider (strained back) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16. He had a setback because of a calf injury in early May. He resumed action in extended spring training in late May.

LHP Billy Wagner (Tommy John surgery in September 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He will attempt to throw at the Mets’ spring training complex in April, and he hopes to return for the final month of the season.


How grateful Mike Pelfrey is that his turn in the rotation has arrived once again.

It’s not that he had been harping on his last start, in which he balked three times and admitted to a case of “the yips.” After speaking with a sports psychologist, he swears he’s gotten over the mental problems that plagued him last Saturday.

Instead, his distress these past few days has come from an entirely difference source.

“You think these guys in here would let anything go?” Pelfrey said, scanning the visitors’ clubhouse at Fenway Park.

It was a rhetorical question. Knowing Pelfrey’s improved state of mind, and conscious of his sense of humor regarding one of the most embarrassing moments of his career, the Mets spent the past five days endlessly ribbing him.

But they also know how important he will be.

“To his credit, he kind of admits it, and that’s the way you try to solve things,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “If he said, ‘I don’t have an issue’ and continued to do that, then we’ve got a problem.”

As Pelfrey noted after his start last weekend, the mental block that gripped him in San Francisco is nothing new. He battled the same problem during a game in Miami last season — though he was better able to handle it that day. And he jokes about setting the school record for balks at Wichita State — he balked seven times as a freshman in 2003, and 11 times in total over a three-year college career.

But for Pelfrey to defeat the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon, he’ll need to prove that he’s overcome the mental block that prevented him from coming to the set position every time a runner reached base last weekend. Boasting a far more potent offense than the Giants, the Red Sox are therefore far more likely to make him pay for any mistakes.

Knowing that, he spoke on the phone this week with a sports psychologist he had used in the past. The lesson?

“The mind is pretty powerful, and it controls all your muscles and all those things,” Pelfrey said, explaining his balks. “So if it happens, then I’ll be able to — in my own little way — I’ll be able to tell my mind what I want to do, and hopefully, all the muscles and everything follow that.”

Complicating matters is the fact that Pelfrey’s counterpart on Saturday, Josh Beckett, ranks among the best pitchers in the game. Despite Beckett’s struggles so far this season, he has proven to be a menace to the Mets throughout his career — David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are a combined 4-for-40 lifetime against him.

Reyes, unlikely to play because of tendinitis in his right calf, is one of multiple injured Mets at the moment. Beltran was forced to start at designated hitter on Friday after feeling soreness in his right knee, Carlos Delgado is recovering from hip surgery, Brian Schneider remains on the disabled list with a strained back and Ryan Church left Friday’s game in the fourth inning with a sore right hamstring.


2 thoughts on “Pregame: New York Mets (22-19) at Boston Red Sox (25-17)”

  1. Wow. Good stuff. Love that preview section.

    On pre-game, they said Cora will be evaluated on Tuesday and if given the O.K. will be taking balls in the field by the weekend. If that goes well, he’ll be able to come back w/o surgery right now. Keeping my fingers crossed…

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