Mets Deny Plot To Seperate Pedro, Piazza

Posted in Baseball at 12:07 pm by

After last night’s tremendous performance by Pedro Martinez (and subsequent game-winning blast by Carlos Beltran — his first HR at Shea), the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti seeks to clarify whether or not Ramon Castro is Martinez’ personal backstop. Because he’s not. Even if it looks that way. And what would be the problem if he was? Who are you calling defensive?

Willie Randolph insists there is no conspiracy or hidden agenda.

Mike Piazza said he simply needed a rest.

So, it just so happened that Piazza was watching from the dugout again Monday night when Pedro Martinez started for the Mets against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the fourth time in the last five Martinez starts that Ramon Castro got the call to catch instead of Piazza, including the last three.

“All you conspiracy guys, that’s just the way it rolls. That’s all,” Randolph said. “If he had a normal day game [Sunday], he would probably be playing today.”

Still, this sounded like just the latest excuse. The Mets said Piazza was unable to catch Martinez a week ago against Atlanta because of a sore thumb and he was a late scratch for Martinez’s previous start because he was “sore.”

“There’s no blueprint,” Piazza said. “[Randolph] walked in and I was sleeping on the couch [in the training room] and kind of just asked me, ‘How do you feel? What do you think?’ Plus, to me if I’m not what I feel is acceptable to play, if I’m not able to move, it’s not fair to [Martinez] or any pitcher.”

Piazza understands the questions about his catching relationship with Martinez. When you also include that Martinez threw three wild pitches the last time Piazza caught him on April 16 against Florida – all three on curveballs – the speculation that Martinez would like a better defensive catcher also makes sense.

Still, Piazza claims that is not the case.

“If it was, we would tell you,” Piazza said. “Honestly, it’s just falling this way. Pedro was supposed to pitch [Sunday] and they pushed him back. We had an 8 o’clock game. We got in at 4 a.m. I got to bed at 5. It just happens to fall this way. If it was something different, we would tell you the case and I talked to Willie about it. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of opportunities [to catch Martinez].

“If I was 25, I would be playing [Monday night], but I’m looking long term.

Jose Reyes (4 for 5 last night), almost walked in the 8th inning, taking a (high) called strike with a 3-1 count before grounding out, 6-3, on the 5th pitch of the at bat. With the count at 3-1, the chants of “walk, walk” were clearly audible over the radio and TV feeds, and perhaps with this sort of public encouragement, Reyes will take his first base on balls sometime before the trading deadline.

3 responses to “Mets Deny Plot To Seperate Pedro, Piazza”

  1. Chuck Meehan says:

    Reyes will probably draw his first BB this series. So, from the other teams fan: Manuels gametime strategm is starting to make him look like a Bowa whom the players happen to like. Lieber should have been kept in the game rather than being pinch-hit for to start the Phils 7th. There is proabably not much difference in letting Lieber try to bunt his way on base than Offerman swinging away. The chance of the Phillies busting the game open against Pedro in the 7th was nil and
    even scratching a run or two would be useless as giving the Phillies pen 2 innings to protect a 1-2 run lead until Wagner could come on in the ninth is ill-advised, especially when Ryan Madson was unavailable after his 1 2/3 inning stint on Sunday. Manuels decision to bring out Terry “Fill ‘er up” Adams for the 7th instead of Rheal Cormier was unnecessary with a pinch-hitter and 3 switch-hitters coming up. Terry Adams is overdue to wet the bed every third appearance and should be a near last resort to start an inning in a tie game regardless of the upcoming hitters LHP/RHP splits. As the current saying goes in Phillieland: Lieber and Myers and put out the fires (or Lieber and Myers and 3 flat tires). Note on the Mets radio announcer: I got a laugh when he exclaimed of what a good year Pat Burrell is having so far. Obviously scanning through players game logs is not part of his game preparation as he would have noticed that Burrell has had one good week and is firmly back in his .220 rut since then.

  2. Chuck Meehan says:

    correction: Lieber was pinch-hit for and ended the 7th. Regardless, I though he should have been left in the game. This just reminded me of how Bowa tried to win everygame in the 5-7 inning and how often it would backfire.

  3. Chuck Meehan says:

    As hunched, Reyes finally got his BB this series. No flustered venting from me today as the Phils bounced back last night. However, even the Phils wins this year have had some element of suck to them and Worrels BB to Reyes last night ranks alongside of having B-H Kim hold the Phils to a scoreless inning (despite 2 BBs and a WP) and Todd “Honcho” Jones’ 5-out save this past Friday as painfully embarrasing moments of this still-young season

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