What a Difference a Meeting Makes

Mets brass meet before team ends losing streak

Give Jeff Wilpon this, the man knows the right time to call a meeting.

The Mets owner flew into Atlanta on Monday just in time for the Mets to send Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana to the mound. If there was ever a moment to snap a losing streak and quiet the storm raging around the team, this was it.

He could have waited to see what happened in these two games and then hopped on an Acela to Washington on Wednesday. But then he'd be addressing the team before R.A. Dickey took the mound, something that isn't quite as likely to end with the notion that Wilpon's arrival quieted the rumors and steadied the club. In baseball, as in life, timing is everything.

And so it went. Pelfrey pitched very well when he wasn't falling over on the mound, the defense turned three double plays behind him and the Mets won 3-2 to make Wilpon's visit seem like more than a waste of frequent flier miles. It would be silly to credit  Wilpon with doing too much to spur the team to victory, especially since there were no fundamental changes made to a team that's just as bad as the one that got swept in Florida. That doesn't mean there weren't any changes, however.   

Jennry Mejia is headed back to the minors so that he can return to pitching as a starter, a move that shows a semblance of long-term planning. The decision to rush him from the minors to the bullpen, where Manuel used him in a low leverage role that could and should have been filled by someone else, was "Metsthink" at its absolute worst. Changing directions now was the wise move and it is one that could actually pay off later this season.  

Pelfrey's victory was the first by a Mets starter in the month of May and the situation doesn't look too promising with Dickey, Hisanori Takahashi and John Maine following the two big guys this week. The Mets desperately need rotation help, but the non-Mejia options right now are trading prospects or signing Pedro Martinez. Neither of those routes is as attractive as stretching out the team's best pitching prospect in many years.

This being the Mets, though, it can't all be sunshine and lollipops. Wilpon's meeting calmed things down right now, but it is something you can only pull once. If the Mets reel again, the organization has already admitted they are unhappy with the current state of affairs and will have to do more than rejigger the look of the pitching staff to deal with the issue.

There's time enough for that, though. For now, all, er, some is right in Metsland and that's enough to hold things for a few more days.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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