I'm taking my show on the road. Sorry, but you will have to go somewhere else for inane blather and outlandish claims like Matsui is as good as Jeter (this year) and that I invented the question mark (catch the Simpson's reference anyone?). I will be here:
If anyone is wondering, I'll be back on the July 3rd, just in time to go to the game at Shea on the 4th. Hopefully I will have the same effect on the Mets that other bloggers do when they are away, which is sending them into a nice little winning streak.
Leiter's 27 pitch first inning certainly gave me some anxiety. I was having bad premonitions of a ten run first inning, but Leiter did what he has done all year. He got out of a sticky situation. He has had an uncanny ability to do that all year long. Luckily Halsey did he best Rick Ankiel impression and walked the first two guys leading off in the second inning. Then Wigginton moved them over with a weak tapper to first base which then moved both runners into scoring position. With Hidalgo on third, Posada attempted to get cute and threw down to third base in a pickoff attempt that had no shot and the ball skipped into the outfield scoring Hidalgo. Cameron moved to third base on that worthless throw. Phillips hit Cameron in with a fly ball to right center, Mets up 2-0. After Sheffield tied it in the bottom of the 3rd, the Mets came back in the top of the 4th to score six runs the inning while batting around. Those six runs where the most the Mets have scored in an inning this year. That was also an inning where the Mets swiped three bags in the inning. I liked Howe getting aggressive and trying to put pressure on Posada's noodle arm and really trying to put the game away and put runs up on the board. Now, with an 8-2 lead, I was thinking too myself. A six run lead against this team is not enough. Too many times the Yankees have done what Jeter does best, which is come from behind. However, the lead held up and Leiter quieted down. He went 6 1/3 innings surrendering three runs, walking three, and striking out five. A quality effort by Leiter in a huge game for the Mets. The Mets bullpen came in and closed the game out without incident. You really cannot complain about this game one bit. The only negative is that the Mets did not get too deep in the Yankee bullpen. They only had to run out Sturtze and Heredia for the last 5.2 innings of the game. The Yankees got a good performance out of Sturtze which allowed them to save their major arms for tomorrow. However, the Mets were able to only use two of the five relievers, and with the rain out on Friday, everyone should be rested after the Cincy series. Great, great win.
Oh yeah, Piazza is still locked in and everyone in the Met lineup had a hit except for Cameron. To top if off, that A-rod guy went 0-5.
Mets are now two games behind Philly and Florida who are tied for first.
What was that nonsense of the all the talk about several Met Players fitting in nicely on the Yankee team if the Mets fall out of the race. THE METS ARE TWO GAMES OUT IN A WEAK DIVISION AND LAYING AN ASS WHOOPING ON THE YANKEES. On top of it all, who cares!! The Yankees could not get anyone from the Mets anyway due to a farm system as barren as the seats during an Expos home game at Olympic Stadium. What could they possibly offer the Mets for Glavine or Leiter that would actually make it worth it? They also had the nerve to pose the question to Franco during the game if he would accept a trade to the Yankees. That crap annoys me. It really annoys me because people disregard the Mets as any sort of contender and chalk it off to the other teams underperforming. The Mets may not be great team, but they are a good team. People are just waiting for the wheels to come off. The Mets are the only team that beats the Mets. They do not get blown out and are in most games. They are better than they get credit for. I can name a few players on the Yankees that would look nice on the Mets too, now start talking about stuff that actually pertains to reality. It is a shame that I have to listen to anyone other than Gary Cohen call a game.
Fox had a pole during the game. The pole was who would you rather be for a day. The choices where Piazza, A-Rod, and Jeter. Piazza won with 55% of the vote. Yes, the added totals of the other two bums did not even beat Piazza's. Buck and McCarver were perplexed by this outcome. Why there were, I'm not sure. If you were Derek Jeter, you would be spending an awful lot of the day at the Blue Oyster Bar. I think this finally proves that Mr. Piazza is the real Mr. New York.
Something of interest that was mentioned on the radio today, is that out of the Mets last 18 games, 15 games are with the Expos, Braves, and the Pirates. By that time all three teams may have spun some players off looking towards next year. To me, this is another reason to optimistic about this year. That is a situation in which the Mets have a big potential to feast on their opponents and do some damage in the standings. The Marlins and Phillies play each other six times in the final twelve games of the season.
I hope you are sitting down. Aaron Heilman actually pitched a good game. He went six innings, surrendered one earned run and struck out six. The Tides lost, but that's ok. As long as he resembled a pitcher, that is ok with me. Also in the game, Wright went 2 for 4 with a double, a homer, and two RBIs and is batting .356. That is Wright's fourth home run in twelve games. Victor Diaz added a rare walk on a 2 for 3 night in which he double and homered as well.
Matt Lindstrom threw and impressive game. He went six innings, surrendering three hits, no runs, walked one, and K'd eight in route to his third win in St. Lucie's victory over Dunedin.
How bad has the Oriole pitching been? Camden Yards is not exactly a pitchers park, but it is not exactly Coors Field either. Coming into the start of Saturday's games, the Mets had and ERA that was 1.80 points lower. No one on the current Mets pitching staff even has an ERA of 5.00. Not counting Grimsley, who just arrived and only pitched two innings, only four pitchers have an ERA under 4.00 and only one of them is a starter. Ouch.
In minor news, Aaron Boone is a Cleveland Indian. They are quietly putting together a good, young team. Boone can add some veteran leadership to that team. The Indians are positioning themselves to be a force in the Central for many years to come at this point. Shapiro has done a great job rebuilding that franchise. As this article points out:
The Indians (a $34.3 million payroll) are leading the high-payroll Yankees ($184 million) and Red Sox ($127 million) in many American League offensive categories.
The Indians went into Friday night's game against Colorado with a higher batting average (.279) than Boston (.271) and New York (.262). They have scored more runs (384) than Boston and New York (379 each) and have a higher on-base percentage (.358) than the Red Sox (.355) and Yankees (.353).
The Yankees' two highest-paid players - Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter - combine to earn more ($40 million) than the entire Indians payroll
Why is parity running amuck in the National League? There are not many owners willing to reach deep into their pockets. No national league team is over the $100,000,000 threshold in payroll with the annual big spenders, the Dodgers and the Mets curtailing the spending for this year at least. Only two teams are over $90,000,000 (I did not include the Mets as the insurance company is footing the bill for Fat Mo).
Finally, in parting I leave you this. Norm over at the Shea Hot Corner wrote one of the funnier posts I have ever read a while back. If you have not checked it out yet, do it.