A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

So Close....

dThe game last night started off so well. The Mets capitalized on an error and scored three runs before the Phillies even got up. Floyd hit a two run homerun and Hidalgo followed him up by breaking a met record for consecutive games with a homerun. He hit is fifth homerun in as many games breaking the old record of four. Then Glavine came out and really did not have his best stuff. He gave up six runs in his first two innings of work. Even worse, the first two runs did not have to happen, but Glavine failed to cover first on a potential double play started by a nice play by Piazza. When does Glavine make mental errors? Any other year, I'd be pretty down and out by this point, but these are not the Mets of yester-year. In the fifth inning, the Mets battled back (damn, I'm sounding like Howe with this battled stuff) and scored two more in the fifth to bring the game to within one run on a Cliff Floyd single. Then I started believing in some magic. Could the Mets fight back again? I was sure the seventh inning was the inning. Reyes lead off with a single and made it to second on passed ball. Then it happened. Kaz lined out to Polanco at second base and he doubled up Reyes as he had no time to get back. Piazza then (and obviously) single to right field with no one on base and no chance to tie the game with anything but a homerun. Then Cormier came in, who is Floyd's arch nemesis. I do not know the numbers, but he got his first hit off him this year. Then Floyd K'd looking. With six more chances, and Wagner healthy and looming in the bullpen, my hope for the game started to wane. Worrell shut the Mets down in the eighth and Wagner befuddled them in the ninth. It was a tough loss, but made tougher to swallow by the first inning mental error. Glavine did gut out rest of the game and actually began the seventh inning before getting removed after giving up a leadoff single. This was the first game he surrendered more than four runs, but he still has not gone less than six innings in any game this year. That streak looked to be in serious doubt in the second inning. I give him credit for sticking it out and saving the bullpen in an important week. You wanted to get a win with your ace vs. their fill in, but that did not happen. The Mets are still set up nicely in the series and should rebound. Leiter goes against Wolf today, let's see if Leiter can come up big.

The only minor problem I had with last night’s game (and it was a minor one) was Howe pinch hitting for Phillips and using Cameron. I know Phillips has not been hitting good, but he is a fastball hitter. I do not care what Cameron's history was against Wagner, the dude has not swung a bat in almost a week in a game. Then he has to face Wagner who is one of the most unhittable pitchers in the majors? Did he really have a chance? Phillips would have probably K'd too, but the move was perplexing nonetheless. Leaving Phillips in would have most likely had no outcome on the game, but a head scratcher anyway.

  • Vance Wilson went 1 for 3 with a homerun for Binghamton last night. He will most likely surface by the Marlins series this weekend.

  • My worst fears came true. Scott Erickson had his second good outing in a row. He went five innings and surrendered only one run. Even worse, Wright is still cold as ice and is now batting .307. He is in a mini-funk right now. Brazell did managed to pound his 19th homerun in the loss.

  • Scott Kazmir pitched his second scoreless outing in a row. He went six innings, gave up five hits, no runs, one walk, and K'd three en route to a no decision. His ERA is now down to 3.42. Looks like Scott is back on track and will hopefully make a AA appearance sometime this month.

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  • A strange rumor has surfaced. The Marlins may be interested in Nomar's services for the rest of season. The Red Sox would certinaly have some interest to get some starting pitching in return in the form of Brady Penny or Carl Pavano. Pavano is certainly an interesting name in this as he was traded to the Expos by the Red Sox for a guy named Pedro. The Red Sox camp is keeping quiet on this one.
      ``I don't want to comment on any trade rumor,'' Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. ``It's not fair to Nomar or any other player and it only fuels further speculation.''

    Ha, that is great. Too little too late for that comment Theo. You probably should have used it in the A-Rod negotiations that went so well.

    This one seems highly unlikely to get done, but a rumor nonetheless.

  • You know, I hate to keep harping on this, but I'm sick of hearing how intelligent the front office baseball people for the Yankees are. Yes, they put a great team together that won a lot of games that was part home grown and part free agency from 1996 to 2000. Then 2001 came around. The main philosophy has been turned around too develop no talent and buy everything. That is fine to do, but c'mon, is it really that hard to target the biggest prizes off the off-season and throw cash at them? They have made their share of mondo mistakes and bad decisions but are still looked upon as utter geniuses. Their money allows them to cover up their errors. Was Mondesi a waste of money? How has Contreras worked out for them? How does Giambi's silly contract look right about now? How did Chris Hammond work out? How has Steve Karsay pitched? How about not offering Clemens arbitration for shits and giggles since it costs them nothing but yields a possible big return? How is their $3,000,000 dollar pinch hitter/back up center fielder doing? Has John Leiber been the steel they envisioned? Was Sterling Hitchcock a great pick up? How did that Jeff Weaver deal work out? Did they not cut Todd Zeile last year without even trying to get something in return? The Expos picked him up a few days later, I believe they may have parted with a B Level prospect for him. How are all those BLOATED contracts on aging players going to look in another year or two?

    Look, I know they make a lot of good decisions, but they make mistakes like everyone else. However, no one seems to notice their mistakes and only seem to praise their successes. There are probably more blunders, but I just cannot think of them. The point is that they have money more than supreme baseball intelligence. Most other teams would not be able to afford to have $7,500,000 on two set-up men (They are paying most of Hammond's salary in Oakland and Karsay has not thrown a pitch) not even playing for the team and going out to spend another $6,500,000 on Gordon and Quantril to fill a hole vacated by them. Now their bullpen is one of their strengths because they can pay money to coverup mistakes. They were paying for Hitchcock and Contreras (about $14,000,000) to not even start for the team in 2003 and were able to still run out Mussina, Clemens, Pettite, Wells, and Weaver every fifth day. How many teams would have Contreras and Hitchcock in the rotation because they could not afford to go get guys to step in for the dead weight? Now Contreras is struggling so they are looking to add more payroll and another starter and push Jose to the bullpen. Their bullpen alone will cost much more than the devil rays entire team! Did the Yankee brass have Giambi pegged correctly? His mammoth contract and creeky knees seem to qualify as a bust of enormous proportions. He is not the player he was in Oakland and is probably the most overpaid player in the league right now. Money is allowing them to band-aid their problem, not intelligence. Their unprecedented spending spree in the recent years has ballooned their payroll bigger than Mo Vaughn's check at Dunkin' Donuts. There is no end in sight either. They are paying another $12,000,000 to Williams next year and another $3,000,000 to Lofton next year. If any other team had that situation, they would have to eat it up and run one of those two out every day. But instead of having two overpaid and aging players, they will most likely try and spend another $15,000,000 to land Carlos Beltran. Are the Yankees highly intelligent or extremely lucky to have unlimited resources? Probably a little bit of both, but certainly not the unheralded brain trust that everyone portrays them to be.

  • A special Kudos to the tremendous spot on reporting of the NY Post. They had a breaking news story that Dick Gepherdt was chosen as John Kerry's running mate. Too bad it was actually John Edwards. Really, shouldn't someone do their homework a bit better than that? Did they make a guess on the lead story of the day?