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

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Where Do They Rank?

Once again, I do realize you cannot win every game, but this game was the equivalent to chewing on tin foil. In a game where Kevin Millwood should have been tattooed, he no-hits the Mets into the fifth. Piazza is cold as ice and the entire offense is cold as ice except for Kaz who went 2 for 4. The only good thing was that Howe finally used frick and frack in a situation that the Mets were behind. This is a spot that usually Moreno and Parra would take, but hopefully they start seeing action when the Mets are winning. Unfortunately those two fools could not even make it through two complete innings. Stanton went one inning giving up one run and Franco went 1/3 innings giving up two runs. Howe had to waste Bottalico for 2/3 innings to bail Franco's sorry ass out. Those two blow. They blow big time.

Our ace is on the mound today and the Mets need a big game out of him and he needs some runs from the offense. I'm feeling a win today.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  • The Mets K/BB ratio is ranked 24th in the majors with a 1.69.
  • Their WHIP is ranked 10th in the league with 1.35.
  • They are ranked 18th in walks allowed.
  • They are ranked 27th in strikeouts.
  • They have the fourth lowest .BAA and the third lowest OPS.
  • They are ranked 7th in the least hits allowed.
  • They came into Friday's game with a 3.70 ERA which is good for 1st.
  • Their staff has only one complete game (and it was a beauty).
  • They have given up the 3rd least homeruns.
  • The Mets would have two guys ranked in the top ten of ERAs if Al Leiter had two or three more innings and they would have had three in the top twenty.

  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  • Yusmeiro Petit got his first high A ball win by going six innings, allowing only one hit, walking two and striking out six. His ERA is 0.77 in three starts. Oh, and Lastings Milledge managed to go two for five with triple in his debut. Not too shabby for a bunch of teenagers.

  • "Aarom" Baldiris is getting some attention from Baseball America's Daily Dish.

    Class A St. Lucie third baseman Aarom Baldiris went 3-for-4 last night, pushing his average to .306. Rated the Mets' second-best third baseman behind Triple-A Norfolk's David Wright, Baldiris has hit over .300 in all but one of his six minor league stops.

    Also, from mets.com:
    Class A St. Lucie third baseman Aarom Baldiris is hitting .347 [50-for-144] with 18 RBIs over his last 35 games

    First of all, what the heck is his name? I always thought it was Aaron Baldiris.

    Second, can someone say trade bait? He's not a third baseman long term unless he develops power (which does not seem likely), but he can be a nice guy to have at second base and hit #2 or #7 in the order.

  • Phil Rogers has some theories as to what is wrong with Barry Zito.

    From the article, here is a quote from Johnny Damon on the Red Sox stealing signs at Fenway.

    At least one scout has suggested that he's developed a flaw in his delivery that tips off that pitch. His changeup got hit so hard in a recent start at Fenway Park that some wondered if the Red Sox might be stealing signs.

    "That makes us laugh, because we're not the brightest of guys over here,'' Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon said. "We're not smart enough to do that. We didn't know what was coming.''

    A classic quote from Captain Caveman.

  • Carlos Delgado is staying put. He will not waive his no trade clause.

  • The same Mike Maroth that lost twenty games last year one hit the Yankees last night. Good stuff. Also of note in the game, the Javier Vazquez got blasted. His ERA is now 3.95 and the Yankees are very close to having no starters with an ERA under 4.00. El Duque only has one start so he does not count, but I expect his ERA to be over 4.00 after his next start or two. This is something that would concern me if I was a Yankee fan. They may be able to beat up on bad pitching, but come playoff time and solid staffs it could be rude awakening.

  • Kris Benson is sure driving up his price. He has not gone less than seven innings in his last six starts. He has only surrendered more than two runs once and walked away with giving up one earned run three times. Mr. Benson would look great anchoring the back end of the Mets rotation.

  • When will the Yankees realize that they have no real prospects that anyone wants and stop trying to pawn off their crap to other teams for all-stars.

    One AL scout said Class A third baseman Eric Duncan has "the most upside" but said the Yankees have "no David Wright and no Scott Kazmir," referring to top Mets prospects.

  • Jose on his hammy:

    "Right now I don't want to put too much stress on my leg," Reyes said. "I don't want to push it. Last year I'd make a triple, but I have a lot of doubles this year with my leg (because) I don't want to get injured again. I want to stay with the team."

    Get this kid some help in the off season and it better be the best of the best.

  • Friday, July 16, 2004

    Rumor Mill Predictions

    Last night's must win game was another barn burner. The Mets are seriously taking years off my life. Traschel came up big with a great game including an RBI single of his own and the bullpen came through big time. Moreno came in the 6th and made a tremendous play on a ball hit weakly to the left side of the infield to bail out Traschel. Stanton came in and actually did his job and he was followed up by Looper for two innings and finally by Jose Parra who recorded the victory in the 11th inning. Roberto Hernandez loaded the bases for Ty Wigginton's eventual game winning infield hit. The Mets are one game out of first as are the Marlins and they are both behind the Phillies and the Braves who are tied for first. Yes! The goddamn Braves are in first place. Now there are four teams within a game of each other and today Scott Erickson will take the mound. Things should be interesting, but a Met win and a Brave loss could trigger a three way tie for first. Shit, a Marlin win, Met win, and Brave loss could make a four way tie for first place. I'm going to venture a guess and say that a four way tie of first place has does not happen too often this late in a season. I could be way off, but for some reason I do not think so. It would definitely be a rare happening.

    There are 18 games in 18 days all of which are divisional games. Here is where the rubber meets the road. Let's go Mets, win one for the good guys!

    Just a side note, I think it was a mistake to bring up Erickson so soon. If we had given Ginter two or three more starts it would have taken us to the trade deadline. I don’t know if we could have hung onto Erickson longer or if they had to bring him up or let him go, but if he falters, Littlefield knows he has the Mets by the nuts. We always could have said, we want Benson, but do not need him, we have other options. That goes out the window if Erickson gets shelled.

    * * *

    In an attempt be wrong about a lot more things than I already have been, I am going to try and predict where the big names will end up that have been circulating in trade rumors.

    *I wrote this yesterday morning when I got into work. Then I see that Tim Kurkjian did it here for some of the same guys. I say screw Tim, mine is better.

  • Randy Johnson: I do not think he will be going anywhere. Right now, there just is not enough strong prospects being offered to get the job done. The Diamondbacks do not have a need to trade him, it just makes sense too if they cannot get anything spectacular in return. It does not make sense if they get Dioneer Navarro or Kelly Shoppach as the top prospect back. With the focus developing your own talent in every organization not named the Yankees or Red Sox, teams are unwilling to let go of their top prospects for a 40 year old that is going to cost $24,000,000 over the remainder of the 2004 and 2005 season. On top of that, it does not make any team that gets him a sure thing. He has had knee problems over the years and could potentially be a horrible move if he is unable to stay healthy. The Angels top chips are Jeff Mathis, Dallas McPherson, and Casey Kotchman and they happen to be positions that they need either next year of shortly thereafter. Also, with Moreno's recent spending spree, he is looking forward to some cheap homegrown talent. The only deal that has been rumored that has the juice to get done is the three way trade with Chicago, Boston, and Arizona. The Cubs would receive Garciaparra, Johnson would go the Red Sox (if he waives the no-trade clause for Boston which is sketchy if he would even consider that) and the Cubs would send prospects to Arizona. With Wood, Zambrano, Maddux, Prior, and Angel Guzman on the team in 2005 and beyond, they have plenty of arms that are expendable. They have Andy Cisco, Francisco Beltran, or Bobby Brownalie who are most noteworthy which would be welcome additions to the Arizona system. You would have to figure two of them plus another prospect would be dealt, but the deal is losing steam quickly. The Cubs would most likely not be able to retain Nomar and with the availability of Cabrera, who will come at cheaper price tag and may actually re-sign, it does not make a whole lot of sense for them to pull the trigger on that one. In the end, the D-Backs still own Johnson in 2005 and can go through this again next trading deadline if they really do not like they have got offered so far. There will be less risk and less money for teams to take on so you may see some better deals come about.

  • Orlando Cabrera: I think he will end up with the Cubs. They had shown the most interest and certainly have what Montreal needs. An arm, any arm. He may be struggling this season, but he is quality major league shortstop that would certainly fit nicely on their roster.

  • Derek Lowe: Thankfully the Mets cooled off on this one and the Phillies are the only real interested party at this point. I just do not see him moving. He is only due another 2 to 2.5 million for this year and if the Red Sox get Johnson, they still should keep him for the back-end of the rotation, but would most likely look to move him. But since Johnson is staying put, so is Lowe.

  • Roger Clemens: His fat ass is staying put in Houston.

  • Jason Kendall: He will be keeping his huge contract in Pittsburgh unless the Pirates pay the majority of his salary. No one is keen on taking that on just yet. Maybe in 2005 or 2006 someone will take a chance on him.

  • Kris Benson: I believe Kris Benson will be a Metropolitan. The Mets are the frontrunner in this and I do not think they will end up giving any major cogs of the future in the end. When the dust clears, the Pirates won't have any substantial offers and Matt Peterson will not be going anywhere. The Mets can give the Pirates two or three decent players they can stick in their opening day roster in 2005 and that will ultimately prove to the best all around deal. Some teams may step up with a promising prospect with a higher ceiling, but the Mets can offer a known quantity. The other teams interested, which are rumored to be the Dodgers, Twins, and Phillies, all have better systems (well, not the Phillies, theirs is worse), but who will they part with? Minnesota's small market stature makes it tough for them to give up serious talent. They need young and cheap talent to survive and it may be too big a gamble for a 1/2 season rental. The Phillies best chip is Ryan Howard who blasts homeruns, but also strikes out 1 in 3 times per at bat and is actually going to be 25 this year. He has been old for his league every step of his career and his numbers are deceptive because of that. He'll be 25 and just starting to play in AAA with a lot to work on. For me, He is not that much different than Craig Brazell. Brazell is younger by a few months and is at AAA already and has much better luck at making contact more often. If Craig was at AA, I'd guess you would see about 30 homeruns from him as well. The Dodgers scare me, it is unclear whether they would give up James Loney or Greg Miller for a player of Benson’s level, so they do not scare me that much. The bottom line is with last year's bad deals (aside from the Giles trade) Littlefield should approach this one with more caution.

  • Steve Finley: San Diego or bust. They are the only team that could get him. A Xavier Nady for Finley deal straight up may work, but Towers has been reluctant to make any rash moves. The other interested parties are the Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs. The Yankees really do not need him, nor the Red Sox. The Rangers are not really interested in making any moves, and the Cubs may look to bolster their offense if they do not get a SS, but they ultimately should look to their bullpen to upgrade. Finley will be a D-Back with Randy on August 1st.

  • Carlos Beltran: Will he be traded twice in on year a-la Cliff Floyd in 2002? They will not get anything substantial back and nothing to the level that John Buck was. The best return may be a compensation pick and a sandwich pick in 2005 after they offer him arbitration. Although the Dodgers are warming up to the idea of pursuing Beltran and could actually throw down a trump card with a top prospect like James Loney or Greg Miller. Whether they would actually move on that, is another question, but they can certainly change the Astros mind in a hurry. I do not think they would move top prospects for Benson, but I think they would at least consider it for Beltran.

  • Nomar Garciaparra: He will be a Bean Towner for the remainder of the season for sure. The Red Sox need him. Also, outside of Randy Johnson, there is no one worth Nomar on the market in terms of pitching. Next year they should let him walk, move pokey to SS, sign Troy Glaus, and move Mueller to second base. But I’ll leave the Red Sox suggestions to the Red Sox bloggers if they can walk themselves down from the ledge.

  • Carlos Delgado: He is new name to the rumor mill, but it was widely expected he'd be traded, he just needed to get healthy. The Red Sox and the Dodgers are the preliminary front runners at this point, but it is early. My guess is that he ends up being a Dodger as they have the most to offer. They have more chips to get the deal done and would have no problem sitting Roberts or platooning Roberts and Encarnacion due to their relative lack of production.

    That takes care of all the major names surfacing on the trade market. If some of my predictions shake out, it looks to be one of the deader deadline trade markets of recent years.

    * * *

  • Scott Kazmir won his first game at AA. He faced New Britain and went five innings, surrendered three hits, one run, one walk, and he K'd five. I'd have to say that was rather impressive and his ERA in eleven innings is 2.45.

    Since when did Royce Ring and PJ Bevis get demoted to AA?

  • David Wright went deep not once, but twice in the game against Ottawa. He was 2 for 5 overall with two homeruns and three RBIs. He did K twice, but is now batting .326. He now has 18 homeruns between AA and AAA in a little over 300 at-bats. He is impressing everyone with his development of power at the ripe age of 21. Umm...Wiggie, this site may be helpful to you in the near future.

  • The Mets 10th round pick Brahiam Maldonado had a great game for the GCL Mets against the Marlins. He went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. He is now batting .281.

  • From Baseball America's dish pieces:

    Another name turning heads Sunday was Braves righthander Jose Capellan, who gave up one hit and struck out two in an inning of work. He also was the hardest thrower on a day dominated by power arms. Mets third baseman David Wright got his only hit in three trips off a 99 mph Capellan fastball, who threw 15 pitches, with only one of his 12 fastballs registering under 96

    I think it is safe to say David can handle a major league fastball.

  • Mark Prior was injured in his start last night. That sucks, Prior is great for the game could be the best pitcher in the league at 23 years old. When people like Reyes and Prior go down for extended periods it detracts from the game because they are so exciting and provide a shot in the arm for the fans and the league.

  • Here is excerpt from a piece by John Sickels on Joe Blanton.

    Many teams have asked about Blanton in trade talks, but so far Oakland has refused to budge. If that remains true, Blanton should get a full shot at the Athletics rotation next spring. He is very close to being ready for Major League action, basically just needing some additional experience and refinement to his pitch sequences. He gets into a rut occasionally, over-using one or two pitches. When he uses his entire arsenal, he can dominate a game.

    If you read my site on a consistent basis, I do not need to tell you how important it is that he IS ready for the A's rotation by next spring. He can single handedly be responsible for Barry Zito being available.

  • Delgado will be on the block soon. Likely destinations would be LA and Boston according to this article.

  • Thursday, July 15, 2004

    What About the Little Guy?

    Most people just say "screw the little guy", but not me. I actually care.

    Here is a quick look at where the minor league teams stand and their respective leaders.

  • Norfolk Tides - AAA:
    41-47 .466%
    4th place (last) and six games out

    This team is not exactly loaded with future stars outside of David Wright, but certainly will have some studs next year. Six games back for the rotation they have been throwing out there is actually not that bad.

    * Batting leaders must have played in a minimum of 40 games and pitching leaders must have 10 starts or 20 relief appearances.

    Pitching Leaders
    K's - Aaron Heilman : 82
    Wins - Pat Strange / Jeremy Griffiths : 5
    Saves - Jose Parra : 16
    ERA (starter) - Jeremy Griffiths : 3.47
    ERA (reliever) - Jose Parra : 1.63
    IP - Aaron Heilman - 97.1

    Batting Leaders
    Average - Gerald Williams : .291
    OBP - Jeff Duncan : .330
    Home Runs - Craig Brazell : 19
    RBIs - Craig Brazell / Victor Diaz : 52
    BB - Jeff Duncan : 23
    SB - Esix Snead: 19
    H - Victor Diaz : 96
    2B - Victor Diaz : 21
    3B - Wilson Delgao : 3

    * * *

  • Binghamton Mets - AA
    52-38 .578%
    1st Place - 1 game ahead

    This team currently has the Mets top two pitching prospects and had the top position prospect for most of the year which contributes to the team standing tall in first place at this point. It was largely the same roster that won everything for St. Lucie last year so it was no surprise that they would do well.

    Pitching Leaders
    K's - Matt Peterson : 83
    Wins - Neal Musser : 9
    Saves - Jeremy Hill : 10
    ERA (starter) - Jason Scobie : 2.98
    ERA (reliever) - Jeremy Hill : 2.23
    IP - Matt Peterson : 95.2

    Batting Leaders
    Average - David Wright : .363
    OBP - David Wright : .467
    Home Runs - Prentice Redman : 13
    RBIs - Prentice Redman : 49
    BB - David Wright : 40
    SB - Wayne Lydon : 49
    H - Angel Pagan : 97
    2B - Prentice Redman : 29
    3B - Wayne Lydon/Angel Pagan : 6

    * * *

  • St. Lucie Mets - High A
    11-10 .524% (not sure why this was not updated on minorleaguebaseball.com!)
    4th place - 3 games out

    This team currently has on the two most promising stars under 20 years old in the organization on the team. It has the recently promoted Lastings Milledge and the semi-recently promoted Yusmeiro Petit.

    Pitching Leaders
    K's - Brian Bannister : 85
    Wins - Robert Paulk: 6
    Saves - Joey Cole : 9
    ERA (starter) - Kevin Deaton : 2.80
    ERA (reliever) - Bryan Edwards : 2.65
    IP - Brian Bannister : 94.1

    Batting Leaders
    Average - Brett Harper : .351
    OBP - Brett Harper : .445
    Home Runs - Jay Caligiuri : 14
    RBIs - Jay Caligiuri : 52
    BB - Aaron Baldiris : 40
    SB - Johnathan Slack: 26
    H - Aaron Baldiris : 92
    2B - Bobby Malek: 19
    3B - Bobby Malek : 5

    * * *

  • Capital City - Low A
    10-7 .588% (not sure why this was not updated either!)
    3rd place - 1 1/2 games out

    Capital City at one point was oozing top tier talent with Lastings Milledge, Yusmeiro Petit, and Ian Bladergroen. Then Ian got injured and the other two were promoted. Petit was the ace of the team, but since he moved on it seems that torch was passed to the power arm Matt Lindstrom.

    Pitching Leaders
    K's - Yusmeiro Petit : 122
    Wins - Yusmerio Petit : 9
    Saves - Shane Hawk : 8
    ERA (starter) - Yusmeiro Petit / Evan MacLane : 2.39
    ERA (reliever) - Greg Ramirez : 1.68
    IP - Tanner Osberg : 84.2

    Batting Leaders
    Average - Ryan Harvey : .345
    OBP - Yunir Garcia : .428
    Home Runs - Ian Bladergroen : 13
    RBIs - Ian Bladergroen : 74
    BB - William Batista : 36
    SB - William Batista : 24
    H - Ian Bladergroen : 92
    2B - Ryan Harvey : 24
    3B - Ian Bladergroen : 3

    *The short season ball has not been going on long enough to get too excited, so we'll get to that later this season.

    * * *

  • Does anyone else think this game is must win tonight? The Mets are one game under .500 with Traschel on the mound and Seo going tomorrow. The last thing the Mets want to do at this point is go backwards and end up four games out and one game under .500 on Saturday. They need to step up big.

  • Jimmy Williams did end up getting the axe.

  • In Baseball America's latest AskBA Jason Phillips chimed in to find out about one of his prospective teammates.

    What's the book on Cuban defector Alain Soler? The Mets apparently are signing him a deal worth a guaranteed $3 million, and he already is being touted as the answer to their rotation problems. Is there any realistic chance he'll be able to help this year?

    Jason Phillips
    New Canaan, Conn.

    Anyone else find this funny?

  • My friend got some spam yesterday, the subject line was "Romantic Single Christians Want to Meet You ". Even spam is not as good as it used to be. A poor excuse for junk mail.

  • In non-baseball news, Carlos Boozer wins the dirt bag of the year award. For anyone not up on this story, Boozer was under contract to the Cleveland Caviliers for $695,000 dollars for the upcoming season. Boozer then approached the team and asked to be let out of the contract and the Cavs worked out a deal with Boozer for six years $40,000,000 (which is the maximum contract they could have awarded him). Everyone is happy right? Boozer gets a huge raise this year and the Cavs get him long term for good deal. Then Boozer screws the Cavs for letting him out of his contract on good faith and signs a $68,000,000, six year deal with the Utah Jazz. Yeah the $28,000,000 was a big difference and no one probably expected a deal that large to come his way, but it still is slimy. He could have re-signed to the Cavs and finished his last year out and signed to a huge contract the following season. Yeah, he risks injury, but he sticks to his word somewhat. Right after this happens, his agent drops him because the guy instantly loses credibility after this deal and it may affect his future deals, although not likely. He also is the agent for Kobe Bryant. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe everyone would have done it if they had the choice and maybe the Cavs GM should be fired for such a dumb move, but it sure does not look that way. Boozer is most likely going to get booed everywhere outside of Utah and he deserves it.

  • Shaq to Miami? This NBA off-season is like a soap opera. The Lakers better hope they get Kobe back or else the West will eat them alive.

  • The Nets are set to lose Kenyon Martin via a sign and trade to the Nuggets in return for three first round draft picks. Bad move for the Nets, I guess they think Jefferson is more valuable, but they could not draw with Kenyon, Jefferson, and Kidd. Now the Continental Arena should be a ghost town unless Shaq is in town with the Heat.

  • Finally a game that is actually realistic. Oh, and the site is in all German. You should figure it out quickly, use your mouse to control the guy.

  • I was at the food store last night. While I was waiting on line I could not help but notice the new Star Magazine.

    This issue focuses on celebrity flaws. The bottom middle picture is of Uma Thurman and the caption read "huge hands". The picture on the left is of Julia Roberts and the caption read "hairy armpits". The bottom left picture is of Courtney Love and the caption reads "two colored teeth". The picture on the right is of Britney Spears and the caption says "tummy flab". I have to give them credit for making this stuff up, it’s priceless and I found the "huge hands" caption extremely funny for some reason. Uma looks like man hands from Seinfeld in that picture. If you happen to be in supermarket in the next week, check it out, funny shit.

  • Screw Stuff Magazine. In their latest issue they knock the Mets not once, but twice!! The first one has a caption about the Staten Island landfill:

    The Staten Island landfill, whose stench if rivaled by the Mets infield's

    The second one was on the Olympic article about what was a can't miss event or an event to skip. But instead of keeping it to the Olympics, they listed the Mets vs. Padres on August 25th as an event to skip.

    SKIP Padres at Mets. You've had enough amature baseball for one day.

    When will the Mets actually get some respect? I know they write this magazines way before they actually are printed, but c'mon already. People just love to make fun of the Mets.

  • Wednesday, July 14, 2004

    Movin' On up to St. Lucie

    As pointed out to me by Fabian from the minoryankeeblog , Lastings Milledge has been promoted. Life is good in Metland. Our team is two games out after the All-Star break and four of the Mets best prospects have all received promotions recently this year. Everyone is getting one step closer and if Milledge does well in St. Lucie, you can guarentee another strong spring in '05 will have him placed at AA sooner rather than later.


    Not much happened last night (unless you think the All-Star game is something of note) so I figured I'll look back at my favorite five games of the year so far. If you are trying to fall asleep, this might help do the job.

    Game #1 April 6th - Turner Field
    Opening Day was upon us and Tom Glavine, who was absolutely owned by his old team in 2003 and was 0-4 with a 10.35 ERA, was on the hill against the Braves. Met fans did not really know what to expect from this season and had a guy named Kaz, who only batted .192 during spring, at shortstop and Guitierrez at 2b, who was subbing in for our resident golden child Jose Reyes. I have to admit, I was not feeling too confident about this one when I sat down to watch it. Then the first pitch of the season was thrown. Matsui smacked a homerun over the centerfield wall and hit a leadoff homerun. Kaz then continued his offensive onslaught with a 3 for 3 night, 3 RBIs, 2 BBs, 1 run scored, and no errors. Piazza added a 421 foot solo homerun in third inning as well and the Mets jumped on Braves and had a 7-2 lead by the time the fourth inning rolled around. Glavine surrendered two runs in the first inning, but settled down to go six innings, surrendering two runs, and only four hits. It was a tremendous way to start the year and awesome victory.

    Game # 27 May 5th - Shea Stadium
    How could a game that was Barry Bond-less that had over a one hour rain delay and was won 8-2 by the Mets be one of the highlights of the first half? Easily, Mike Piazza secured his place in the history books with a first inning homerun off of Jerome Williams (way to be part of history Jerome). A record that was long overdue and should have fallen in 2003 was finally out of the way. Now Piazza's move to first base could now get into full swing and the Mets would be much better off from here on out....right?

    Game #28 May 6th - Shea Stadium
    I may be kind of impartial to this game since I was there. It was a Al Leiter vs. Jason Schmidt and the day after Piazza's big day. This was a game in which the pitchers dominated most of the game. Schmidt actually pitched a no hitter into the sixth before Todd Zeile singled to break the no-no bid. No runs were scored at all until the top of the 7th. Pedro Feliz homered off Al Leiter to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. The way the Mets were hitting, you kind of figured that might decide the game. However, Karim Garcia stepped up and smacked a homer in the top of the 7th off Schmidt to push the game into a 1-1 tie. By this time, there was no more beer to buy and I had to go to work tomorrow so I was hoping the game would not go too late since it was extremely boring so far. Sometimes I do not mind pitchers duels, but this was one of those times I minded. Luckily it did not go too late, but it certainly was getting boring...until....Mike Stanton made and appearance. Artie Howe knew we were all falling asleep so he decided to add some excitement to our lives. Every inning is an adventure with Stanton, and this was no different. Stanton managed to get the first two outs, then promptly imploded. He gives up a single to Edgardo Alfonzo and then a single to Marquis Grissom. With Bonds coming to the plate, Howe decides to take his chances with Pedro Feliz with the bases loaded and Bonds is intentionally put on. Then Art summons in David "Stormy" Weathers. Stormy then proceeds to run the count to 3-2 on Feliz and by this time I was ready to murder people. It's late, the beer wells have run dry, I have work tomorrow, and Weathers is now about to walk in the winning run. Then the gods smile down upon us in the form Weathers striking out Feliz to get us out of the inning. Finally, three hours and thirty minutes later, someone decides to end it for everyone. Big Mike Piazza steps up with two outs in the bottom of the 11th and blasts a solo homerun. That was the only game I've been to that had a walkoff homerun and it made the game awesome. It was tough getting there, but the ending was dramatic to say the least.

    Game #34 May 12th - The BOB
    This was a game that true baseball fans would love. It was a match up of two Hall of Fame lefties going to do battle. This game was important for a number of reasons, but the biggest being that the Mets were 14-19 and had a stretch of games in which they face Randy Johnson, Brandon Webb, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettite, and Roger Clemens. With a bad stretch, the Mets could be 10 out by the end of this trip. We know that is not what happened and at this point you can really sense a turning point in which they started to believe they can make some noise. Kaz had come into this game batting .252 and had been struggling a bit of late. It was the Japanese mullet vs. the Redneck mullet, it was a mullet matchup of magnificent proportions. The Kaz vs. Johnson match up seemed heavily favored to one side. However, Kaz took Johnson out of the park in what would be the only run of this game. After that lead off homerun, only five more hits were surrendered during the rest of the game. Glavine went 7 2/3 innings for a spectacular performance that lowered his ERA to 2.05 and Looper finished off the rest of 1 1/3 innings for the save. Johnson went 7 innings and was pulled for a pinch hitter with men on first and second and two outs in an attempt to get some runs on the board or else he would have most likely finished this game out. This was one of the best pitched games I've seen and one of the best pitching match ups that you will see today. Both of them were in their groove it was just great to watch, especially since the Mets won.

    Game # 80 July 4th, Shea Stadium
    Coming into this game the Mets had clinched a split of the season series with the New York Yankees. With Jae Seo on the mound vs. Javier Vazquez, I was not feeling too confident since Javier had pretty good numbers in his history against the Mets. As it turns out, Vazquez was off that day and had gone five innings, surrendering five walks, six hits, four runs, and in Leiter-like fashion had thrown 113 pitches (only 62 strikes). The Yankees actually were lucky that only four runs were scored at that point. Jae Seo pitch well and went 5 2/3 innings giving up only two earned runs. In the sixth inning Stanton had miraculously bailed Seo out and managed to not let any inherited runners score, which allowed the Mets to take a 4-2 lead heading into the seventh inning. My suspicion was that Stanton was on the take from Steinbrenner since he gave up more runs than innings pitched in three previous appearances this year already against the Yankees. Today was no different. He was charged with two earned runs in the seventh inning after surrendering one himself and then Bottalico let one of his baserunners score to bring this game into a tie. The last thing anyone wants is to get into a slugfest with the overpaid Yankees, but these Mets do not seem to mind. They just took the Yanks in a slugfest the day before, so why not again today? Felix Heredia came into face Floyd and the lefty vs. lefty match up worked out and he got Cliffy out. Torre did not feel like getting up off the bench to do the obvious thing and pull Heredia. So he left him in to face the red hot Richard Hidalgo. Heredia had and ERA of over 7.00 and a BAA vs. righties of over .300, so it made sense to leave him in a tie game vs. Richard. Hidalgo then promptly smashed the Heredia offering into the left field to bring the Mets six outs closer to sweeping the Yankees. Then Orber gives it back to them by surrendering a leadoff double to Crap-sui and single to Posada. Then he got Tony Clark to K which then set the stage for one of the weirder plays I've seen. Cairo hits the ball on the nose to Piazza, Piazza dives/falls over for the ball and it caroms off his glove/body into the baserunner Posada. Posada is called out and someone wakes Torre up and he actually gets up off the bench to do something. The rest of the game then gets played under protest. Now there are two outs and go ahead run is kept off second base thanks to a bit of luck. In an effort to make the game a bit more sporting, Phillips lets a passed ball through to put the go ahead run on second base. Luckily, the All-Star slugger with a .241 average Jason Giambi with his intestinal worms and all came to the plate and K'd swinging. Next inning, Tom "I got put on the all-star roster even though Keith Foulke was much more deserving" Gordon came in. Wigginton, who had gone deep earlier in the day in addition to a homerun the day before, goes deep off Tom Gordon for the eventual winning run. Anytime I get to see thousands of Yankees fans dejected because the Mets handed their asses a sweep, it is a great day.

    * * *

  • I was not going to watch the game, but I got sucked in. I like baseball too much. However, I got to see Clemens getting SHELLED! Piazza must have been loving it. Two dingers in the first inning and they actually batted around to score 6 runs before our beloved National Leaguers even got to bat. There was bullpen action in the first inning! No doubt Clemens is on Steinbrenner's payroll along with old buddy Stanton. Clemens is trying to get his old team homefield advantage in the World Series and will try and force a trade to the Yankees later this month along with Stanton (how is that for a conspiracy theory). The second best thing about the 1st inning was when Soriano homered to left off of Clemens, there was a guy that was chugging beer in the background. It was classic. The bad guys were victorious much to my surprise. I really thought the NL would take it.

    Items from the Game:
  • K-Rod is nasty, but what's with the shades at night?
  • Joe Nathan getting to 97 on the gun routinely is nasty.
  • What the heck was Tim McCarver talking about? Ivan Rodriguez's single was like Yani music on the field? Tim likes to hear himself talk too much. I used to think Deon was out of line when he gave him a champagne bath, but now I cannot really blame him.

  • The Mets quietly in the hunt for Johnson?

    "I told him his kids would love the museums, the dinosaurs, that type of thing," Piazza said. "Why not? I'm a company guy."

    Johnson, meanwhile, decided to have some fun with the New York connection. As a handful of reporters were talking to Piazza at his locker before last night's All-Star Game, Johnson walked over and reached in to shake Piazza's hand.

    "Randy Johnson," he said, as if introducing himself. "I might be working with you..."

    Hmm...Why do I think this is more about showing up the Yankees than anything else? I think we do not need an upgrade that big. It may cost too much in prospects which would be OK if he was 13 years younger. This is a longshot still, but his 2005 Salary is better allocated to other places. For that much dough you can sign Pavano and Clement! Is that not more worth it?

  • Note to Jimmy Williams, hope you had fun last night. You may be fired soon. Some think today.

  • MLB confident the Expos will move by opening day 2005.

  • Garciaparra to the Cubs? Maybe. He would go to the Cubs, with prospects going to Arizona, and you guessed it, the Big Unit going to Beantown. Just a silly article at this point, not sure how much truth is too it. But we do know a few things. The Cubs would love Garciaparra. The Cubs have a wealth of pitching prospects that are very good and very expendable. Arizona would not mind shaving $16,000,000 next year while picking up top flight arms plus some other prospects. The Red Sox need Johnson more than any team right now. However, this article claims Johnson does not like Boston nor does he like Schilling. On the flip side, can you really believe any paper that has John Heyman writing for them?

  • Now the Rumor Mill should heat up. Only two weeks left until the trading deadline, things should get interesting. Some heavy rumors have been floating around of late and Garciaparra's name has been thrown in adding another possible blockbuster.

  • I'm not Jeopardy watcher but I was flipping through the channels, and that dude who has been on the show for 30 days won again. He is now over $1,000,000 in winnings. It's not even that he is beating people, he is pounding people. He was up by like $40,000 by final jeopardy. I'd like him on my team on trivia pursuit.

  • How stupid does this article look now?

  • Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    Some Suggestions at the Mid-point

    Some suggestions for Mr. Willpon and Mr. Duquette:
    (in no particular order)

    Do find someone to take Karim Garcia off your hands even if you have to give him away. There is a backlog on the ML level in outfielders and Karim is the least desirable of them to keep.

    Do see if George Steinbrenner will take Mike Stanton and his 2005 salary. It is known they would like to get some left-handed help out of the pen and they certainly liked him while he was there and the Mets would certainly not be looking for anything more than bag of balls and an A-Rod autograph in return. Afterall, Stanton's ERA is almost half of what their current left-handed option is.

    Don't overpay for Kris Benson. I do not consider him worth much more than Jeff Suppan who was the "prize" last year and Suppan only netted Freddy Sanchez. The other interested parties in Benson are not stepping up and are do not seem willing to give up much for him. Sit back and see if they will come back down to Earth then see if you can get him.

    Do explore these rumors that keep surfacing about Barry Zito. If Gammons is not just making this stuff up to fill up his columns, then Zito is worth it to go after and worth parting with a blue chip prospect plus other pieces for. The Athletics will be bringing up Joe Blanton at some point this year from AAA. Whether it is in the rotation or in the bullpen he will be there. Blanton will also be in the rotation in 2005. Right now, the Athletics have five starters so something has to give. Hudson, Mulder, and Harden will be there, so that leaves Zito and Redman. Redman is not exactly desirable at this point and would not yield much of a return if he was dealt and all. Zito, despite his bad numbers this year, is still very desirable and will still net them a good package in return. In addition, they will not be high on Zito’s 2006 salary of 7.0 million as they are going to make a push to bring back Hudson and will need every dollar they can get to do it. It looks like Zito will be dealt at some point in the future, but the question is when.

    Do check into the availability of Buddy Groom or BJ Ryan. The Orioles are definitely a trade partner I am interested in after that Denny Bautista for Jason Grimsley move. Bautista is lighting up the minors for the Royals after that ill-advised trade. They must be smoking the good stuff down in Baltimore, see if you can take advantage of it.

    Do promote Lastings Milledge in time so he can play the final month of the season at Port St. Lucie.

    Do give Gerald Williams his walking papers for once and for all. After the acquisition of Hidalgo and Valent, Garcia, and Spencer (with sprinkling of McEwing if needed) with the big club, he is no place in this organization. Demoting Jeff Duncan who needs AAA at-bats much more than Williams is very counter productive to his trade value and his progress overall.

    Do give Ginter another chance. If this is his last start, it will certainly be disappointing. Yeah he had two bad starts against the Yankees, but a lot of people do. He did not pitch himself out of the rotation on Wednesday night and it will not exactly send the best message to your youngsters. Never slump or you will be replaced with a 40 year old.

    Do give Orber Moreno and Joe Parra some more important innings. I cannot bear to watch the important stuff go to Stanton or Franco anymore. Howe uses Moreno, Parra, and Wheeler when they are behind, and Franco, Stanton, and Bottalico when they are ahead. Transplant Parra and Moreno for Franco and Stanton. Can they really do worse?

    Don't even think about signing Franco for 2005. My smarter half tells me not to get my hopes up. I believe Wilpon will keep bringing him back every year as long as he wants to pitch. I may be able to live with that on one condition. That condition is if he is a situational lefty that only sees the light of day rarely and is not leaned upon heavily in game deciding situations. I believe we can survive without him and with Royce Ring in the pen as our only lefty in 2005 if we can manage to dump Stanton. If we cannot dump Stanton, then we certainly should not bring Franco back. Put that cow out to pasture.

    Don't give Al Leiter more than a one year contract if he wants to return. With the lack of depth for starting pitching at the 4 or 5 spot in the rotation we may need him. Seo, Ginter, Heilman, Strange, etc. just will not cut it. Peterson, Humber, Keppel, and Kazmir will most assuredly not be ready for opening day 2005, so we can actually use him next year.

    Do look to acquire a top tier starter this off-season in the form of Carl Pavano or Matt Clement to fill the #2 spot in the rotation.

    Do look to strengthen the bullpen in the off-season. In order of importance, there will be BJ Ryan (lefty), Scott Williamson, Steve Kline (lefty), Felix Rodriguez , and Bob Howry on the market next year. There is some help for the taking.

    Don't pick up Trachsel's 2006 option before the 2005 season even starts. Keep all of your options open. You own the option, you can exercise it at the end of the 2005 season if you need to. We need to get younger eventually in the rotation.

    Do push the damn city to get a Stadium moving. The city has not built a new venue since the year of the flood. The Mets should be next in line since a West Side Stadium for the Jets is not the greatest idea in the world. If a second rate city like Philly can build a new football field and baseball field within a year of each other, the greatest city in the world should be able to figure out a way to fit it in the budget.

    Don't always look for the most cost effective solution for all the holes on your team. Major dollars are coming off the books in the next few years, you need to make a blockbuster signing of a superstar. It is better done sooner than later since the Mets are proving to be able to contend in the NL East with what they have now. Do not let the big fish of this upcoming free agent class slip away.

    Do switch Reyes and Matsui at the end of the year. It is painfully obvious that Kaz's arm is just not strong enough. I think he will be a very productive player and very good second baseman for years to come in Shea.

    Do let go of your dependence on crusty veterans. Older is not better.

    Don't bring up Wright unless Wigginton is moved. If we are unable to move Wigginton for anything of value, let Wright finish the 2004 season in AAA with a September call-up. There is no need to fix something that is not broken.

    Do figure out what to do with minor league backlogs. Huber will be at AAA next year with Jacobs and Brazell. In addition to a catcher backlog, Humber, Kazmir, Peterson, Scobie and Musser are all looking to be on the AAA rotation in 2005 as well. Either Brazell is traded and Jacobs and Huber switch between first base and catcher, or Jacobs is moved to make room for Huber and to keep Brazell at first. As for the rotation a lot of deadweight was to be moved to allow all of them to fit on the roster. With Keisler, Heilman, Strange, and possibly Seo and Ginter, I do not want anyone blocking the path of the Mets’ better prospects at the upper levels and we may be able to improve the team by dealing some of the uneeded chips in the minors. Norfolk was devoid of a lot of impact prospects over the next few years, but that looks to be changing next year.

    * * *

  • I know this Piazza move to first is supposed to keep him fresher, maybe it is, but is it working? In 131 at-bats as a catcher, he is batting .351 with 10 homeruns and 18 RBIs. In 149 at-bats as a first baseman, he is batting .268 with 5 homeruns and 17 RBIs. Maybe he feels more comfortable when he catches and more relaxed or maybe it is just some insane coincidence. Either way, it is something to look at.

  • Yusmeiro Petit has a 17.5 K/9 inning ratio in St. Lucie. Sure it is only over 5.2 innings, but still impressive. His K/9 innings in Capital City before his promotion was 13.2 per 9 innings.

  • Here is a little piece from ESPN last May about their favorite team to make fun of, the Mets. Unfortunately for them, ESPN has had to find another organization to make of this year, but this one is still interesting. See what these Met-haters had to say and if their "suggestions" were of any use.

  • MLB.com had an article about deadline deals. Interesting to see who gave up what and what team got the better end of stick.

  • A big thank you to Yankee fans. Thanks for voting in your underserving players so the National League starting lineup is light years better. Hopefully they will jump out to a big lead before the more talented American League reserves come in. Remember, THIS TIME IT COUNTS! (note sarcasm).

    The All-Star game is a sham. Back when men where men, Pete Rose actually ran over a catcher during an All-Star game. They actually wanted to win that one.

  • Miguel Tejada lit up the homerun derby and won it last night. He also blasted the longest of the night. The ball almost traveled an estimated 500 ft. If you were going to move Reyes to 2b, would it not have been smarter to give Miggie the extra $5,000,000 per year than you gave Matsui and let him play SS for the Mets? Just a thought.

  • The Cubbies are stepping it up and are expressing heavy interest in Orlando Cabrera, Rich Aurilla, and Uggie Urbina.


  • Monday, July 12, 2004

    The Only Big Unit In NYC Will Be Mine

    I'm sick of the Yankee fans spouting out that they will get Randy Johnson, Todd Helton, Preston Wilson etc. When does it end?

    Yes there are some truths to a rumor between the Yanks and the D-Backs.

    Truth #1: The Yankees want Johnson (big shocker)
    Truth #2: Johnson has to agree to waive his no-trade clause and said he would consider the New York Yankees

    Ok, now that the truths are out of way, we can add in reality. The D-Backs may move Johnson, but only if it makes sense. Garagiola said that money is not the issue here, which it may be, but we do not really know that. If he lets it out that money is an issue he loses leverage by teams knowing he has to make a move. Johnson is the D-Backs franchise right now. Without him, fans essentially have no reason to show up and they do not show up in droves as it is at this point. The trade has to make sense. Garagiola is in no position that he absolutely needs to move Johnson like Littlefield needs to shop Benson or get nothing in return at the end of the season. Johnson is signed through 2005 which makes him even more attractive being a 1 1/2 year rental instead of a 1/2 year rental. The names being thrown around in a possible deal are Dioneer Navarro, Robinson Cano, and Kenny Lofton. Now Navarro is the only Yankee prospect to be regarded in the top 50 prospects usually being listed in the mid-40's by most people. The biggest plus on him is his age at this point. He is 20 years old and playing in AAA. He had a breakout year in AA in 2003, but didn't even manage to crack .270 this year in AA with three homeruns in 72 games. He is struggling mightily after being promoted to AAA. He was promoted only because the Yankees wanted him to appear as if he is close to major league ready. There is no doubt he is a solid prospect, but no can't miss. Robinson Cano is in the midst of his breakout year. He was a second baseman coming into this year, but his lack of foot speed which affects his range may ultimately put him at third base. He hit .295 at AA with seven homeruns in 76 games. Not bad, but that sits in 14th in average and no where near the top in homeruns. Like Navarro, his best trait is that he is only 21 and playing in AAA. Unlike Navarro, he is actually hitting well in AAA. He is hitting .333 with two homeruns and eight RBIs in thirteen games. Coming into the year, he was not on anyone's radar as a hot prospect but has played well enough to open some eyes, but still not regarded as one the tops. As for Lofton, he is the throw in. That gives the D-Backs a center fielder so they can move Finley if they choose too. I do not need to go into Lofton's uselessness.

    The bottom line is this, according to Jason Stark's latest Rumblings and Grumblings column, the Yankees are not in the hunt for Benson because Littlefield told them to take a hike.

    The Yankees have been telling people they backed off Kris Benson because they didn't believe he could win a big game in October in New York. But other clubs that have been in contact with Pittsburgh say it was actually the Pirates who told the Yankees they just don't match up, because of the Yankees' dearth of upper-level position-player prospects.

    So am I to believe that Garagiola knows a lot more about these two than Littlefield? If one team did not even think they had enough to get Benson, how they hell can it then be enough to get a Hall of Fame pitcher that is actually good? Look, Johnson may be traded, but it will take more than the likes of Navarro, Cano, and Lofton. Garagiola should have learned a lesson from the Schilling trade and the Sexson trade. That lesson is no more stupid trades. He did not get nearly enough for Schilling from the Sox and ask Milwaukee how they liked the Sexson deal. Smart money is on the Angels. They have wealth of prospects and we know Arte will spend the cash. If a deal gets done, it has to make sense to the D-Backs. I believe it is beyond money since Johnson brings his fair share back into the franchise. If the Yankees did get Johnson for two fringe prospects, it would be the steal of the century. The best thing the Yankees have going for them is that will offer Johnson an extension with no problem. That would be the major sticking point and biggest thing preventing other teams from getting involved, but I still think Garagiola has to make a good move for the team and the Yankees cannot offer that.

    * * *

  • The Mets lose for the second day in row 5-2 to the Marlins. One swing basically decided this one. Conine closed his eyes and swung as hard as he could as he hit grand salami against Al Leiter who left after three innings and threw 88 pitches with four earned runs. The Mets dropped into fourth place, but remain two games out of first place which positive I guess.

  • The Futures games was yesterday. David Wright went 1 for 3 with an error and a mental error in the field. Yusmeiro Petit went 2/3 IP and let two inherited runners scored, which were unearned, but did not allow an earned run himself. I know people are going to say "hey what's the big deal with that Wright kid" after that game and that one tough inning in the field he had. But no worries from anyone that has followed him all year. His glove is good. Anyone that saw him in spring knows he can make the dazzling play. I thought they both looked good in the short time I got to see them and good to see them both represent.

    From his mouth to my page:
    "I don't let the media or the hype affect my game," Wright said before playing yesterday in the All-Star Futures Game, where he went 1-for-3 with a line-drive single. "As a player you always have to feel you're ready, but I need to prove I'm ready. I feel I'm right on track, but I'm learning all the time.

    "The pitching has been a little different in Triple-A. They're smarter, they throw all their pitches in any count; you can't just sit on a 2-0 fastball, and that's made me a more patient hitter. The big thing is you can't be intimidated when you move up. It's still baseball."

    How do you not like this attitude? He's the anti Brandon Phillips who thought he should be in the hall of fame already without even sticking in the majors.

  • On WFAN this weekend, the entire Saturday was spent on Wigginton and how no one wanted to see him go. A few people even suggested holding onto Wigginton and dealing Wright. Now look, I love Wiggie as much as the next guy, but David Wright is special and the future. Wiggie is a guy that will give you .275, 20 homers, 80 RBIs and play OK defense at his peak. He is someone that could a very solid player and be very good major leaguer for years to come, but no superstar. One guy went as far to compare him to Jeff Kent. Jeff Kent won an MVP award. I can safely say Wiggie will never win an MVP award. Wiggie is someone everyone pulls for succeed, but his best contribution may be what we can get back in a trade. If we cannot get anything decent, I am content to have him be a super backup.

  • Hunsicker is not buying Hidalgo's hot streak.

    "What's it been, two weeks? Anyone can be hot for a short period of time. At the end of the year, we'll look back and evaluate this trade,"

  • Leiter is exhibiting some out of the box thinking in Jason Stark's latest Rumblings and Grumblings column.

    Mets pitcher Al Leiter thinks baseball should consider limiting the number of deals each team can make -- so a club like the Yankees couldn't just add players at will and a going-nowhere team like the Pirates couldn't unload everybody but the batboys.

    Leiter's suggestion is to assign Type-A, B and C rankings to players before the trade deadline the way baseball does to free agents every winter. Then a team would be limited to trading away, or acquiring, only two Type-A or B players a year during the season.

    "I think it would be great for the game," Leiter says. "It would be great for fans to call the talk shows and debate which two moves their team should make. And it would make teams more accountable for their decision-making.

    "That way, the deep-pocketed teams couldn't just keep tweaking and tweaking. And a team like we were last year couldn't just trade away a bunch of players. You could trade (Armando) Benitez and (Robbie) Alomar. But you couldn't trade Benitez and Alomar and (Jeromy) Burnitz and (Graeme) Lloyd and Sanchez. I think there's a lot of merit to that idea."

    Hmm...Well the already have a grading system for arbitration hearings and for draft pick compensation, so there is not much to rework, but I'm not a fan of it. I'm usually a fan of anything that would restrict the Yankees, but I think a team should have complete control of whether it can dump 100% of their roster or 0% of their roster. It helps the fans, because it prevents fire sales, but fire sales are not always bad. Look at Cleveland. They are close to building a long sustained winner there from firesale deals. That would not have been possible without having 100% control of who you can get rid of and when. Rebuilding can be good if it is done right. Problem is it is not always done right. Pittsburgh has been rebuilding for over a decade now.

  • Is anyone else hook on the poker tournaments on ESPN? I cannot stop watching them when they are on.

  • Sunday, July 11, 2004

    Mets Lose a Yawner

    The Mets 5-2 loss was just a small bump in road. The Mets could not put it together last night, but you cannot win them all though I would like them too. It is just tough when you feel like they have great chance to take this one. They had a chance to break it open, but just could not. The first disappointing situation was when Reyes stole second and third base, which is great to see from him, and leaving Piazza coming up with one out and Reyes standing at third. Easy run, right? Nope. Piazza and Floyd both K’d. You cannot get them all, but you need to make some contact in that situation. Let’s give ourselves a sporting chance. The second disappointing situation was a golden opportunity in the 7th inning. The Mets managed to get two runs in and had first and second with no outs. In a park where a double in the gap will score Reyes from first, Howe decides to give the Marlins an out in exchange for two runners in scoring position. He asked the hot hitting Matsui to bunt Zeile and Reyes over. That move essentially took the bat out of Piazza's hand as they then unintentionally intentionally walked him by walking him on four straight balls. Then Floyd came up hacking on the first pitch and flied out to shallow left who was followed up by a K by Hidalgo. My only beef with Hidalgo is not that the K'd, but they way he did it. He looked at strike one which was low, but being called a strike all night. He then looked at the same exact pitch on strike two, which he should have been hacking at. In an 0-2 hole, you kind of felt he'd be up there hacking since the first two were essentially balls called strikes and swung at a high fastball out of the strike zone. I was not a fan of Howe playing small ball in that situation. Take advantage of a weak pen and take your hacks. Do not bunt people over in that situation. You have three chances (barring no one hits into a double play) to get a double with three guys who are more than capable of hitting doubles, which would have tied it. Of course, if it works out, he looks like a genius. However, Howe rarely looks like a genius. I have no problem with Glavine's performance either since he has been so solid all year, he is entitled to trip up two starts in a row. But the Mets only got two runs so they weren't going to give him much to work with anyway. It was just a boring game to watch.

    On the bright side the Mets did not fall any further behind the Phillies as they lost to the Braves.

  • The Pirates were scouting Matt Peterson in his last start. Now here is where I hop off the Benson train. I do not want to give up one of our top three pitching prospects for Benson. Benson still has a ERA of 4.42. I'd rather take my chances with what we have than surrender Peterson for 1/2 season rental. I'm not averse to parting with Peterson in deal for someone like Zito (which I do not think is happening, just an example). But giving up Wigginton, Peterson, plus others is too much for question mark. That move becomes not worth it the second a top five organizational prospect is included.

  • Jose Reyes has hits in 15 out of 20 games played this year. He currently has a nine game hitting streak and still is batting .218. If you told me he had gotten a hit in 75% of his games, I would have guessed he would have a pretty good average. That is a pretty weird stat in my book. A lot of one hit games have contributed to it. However, the good news is he is definitely heating up and picked up three hits yesterday as well as the fact he has scored 14 runs in 20 games. He was has been in spring training mode, but seems to be getting in regular season mode and shaking off the rust.

  • Erickson went 8.1 innings giving up seven hits, one run, walked two, and K'd two. I think it is safe to assume he will be brought up.

  • I'm going to have to say that Scott Kazmir's debut was stellar for AA. He went six innings, K'd 7, and gave up two runs. He allowed five walks and six hits for 11 baserunners in six innings, but it was his first start at the higher level. I'm impressed.

  • The post hands out grades to all the Mets players.