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

Friday, July 22, 2005

Much Ado About .500

Many of us, including me, look at the Mets record this year and scratch our heads and say it looks strikingly similar to the Mets in 2004. Through 95 games last year, the Mets were 47-48. This year, they are 49-46 and 4.5 games out of first place. After reeling in the two biggest off season prizes, one has to wonder what the hell is going on. However, sizing these two teams up by record alone just simply is not fair. While the Mets were hanging around the division race last season, they were being held together by spit, glue, and a Richard Hidalgo hot streak. The 2004 Mets team featured a starting lineup that looked like this on July 21st last year:

2b Jose Reyes
SS Kaz Matsui
1b Ty Wigginton
LF Cliff Floyd
RF Richard Hidalgo
CF Mike Cameron
3b David Wright
C Vance Wilson

The rotation at that current time was Jae Seo, Tom Glavine, Al Leiter, Scott Erickson, and Steve Trachsel. Last year's team was a far cry from this year's team. The record aside, they are not even comparable. Of course, things only got worse shortly after the Mets decided they were buyers, but that team was a group of over achievers. Hanging in as long as they did was a huge feat and Richard Hidalgo being a monster for the first two months after the trade before falling off the face of the earth was a huge boon.
Through 95 Games in '04  Through July 21st, '04
Teams W L GB Teams W L GB
Braves 50 45 - Phillies 50 44 -
Phillies 50 45 - Braves 49 45 1
Marlins 48 47 2 Marlins 47 47 2
Mets 47 48 3 Mets 47 47 2
Nats 34 61 16 Nats 33 61 17
Last year's ace was Tom Glavine and the Mets seemingly have three pitchers better than Tom Glavine '04 this year. I look at this current group of Mets and see a group of under achieving players that should be playing better baseball than they have played to this date, but they are worlds better than last year's squad. They are comparable by record alone, but these Mets are a cut above last year's Mets. While last year the Mets finished twenty games under .500 and I believe this year's club will finish above .500 and actually has a shot at the playoffs and I did not feel that way about the '04 Mets at the same time. There is no reason to compare where they are at the same point in '04 and '05 because it is the end of the year that counts.

* * *

  • Even Rob Neyer cannot deny the Mets any longer:

    Franco (Hoboken): Now that the Mets swept the Pods... you see them making a big move? they have won 6 of 8 and reyes is heating up... wadda ya think?

    Rob Neyer: (2:21 PM ET ) The Mets are now one of only six teams with legitimate WC hopes, so I think they have to start thinking seriously about their October chances. And they sure could use a first baseman with some pop (unless Doug Mientkiewicz recently started hitting again and I missed it). Too bad they traded Justin Huber last summer...

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Ottawa 4-3. Eric Valent brought his average up to .288 and went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. Chase Lambin went 1 for 3 with his fourth homer and his eighteenth on the year overall. Victor Diaz went 1 for 5. Jae Seo recovered somewhat from his last disaster start, but was not great. He went 6.1 innings giving up six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out three.
    • St. Luice beat Vero Beach 4-2. Gaby Hernandez only needed one start to adjust to high A-ball and went six innings, giving up four hits, no walks, no runs, and struck out four. The Metropolitans thinks he is good. Andy Wilson went 3 for 4 with a double and Dante Brinkley went 1 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs.
    • Hagerstown beat Lake County 7-2. Mike Carp went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Ambiorix Concepcion went 1 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs and Jesus Flores went 1 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs.
    • Brooklyn beat Oneonta 10-9. Caleb Stewart, who was hitting well two levels higher in St. Lucie, went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, a triple, a homer, and five RBIs. Anyone know why he is here? If you do, let me know. Nick Evans continues to pick up some hits and went 2 for 6 with a run scored, a double, and two RBIs.
    • Kingsport beat Johnson City 5-4. Jose Coronado went 1 for 2 with two runs scored, a homer, two RBIs, and a walk.
    • The GCL Nationals beat the GCL Mets 8-6. Gregory Cain went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored, and Jose Mateo went 2 for 3 with a run scored and two doubles.
  • The Reds do not want to trade the wrong guy, but something has to give. They seem more intent on keeping Kearns and Willie Mo with the untradable Ken Griffey Jr., but they can also try and slide Casey out of the picture. Money could factor into this and they may ultimately have no other choice but trade Dunn because something needs to happen.

  • Joel Sherman suggests that Omar must shop Victor Zambrano, Braden Looper, and Mike Cameron. I cannot agree with Zambrano since I really love the top three pitchers in the Mets rotation, but I suppose if he can bring back a big bat, Omar should at least listen.

    Does that get Jorge Julio and pitching prospect Hayden Penn? Can Looper and Cameron entice Arizona into giving up ready-now first base stud Conor Jackson? Can Penn then be spun as a part of a package for a slugger, maybe Adam Dunn from the pitching-desperate Reds?

    If trading those guys brings back Julio, Jackson, and Dunn, it's a no-brainer, but that all seems far fetched to have it all fall into place. If the Mets land Jackson, I would be happy enough, though this team would never rely that heavily on a guy who has not played a day in the majors, but I think he is the real deal and could help. Sherman is dead on that Omar needs to put it out there he is accepting offers to see what can turn up.

  • Most important, as manager Willie Randolph said after an impressive end to an impressive series, "The bottom line is that this team is still in position to make some serious hay in this division."

    Added Floyd: "I don't know what 'hay' is. It's for feeding horses, I guess. I just want to keep going."

  • People are writing about how the Mets should be interested in Soriano, but I'm not sure why.
               Home              Away
    2005 .332/.364/.689 .230/.270/.382
    2004 .317/.360/.526 .244/.291/.444
    2003 .274/.325/.480 .306/.350/.567
    2002 .281/.312/.510 .319/.352/.582
    Back when he was with the Yankees, the splits were not as bad, but for some reason, Soriano has become a non-factor on the road. Whether it is because he had more protection than any player in the Major Leagues when he was with the Yankees or he has gotten pull conscious trying to hit too many homers in Arlington, or something like that, he is just too big of a question mark to put in Shea where right handed hitters get eaten up.

  • Ramon Castro is doing a great job backing up Piazza this year:

    Castro comes on: Ramon Castro is hitting .317 with 11 RBI and seven extra-base hits in his last 11 starts behind the plate. He had his most impressive hit of the season yesterday, a line-drive homer to left field in the fifth inning.

  • Steve Trachsel feels good after his first start since Spring Training.

  • What doesn't Wright do?

    During Wednesday night's game, Wright sidled up to Mientkiewicz and told him to start his hands quicker at the plate. Although Wright bats right-handed and Mientkiewicz left-handed, the two have similar batting styles and Wright felt he had picked up something that might help his struggling teammate.

    "If we don't get our hands moving, we're garbage," said Mientkiewicz.

    Remind me again what Rick Down does?

  • Jesus will be at Shea Stadium at 4:00 PM.

    16-year-old from the Dominican Republic whom the Mets signed to a contract last week, is scheduled to take batting practice at Shea Stadium before tonight's game.

  • Until yesterday, he hardly hit with the bases loaded, either. The speedy shortstop ended an 0-for-8 drought in that category with a two-run single that was part of a seven-run sixth as the Mets clubbed the Padres, 12-0. He was 1-for-5 with the bases full last season.

    "That's my first hit? I didn't know that," Reyes said with a smile when writers told him the significance of his single off Paul Quantrill, one of three hits that raised his average to .267. "One of the guys should have said something."

    Didn't he hit a grand slam in Texas in his rookie year? That is probably why no one said anything.

    Anonymous BMC said...

    Jose Reyes's first career HR was indeed a grand slame, and it came against the Los Anaheim of Angels Angeles - or whatever they're called this week - on 06/15/2003

    Day by Day

    1:07 PM


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