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

Monday, July 25, 2005

No Heart?

"(Benson) had great stuff for us," McClendon told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story published yesterday. "But he didn't have the heart of a lion. They'll find that out in New York."

McClendon questioned the heart and the competitiveness of Kris Benson, but one thing is for sure, he has been shedding that label of an underachiever so far in New York. There were 47 starting pitchers signed this off season and Benson is perhaps the biggest surprise because he has never actually lived up to the immense expectations people had for him.

In his last two starts, he has a 1-0 record with a 0.80 WHIP, .173 BAA, and a 0.60 ERA and has a 3.14 ERA, .231 BAA, and a 1.11 WHIP over the entire season, all of which would be career highs by far should the season end today. On top of that, he has 2.25 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP against teams in first place. Overall, against all teams that are at least five games or less off the Wild Card lead, Benson is 4-2 in twelve starts with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

They guy has not just pitched well and beat up bad teams, he has pitched well against the best teams around, including three of the best American League teams in the Angels, Yankees, and the A's. Benson has also held the #3, #4, and #5 spots in the batting order to a .246/.315/.377 line. As much maligned as the Mets picking up Benson for the money they signed him for, this move has turned out great for Kris and the Mets so far. As for yesterday's game, the Mets sorely needed a pitcher to eat up innings, and he threw 125 pitches to give the Mets eight innings. McClendon said Benson lacked heart, but so far, it seems he could not be further away from reality.

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  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Richmond 1-0. Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 3 and Victor Diaz went 0 for 2 with a walk. Kyle Davies pitched for Richmond against Eric Junge. Both went six innings and Davies gave up three hits, one earned run, three walks, and struck out five while Junge gave up four hits, no earned runs, two walks, and struck out eight. Royce Ring went 1.1 innings in relief, gave up one hit and struck out two to drive his ERA down to 1.96.
    • Binghamton beat Bowie 2-0. Lastings Milledge knocked in both of the RBIs on a 1 for 5 night and is batting .386 since his call-up. David Bacani went 3 for 4 with a run scored and a stolen base.
    • Evan MacLane pitched an amazing game for his AA debut and threw a complete game shut out, allowing only five hits, two walks, and struck out seven.
    • St. Lucie vs. Tampa was cancelled due to wet grounds.
    • Lake County beat Hagerstown 9-2. Mike Carp went 2 for 4 with two doubles and one run scored and Jesus Flores went 2 for 4 with one RBI.
    • Jamestown beat Brooklyn 6-3. Jonel Pacheco went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
    • Bristol beat Kingsport 7-6. Cory Wells went 2 for 3 with a walk, a double, a homer, and three RBIs.
  • The Marlins are looking more unlikely to deal AJ Burnett, but are still working with the White Sox on a deal that could give back Brandon McCarthy and Damaso Marte. The Red Sox are also believed to be dangling starter Bronson Arroyo and at least minor-league pitcher Anibel Sanchez.

  • The Mets are in serious talks about bringing Alfsonso Soriano to the Mets.

    Right now a deal doesn't appear imminent because the Rangers want three players and at the top of their list is outfielder Lastings Milledge, a Double A outfielder and a former No. 1 pick.

    No, no, no, and no.

    Milledge was hitting .302 with 18 stolen bases in 62 games in Class A before being promoted to Double A on July 11. The Rangers asked about him earlier this season and were turned down.

    Stay the course Omar. Stay the course. According to the NYPost, Texas' current asking price, according to another source, is "a lot more than that." That is referring to a lot more than just Lastings Milledge. I am extremely hesitant about Alfonso Soriano becoming a huge impact for this team. The Mets Minor League system is beleaguered and the good players they have are very good. You take Milledge out, the Mets have no position players that are high impact and close to the Major Leagues. This has disaster written all over it.

    "Are the weapons here?" Minaya said. "I think when you look at the division, yeah. Now in the ideal world, would we like to have other weapons? Yeah. I'm always open for having other weapons. The truth, though, is that those weapons have to be available in the market. Are we going to tear up the farm system for one player? I don't know if that's the wise thing to do. We're building for 2005 and beyond 2005."

  • Phil Nevin is likely to accept the deal to the Orioles and it could be done as early as today.

  • "I've lost RBIs as well as hits," Phillips said. "This season so far has been beyond unlucky."

    Hmmm. Well, if you think you were unlucky last year, and you think were unlucky this year, maybe you are really not that good and luck has nothing to do with it.

  • Heath Bell got demoted, but vowed to work on a changeup and come back and strike everyone out.

    "If I go down there and I have an outing or two that doesn't go particularly well but I'm throwing a lot of changeups, I'm going to develop it," Bell said. "Whereas, here, we're going to lose ball games, and this is where it counts."

    "[Soon], it will be comfortable, and I'll be back up here," he said. "And I'll be striking everybody out."

  • The Mets are interested in Jeff Kent, but I cannot see how a deal for him goes down in any way.

  • "Even times when I feel like I'm struggling, they know me now," said Piazza, who admitted he has been more reflective this season. "They've seen my ups and downs. They know what I can do and what I can't do. I'm like an old piece of furniture."

  • In some good news, Orber Moreno has resurfaced. While no one really knows what to reasonably expect from him this season, he could sure be a huge boost to the pen in 2006.

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