Best Foot Forward
There are thirty-two games between now and the end of the Mets regular season. The Mets had a disappointing loss in which one inning buried them, but the Phillies fortunately are on a two game losing streak of their own and the Mets are sitting in the same place there were before the game started. 1.5 games out on August 29th is something I'm sure everyone is ecstatic about. The lineup on Sunday featured Jose Reyes, Miguel Cairo, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Chris Woodward, Victor Diaz, Ramon Castro, and Kaz Matsui and that is not a lineup that will get the Mets to the Promised Land.
Cliff sat yesterday partly because he needed a rest for the final push and partly because the Mets were facing a lefty and Jacobs sat for some reason and I'm not sure. Maybe Randolph wanted to give him a rest to let it all sink in or wanted to stack righties in the lineup. Yesterday is irrelevant. Going forward, every capable Met bat needs to be in the lineup. Cairo is batting .071 in his last 28 at-bats since August 18th and would not qualify as one of those capable bats. If Cairo ever steps in the game again as a starter, it should be at second base when Kaz does not start and Matsui has been hitting better of late and should be in the lineup over him.
Also, lefty/righty match-ups should be tossed out the window. Cliff Floyd can hit lefties just fine and Mike Jacobs should be given the chance to prove he cannot hit lefites. The Mets need offense and Reyes, Beltran, Wright, Floyd, Jacobs, Diaz, Castro, and Matsui should be in the lineup every day. Castro may need a rest and that should be the only day Randolph deviates from that lineup. The Mets simply cannot afford to give any game away from here on out and giving away a game includes putting yesterday's lineup out. The Mets can do this, but they need to keep their strengths in their right places and Woodard, Cairo, Offerman, and Anderson are stronger off the bench and it should be kept that way. Losing Piazza was bad for the reason that when Floyd, Wright, or Beltran sits, not having Piazza there to supplant their production is big problem. There is no more rest for the Mets main cast and they really need to step it up and stay in the lineup.
- Charlotte beat up Yusmeiro Petit in his second start for Norfolk. Petit got smacked for ten hits and three homers in 4.2 innings and gave up five earned runs while walking one and striking out three. Danny Graves topped that performance, and not in a good way. He had his second horrible outing at AAA out of two and went one inning giving up three hits, five earned runs, three walks, and one homer. He has a tidy 36.00 ERA since being demoted to AAA. Maybe it is time he starts looking for another profession. Angel Pagan went 2 for 4 and Chase Lambin went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, two homers, and three walks.
- Trenton beat up the B-Mets 4-0. Aarom Baldiris went 2 for 4 with a double, Bobby Malek went 1 for 4, and Brett Harper went 1 for 3 with a walk. Rafael Lopez took the loss to drop his record down to 2-9 and went six innings and gave up seven hits, four runs, one earned run, one walk, two homers, and struck out two.
- Hagerstown beat Delmarva 7-4. Carlos Gomez went 1 for 5 with a run scored, Ambiorix Concepcion went 1 for 4 with a run scored, an RBI, and his 34th stolen base, Grant Psomas went 1 for 4 with a run scored, a double, and an RBI, Joshua Wyrick went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Kyle Brown went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a walk. Jose Sanchez started the game and got the no decision after four innings of two earned run ball and Matt Durkin took the win in relief. Durkin went 4.1 innings and gave up two hits, one earned run, three walks, and struck out four. Marcelo Perez picked up his twelfth save in .2 innings of relief.
- Staten Island beat Brooklyn 3-0. Caleb Stewart got the Cyclones lone hit and went 1 for 3 with a walk. Bobby Parnell took the loss and went five innings giving up seven hits, three earned runs, four walks, and struck out seven. Parnell is now 2-3 with a 2.05 ERA.
- Kingsport beat Bristol 6-3. Elvis Cruz went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, his fourth homer, and two RBIs and Jose Mateo went 1 for 5 with a run scored and two RBIs. Jonathan Castillo got the win to bring his record to 2-3 with a 2.04 ERA and went five innings and gave up eight hits, two earned runs, one walk, and struck out five. German Marte got his fourth save and pitched one scoreless inning.
- The GCL Yankees beat up the GCL Mets 10-1. Jonathan Niese started the game for the Mets and did not fare well and went 0.1 innings and gave up four hits, six runs, three earned runs, and walked two. The Mets mustered eight hits, seven of which were singles, and Juan Montero was the only Met to get two hits and went 2 for 4.
ccording to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three teams have been under .500 at any point after 125 games and still made the playoffs (the NL West winner will be the fourth):
• The 1974 Baltimore Orioles, who were 64-65 after 129 games and finished 91-71.
• The 1984 Kansas City Royals, who were 68-69 after 137 games and finished 84-78.
• And the 1973 New York Mets, who were an under-.500 team later than any other division winner in history. The Mets were 76-77 after 153 games and finished 82-79.
The '73 Mets have the worst record of any division winner, but the Padres, who are 64-65, are on pace to claim that dubious title.