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

Sunday, August 28, 2005

En Fuego

The Mets have been on fire, but unfortunately so has every other team in the NL East. Once looking like a divisoin full of mediocre teams playing in a tightly packed mediocre division everything seems a bit different lately. The Phillies, Marlins, and Los Mets have stepped it up at the time of the year that they need to. Every team is trying to one up each other and though the standings do not look much different, a lot has changed. Mike Jacobs is owned by 93.9% of the ESPN NL only fantasy baseball leagues, Victor Zambrano could demoted to the bullpen or the Mets may use their six starters and try and match them up against teams to give them their best shot to win, Danny Graves was demoted, Steve Trachsel was promoted, the Royals actually won, and Yusmeiro Petit is now one step closer to the Major Leagues.

Houston has cooled off the Mets have closed the gap with the Braves to five and remain 1.5 games off the wildcard lead. The Astros are tied with the Mets and have not looked good lately and the Phillies are sitting atop the Wild Card Standings with the Marlins sitting in second just .5 games out. I will be sure there is no justice in the world and I will lose all faith in humanity if the Marlins win and as much as it has been printed, I'll state it again. The Mets play six games with the Phillies, three at home, six games with Florida, three at home, six games with Atlanta, three at home, and six games with Washington, three at home. That is twenty four out of thirty two games remaining after today with their division rivals, four games with the St. Louis Cardinals who are banged up and in cruise control, and four games with the horrifying Rockies who own the second worst record in the Major Leagues.

Not only do the Mets have a shot at the Wild Card, but they have a tiny chance at the division. Sitting at seven games over .500, the Mets have never looked better this season and this fabled hot streak that Met organization and their fans have been talking about has finally come. I guess it remains to be seen whether it will as sustained as the A's and the Astros and last throughout the rest of the season or whether this is just a hot streak that just about every team has gone through this year. They are only three games away from equaling last year's win total and some might be satisfied with that and could hang their hats on that as a successful season and turning around their win total by about fourteen games or so when all is said and done, but nothing should be satisfying except the playoffs. This team is better than they have played so far and better than they have been given credit for and with so many teams in the mix and no one besides the Cardinals truly separating themselves, this year is primed for the Mets to sweep in and take it. The only question is, can they sustain the level of play they have been putting out?

* * *

  • Minor update:
    • Charlotte beat Norfolk 6-4. Brian Bannister had another solid start going six innings and giving up nine hits, three earned runs, no walks, and struck out four. He took the no decision as Danny Graves continues to prove he does not belong in baseball by giving up three earned runs in one inning. Eric Valent went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI and Chris Basak went 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
    • Binghamton played Trenton in a double header. In game one, Trenton won 7-5. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 5, Aaron Baldiris went 2 for 4 with a run scored, and Bobby Malek went 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Bryan Edwards took the loss and dropped to 5-6 with a 3.71 ERA after going six innings giving up eight hits, five earned runs, four walks, and struck out two. In game two, Binghamton won 9-5. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 4 with a walk, two RBIs, and was caught stealing for the fifth time this year and has eleven stolen bases at AA in total, Wayne Lydon went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, one homer, three RBIs, and a walk, Bobby Malek went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a triple, and an RBI, Russ Triplett went 3 for 4 with a run scored, an RBI, and a walk, and Cory Ragsdale went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, a triple, a homer, and an RBI. Timothy McNab made the start but got the no decision as he left in the fourth inning after giving up four hits, two earned runs, one walk, and struck out six. Anderson Garcia got the win despite giving up two earned runs in 2.2 innings and gave up one hit, walked two, and struck out five.
    • Daytona beat St. Lucie 9-1. The ever rehabbing Doug Mientkiewicz went 2 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI, Andy Wilson went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk, and Aaron Hathaway went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. Miguel Pinango was the hard luck loser and only gave up one run in 5.1 innings but took the loss to drop to 2-2.
    • Delmarva beat Hagerstown 5-4. Carlos Gomez went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts, Ambiorix Concepcion went 2 for 4 with a double and three strikeouts, Grant Psomas went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, one double, one homer, one walk, and one RBI, Joshua Warick went 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI, and Kyle Brown went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Kevin Mannix started the game and got the no decision and went five innings and gave up six hits, four earned runs, and struck out three. Brandon Nall took the loss in relief and went three innings, gave up no hits, no earned runs, one unearned run, two walks, and struck out three.
    • Staten Island beat Brooklyn 7-2. The Cyclones only mustered three hits in the loss and Ryan Meyers took the loss to drop to 0-4 and went 3.1 innings and gave up five hits, three earned runs, one walk, and struck out one. Pulaski beat Kingsport 11-8. David Wabick went 4 for 5 with three runs scored, one double, and one RBI and Riky Oliveros went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, one double, and two RBIs. Jusef Frias tried to top Kris Benson's line from earlier this week and I think he succeeded. He took the loss and went one inning giving up eight hits, eight earned runs, four walks, and give up three homeruns.
    • In what I can only guess is a three game championship series, the GCL Mets lost game one to the GCL Yankees 3-2. Junior Contreras continues to hit and went 2 for 3 with one double, one RBI, and one walk. Rober Manuel started the game and went six innings giving up five hits, one earned run, two walks, and struck out one but got the no decision. Robert McIntyre took the loss went 0.1 innings and gave up one hit, two runs, one earned run, and one walk.
  • While radio reports say that ever circulating rumors of Ken Griffey Jr. to the Chicago White Sox are heating up, Griffey says he is not going to Chicago.

    “I’m not going to Chicago," he told the Dayton Daily News. “I’m in Pittsburgh with the Cincinnati Reds, and that’s where I’m staying."

    Dan O'Dowd continues his reluctance to help his own team out in the long term. Not only would he get a lot of cash back in his hands, but they can pick up some arms too. F-in Ponderous.

  • Oh baby.

    The Rockies will be among the first to call when Padres catcher Ramon Hernandez becomes a free agent. If the price stays about $11 million to $12 million over three years, they will be in the mix. Rod Barajas and Yorvit Torrealba, whom they nearly acquired this season, are also on the radar.

    If Ramon's price is going to be that high, that is just scary. He is a good player, but no where near elite. I'd love him on the Mets for the right price, but that is not it.

  • It is too bad Piazza did not get a proper farewell tour with the Mets if this really is it.

    Earlier this week, Piazza was optimistic about returning as soon as he was eligible to come off the disabled list, which is Friday. But after seeing a physical therapist in the Bay Area yesterday, Piazza discovered that not only is the small pisiform bone at the base of his thumb broken, but the ligaments in his left wrist and forearm have been affected.

    "It's not feeling any worse, but it's not feeling better," said Piazza, who will seek a second opinion tomorrow in New York. "It's just not responding the way I'd hoped."


  • Willie Randolph expressed faith in Miguel Cairo, who is in a 2-for-29 slump and did not play yesterday. Kaz Matsui started for the third time on the road trip at second base, going 0-for-4 with an RBI groundout.

    Randolph said he wasn't even aware of Cairo's slump - at least the actual .069 average since his final at-bat Aug.17 - because the manager looks at the quality of plate appearances.


    Shouldn't he pay attention to that? Hot Hand Willie's trademark is going with the guys who are hitting, but he is selective when he actually does that.

  • Minaya indicated he will consider OF Eric Valent, 1B Brian Daubach and 2B Anderson Hernandez for promotions when rosters expand Thursday, but none of those players is on the 40-man roster, a major impediment, since their contracts would have to be purchased and someone else would have to be removed from the 40-man roster. Four potential relief call-ups - Shingo Takatsu, Danny Graves, Jose Santiago and Tim Hamulack - also aren't on the roster. The Mets have no lefties in their bullpen, so the 95 mph-throwing Hamulack, Royce Ring and Ishii should get extra scrutiny.

  • From NJ.com:

    Boston has been looking for bullpen help and did contact the Mets about Roberto Hernandez, but the Mets have decided they're too close to a playoff spot to deal from the back end of their bullpen

  • Dana Brand has a nice feel good editorial today.

  • No one in the majors has knocked in more runs or scored as many as David Wright since the All-Star Game break.

    Over the past six weeks, he has driven in 39 runs and scored 36. He also ranks second in hits (58) and batting average (.382) and fourth in slugging percentage (.664) and on-base percentage (.446).


    Niiiiice.
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