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

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Stating Their Case

Was the damage Kaz Matsui did throughout this season too much for the Mets to think about bringing him back in 2006? Matsui has turned it on lately while the Mets have collectively turned it off and he is hitting a tidy .387/.424/.613 in eight September games and has three doubles and two triples. He has started playing like the ballplayer they always needed him to be, but it may just be too late and he may just be auditioning for other teams. One has to believe that Mets do not entirely feel comfortable with him and they do not feel comfortable handing the job over to Anderson Hernandez or Jeff Keppinger next year. There are not many second base options on the market next year, so unless they fill a spot with a trade, the Mets may have no choice but to give Kaz a third chance at things in New York. I guess it really depends on what the Mets do to upgrade themselves this winter at other positions because they have a couple points of weakness and one of them has to be addressed with a run producer that gets on base.

Victor Diaz has turned it up a bit as well and has hit .294/.314/.559 in August and September with eight doubles, two triples, five homers, and fourteen RBIs. Of course he struck out twenty seven times to only three walks, but he is certainly proving himself to be a capable big league player. If you take his season stats and multiply them by two to get 142 games played, he has a .265/.344/.491 line with seventy runs scored, thirty doubles, six triples, twenty homers, sixty-four RBIs, fifty four walks, and one hundred and twenty six strikeouts. If Victor was in a higher spot in the lineup, he just may be a run producer and a guy who can hit 100 RBIs in a year. It cannot be overlooked that he is only 23 years old and his rookie season has undoubtedly been a success. If Omar fills holes elsewhere, one has to assume that he will be comfortable with Diaz in right as a cheap and effective alternative and he has certainly earned it.

Whether either of those two guys are even starting or with the Mets in 2006 is up in the air since you know Omar is going to do some major tinkering with this team that has now fallen two games under .500. All of the good feelings this team had been projecting off have since evaporated and now I am wondering if this team will even finish over .500. You may not think there is much of a difference between 79, 81, or 83 wins especially if 83 wins will not even get you too the playoffs, but there is. Finishing under .500 and over .500 is a huge step for this team that is supposed to be poised for a playoff run in '06. However, with a team that is returning the majority of their players and could finish under .500 this year, one has to wonder just how close they are? I still think they are better than their record would indicate, but many people would probably like to argue that point, but one thing is clear, the Mets need to get an RBI man to wake up this dreadfully streaky offense. They continue to waste good pitching performance after good pitching performance and have gone into their standard September tailspin as they are 1-10 in September so far. In 2004 they went 11-20 after September 1st and in 2003 they went 8-19. So far in the last three seasons, they have gone 20-49 with a .290 winning percentage since September first in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

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  • Minor Update:
    • Norfolk edged Toledo 3-2 and scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning. Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 5 with a run scored, Eric Valent went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk, Wayne Lydon came in to pinch hit and went 1 for 1 and scored the winning run, Brian Daubach went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI, Rodney Nye went 2 for 4 with a double, and Chris Basak went 1 for 3 with a walk. Neal Musser started the game and pitched a gem and went 7.2 innings giving up five hits, two runs, one earned run, two walks, and struck out seven. Manny Aybar then came in to give up the tying run and earn a blown save, Royce Ring picked up the win in .2 innings of relief but gave up a hit and a walk, and Tim Lavingne saved the game by getting the final two outs. Game five will be played today.
    • Hagerstown topped Delmarva 9-7. Dante Brinkley went 1 for 2 with two runs scored, a homer, a walk, and two RBIs, Ambiorix Concepcion went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and a walk, Grant Psomas went 2 for 5 with a run scored, a double, and three RBIs, Russ Triplett went 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base, and Matthew Fisher went 3 for 3 with three runs scored, a walk, and two doubles. Blake Eager got the start and went four innings and gave up three runs, one earned run, one walk, and struck out one while getting the no decision. Edgar Alfonzo picked up the win in three innings of relief while Marcelo Perez earned the save in 1.1 innings of work. Hagerstown will now play the second half champion for the overall championship.
    • After a 4-0 start, Team USA has dropped two in row as they lost 7-6 to Japan yesterday. Lastings Milledge went 0 for 4 with a strikeout.
  • Aaron Heilman now owns a 2.56 ERA, 10.08 K/9, and a 1.12 WHIP since being moved to a full time reliever and may have pitched himself out of being a starter for good, or at least while he remains a Met.

  • From Joel Sherman:

    Willie Randolph has had a solid rookie year. But if his gut told him to summon Shingo Takatsu in a must-win situation, it's time to listen to the head.

    Braden Looper's a stand-up guy. But his days as Mets closer are coming to a close.

    Baseball people already are saying the Mets' 2005 draft was a disaster, which explains the overhaul of the scouting department.

    Carlos Beltran thinks and now hits like a No. 2 hitter. So maybe he should be one.

    Beltran was right. He was perfect for the Yankees: a centerfielder, a No. 2 hitter and someone to blend in.

    Take two things off the Mets' schedule and they're playoff-bound: Atlanta and road games.

    The 2005 draft does look like a disaster so far. Scary stuff for a team that did not have second or third round picks. It is time to ink Pelfrey and get him in the organization.

  • Could Randy Johnson retire? Who cares...

    "When you've done the things I've done in this game, and you're used to performing at a certain level, and all of a sudden you can't perform to that same level, you start to think about it," Johnson said last week. "I'm not saying that's the case, but it's the kind of thing that makes you think."

  • Piazza goes deep and then gets beaned and a possible concussion.

    "A big league pitcher has to be able to control his pitches better than that," the Cardinals manager said after meeting with Piazza. "I told him I was concerned for him. And I'm glad he's all right. There is no place in the game for that, whether or not it's intentional. And Julian swore on his family it wasn't. We've never had any trouble with him. I told Mike that. And I told him that if I could rewind the game so that he wouldn't get hit, I'd take a loss. That's how strongly I feel about it."

    Welcome back Mikey.

  • The Mets claimed outfielder Todd Self off waivers from the Houston Astros and added him to their 40-man roster. To make room the Mets moved injured Norfolk infielder Jeff Keppinger to the 60-day disabled list.

    Just what we needed.

  • I'll be away and not posting until about the 20th or 21st. I'm not going to miss much from our lowly Mets, but I leave you these peace offerings.