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

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Looking Like A Playoff Team

The Mets have the best record in the Major Leagues at 6-1 with a .857 winnings percentage. It is a good start for sure, but people will be quick to point out they have played lesser opponents and it's nothing to be proud of. However, this is exactly what playoff teams do. Play about .500 ball or a little above against the good teams and beat up the bad teams to rack up wins. In 2005, the Mets played one game over .500 against teams that were .500 or above. They played only three games over .500 against teams that were under .500. They missed the playoffs by six games last season. Though the majority of games played were actually against .500 or above teams since their entire division was over .500, they still did not excel against shitty teams, but managed to play with the good ones shot for shot.

On top of that, all these wins to start this season are all divisional games. Winning divisional games and beating bad teams is the mark of a playoff team. So far, so good. Take nothing away from this amazing start because it is exactly what a team should do if they are to be considered playoff caliber. So far, their starter's collective ERA is 2.66 with a .95 WHIP. They are averaging over six innings per start and no starter has allowed more than three earned runs except for Pedro in his first start. Again, so far, so good. This rotation has concerns for sure, but everyone looks comfortable so far. Victor Zambrano toes the rubber tonight and a nation of anxious Met fans will be watching as the Mets go for a sweep on their first road series of the year.

* * *

  • Minor Update:
    • The Norfolk Tides dropped to 2-5 with their loss to Buffalo. It was a scoreless pitcher's duel through seven innings when Norfolk's relievers could not hold Buffalo as the Tides lost 4-1. Jeremi Gonzalez rebounded from his forgettable start last time out and went seven innings and gave up only three hits, one walk, and struck out nine. Tim Lavigne gave up two runs in .2 innings for the loss. Jeremy Sowers started the game for the Bisons and threw six innings of shut out ball and has yet to give up a run in his two starts this season. The Tides offense only mustered five singles on the day. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 3 with a run scored and walk, Jeff Keppinger went 1 for 2 with a walk, and Chris Basak and Joe Hieptas each went 1 for 3.

    • The B-Mets continue to roll as they beat the Reading Phillies 6-4. It was a good game for the B-Mets all around as their bats came back to win the game as the bullpen held it. Miguel Perez started the game and got roughed up as he gave up four runs in five innings. Binghamton relievers shut the door with four innings of no hit and one walk ball while striking out four batters. Eddie Camacho picked up the win and Henry Owens picked up the save. Carlos Gomez went 1 for 5 with two strike outs, Jay Caligiuri was all or nothing with a 2 for 5 night with one RBI and three strikeouts, Andy Wilson was 2 for 4 with a run scored and a double, Jorge Padilla was 1 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs, Bobby Malek was 2 for 4 with a double, Corey Ragsdale was 1 for 3 with a run scored and a walk, and Yunir Garcia was 2 for 3 with three runs scored, a double, and a walk.

    • Alay Soler is still searching for his first win as a pro and has been doing his part to earn one. Yesterday, St. Lucie lost to the Daytona Cubs 2-0. Soler started the game and went five innings while giving up one hit, three walks, and striking out six. Edgar Alfonzo took the loss and gave up two runs in relief. The St. Lucie bats were quiet as Ambiorix Concepcion went 1 for 4 and Mike Carp went 2 for 3 with a walk.

    • Hagerstown upped their record to 3-4 behind a huge day by Fernando Martinez. The Suns downed Lakewood 6-5 as Fernando went 4 for 6 with two doubles, one triple, and four RBIs. Hector Pellot also had a solid day at the plate and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and a double. Jorge Reyes started the game and pitched a solid six innings of one run ball and Eric Brown took the win in relief, his first of the year.
  • Ben Sheets could return to the mound this Sunday to take on Brian Bannister and the Mets.

  • People are concerned about the WBC and it's effect on their pitchers by not getting enough work in before the season. It is obvious that plays a factor and that needs to be rectified for the next one. Victor Zambrano for one has not pitched as much as people would have liked and I am not holding out hope that he will continue the stellar pitching by Mets starters. But I guess anything is possible if girls actually let me sleep with them.

  • Jose Reyes turned a double play with Anderson Hernandez that Kaz would not have been able to make 100 out of 100 times.

    "I knew right away I was going to second," Reyes said. "If I hesitated we wouldn't have gotten it."

    With the runner bearing down on him, Hernandez stood his ground to make the catch and relay to first.

    "The runner was all over me," Hernandez said. "I had to throw the ball, and I had to throw it fast."


    Hernandez hung in there with the running come down and fired the ball to first to turn a very impressive double play. The Mets defensive this year is very tight. Only one position player has made and error as Jose Reyes has two so far.

  • Zambrano sounds confident for his first start.

    "I'm pretty sure I'm 100%."

    Nice.

  • From the Daily News:

    Mets special assistant Bryan Lambe was conspicuous at Yankee Stadium yesterday scouting the Royals-Yankees game. It's more likely the Mets were looking at lefty Jeremy Affeldt than Doug Mientkiewicz, though they couldn't have been overly impressed with the K.C. southpaw. Affeldt started and took the loss, allowing six earned runs and seven hits in 3-1/3 innings. Omar Minaya is said to be enamored with Mike MacDougal, having unsuccessfully dangled Kris Benson last winter. The Royals closer is on the DL with a shoulder strain.

    Also from the above link:

    FOXSports.com reported that GMs believe it's "practically a given" that Dontrelle Willis will be traded by July 31, but Mets insiders were skeptical - "...knowing Jeffrey the way I do," one team source said about the potential for a trade, referring to Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. "Jeffrey likes to win."

    Last item from the above link:

    2005 first-round pick Mike Pelfrey is off to a quick start at Class-A St. Lucie. The righthander has limited Florida State League opponents to one unearned run and has struck out 13 while allowing only six hits and a walk in 11 innings over two starts. Special assistant Tony Bernazard, who oversees the minor-league system, indicated Pelfrey won't be quickly promoted to Double-A Binghamton.

    I do not know what that mean exactly, but I figured he would be there for about two months before he moved up.

  • Beltran's average is up to .292. David Wright is still just destroying a ball. However, he did fail to notch an RBI in game for the first time this season.

  • From Newsday:

    The Mets' 6-1 start is their best since 1985. Their best records after seven games:

    6-1

    2006, 1985, 1984

    5-2

    1999, 1998, 1991, 1987, 1982, 1973, 1972


  • Willie? Finally you realized that facial hair has no bearing on the team's success!

    It took a few days, but the Mets are starting to show signs of Randolph's new looser code of discipline. The evidence is all over their faces. Randolph lifted his ban on facial hair at the end of spring training and many of the Mets have begun sporting neatly trimmed goatees as allowed by the manager's relaxed code. Carlos Delgado, who trimmed his longtime goatee upon arriving at spring training, is happy to have his back. "The guys that used to wear them are wearing them," Delgado said. "For me, it was a no-brainer."

    Really, it seems small, but these are grown men that make millions. If they want to sport some scruff and a goatee, let them.
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