Chicks Dig The Long Ball, Part II
The top six teams in terms of homeruns in the National League this season are Milwaukee, Cincinnati, the Mets, Washington, Philadelphia, and Houston. First off, which two do not belong there? It is certainly interesting that Jose Vidro said RFK Stadium was unfair to hitters and yet the Nationals find themselves fourth in the league in homeruns. Sure only nineteen have come at home compared to forty on the road, but who's counting?
Conversely, the Mets have had no problems whatsoever hitting homeruns at Shea and have hit 32 of their 62 homeruns at Shea this season including multiple homeruns in every game of their current home stand. The only problem is the Mets have had 15% of their hits go for homeruns and only the Brewers and the Reds have had a higher percentage of their hits for homeruns. Out of the twenty four runs they have scored on this home stand, sixteen have come by way of a homerun. That reliance on the long ball translates into the Mets being third in the league in homeruns and eighth in the league in runs scored.
Of course, a low team on base percentage, a low team batting average, and the Mets troubles with runners in scoring position are the major factors for the Mets being eighth in runs scored despite hitting homers at an impressive rate. As a team, the Mets isolated plate discipline ranks eleventh in the National League while their batting average is also sitting at eleventh. In other words, not good. My biggest concern here is not so much the regular season, though the regular season is going to be an issue simply because of their rotation, but the playoffs should they make it there. This team has showed a lot of heart in close games, but when good pitching is thrown out there night after night, how will they fare?
With David Wright, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and Cliff Floyd in the middle of the lineup, I figured the Mets would been greatly improved in team BA and team OBP. While they have improved, they only improved by .009 while their batting average has remained the same, which is more distressing. Coming into this season, I thought the Mets had the best offensive club in the National League and that included the Cardinals. I still believe their lineup should be, but they have struggled to find consistency since starting the season on fire. In the first quarter of the season, they have relied heavily on the homerun and they really need to start manufacturing runs and getting on base more if they are going to reach their full potential and help even out a weak back end of the rotation.
What is the genesis of the Mets problem? I think we know where the problems start, but I'm going to go over them anyway and that is for tomorrow's discussion.
"Maybe he'll throw us a gem and give us a good shot," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
As Ron Darling stated during last night's broadcast, there are just too many sentences involving the word 'maybe' and 'hope' when it comes to this starting rotation. Now that Steve Trachsel has showed everyone that he does not look like he is going to step up from back end starter to mid-rotation starter and has officially scared me with his performance so far this season, the Mets desperately need someone in-house to step up or it might start costing prospects.
5. Reds vs. Mets — October 8, 1973
These two clubs faced off in the '73 NLCS, and it got particularly tense in the fifth inning of Game 3. With one out in the inning, Pete Rose came up and singled off Jerry Koosman. That brought Joe Morgan up to the plate, and he hit it on the ground to the right side, and the Mets pulled off a 3-6-3 double play. Rose — attempting unsuccessfully to break up that double play — slid hard into second base and knocked Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson to the ground. A tussle ensued, the benches cleared, and 10 minutes of brawling followed. Without question the most memorable image was the one of Reds reliever Pedro Borbon trying to — seriously — eat a Mets cap.
I need footage of Pedro trying to eat a cap.
Also from the above link, Mr. March getting a mouthful of leather.
Laughing at A-Rod seriously never gets old. Curiously, Pedro throwing Don Zimmer into the ground did not crack the list.
Almonte was off to a strong start as a senior, back at Monroe High. He was 9-0, 0.45 with 76 strikeouts in 47 innings, though again he had gained more notoriety for marrying a 30-year-old woman this spring than for anything he did on a baseball field.
So just how good is Danny Almonte? While the numbers are stellar, many scouts say he's more hype than prospect. He's 6 feet and left-handed with a frame that has some projection, but scouts say his fastball sits between 83-85 mph, not the 90s rumors around New York suggest.
"If you're gonna play 16 innings, you better win," said David Wright, who homered for the Mets' first run back in the second inning. "We'll take it. One thing this team has proven is it doesn't matter how long we have to stay out there or how many pitches we have to throw. That's what this team is made of, the kind of character this team has.
"No matter how many runs we're down, we have that no-die attitude."
You get the feeling that the Mets are going to start giving Philly and their fans a complex soon. In the first series, the Mets only took one game, but did come back in game one to tie the game only to lose on a Heilman error in the ninth. The repeatedly came back yesterday and have asserted themselves as the team to beat in the National League East with their flair for the dramatic. If the Mets can manage to take one of the next two games, they will have survived this stretch admirably with five wins and will have not only survived it, but will have extended their lead over the Phillies.
A-Rod had a big hit in a month other than March.
"I've done a lot of special things in this game," he said. "For none of that to be considered clutch is an injustice."
Might I remind A-Rod that there is no crying in baseball. Might I also add that him that his three run homer that is being called a big hit came with his team already up 4-1. While it ended up being huge, at the time he was just padding stats which is what A-Rod seems to do best. If the Yankees were down 5-4 at the time, chances are it would have been a harmless pop fly to centerfield.
"I just tried to put the ball in play and get a good piece of the ball," Reyes said. "He threw me curves the whole game so I had to make some adjustments."
The adjustment being made should be to stop swinging at curveballs in the dirt and not swing at one again. Ultimately, I would have given up the win last night for Reyes to have an epiphany and figure out how to lay off that curveball in the dirt because he got killed with breaking balls last night. That is his Achilles heel and if he can figure that out, he will be an infinitely better player.