The Mets recipe for success:
1) Let Willie scribble down the Mets lineup.
2) Let the offense spot the pitcher a bunch of runs
3) Have the starter go almost eight innings.
Simple! The three step process to the Mets success in '07. Watching John Maine pitch is just great and it is just nuts how he really does nothing too spectacular. His slider has become a nice pitch, but not overwhelming. His fastball is 90/91 mph, but it is sneaky and I love how he just throws it up in the zone. His off speed pitch is a decent offering, but far from Pedro-like. However, he simply gets the job done and has been doing it at a high level. He has the highest VORP this season out of any Met pitcher (Joe Smith is 2nd) and the Mets finally pulled off a trade in which another team's fanbase is thinking "what a horrible deal that was for us". The Mets have four legitimate big league pitchers that can win any game and once Pelfrey comes around, they will have a complete rotation.
Offensively, this team is pretty much firing on all cylinders. While Wright and Delgado are not carrying their weight (Delgado's homer tonight notwithstanding), there is no doubt they will come around and produce like they are needed to and it is good to see everyone else producing. Then you take a step back and look at the depth on this team and you have to feel good with Milledge and Gomez in the wings with Sosa looking great in AAA as a call-up for the rotation or out of the bullpen. From DG...
VP Tony Bernazard indicated pitching coach Mark Brewer has helped Sosa alter his arm slot, keeping the ball concealed longer so that batters find it more difficult to read and react to the incoming pitch. “He’s keeping the ball down,” Bernazard said.
While the 'experts' will point to the Dodgers long term stability this season over the Mets because of their depth, like their rotation, I think the Mets depth is over looked. If Delgado goes down, Green can admirably fill in at first with Milledge coming up into rightfield. Any outfielder goes down, they have the aforementioned Milldege. If LoDuca goes down, Ramon Castro will step and give the Mets arguably better defense behind the plate and let the man who is tied for 2nd on the Mets in homers get more hacks. If a pitcher goes down in the rotation or bullpen, you have Sosa and Vargas with Humber down the line.
There are only three spots the Mets are especially vulnerable, but you show me a team that has no vulnerabilities in terms of depth. While the Dodgers might have more premium prospects backing up their big leaguers, the Mets are covered just as well as anyone and are an extremely dynamic ball club. While some teams need to tread lightly and are teetering on the edge being one injury away from non-contention, the Mets are not one of those teams.
I was wrong when I said Burgos had better numbers against lefties, but that does not mean my position has changed. If Burgos is pitching well keeping his pitch count low, you leave him in with a three run lead and a guy on second to face the red hot Kelly Johnson. Also, it should be noted that Johnson has a .333/.459/.500 line against lefties this year with a .265/.390/.588 line against righties in roughly the same number of at-bats.
Mets non-Wagner relievers vs. lefties:
Schoenweiss vs. lefties .222/.300/.222
Burgos vs. lefties .235/.350/.471
Feliciano vs. lefties .111/.357/.111
Heilman vs. lefties .667/.667/1.667
Sele vs. lefties .286/.333/.714
Smith vs. lefties .182/.182/.273
If you were going match up and actually did some research, you would probably have left Burgos in with his success in that inning, his success with lefties, and Johnson's stats against lefties. The standard moves do have some caveats and Sunday's game appeared to be one of those instances. Furthermore, if you had a hard on to get a lefty/lefty match-up, it seems like a no brainer who you would chose.
As for Monday's game, if Burgos had put runners on like he did against the Rockies, of course you would pull him in that situation. However, Ambiorix looked decidedly different on Sunday. Also, Gary Cohen had made mention of Willie testing his new guys early, but that is exactly what he didn't do on Sunday. So I have a hard time believing he actually doing that and is more so doing a lot of managing from the seat of his pants guessing a lot.
Ironically enough, the post game of Monday's game was chock full 'o Willie love saying how happy Met fans must be to have Willie and Willie must be happy he waited to manage and learned the ropes in the meantime. Huh? Did they know about Randolph actually being offered a job and turning it down? It wasn't his choice. He was actually turned down by a lot of teams including the Mets two years before he got the job. Of course, things did work out for him because he inherited one hell of a team. I'm done harping on this topic....
Innings ERA K/9 BB/9 H/9 HR/9Not bad huh? Braves fans are crying about the Mets being regarded as the better team and point largely to their rotation that is much better in their eyes than the scrubs the Mets are throwing out there, but I think if everyone just looks at what the Mets have going on right now, a rational person would rethink their position in regards to the Mets rotation.
Mets 107.2 3.01 6.69 4.18 7.27 1.09
Braves 113.2 4.20 6.26 3.72 9.03 1.03
Dodgers 107.2 3.34 6.60 3.76 9.28 0.59
Padres 106.1 4.66 5.84 2.88 9.90 0.51
Even better? The bullpen drastically lowers the team's ERA.
Innings ERA K/9 BB/9 H/9 HR/9The Mets team BAA is far and away the best in the National League out of any contenders and the only people who seem to grasp how good this Mets team is are the good people who do the Power Rankings for the sports sites around the web. The Mets were first or second on all Power Rankings on this dude's list with only Dayn Perry listing them lower than 2nd with the Indians and Diamondbacks ranked above them which immediately destroyed his creditability.
Overall 160 2.59 6.69 4.50 6.81 0.90
Baseball Prospectus has them at the top as well, but senses a major correction from them.
Off to the races: Jose Reyes is hitting .356/.457/.593 and running riot over the rest of the league, with four triples, eight steals, and 18 runs thus far. Elsewhere, the stat sheet has a few puzzles. David Wright is riding a 26-game hitting streak going back to last September 17, though he's yet to homer. And while the pitching staff has put together a league-best 2.40 ERA, their walk rate (4.65 per 9 IP) and the team's insane .778 Defense Efficiency Ratio suggest a major correction up ahead.
Of course they will come back to earth, but they are still the real deal.
Beltran led the National League with 27 total bases as the Mets swept a two-game series from the Florida Marlins and won four-of-six games last week.
During that span, Beltran hit .448 with a .951 slugging percentage and a .484 on-base percentage. Beltran's 27 total bases included four doubles, two triples and two homers.
In that same span, Beltran had 13 hits and nine RBIs, tying him for second-most in the National League.
ets prospect Philip Humber is already making a splash in Triple-A, winning Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors after posting a 1-0 record and 1.38 ERA in two starts last week.
Humber struck out seven while allowing just two runs in 13 innings to earn the award.