Fun With Game Scores
There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to look into the mirror and admit something. As hard as it may be to face the truth sometimes, it needs to happen. For Tom, he needs to look in the mirror and admit he has lost a little something...or maybe a lotta something.
I know I am getting ahead of myself here since there is a lot of baseball to be played, but 'tis my nature. When the playoffs hit, I cannot help but think a certain pitcher with some porcelain veneers will be toeing the rubbing in game #1. That means he is the guy most likely to start more playoff games than any other Met. Those are not odds I'm prepared to take.
I'm a proponent of putting your best foot forward as obvious as that seems. When you are running in a race, you would be ill advised to start off sitting down, facing backwards, or parcheesi. But if Glavine starts because he is the 'ace' of the staff, that could spell bad news for the Mets.
For one, if there is a game #5 in the NLDS, the least effective Met pitcher would be trying to keep the Mets season going. I know there are legions of fans out there that would say they trust him in the playoffs, but I just point back the 'no such thing as clutch hitting' theory. Is it possible that someone actually pitches better than they are normally capable of just because it is the playoffs?
I would tend to think that anyone who has outstanding stats (or conversely for guys who struggled like Bonds had in the playoffs early on) are subject to sample size. While I think people can shrink in big games, others simply pitch to their ability. Is there any logical reason that Jeff Suppan is post-season beast? I do not think he rises to the occasion per se, but he goes out and has confidence and pitches to his ability. He only has 54 innings and his nice stats are probably just a result of sample size more than anything.
I would prefer not basing the game #1 starter on the false notion of rising to the occasion or past successes. I think Maine or Perez showed they can handle the pressure of the playoffs and if Mets want their best chance of winning, Maine and Perez should be heading the playoff rotation and they should be followed by The Duque and Glavine. By setting it up that way, you can ensure your three best starters are getting the first three starts of the first two series.
You simply cannot be worried about bruised egos and you simply cannot be living in the past. Maine and Perez have been outstanding for the Mets this year whereas Glavine seems like he is running on fumes. For some proof of the gap between their performances, let us look at the current Mets five starter's games scores. Game scores are a good way to slap a number on the overall effectiveness of a pitcher whereas a quality start is a yes or no thing. This gives you more depth.
# of GSc over 50 % of GSc over 50A quality start is a score of 50 or above. Glavine has put up a non-quality start in more than half of his starts. Oliver Perez has gone from Mr. Inconsistent to just being the pantheon of consistency. Also, a stunning twelve of Maine's starts have been over 60 and eleven of The Duque's have been over 60. More than half of their starts have been flat out gems. In the playoffs, pitching wins out most of the time and the Mets best shot for a shut down game does not involve Glavine. I'm not giving up on Glavine and would not mind him starting in the playoffs and believe he should, but he should get less starts than the rest. Lately when he pitches I would rather be waxing the hair from around my nipples than watch him.
John Maine 13 65%
Tom Glavine 10 45%
Oliver Perez 13 76%
Jorge Sosa 7 54%
The Duque 11 65%
Lastings has a bad reputation already and I'm not quite sure what he can do. He brushed himself off after getting hit for the second time in two games and ran to first with no looks or anything and that is what he needed to do. I guess the Pirates took more offense than they should have but again, they could always show him up by...you know...winning.
"I like to use the word colorful," Milledge said. "It's kind of like if you've got two TVs, and one's in color and the other one's in black-and-white, which one do you choose? Both are kind of the same thing, but the other one is kind of more appealing to the eye."
Overall though, Willie is not against Milledge and giving him reminders is not a bad thing. Hopefully he just keeps proving that he can be a spark for this team much in the way Pence and Braun have sparked their respective teams. I am by no means suggesting he will put up crazy numbers like them, but he can make a difference.