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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tough Road Ahead

The Yankees are hot right now to put it mildly and they seem to be putting up a touchdown and a field goal every game. While they may look like the best team in the bigs, they have sixty four games left entering today's action and have dug themselves a bit of a hole. I was at a BBQ this Sunday and baseball starting getting discussed. I never miss a chance to jump into some baseball talk so I dipped my toes in the proverbial pool. Of course it was a meat headed Yankee fan blow hard-ing about how easy their schedule was with 28 games against under .500 teams to start the second half and how they were going to win the AL East.

He did make a true statement in regards to their schedule, but I wanted to point out that the Red Sox do not exactly have it hard with twelve! games coming against the hapless Rays in the second half and many more games against Baltimore and Toronto. To which he replied, "I guarantee they finish first...the Yankees are the best team money can buy." I tried to go beyond that and how historic their comeback would be, but he kept repeating his previous statement and being very dismissive to whatever anyone tried to counter with. It was just another failed attempt at constructive baseball talk with a Yankee fan that was stunted by ridiculous statements serving as the basis of an argument that really cannot be countered.

While it would not take much of an argument to prove the Yankees are in fact not the 'best team money can buy', their bigger problem seems to be consistency. They are hot now, but they probably will not remain so for the remainder of the season.

Games 01 through 21: .381 winning %
Games 22 through 32: .727 winning %
Games 33 through 50: .278 winning %
Games 51 through 67: .824 winning %
Games 68 through 78: .182 winning %
Games 79 through 98: .750 winning %

While the Yankees are clearly in a better position now than they were in the beginning of the year with their rotation picture setting up nicely, they still have bullpen issues and they will not outscore their opposition by double digits every game. They need to make up a lot of games and need their bullpen to help out in a big way and they have no room for error at this junction.

If the Yankees go 42 and 22 (.656 wining %) for the rest of the season and Boston goes 35-28 (.556 winning %), Boston still takes the AL East. The Red Sox would have to have a .524 winning % with the Yankees owning a .656 winning % for them to take the East. In short, it is not likely. If Boston simply maintains their current pace, the Yankees will finish four games out with a .656 winning %. An admirable comeback for sure, but it is not getting it done. Furthermore, New York would have to have a .734 winning % to take the East if Boston continues at the same pace.

But we are not just talking about the AL East and we are including the Wild Card. If Cleveland (.586), Detroit (.608), Seattle (.563), Los Angeles (.582), and Boston (.606) each play out the rest of the season at their current winning % while the Yankees play .656 ball, the Yankees miss the playoffs by one game. If we assume Detroit continues looking like the team to beat and Cleveland is the favorite for the Wild Card, they would have to play .556 ball from here on out with the Yankees playing .656 ball to slide into the playoffs over them.

However, that scenario ignores the AL West altogether and Seattle can finish in front of the Yankees in that scenario with a .621 winning % while LA can finish in front with a .594 winning %. Overall, the Yankees' playoff odds have improved and they now have a 1 in 5 shot of making the playoffs. However, a lot has to go right and a lot of teams have to falter. The Twins are also on their heals which adds in another dynamic.

Most scenarios that include them taking the Wild Card have them winning a lot more games than they lose with a lot of other teams playing worse than they have all season. Chances are, there will be quite a few teams that play better or the same rather than worse with the Yankees playing not quite up to the level of a .656 ballclub. That is just too hard with their bullpen as it is currently constructed. Can they do it? Obviously, but it is still unlikely.

* * *

  • Dayn Perry has his Power Rankings out and the Mets check in at #6 and the top NL team on the list.

  • Mike Carp gets some praise.

    One NL team official praised Double-A first baseman Mike Carp yesterday, saying, "Carp's a really good-looking young hitter. He's 20 years old out of high school and he works the count and does everything you want in a young hitter." As of yesterday, Carp, who turned 21 last month, was hitting .268 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 54 games for Binghamton.

    He may be working the count, but he is not walking all that much nor flashing much pop in a hitter's league. Being first baseman, that is simply not good enough. He knocked 17 homers in a pitcher's league last year and looked to be on the precipice of becoming a top notch prospect and heir to Carlos Delgado, but his stock as undoubtedly fallen a bit.

  • Mike Pelfrey gets some mixed reviews...

    As for the Mets' prospects, another NL team official praised Pelfrey, despite his major-league struggles this season (0-7, 6.12 ERA), calling him "everything you look for."

    One AL team executive, asked if Pelfrey had lost value because of his struggles or whether that was too small a sample, said, "That's a good question. I would say some of these guys are more famous when they're not in the big leagues. The Baseball America buildup seems to carry a little more weight than when these guys are in the big leagues."

  • Julio fires back at the Mets.

    "When you get a month without playing, when you get four at-bats in a month against closers, the best in the league, I don't think anybody's that good," Franco said yesterday before the Braves played the Giants at AT&T Park. "I don't think anybody is good enough to have four at-bats in a month against closers and be successful at it."

    Point taken, but there was a whole lotta unproductive at-bats that led to that point.

    The Braves have given Franco more of an opportunity, with little to show for it so far. On July 18, the Braves picked up Franco off waivers; in his first game, July 19, he stroked a two-run single in a 10-1 victory over the Cardinals. He then went hitless in his next 10 at-bats.

    That sounds about right.

    "If there's someone that knows how to use me and get the best out of me, it's Bobby [Cox, the Braves' manager]. Coming back here, I only have good memories."

    A manager cannot production out of a player who does not have the ability to produce in the bigs anymore...not even the great Bobby Cox. I'm still shocked the Braves thought he would be a value add to the club.

  • Some people use Victoria's Secret catalogs and Tim Marchman uses Jose Reyes.

  • Who wants to bet "Stand" Pat Gillick does nothing at the break? And really, do they have much to trade anyway?

  • The Mets are interested in Mark Lorretta and that is certainly a move I would welcome. Slotting him in the two hole or having him come off the bench would be swellicious, but GMs are asking for the moon these days and Ruben Gotay is killing it anyway.

  • Also within the above link, some nice pictures of Pedro.

  • I now dub thee....Johnny Long Ball. Really, it is hard to not giggle like a school girl when a pitcher goes deep and takes a curtain call. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets brushed for that homerun trot he has.

    Lastings again last night consistently had good at bats and he just punishes the baseball when he makes contact. He topped off his night with a monster shot and I loved how Keith asked Willie about getting him more playing time even when Alou comes back. Randolph said that he would try while working everyone in and apparently Willie is still the only one who doesn't get it. As Gary pointed out, he has eleven hits and eleven RBIs. Lastings can make things happen and can greatly help this team out with his bat, glove, speed, and arm.

    One thing that I was not all that thrilled about was when he got hit in the elbow and did not move. However, the problem is that everyone does it and I think the umps should start taking a stand. It is hard to get aggravated with him specifically because I've seen the scrappy and ever intangible David Eckstein to superstars to unknowns do it. Of course, I'm sure someone will blow that out of proportion along with his little homerun dance with Profesor Reyes.

  • I saw Reyes kiss his bat tonight during the game, but did anyone see Kent lick his bat on Sunday? He licked the fucking bat! Who licks their bat? It was definitely slightly disturbing and I have had nightmares ever since.

  • Eddie Kunz has signed for a reported $720,000. He will be reporting the GCL and probably be moved up quickly to Brooklyn.

  • Moises just cannot win. Him and Cliff Floyd must have some sort of hex.
  • Labels: ,


    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Looking at what Kunz got, the Mets went the cheapo route throughout thier draft. I understand its a supplemental but whatever, that's fine.

    I don't like talking "baseball" with Yankee fans because they're dilusional and its not really "talking baseball" its just listening to non-sense and shit that is irrelevant and makes no sense.

    The Mariners have no business being ranked higher than the Mets.

    Julio Franco is a loser.

    Mike Carp in my opnion is still thinking about his wrist and hurting it.

    Mike Pelfrey sucks and I hate him.

    We got bat kissers,
    Bat talkers,
    and Bat Lickers, ugh, fucking gross. Baseball brings out the gross-ness in people.

    Fucking Moises Alou. I was at work and couldn't wait to check the box score to see how Alou did and NOTHING. He wasn't even in the lineup. He hasn't even been activated yet. Now I'm starting to get annoyed.

    I've said it once, I've said it a million times, and I'll say it again, I <3 Lastings Milledge!
    A dinger, and just relaly hard hti balls overall. He's going to be good. And just to put it into perspective, he's STILL one of the youngest player in the NL. Milledge may have the Craig Biggio and Eckstein strategy on getting on base via the Hit by pitch, but I bet you NOBODY will ever call Milledge "scrappy".

    3:38 AM

    Anonymous benny said...


    He gets rocked against the Yankees, he gets rocked by the Orioles, he gets rocked against the Cardinals, he gets rocked by minor league teams, HE JUST FUCKING SUCKS. I am so sick and tired of seeing him pitch for the Royals, he shouldn't be pitching in the majors or even the minor leagues, anymore, he'll hurt those teams as well.

    3:44 AM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Of course, if Alou had not gotten this little bout of shoulder tendinitis, then Milledge would not have even played last night. So we should all thank Glass Alou.

    I don't know how you guys do it with Yankee fans. One of my really good friends is a Yankees fan, but he loves baseball too and has a great perspective colored not only by the Yankees. I was in NY a few months ago for my cousin's college graduation party and I got into it with 2 Yankee fans about Jeter's defense and other assorted Yankee misconceptions. I wanted to choke both of them. I respect what you guys put with from down here in the DC area.

    As for Carp, here's a ridiculous prospect to current player comparison that you hear from scouts: Jim Thome. Thome only found his power stroke at 23, so maybe Carp will be a late bloomer in this regard as well (though certainly not to the extent of Thome of course). One thing is for sure, if Carp doesn't hit for serious power then he is basically useless as a major league player.

    8:39 AM

    Anonymous jake said...

    mike, nice to see so many posts while i was gone; glad your back in the saddle -- did you quit that job?

    tell me how we ended up with marlon -- was he cut by the ?nats and signed by us?

    8:55 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny…I don’t think they necessarily went the cheap route. What ‘expensive’ players were on the board? There were not really any top tier sign-a-bility guys available.

    The Mets should be higher…I agree…but at least they are higher than the Yankees.

    Carp may be doing that, but right now, he’s kind of diminished his star a bit. I think everyone was expecting a breakout season and he is not a tools guy like Gomez that will get a pass because of the upside. He needs to produce….He’s a right-handed fielding first baseman. His bat needs to really carry him and I’m sorry, he is falling on his face injury or not. He needs to redeem himself. He’s still in the #11 to #15 range, so we are not talking about a forgotten guy here.

    Pence is what….24? Milledge has a few years to catch up and I know there are naysayers in regards to him hitting for average, but with that bat speed and the way he hits the ball, he’ll drop some .330 years with 20+ homers. I love the kid and his post-game interview was great. He has a sense of humor about things and is going to be a guy that is open to the public. I just hope the media doesn’t screw it up….

    I am so sick and tired of seeing him pitch for the Royals, he shouldn't be pitching in the majors or even the minor leagues, anymore, he'll hurt those teams as well.

    Your watch the Royals?

    Danny…feel our pain. They are pompous, misguided, and believe all Yankee propaganda…that being said, Joba is in AAA with Hughes and both will be up soon. Those two are for real ad they will have a sick 1-2-3 next season with Wang.

    I am so sick and tired of seeing him pitch for the Royals, he shouldn't be pitching in the majors or even the minor leagues, anymore, he'll hurt those teams as well.

    The times I buy this is in cases like Gomez or Rios or Cameron. Guys who hit for no power early one, but have tools. Hit for big time power in BP and have clear upside. Carp is not a physical specimen and like you said, needs to hit for + power or he is useless…not even a bench players since he only plays first. I see more Craig Brazell than Thome. I could see him languishing in the minors for a while if he does not take a big step forward and soon.

    8:56 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    mike, nice to see so many posts while i was gone; glad your back in the saddle -- did you quit that job?

    Still have my job...but started to do some writing in the morning and write as many pieces as I can and post at night with news pieces. Ride the wave baby...not sure how long this will last.

    Marlon was designated for assignment by the Dodgers...Willie loves him so they picked him up and he really helps out the bench...but of course, he will start a lot.

    9:01 AM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    I agree with your take on Carp. I was being more hopeful than expectant. He needs to finish the year strong to engender some reasonable hope.

    9:07 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    He needs to finish the year strong to engender some reasonable hope.

    Agreed..and luckily for him he has time. No rush to get him ready for '08 and no one at AAA blocking him. Evans goes up to AA but could pass him on the depth charts and he goes up to AAA in an even more hitter friendly environment to get his stroke going.

    9:10 AM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    who cares bout the yankees? itll take a collapse by boston for them to make it. i doubt it'll happen with all that pitching. they are like the mets last year with all the SP depth....

    ...except they dont have lima time.

    milledge can be a fan fav. i think the media is gonna turn him into a monster though. he just wants to play and have fun. reyes does similar stuff.

    i like that alou is mr glass from the bruce willis movie. its get our prospects some playing time. gomez and milledge are studs if u ask me.

    people knock the mets farm but in my eyes, mills & gomez can still be included in our farm bc they arent starters and calling them 4th outfielders is wrong. they are much better than that.

    12:02 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    reyes is sick. he's our best player by far

    12:18 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    You watch the Royals?

    Sometimes, I try to watch as many and any games. But most it has to do with highlights of Royals games where they begin by saying "And the Royals with Elarton on the mound" and then I just start to laugh a little. I don't know why it bothers me so much but it does bother me.

    Mike Carp is 20 years old, he has about 2 years to turn it around and show he has some value. I wouldn't be surprised if he turns it on next season and gets traded in the deadline for '08 or something. He has to be good, think about how long Willie/Omar kept him in Major League camp.

    Danny, never ever diss Derek Jeter's defense in front of a Yankee fan. Your asking to get killed. I do it all the time and I've given up. I even bring the Fielding Bible book, and SHOW them but they don't care. Its aggravating.
    "I know what I see, and what I see is that Derek Jeter is anasty with the glove"

    1:01 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I don’t care about the Yankees much, but I’ve been saying they are done and every time they get a head of steam, I hear about it….Sooooo that coupled with my Yankee-fan encounter I thought I’d expound on it.

    Moises going down could be a perfect thing if Milledge plays his way into the starting lineup. The only thing we need Moises for is Sept and the playoffs. If we have him for that, everything worked out fine. If we do not, then it can be labeled a disaster. But Willie needs to realize that Lastings Milledge > Shawn Green.

    Gomez is still included, but by definition Milledge isn’t. I’d love to put in at #1 as it helps out the top ten, but he’s out baby and going to spark the Mets down the stretch.

    Reyes is great…great personality too. The guy also needs to be commended for making sure he can speak for himself and pick up English. Way too many players just don’t do it.

    How have the Royals gone through this little renaissance with Elarton taking the mound 1 of every 5 games?

    Carp does have two years and he is young, but he is not loaded with skills. Power would be his biggest asset and he is not showing it. He needs to step show it more….

    Can we talk about the pure ridiculousness of Encarnacion splitting time with Kep? He’s a premium prospect that has gotten jerked around. Just let the kid play everyday. He has shown improvement and the Reds was waaaaay out. Some teams just do not get it….

    1:47 PM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    I see that M. Alou got hurt again and with Endy and Carlos out this is the time for Willie to go to LM and tell him that he is the starting LF and he will be batting in the #2 or6, 7 ,8 hole period, that any trade rumors he hears is bs, in the long run i believe these injuries will be a blessing in disguise. I agree if they don't bat la duca 2nd, then LM at #2 w/ reyes on base will be like being in fastball heaven.

    2:08 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    i see, so you quit drinking....

    well, it's nice to come back to the country to see the mets spanking some ass. first thing i saw upon landing was milledge striking out to end sat's game (i think) as i walked past a sport's bar. i figured that was a bad sign but no the boys are just too damn good.

    pretty swell last night to see gotay and milledge production.

    also, re maine's trot...i noticed that too but i think it was bc there was a guy on first holding up to make sure that towering bomb wasn't caught.

    speaking of bombs -- milledge crushed that dong, and he crushed the ball that ate up iwamora.

    2:50 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Milledge is fine in the #2 hole…but Gotay is doing well there too killing fastballs…and everything in between for that matter. Not a rush to move him up there, but he should be batting in front of out machine Paul LoDuca who is easily the worst hitter in the lineup. When he is not heavily protected, I’m not sure he has use and with Gotay and Milledge owning XBH power, LoDuca should never be sandwiched in the #2 spot going forward. Sit him and 8th and let him be a team player. But of course, he’ll keep batting sixth until Alou comes back. Minor since Milledge can get 100 RBIs from the 8th spot….

    Jake…I still drink…but not as much and not completely by design. I’ve been so busy on the weekends I’ve been quite happy staying in during the week. If you need evidence of me drinking, just come to any Sunday game and watch me take down beers and harass passers by.

    3:26 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    sunday game sounds so nice. i haven't been to shea since 02. also this year i haven't been to harbor park since i now hate the tides. not an official ban, it just hasn't even crossed my mind to go.

    maybe late in the season i'll make the 8 hour drive, but it's unlikely.

    if i do though i'm definitely crashing your tailgate.

    4:13 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Crash away man. I'll bring the PBRs...just leave your self-respect at home.

    4:24 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Two of my closest friends are Yankees fans and they are quite knowledgeable. They try and catch a few Mets games while I try and catch some Yankees games so we can have a conversation about both teams. They don’t have the “normal” infantile hatred of the Mets that other Yankees fans do since they recognize that their adversaries are the teams they are battling to make the playoffs. They agree with your analysis but they believe with the Yankees pitching rotation solidified with the near term return of Hughes they will win some games when the hitting goes into a complete funk again. They believe they can catch the Indians and are only 4 back in the wild card. BTW I asked them about Wang and it seems he throws a nasty splitter to go with his two seam and 4 seam fastballs, slider and changeup.

    I think everyone was shocked when Maine hit that ball out. Reportedly Snell is contemplating retirement from the embarrassment of it all. :)

    After last nights game I can see why there seems to be some kind of revolt among the Pirates fans.

    LM cannot be blamed for that hr dance with Reyes. Let them have some fun and what was LM supposed to do blow past Reyes without acknowledging him? LM was able to add a step or two that if tried by Delgado would put him on the DL. Talking about DL next will hear that Moises hurts himself while urinating on his hands.

    5:37 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    They Yankees rotation makes them more funk proof for sure...but they cannot go nine every game out.

    They can move Joba to the bullpen to round out the season and upgrade via a trade...but they must do something.

    If they can upgrade their bullpen, I will label them wildcard favorites. Until then, I've seen them implode far too many times and Torre just cannot be tasked with handling a bullpen much less a crappy one.

    5:56 PM


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