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   1. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: June 05, 2007 at 02:47 PM (#2393563)
You know, I was willing to admit that the Mets were better than the Braves going into this season (much as that pained me). So to be in early June and behind, that's not unexpected. But I never would have guessed that the Mets would be ahead because of pitching...I had them pegged as an offensive juggernaut-in-waiting, with an expected continued progress by Reyes and Wright, continued excellence by Delgado and Beltran, and steady but slow decline of Alou, Green, and LoDuca. Wow, has Peterson et al been a surprise! I still find it hard to believe that Sosa will do better with him than with Mazzone, but then again, Leo's a cantankerous sort and doesn't do as well with young guys (see Schmidt, Jason; Marquis, Jason; Chen, Bruce; you get the picture).

I still expect some decline from Maine and Perez and Sosa, but I think that will easily be offset by Delgado's recovery (he did this 2 or 3 years ago, but only for six weeks IIRC) and Wright staying the course expected for the rest of the season. All of this you assume as well. And the bullpen has been terrific as you rightly suggest.

I'm not saying the Braves are playing for the wild card; after all, in most of the past summers than not, they have gotten hot, with 19-11, 20-8 months and the like. But not with this pitching staff, and not with Andruw doing his best to mimic Richie Sexson. If I'm a betting man, I'm putting the Braves in the thick of the WC race, not division title.
   2. Sam M. Posted: June 05, 2007 at 03:12 PM (#2393585)
A few random thoughts:

1) If Valentin is healthy, he should play more than a regular platoon role. If offense were the only consideration, I'd agree he should sit against lefties. But it's not, and his glove is SO much better than Easley's that I'd sit him only (a) against the toughest lefties, and (b) when it is prudent to keep him fresh and ready for late season duties (i.e., avoid day games after night games, that sort of thing). So I'd make it a modified platoon, letting Valentin play against righties and many lefties, despite the offensive "hit" we might take.

2) I'm glad to see you are giving a little ground on Peterson, Chris -- if grudgingly. To me, of course, the evidence has been there for a while, but I know you never bought it when it came to Glavine's turn-around, and you blamed him for the Jae Seo mess and gave him some of the blame for the Kazmir debacle. To me, I think he took more of the hit for the Kazmir thing than he deserved, though he certainly deserved some. And Seo . . . well, we've seen what's become of Seo. So many Mets' pitchers have now thrived better with Peterson than they did elsewhere (or in Glavine's case, before his arrival), and so many of them give him at least some of the credit (as Glavine does), that you just have to say his ideas are working to help. He is an immense asset to the organization.

3) I think Green's improvement IS "outside his expectations," or at least it's outside mine. And before his injury, he was starting to come back in line with my expectations. I still think his performance will end up hurting the Mets, and the only question will be how much, and how soon. All that said, though, it would take a mighty amount of stubbornness not to admit: he's done an outstanding job, and helped stake the Mets to this lead. Well done.

4) Much as I loathe Mota, my one prayer for the next portion of the season is that his return will be the event that finally -- finally -- leads Randolph to quit using Schoeneweis against any but the most lame of righty batters, and even then only in the most harmless of situations (big lead, no one on base, etc.). The Mets now have enough right-handed relievers in whom Randolph SHOULD have confidence (Smith, Heilman, and Mota) that he should not be inclined to experiment with Schoeneweis any longer.
   3. Russlan is not Russian Posted: June 05, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2393628)
We don't know how good Valentin will be defensively or offensively when he comes back. We cannot assume that he'll be 100% when he comes back as he has decided to play through an injury. It's going to be interesting to see how he performs when he comes back. He begin playing rehab games yesterday in St. Lucie.

Maine's BABIP in his last 6 starts is .330, and it is now .264 on the season, and .239 as a Met. There was no doubt in my mind that Maine's BABIP wasn't going to stay in the .220s but the question now where will it stabilize.

I actually think this team's offense is better than last year's because they are more of an OBP team than last year. The Mets EQA is .279 so far this season, which is 10 points higher than last year.

Glavine, Perez, Maine, Duque, and Sosa have a combined ERA of 3.01. That's pretty damn ridiculous.
   4. billyshears Posted: June 05, 2007 at 04:06 PM (#2393649)
Does anybody have an idea when Milledge is expected to return? We could really use him right about now.
   5. Chris Dial Posted: June 05, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2393658)
Right, Billy, I meant to ask that. I think if we were doing a nosedive, we might see him, but spite is mighty po'erful.
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: June 05, 2007 at 06:25 PM (#2393800)
A slightly ominous note:

The Mets' offense has a .285 secondary average, vs. their defense with a .267, much closer than their BA splits (.275/.223). Make of that what you will.
   7. Chris Dial Posted: June 05, 2007 at 06:41 PM (#2393816)
Make of that what you will.

I can't make heads nor tails of it.
   8. Russlan is not Russian Posted: June 05, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2393823)
Actually, the aforemntioned quintet has a combined ERA of 2.92.
   9. and Posted: June 05, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2393827)
Hey enemy gang. I'm just back from a trip to NY that included a night at Shea. It isn't nearly as bad as folks have told me. The ushers and fans were friendly, even when I admitted being a Braves fan, the flow of traffic (more on that in a minute) was fine, the views were good (I moved around the park a bit) and only two chairs I sat in were broken. It was, in the end, a fine baseball experience (except for the Mets playing the B team - it was the Webb/Maine matchup last Friday).

However, where the hell was everyone? Friday night, team in first and the park was 2/3 - 3/4 full. Is that normal. I was pretty surprised. That makes me think the concession areas and gates might be a bit more difficult if the place was packed. I stayed near the park as I was flying out of Laguardia Saturday morning so I don't know how getting to/from the stadium is.

Anyway, a fine time had by all.

The Braves most certainly are playing for the wild card.
   10. Russlan is not Russian Posted: June 05, 2007 at 07:01 PM (#2393832)
Shea Stadium has a large capacity. 3/4 full is nearly 40,000 people.
   11. CrosbyBird Posted: June 05, 2007 at 07:13 PM (#2393842)
I was at Friday night's game and also was surprised at what I considered to be a poor showing based on a glance around the stands. Although it was supposed to rain and that might have kept fans away.

It sure felt like a hell of lot of people when I was waiting for the train home, though.

I think Shea is crappy compared to the newer ballparks and it is really time for a change, but it's still not unpleasant to see a game there. I hear driving is pretty terrible with the new construction taking out a nice chunk of close parking (although I've been to 4 games so far and taken the train to all of them).
   12. and Posted: June 05, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2393843)
3/4 full is nearly 40,000 people.

Good to know. It did seem big. Let me look up the attendance...whoa, dude. 40,230. The magical Russian wins.
   13. and Posted: June 05, 2007 at 07:19 PM (#2393848)
Crosby, I agree with your assessment. The newer parks are nicer or at least more comfortable. My only objection to Shea was the seats, which were terrible (I mean the physical seat. They were askew, they didn't hold my weight (granted...), they didn't fold all the way down, etc. Othwerise, Shea is fine. I can certainly see why they'd want a new park, but I've always heard horror stories about Shea and it was, overall, fine. Of course, a lot of the complaints I've heard/read have focused on location. The new park won't help that.

I got to the hotel hours ahead of the game and went over for BP. So, I didn't get the mad crowds on the train. And, of course, I just walked back to the hotel afterward.
   14. Lance Freezeland Posted: June 05, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2393872)
It won't matter in October, Chris, when the 76-86 Central Division Champion Cardinals whip the Mets' pansy asses again.
   15. Russlan is not Russian Posted: June 05, 2007 at 08:14 PM (#2393914)
Pedro threw from the mound today for the first time today.
   16. Raskolnikov Posted: June 05, 2007 at 08:38 PM (#2393938)
I'd like to see Gotay and Milledge get more ABs in the remaining 2/3 of the season.
   17. Russlan is not Russian Posted: June 05, 2007 at 08:52 PM (#2393952)
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who is intrigued by Gotay. He is hitting .275/.362/.467 in 140 plate appearances between AAA and the big leagues. He is still only 24. Here's something to keep in mind. At the same age Gotay is now, Chase Utley had 15 career AB in the big leagues. Obviously, I'm not saying he's going to be a star like Utley but there's still plenty of time to emerge as a solid regular.

BTW, if Stache comes back, I think you have to send Gotay down. He needs to play everyday.
   18. TaySan Posted: June 05, 2007 at 09:11 PM (#2393962)
What do you guys think about injured players rushing back? My feeling is 'don't'. Look at Beltran 2yrs ago playing through an injury. Or Floyd last year compared to the year before. Just because you can play doesn't mean you can play well. I think Beltran, Alou, and Green should take their time coming back. Johnson, Newhan, Chavez and Gomez can hold down the fort while they are healing.

I was on this other blog where some dude was calling Beltran a pansy and saying Alou was soft and they should be playing already.
   19. TaySan Posted: June 05, 2007 at 09:13 PM (#2393964)
I agree that Gotay is promising.
   20. Raskolnikov Posted: June 05, 2007 at 09:14 PM (#2393965)
Obviously, I'm not saying he's going to be a star like Utley but there's still plenty of time to emerge as a solid regular.

Gotay's track record up all the way to debuting in the majors at 21 was one of a solid 2Bman, .275/.350/.450 ish level of ability. Somehow he got lost around ages 22-23. He's certainly the Mets' best option for the next 2-3 years. I'm getting annoyed with seeing Easley getting so many ABs right now, it's time to let Gotay play until Valentin returns.
   21. Raskolnikov Posted: June 05, 2007 at 09:20 PM (#2393970)
I think Beltran, Alou, and Green should take their time coming back. Johnson, Newhan, Chavez and Gomez can hold down the fort while they are healing.

Agreed. Beltran knows his body better than anyone. Until he feels comfortable playing, I would just rest him. Alou should be back soon, and Green will definitely be back after the 15 days.

I would love to promote Coles for a week just to see what he can do. Newhan can take a breather - tweak a hammy or something.
   22. CrosbyBird Posted: June 05, 2007 at 10:14 PM (#2394032)
What do you guys think about injured players rushing back? My feeling is 'don't'.

I'm in complete agreement, especially a guy like Beltran who is signed for many more years. Especially with the way the Mets have been playing without them. The team is 15 games over .500. There's no urgency, so why not give beat-up guys a little extra rest to make sure they come back healthy and stay healthy?

Newhan can take a breather - tweak a hammy or something.

Newhan is my least favorite Met. It's not even like he's young and likely to improve.
   23. Phil Coorey. Posted: June 06, 2007 at 11:05 AM (#2394805)
Where if OFF these days? Does he have a new user name??
   24. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:36 PM (#2403733)
I'm a-sacred to read about Sector 2...
   25. Guapo Posted: October 01, 2007 at 04:50 PM (#2553018)
What ever happened to this blog, anyway?

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