Friday, May 05, 2006

YEAH, YEAH, I KNOW IT WAS THE PIRATES . . .

The Mets are now 19-9, and seem to be playing good ball. I won't go so far as to say their record is deceptive, or that I'm worried. But, fact are facts, and here they are:

The Mets are 7-2 in one run games.

They've played one team currently sporting a winning record: the Brewers, who are 16-13.

They've gotten a few breaks they can't count on going forward, "gaining" 2 1/2 wins through their record in one run games. They've outscored their opponents 134 to 99, so they "should" be 17-11 or 18-10. But they're not getting any additional breaks beyond the one run record, and in fact one could argue they could easily be 20-8.

As to the underlying data, they're middle of the NL pack in runs scored, but their pitching numbers are so far ahead of the league, it's hard to believe. Eyeballing it, the NL ERA looks to be about 4.30-4.40. The Met team ERA is 3.13. But to this point, they've played every game except three in pitcher's parks, and the three exceptions came at The Ted (which so far this year, has favored pitchers in the extreme, but last year it was the opposite, and overall comes out middle of the pack).

Met pitching isn't as great as it's seemed. Not nearly. Their team ERA is gonna rise as soon as they play some games in Philly, not to mention Wrigley, Houston, Cincy and, of course, Coors. In fairness though, they're still pretty good. Met pitchers have struck out 236 batters, which is 38 more than the nearest staff, the Diamondbacks.

And their middle-of-the-pack run total has been seriously deflated by the games in Shea and all the other pitcher's parks. This team can rake, and come summer, they're gonna put some scary numbers on the board in some of those road games. A few other randon thoughts:

David Wright: 6 errors in 28 G. Ouch. I don't really know what to say other than I'm now officially concerned. My plan to move him to 1st base looks all the more likely . . . but not until Carlos Delgado moves on. Wright's staying at 3rd this season, and probably next, yet it's becoming inceasingly clear he can't play the position well.

Again, other than his arm, I think he has all the tools to be an excellent third baseman: he's quick, he has soft hands, he's aggressive. Yet, he's on pace to commit over 30 errors, and whether it's mental or not, he seems to be having trouble in the non-throwing elements of the fielding game now.

Glavine: He's leading the NL in ERA. Of course he's joined in the top 10 by 84 year-old Greg Maddux, Bronson Arroyo & Wandy Rodriguez, so who knows what's up this year.

But Tommy Strikezone had 10 Ks last night. That's two double digit strikeout games this year. What the hell has gotten into this guy? He wasn't striking hitters out like this in 1991. For goodness sake, he's got almost as many Ks as Pedro, in only 6+ additional innings. The 300 wins that looked completely out of the question at this point last season now look well within reach. I'm not sure what to say about this, so I'll move on.

Xavierrrrrrrrrrrrrr Nady: 7 HRs on May 5. A .310 batting average. I no idea what to say about this either, so I'll move on again.

Carlos Beltran: Beltran now has 16 BBs in 58 official ABs, giving him a sparkling .408 OBP. The benefits of Carlos's new plate discipline can be seen in the 16 runs he's scored in the 18 games he's actually played. Now, if he can stay healthy & in the line up for at least three games stretches, we may be on to something here.

* * *

And now, for the moment I'm sure you've all been waiting for, yes . . . it's time for the updated Jorge Julio Counter. Jorge actually came into a game in which the Mets were leading, nearly destroying my "Blowout Loss" Theory in a single appearence. As if by script, he walked the first batter with a series of pitches that were so far out of the strike zone he might as well have been tossing infield practice. But throwing 21 pitches, 11 of which were balls, Big George somehow struck out the side one again. The man cannot be stopped.

His season line now stands as follows:

14 1/3 IP, 15 H, 13 Runs, 10 Earned, 6 BB, 27K, 4 HR.

I'll admit I'm deeply worried about the home run total, which hasn't gone up for a while. He's falling dangerously close to an acceptable rate of home runs yielded, and I think he blew a golden opportunity last night to groove one of his Julio Specials (with a 6 run lead and all). But since he couldn't really find the strike zone, I guess it wasn't happening.

But 27 Ks in 14+ IP. And all the while still carrying a hefty 6.48 ERA! Assuming 75 innings, he's now on pace to give up 21 HRs, while walking 31 and striking out 141. Jorge's amazing season continues. He's well on his way to owning the Big Apple.

1 Comments:

Blogger Crank said...

As long as they own their NL East opponents, it won't bother me that those four teams all suck. I predict that if the Braves, Phils, Nats and Marlins all end the season under .500, the Mets will win the division.

3:12 PM  

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