Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 24, 2007
BASEBALL: Heartstoppers Stop

Tonight's Mets game was crisp and well-played and quite a break from the drama of the Padres series, although Wagner's troubles continue. It's rare that you see Wagner and Hoffman both blow a game in the same night, let alone the same game, let alone in the same game twice in one series - and now Wagner got touched up tonight. Better now than October.

For a while now, Wright and Reyes have quietly been having their best seasons and carrying this team (among other things, as of a little earlier in the week they were #2 & 3 in the league in times on base - while that's partly durability as well as performance, it's the durability this team has otherwise lacked), although in Wright's case that's no longer so quiet. A funny thing is the contrast between the two: on the field, Reyes is a flashy player, kinda cocky, very demonstrative in the dugout, while Wright is more buttoned-down; off the field, it's Reyes who is the quiet, soft-spoken family man and Wright the swinging single Mr. Popularity who is always quotable. In each case, they complement each other well.

It's been great to see Beltran back; I have said for some time that this team will go only so far as Beltran can take them, although Alou has also been huge in recent weeks; they said Saturday that the Mets were 24-12 with both Beltran and Alou in the starting lineup, which is, after tonight, 27-14.

It's also encouraging to see the news earlier this week that Pedro Martinez is throwing well in A ball, even if he is topping out at 89 mph. The velocity is what gives him that extra edge, but Pedro without a 90+ fastball is Tom Glavine, and the Mets could do worse. The interesting question, if Pedro can't sustain his velocity over 6+ innings, is whether you would try him in the pen for the postseason (the Mets need more help there), although more likely you would just convert one of the others to relief - Perez, I guess, although Glavine has actually been the least effective.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:39 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The funny thing about Reyes is the perception that he's having a disappointing season. I think some people - perhaps myself included - had completely unrealistic expectations of him. His power numbers are a little down, but at the same time, any time he gets on base it's essentially a double or even triple. I'm thrilled with his OBP, and had the team been as consistent offensively this year as it was last year, he would have scored a ton more runs. Castillo's presence in the number two hole makes you realize how important LoDuca was last year, and emphasizes the need to have a quality at bat hitting behind Reyes in order to maximize his speed.

And what a lovely problem to have in terms of having to put a quality starter into the bullpen for the post-season. I think it's gonna be Perez as well. It's all or nothing with Pedro. Either he'll be effective and healthy enough to start, or he won't have it and he'll miss the post-season completely.

Posted by: paul zummo at August 25, 2007 11:44 AM
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