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.