Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 5, 2008

Yes, I realize I have been terribly delinquent on the baseball side of the blogging ledger the last 2 weeks, being absorbed with the political conventions and the VP selections as well as having a lot of stuff going on outside the blog. It really doesn't seem like this should be it, but here we are: the last Mets-Phillies series of the season, 3 games at Shea, Mets up by 3 in the standings. Amazingly, the Mets have actually scored more runs than the Phils this year, 693 (4.95/game) to 676 (4.83/game), the margin being 5.08-4.74 on the road, so this is not solely a factor of Shea being more homer-friendly this season. So much for a team with only one reliable outfielder (Endy Chavez, batting .272/.311/.336, is second among Mets outfielders with 265 at bats), no regular second baseman (Damion Easley, batting .265/.318/.361, leads Mets 2B with 294 at bats) and a defense-first catcher being unable to keep up with the vaunted Phillies offense (go back and see my preseason preview on why the Phillies' offense is overrated, but please do not look at my preseason previews of the AL East and the two Central divisions while you are there....)

In marked contrast to last season, the Mets have thus far faced down their division opponents head to head. They are 10-5 against the Phillies, accounting for more than the margin of their lead in the division, and explaining why the Mets are 10 games over (32-22) vs the NL East, while the Phils are 4 over (29-25).

A sweep by the Phillies would erase all of that; a sweep by the Mets would effectively end the race, with Philly lacking the head-to-head matchups to repeat last year's late charge. It's a big weekend.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 3:07 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

I am surprised that the Mets have outscored the Phil so far. Interesting.

While my Pirates have nothing to play for (again!), the Met-Phils series is why I love baseball so much. Ya gotta play 'em to win it.

Posted by: Lee at September 5, 2008 5:03 PM

If we acknowledge (and we should) that the Mets offense is better than the overrated Phils offense . . .

. . . we also need to acknowledge that the Phils pitching staff is better than the (somewhat) overrated Mets' staff.

Ballpark factors really hide the fact that the Mets are among the best 4 or 5 offenses in all of baseball, while the Phils pitching staff is the mirror image.

Posted by: Mike at September 6, 2008 9:55 AM

The Phillies' staff, particularly the bullpen, has been very good this season.

I'd match the Met starters with them, but there are light years between the two pens.

Posted by: Zufall at September 6, 2008 7:49 PM

I liked this prediction:

"The Mariners are unlikely to be bad..."

Posted by: Snag at September 7, 2008 9:06 PM
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