Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 29, 2004
BASEBALL: Not Winning The Close Ones

As any former Roger Clemens fans in Boston could attest, there's no frustration quite like having a guy who consistently chokes in big situations and then leaves the team, only to thrive in big situations. I'm not sure what the record is for saves by one pitcher against one team in a single season is - Ugueth Urbina saved seven games in the Expos' 12 matchups with the Mets in 1998, Dennis Eckersley had 8 saves against Seattle in 1992 - but Armando Benitez already has 6 saves against the Mets this season. Ugh.

The Mets are falling behind in a seesaw four-way race in which they are matched up against the division favorite Phillies, the defending division champion Braves, and the defending World Champion Marlins, so it's not a shock that they're the odd men out. But how it has happened has been intensely frustrating. With the current unbalanced schedule, head-to-head matchups are hugely important, and close games can be a big factor. Let's look at how the four contenders have fared against each other this season in games decided by one or two runs:


Ugh, ugh, ugh. You can see the bullpen's baleful influence right here, as well as why the Phillies haven't walked off with the division as they should.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:06 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wow, some large disparities there. If the Mets were even .500 in close games they would be right in the thick of the race. It makes me feel better to look at this though, because I assumed the Phillies would be 0-19...

Posted by: Tom G. at July 29, 2004 1:59 PM

I wouldn't worry too much about Armando.
He's almost certainly got a serious regression-to-the-mean coming on...which will occur, by definition, later in the season as the games get more important...meaning that his reputation for not being able to save the big ones will be even more cemented.

Posted by: Dr. Manhattan at July 29, 2004 3:05 PM
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