Two more games…

     The New York Mets are collapsing, and there is going to be blame placed on someone if it ends the way it has been going.  I have thought this about the Mets since before the season began…they needed pitching.  I actually thought that with the money they had and the talent in place already, that they should have made a serious push at Zito this past offseason.  Now Zito commanded an absurd amount of money, and I know that teams were smart to shy away from that kind of contract.  But still, Zito may not be the ace that he [appeared] to be in Oakland, but he will be better than he has been this season, that is almost certain.  So anyway, without pitching, the Mets have faltered.  I am not going to comment on Willie Randolph, because I don’t see his in-game management.  Simple as that.  But as Buster Olney points out, Minaya should be taking a lot of the heat.  He had everything in place, but needed to make a few additions.  I liked the signing of Alou, but I thought that a starting pitcher was much more important of an issue.  The trading of "arms" that has taken place during the course of this season is on Minaya though.  I did not know enough about the guys being traded (Bannister, Bell, etc.) at the time of the trades.  But Minaya had a much, much better understanding of what he had.  He has his scouts to describe them, he has minor league performance to look at, etc.  So I really do not know what should be done, but this team should have won over 90 games.  And even if the Phillies won the division, the Mets still should have been in position to win the Wild Card. 

     The good news in New York?  The Phillies are throwing Adam Eaton today, who has been BAD this year, and Jamie Moyer tomorrow, who has been getting hammered lately.  In four of Moyer’s last eight starts he has given up 5+ earned runs.  And Eaton has an ERA that sits at 6.33.  The Mets counter in New York with John Maine and Tom Glavine.  On paper it looks as though the Mets have a good opportunity to force a one game playoff, but we will see how it plays out. 

     I have been hearing an endless amount of praise for that of Troy Tulowitzki.  I have had an understanding that he has had a fine year, all year long.  But ever since the Rockies began winning games as though they were taking place against little league teams, Tulo has been idolized.  He is tied in "Win Shares" with that of Derrek Lee and Ryan Howard.  However, his offense has been significantly better at home than on the road.  Colorado is still a "Hitters park" everyone.  Maybe not to the same degree, but still benefits hitters.  His home OPS is .962.  On the road it is .719.  And people seem to want to ignore this.  That is a huge difference.  He has been great on the defensive side I have heard, and his "RZR" is fourth among NL SS’s.  And he seems to have those Jeter-like intangibles and at such a young age to go along with great insticts.

    

     With all this said I clicked on the Rockies/D’Backs game last night.  And this was the second time I had done so, but this time as I arrived, a ground ball was being hit directly up the middle by, I dont know who.  But Tulowitzki made a very nice play ranging up the middle, and I was able to see some of that defense for the first time live.  I have seen highlights, but had not seen anything great in the one game sample of him earlier in the year against the Red Sox. 

     In addition to watching this clip of possible future greatness, I also had the Brewers/Pads game on ESPN.  I saw the Brewers fail to stay in contention, but the fans in Milwaukee still had a very good season.  Maybe they are more mediocre than they are good, but they have plenty of young stars and have the chance to be better next season.  So it wasn’t a lost cause of a season by any means.

     As soon as the Yankees game went into the bottom of the ninth, I clicked over to that also.  No offense Yankee fans, but I expected a little excitement with Rivera on the mound.  I didn’t expect what happened to take place, but I thought maybe the tying run might come to the plate, or something like that.  And when Jay Payton came up, I thought the game was over.  I just didn’t feel he would come through.  But he did, and the game was tied.  The Orioles ended up winning the game as all of us know. 

     Note:  I would have watched some of the Mets game had they not been blacked out.  Devil Rays and Marlins games are blacked out in my area, and neither of them are shown on my local cable network.

     So the playoffs are set in the AL.  Home-field throughout has not been decided, but the four teams are there.  And the Red Sox get the Angels for round 1, otherwise known as the ALDS. 

    

4 Comments

so what are you really saying about zito? that they should have essentially outbid SF for him? or are you saying that they should have stayed away from him, which they did. i know they needed pitching, but i’m not really sure why you would even bring up zito’s name. he’s had a horrible year and there is no factual reason to suppose he will be much better or much worse next year.
they got better than they might have even predicted from maine and perez; at least in the first part of the season. what they really needed was better bullpen help especially midseason.

they took a gamble with old starters and very young starters that has essentially failed.

I didn’t feel like they made the kind of push for Zito that they should have, thats all. Maybe they did, I just didn’t here about them going after him with authority. But why wouldn’t Zito have a better year next season? His “Adjusted ERA” has been well above average every year of his career, except for 04′ where it was barely above average. And he had been doing it against more potent AL lineups, or better talent I must say, for every year except this year. He may not be the “ace” we thought he was in oakland, but he was still good. And I say “thought he was” because obviously that park benefits pitchers. Ultimately, the contract the Giants gave him was too much. But Gil Meche was an option too, or Lilly, anyone that could have given them innings I guess. Or they could have taken a chance on someone like Marquis.

But read the blog excerpt from Buster Olney that I posted on “The Prince of New York’s” blog. He offers good analysis on some of their pitching problems too.

He turns 30 next year. If he can get back on track he will help the Giants. I know the velocity on his fastball is, well, not good. But the NL isn’t the AL either.

And a starter to eat innings would have helped the pen. You know that from the beginning of the Yankees season.

And the payroll that the New York Mets have enables them to gamble less than they needed to do.

well i think they just didn’t want to give him, or anyone, that long a contract. with the kind of year he’s had he would have been eaten alive by the new york fans and press.

you talk about he he “had” been doing it against better AL line-ups. keyword – HAD.

and there is my point. against weak NL line-ups he’s pitched poorly. you’re right; maybe he will have a better year next season. i hope so; he seems like a good guy.

now meche; that is an excellent point. i had been wishing the yanks had gotten him. i think i’ve mentioned this before. he would have been even better for the mets. i can see him shredding NL line-ups.

again, congrats on last night

There’s no offense taken, Joe. That happens with Mariano at times, when he allows base runners. It’s just that he’s usually good at getting the key batters out, unlike last night. These things happen sometimes with Mariano. He’d still be the guy I’d choose to seal the deal.

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