Talkin’ Baseball: Rays seek to even Series.

Talkin' Baseball: Could we have another classic?

Talkin' Baseball: Could we have another classic?

Is it possible for tonight to eclipse last night in terms of drama? Would be a classic if it does.

It’s “must win” for the Rays tonight because Cole Hamels starts tomorrow for the Phillies. Hamels is the best starter in the Series and you fully expect him if not to win, surely pitch well.

I said last night I believed the Game 3 winner would take the Series and see no reason be back off that tonight.

225 thoughts on “Talkin’ Baseball: Rays seek to even Series.

  1. Evening all..looking forward to game four nice wins today for NY teams…JD i have a nice post on Guillen today if you care to look…

  2. I think this is the game that becomes a high scoring affair. Lots of runs tonight kids.
    Joe Blanton has made 8 career starts against the Rays and has a 6 ERA. Carlos Pena is 4-7 in his career against Blanton.
    We’ll see what happens but I think the see-saw continues as the Rays win this one.

  3. Regarding Guillen, lets focus on his baseball skills. He has a strong arm but he’s not very accurate and he’s a bad defender. He’s pretty bad out there. With how well Church played out there we’d most certainly miss him in RF.
    On offense, yeah a nice RBI and HR count but he’s like Joe Carter not as productive as you think. Sometimes I think TOO much emphasis is placed on OBP but Guillen’s was .300 with a career average of .330.

    And I don’t know there HAS to be something to all the teams he’s been on and how short term the contracts are.
    He’s not maintaining the production over the years, he’s getting worse and not better.

  4. Guys: Guillen is 32 and has been with 10 major league teams. I wouldn’t want that cancer anywhere near the Mets.-JD

  5. JD do you give any credence to the fact that the last two teams wanted him back but were outbid- last team to push him out was Angels and Seattle still wants him back

  6. Bottom first/The Phillies have been getting ahead early, scoring in the first in four of the last five games. They are off to a good start tonight.-JD

  7. ed (10): None. He’s moved around too much. He’s been a problem in a lot of places. Adding a bat isn’t the Mets’ overriding priority. Adding a cancerous one would be a stupid move.-JD

  8. The whole McGraw thing last night has brought up some really bad memories for me regarding the Mets. Trading Tug to Philly was in many ways as bad as Seaver going to the Reds, and then the ChiSox. IMO, unlike Seaver, Tug went somewhere else and helped that team win a WS. Seaver winning his 300th game at Yankee Stadium was evil, but watching Tug jump around in 1980 was evil incarnate.

  9. ed (12): Actually, there are supposed to be some criteria in the dimensions, but they build them for the hitters.-JD

  10. Mark (14): I’m not crazy about the Phillies pirating “Ya Gotta Believe.” Lame.-JD

  11. Go ahead, Joe … pick on the umpires. Why spare them? McCarver is right, they should have gone for the DP, but the ump blew that call. … If the umps are to be this bad during the World Series, you might has well have replay in a lot of situations. Fact is, we might do better with the honor system than with some of these calls.-JD

  12. The thing that really stinks about the blown call at third is the umps won’t talk about it to the media, and will never admit a mistake. … And, MLB won’t criticize the call.-JD

  13. John (19) T-Mac was right, and he’s been getting a lot of criticism of late by some. IMO, I have always liked his analysis. Sure, it can be simplistic at times, but I am a fan. Buck, on the other hand…

  14. Mark (22): I was annoyed with Buck’s comment, “you don’t want to get on the umpires.” Why not? If they make a mistake, call them on it.-JD

  15. Mark (14) I agree with you – the Mets often make player moves that are hard to understand. I was upset at both the Seaver and McGraw moves at the time.

  16. Bottom 1st, 1 out: Sonnanstine has clearly been playing pepper during his free time.

  17. I think Tim is quite at home in dealing with umpires… and probably right more often than not.

  18. I came across a post today at another site about Phillips activity after 2001 season the trades are crazy – Jd wouldnt post link without permission

  19. I believe the worst Mets trade ever was Seaver, because it was made for the wrong reasons. The Mets let an overzealous columnist run him out of town.-JD

  20. JD (27):

    What? You don’t think Dykstra, McDowell and Tom Edens was a fair trade for Juan Samuel? :)

  21. What makes Seaver bad is he’s nicknamed the Franchise – once thats your title you should retire with that team… But wasn’t Seaver part of forcing that move

  22. where is jonny gommes did he not make the roster if not he might be a nice platoon for murphy in left…fresh start type of deal

  23. Ed – I don’t even need to read the link about Phillips – there was a guy who really caused a lot of internal trouble. I still cringe when I see him.

  24. Ed, reading that article and reading the names Jeremy Griffiths, Bruce Chen, Jason Roach, Pat Strange, ALL made my cringe, ugh.

  25. John – I’m getting the feeling that the Jays are very uncomfortable in Phillie land. They don’t seem like the same team I saw in Tampa.

  26. Yeh, I think he’d be a smart choice. Can’t anyone hit a deep flyball, this stadium gives up everything.

  27. Annie (47): They aren’t. Offensive patience seems to have been lost. There’s been a lot of swinging at garbage. … Defensively, they haven’t been crisp at all.-JD

  28. There’s that little toddler buying stock again – it’s a great commercial, but the last shot tells the real story about the market these days -

  29. I wouldnt want him on this team you talk about cancers most attribute his ego as the single factor that sent the Marniers from WS favorites to last place…

  30. Bottom third/Like I said, the Rays’ defense hasn’t been crisp. … What I don’t understand is McCarver’s analysis. “He’s not used to fielding a ground ball so close to first.” Huh? His eyes are supposed to be on the ball. It doesn’t matter how close he is to first. If that’s an issue, explain why. That’s what gets me about McCarver. He throws stuff out there that sounds intriguing, but doesn’t explain.-JD

  31. JD (36):
    Fer sher. Even though I now live on the West Coast, I haven’t lost my Northeast DNA. :) Sarcasm is my coping mechanism w/regard to sports. :)

  32. AP article said game 3 was the lowest rated game since one of the 2006 World Series games.
    The blame is on the rain as the West Coast had solid viewership all night long.

  33. BEst announcers? Al Leiter and Ron Darling. Those guys are amazing. Articulate and the ammount of analysis they bring to the table is top notch.
    Al Leiter on the YES Network however is not the one I heard during the FOX broadcasts… evil censorship from YES

  34. ed (59): I like the Holiday Inn Express one with the Ripken and the guy who faints.-JD

  35. Some “experts” have said were looking in the wrong place for a closer we should look for a starter ready for the pen ala Smoltz or Eckersley any ideas in that direction….

  36. Benny — No, No, not Al Leiter. He just shoots his mouth off – he’s nowhere near as good as Ron Darling.

  37. Leiter is fine when he’s not answering the Scott Kazmir questions…Hershiser is really, really good when you get him out of a studio.

    We had Ken Davidoff on our Mickey Mantle’s show on Friday, and I mentioned that the acquisition of Pedro Feliz was one of those overlooked, but really solid, moves by Gillick this season.

  38. Ed, I mentioned it yesterday not sure if anyone caught it but how about BRad Penny in the pen?
    I know he’s had shoulder problems so who knows how healthy he is how fast his fastball is going. Add in the fact he probably wants to remain a starter. But I think its something to consider if his option is declined by the Dodgers, which I think they will.

  39. Annie, I remember Al Leiter announcing for the playoffs and he was just amazing. He would call every single pitch for every situation and would provide the reasoning behind it. He was flawless.
    Then he went to the YES Network and he’s never been the same guy I remember enjoying on FOX for about a 3 year span.

  40. ed (64): First instinct is Lowe, but he still wants to start, and if he goes East would go to the Red Sox. … I’ll have to look at the list. … I know this is crazy, but I’ve always been curious how good Pedro would be if he wanted to go in that direction.-JD

  41. Ed – I love pitchers -the kings of the hill – thanks for mentioning Dennis Eckersley – he is the reason I’m happy I have NESN. He was a very exciting pitcher – did you ever see him work?

  42. Pedro’s worst inning is his first he’s like elduque needs to stretch out the arm… but for an inning he would be nasty if he could get started

  43. Other guys that might be successful in the pen are:
    Matt Clement, Sergio Mitre, and umm, that’s it.
    Of course both of these guys are coming back from MAJOR surgery.

  44. ed (73): I’m wondering if his first-inning problems would change in a different role.-JD

  45. John – (71) I don’t think Pedro in the pen is a crazy idea at all, and he might want to go in that direction if it meant that he could keep playing baseball. He’s had a tough couple of years and he’s still young enough to work. As I’ve mentioned before, even this year, he would put in more innings than some of the kids.

  46. MLB made a huge mistake when they close the league offices and bumped the umpires under the COmmissioners office. They operate in such a vacuum. I remember reading Dick Young in the Daily News and he’d talk to umps all the time and quote them. They were human and owned up to mistakes. You knew back then if an ump blew a call you were going to get a call back to even things up.

    The NBA is no different. The NBA has security personnel escort their refs in and out of arenas.

  47. Benny – you’re right about the YES announcers – over in Yankee land, I do believe that you are never allowed to say anything at all detrimnental about the team, owners, etc. Only one who ever did, and was a terrific announcer Jim Kaat.

  48. Sam G (81): Dick Young, of course, is the columnist who ran Seaver out of town. … Yes, closing the league offices wasn’t a good idea. It was a mere formality after interleague play began.-JD

  49. I can’t see Pedro in the pen unless you need a long relief guy. This past season (as Ed said) Pedro’s first inning was always worst. You can’t afford to have someone need to “settle in” when you bring them in.

    I think reality says you cut ties with Pedro and wish him well.

  50. JD I thought that’s who you were referring to. He had a lot of power behind that selectric. He had M Donald in his pocket forever.

  51. I’m going to show you my extreme nerdyness. Some outside the box thinking on this one.
    On the ESPN website I sorted out who had the BEST K per 9 rate, this includes starters and relievers for the first time through the lineup and determine an under rated guy in that list.
    Under rated guy who could be a sucessful reliever? Dennis Sarfate of the orioles. His K per 9 was 10.14 good for 24th in all MLB.

  52. Sam G (84): That’s common sense, of course, about Pedro. But, the Mets and Omar have a blind spot when it comes to Pedro.-JD

  53. Bottom fourth/Howard up with two on. A long ball pretty much seals the game, and with it, the Series.-JD

  54. Sam – M.Donald Grant, now there’s a name from the past……

    I don’t want to cut ties with Pedro – I just got to really know what kind of person/pitcher is he when he came to the Mets at Omar’s urging. I like him and I like how he is around the team and willing to help the kids. Bet Reyes behaviour would improve dramatically if Pedro was around – in the pen – every day.

  55. Ouch! I should have bet on the homer. I could use the money. … The hole is pretty deep for the Rays now. And, their offense has shown no signs of breaking out.-JD

  56. Other notable names are RObinson Tejada, and umm that’s it. EVery one else well known and certainly not under rated.
    Jeremy Affedlt and Juan Cruz came up as well. They’d be good additions to the pen.

    And I do wonder about Saito’s availability.

  57. Annie… I can see Pedro making an excellent coach when his career is done. He’s got the personality for it. He’s got the respect needed. It’s a shame the Mets couldn’t name him bullpen coach.

  58. Top fifth/The way you get back in a game when you’re down by four runs is to work the count, be patient and get runners. But, that’s doing all the things the Rays haven’t been. It’s hard to turn it on.-JD

  59. Sam G (94): Pedro’s ego/confidence is what made him so great. He’s hell bent on still pitching, and NOT in the pen. And, when he’s done playing, he’ll be on the first flight to the Dominican.-JD

  60. JD You don’t think confidence like that could be contagious?

    I know he’s hell bent on pitching. I’m sure he’ll never consider himself finished pitching.

    I can see his attitude can be contagious.

    Nice shot by Hinske.. but you still need to play small ball until at least 7th.

  61. When Pedro retired he’s not coaching for anyone. He’s going home to call and call it a night.
    He might pop up every Leap Year to give a speech as a “special instructor” but it’ll probably be for the Red Sox.

  62. John – Here’s my brother’s comment about tonight’s game and Anthem:

    Baseball? They are still playing baseball when the free world leadership is on the line? (Phillies in a walk away)

    Yes I heard it again – can “Tiny Tim” and Stevie Wonder Be next? …and how about bringing back Roseanne Barr?

    JB

  63. benny (101): Pedro wants no part of coaching. He says he wants to go home and spend time with his family.-JD

  64. For a sports fan, a World Series that turns into a blow out is depressing. To think, the Series could be over before I get my free taco.-JD

  65. John – What about that lovely house in Westchester with the gardens? Can’t the family spend some time there?

  66. ed (106): Pedro has an ego, and he’s a proud guy. I can see him annoyed with guys that don’t have half his ability and work ethic but making twice the money.-JD

  67. I hope the Wilpons and Omar are watching closely. I hate to see Philly win, but perhaps it’ll light a fire under the Mets rears. It’s not like it’s going to make much of a difference in how much taunting Philly fans will engage in.

  68. Annie (108): What? And pay those taxes? He’ll go home when he’s done. You might not see him again in the US until his induction into the Hall of Fame.-JD

  69. Well, the good news is that I won’t have to watch the Phillies win the World Series tomorrow night since I have class…

    Brutal watching this team win for me…

  70. yeah i can see that…In fact part of his problem is that he has the ability to be a pitcher but he’s depressed he isnt a thrower anymore IMO all ego most hardballer with his level of talent become successful junk ballers at 35

  71. TJ (110): You might think when their arch rivals come from behind to beat them two years in a row, and then win the Series, that it would get their attention. You would hope.-JD

  72. John – (114) You sound just like Tony Paige who had pretty much that same reasoning for wanting the Phillies to win.

  73. Top sixth/Where did Longoria disappear to? He must have been listening to Francesa rave about him.-JD

  74. I still think there was a cap last year…You get Johan and thats it… Theres no justification for not getting an innings eater 5th starter and at least one reliever…Omars a better GM then that, he took the heat and thats why he got an extention IMO …Hopefully this opens the wallet

  75. ed (119): I never heard anything about a cap. I thought their thinking was once they got Santana it would all fall together for them. … They didn’t read the tea leaves the right way.-JD

  76. Well, in Tony’s poll, I have the Rays in seven. I know I’m not alone there – Tony keeps track of these things.

  77. Bottom sixth/The Series isn’t about who had the best team during the regular season, but who plays the best in October. The Phillies have not hit well, but their pitching has been solid.-JD

  78. I have a feeling Carlos Beltran or no other Met for that matter will be talking about being the team to beat next spring training.-JD

  79. JD- that would make sense to start the season but no trades and no waiver wire pickups all season – makes that not hold water… something else was brewing …IMO of course

  80. ed (126): In the interest of accuracy, they did trade for Ayala. Earth shaking, I know.-JD

  81. Bengie Molina- rumored to be available…Power hitting right handed catcher, known to work well with young pitchers and very durable for a catcher…hes the one position move to have the most impact and then focus completely on pitching

  82. Top seventh/I know most readers of this blog aren’t Philly Phanatics, but they do play the game the right way. … They have a solid bullpen and have players with grit, something the Mets have been accused of lacking.-JD

  83. First time since 2005 when we were looking to improve enough to compete with the Braves ,,,, i don’t know how they will fix this enough to catch up, we have too many holes and they are very good….

  84. John, Sorry, but the Phillies are just not lovable. They remind me of the Cardinals – they’re not lovable either.

  85. ed (132): You improve by being aggressive in fixing your weaknesses. The Phillies improved their rotation (Blanton) and pen (Lidge). The Mets had pitching problems and got Ayala. That was it.-JD

  86. You know I havent heard anyone put it to omar that blunt ….”you know most fans felt you did a great job getting Johan but then they feel you completely dropped the ball”” what do you have to say about that and do you know how big an off season you need to have to restore there faith”

  87. Annie (133): Who cares if they are lovable or not? It doesn’t matter. They are good. They play the game the right way and pretty soon they’ll be splashing champagne.-JD

  88. Ed(132), you couldn’t be more correct. Hard to have confidence in Omar’s ability to buiold a bullpen after the last two years. Also, just wanted to let you know that you’ve been doing a superbe job at MetsFever.com … it’s been a great read, especially of late.

  89. Ed (refer 137): Your site is on my short blog roll (Yes, I know, that’s a weakness of mine). But, Mark is right. You’re good.-JD

  90. ed (138): Gillick is a Hall of Fame GM. He won two titles with Toronto. He’s about to win another one with Philly. And, he took Baltimore and Seattle to the ALCS. Omar isn’t up there with him.-JD

  91. I wonder how much of an impact Kavinsky ( or however you say his name) will have he was great at finding young talent in Cincy they got restless and had a chance at a HOF GM themselves

  92. Over the past 6 months there has been no word more over used than “grit” can people stop it already? It’s disgusting and it’s been making me sick.
    TECHNICALLY at the end of the 2007 season Luis Castillo had grit. I saw a ball player who busted his ass on every single play. Nobody played harder than Luis Castillo did in 2007.

  93. benny (147): There was more than a few times when Castillo dogged it this year. Not good when you’re hurting and not playing well.-JD

  94. Benny – your right I rem. a game in early Aug 2007 when castillo came over – the Mets were in Florida lost the game – Castillo sat in the grass next to the dugout stewing over the loss ( which he didn’t cause) way after everybody left and they bragged forever about how competitive he was and just what the team needed – now he would be called pouting…. with that siad i dont think theres any repairing this relationship

  95. THat’s the point John! He was horrible this year.
    Grit this-Grit that, GRITTY AHHHH!!! reading and hearing that word has been getting on my nerves.
    It’s like ugh, enough already. Because as I stated in my example above, Castillo was gritty as hell in 2007 and then a couple of months you can’t find another athlete who could care less.

  96. Castillo really played with grit in 2007 … he was playing for a contract. And, boy did he get one!

  97. Oh I’m sorry, I forgot for players that people don’t like it’s not about being gritty and caring, it’s about the contract year.

    Sorry but what I saw in 2007 was a man who would do whatever it took to win. And it seemed like to tried to lead by example because no one in that dugout gave a crap.

  98. ed (152): It began in spring training. I think they rushed him back. … He didn’t hit it off with Willie. … When he came back under Manuel he thought he should have played more than he did and started to dog it. He and Jerry aren’t on the same page.-JD

  99. That group of boy scouts is about the most laid back bunch of professional players I’ve seen…..Wheres Milton Bradley …Kidding

  100. Asa I wrote last week, Benny, I don’t think the Mets can trade him, and I think he will be back. I disagree with your contention that he is the next coming of Wally Backman, but we shall soon see who is right.

  101. ed (159): If that were the case, you take a leave and go home. There are provisions for that.-JD

  102. Heals I’ve been saying what about Bengie Molina two bird one stone – you get a right bat and a durable go with young pitchers catcher- I know catcher isnt a priority but it takes care of many holes

  103. Mark (161): I see Castillo coming back because he’s almost impossible to trade and the Mets won’t eat the contract.-JD

  104. NO! I’m not saying Castillo is Wally Backman or anything like that.
    What I’m trying to say is how obnoxious the term “grit” is, it’s like… what the f does it even mean?
    “OH THE METS NEED GRIT” –shut up, that doesn’t mean anything.

    And as a perfect example, I used Luis Castillo and how hard nosed he was in 2007 and then came 2008 and he was… useless. He dogged it.

    And I think the Mets CAN trade him and will, watch.

  105. Bottom eighth/Buck just blew the story. He said Victorino had his hand up like Steve Garvey. It was Jose Reyes.-JD

  106. and like any other major leaguer who hits a homerun.

    THe obsession with the Mets is not healthy.

  107. LOL I said slugfest but it was only for one team.

    Ryan Howard – your Subway sandwhich spokesman.

  108. They have no “grit” Annie. Their players don’t care. Look at Longoria flailing like he just wants to go home.

  109. Benny – somehow it seems as though they are almost scared of the Phillies or maybe just not prepared for the Big Time.

  110. Why can’t you believe in both?

    My point is this term “grit” is being beaten to death and its losing its meaning, if there is any meaning behind it.

  111. And so it is close to the end for Tampa – they had such promise last week, but it was fleeting and didn’t make the trip to Philly.

  112. i do but it seemed like you were calling the intangibles whether you call it grit, determination, gamer, leadership etc….BS you can’t be a baseball fan and not believe in numbers its a statiscians game but I find many younger guys discount everything but the munbers since money ball

  113. What I’m calling B.S. is this idea how “gritty” players are the ingredient for success. And having a “gritty” team equals success.
    ANd then I give the example of how Castillo was gritty last season and how it meant nothing.

  114. I like stats. I love stats. I love the innovation and thinking sabermetrics have brought to the game and I read as much as possible to learn. HOWEVER, some sabermetrics guys go WAY to far with the analysis.

  115. benny (177): Grit. Readers of this blog and callers on the radio shows have been saying the past two years that the Mets lack this intangible. I’m not saying it is true, but there are times when they appear to be sleep walking. … Whatever you want to call it, something is missing with the Mets. Their bullpen can’t shut the door and they aren’t consistent with runners in scoring position. … There is something about the make-up of this team that’s not right. If you don’t like the term “grit,” that’s fine. But, it’s two years in a row in which they faded. And, in 2006, after Endy made the catch, they squandered their chance to win in the bottom of that inning. … Something isn’t right. Either the chemistry isn’t there or they aren’t good enough or both.-JD

  116. About this thing called grit, maybe it is as simple as doing your job. Taking the walk … running out grounders … hitting the sac fly … knowing how to advance the runners … how to work the count. There were too many times when watching the Mets that you scratched your head and wondered “what the hell is going on with this team?”-JD

  117. I think the Angels type of fundamentally executed small ball is mislabeled as grit – its just the term thats given but in my opinion thats the definition

  118. ed (186): What you described as small ball is how the Rays played in the first two rounds (even though they also hit a lot of homers). … In the Series they look disjointed and are forcing things.-JD

  119. Like I said in the Sox series they were playing with house money until they were the house…they were good enough to squeak past the SOX but they are pressing now the gravity of the stage is on them

  120. It’s hard to quanitify but it’s simply the human element of the game. The psychological side perhaps. Whatever you want to call it, grit, confidence, swagger etc. It was pretty much as if the Mets offense began to press too much as it became evident that the starting pitcher was getting near the end of his rope. I look at it as a snowball effect in which the Mets had no confidence in themselves the more a game went on.

  121. Wierd, in 2008, the Mets are in the top 10 in the major leagues for walks(4), sac flies(9), stolen bases (3) pinch-hitting hits (9), runs (8), and were in the middle of the pack in grounding into double plays.

    In 2007 in walks they were (8), sac flies (3), stolen bases (1), pinch-hits (4), runs (10), and in grounding into double plays were 4th best and not doing.

    Those stats show me they have grit. This is in all of major league baseball now. They took the walk clearly. They were good at not grounding into double plays. They hit sac flies. I don’t know how to measure advancing runners but if they were a high scoring team clearly that wasn’t a problem.

    The problem was the bullpen. Not grit. Clearly from the information shown above.

  122. ed (189): Do you think it’s that, or are the Phillies that much better? Tonight was the first night the Phillies really mashed. Their pitching has been superb. … We knew Hamels would be good. But, an unknown was Moyer. His performance in Game 3 turned the Series.-JD

  123. Benny there are empty numbers and critical numbers – the mets put up alot of hollow numbers and were bullies against weaker pitchers…padding the stats…when it counted they pressed and failed which appears to be the psych. factor many of feel is missing…..Arod syndrome over an entire team…

  124. benny (191): If there is one stat that sums up their season it is 29 blown saves. … I’m not disputing your numbers. They are correct. But, there were so many blown opportunities. They could have scored so much more to take the pressure off their bullpen.-JD

  125. TJ (190), they clearly have swagger. They give off that self entitlement where they think they better than everyone else (even though they are).

    Its the bullpen. That’s it. That simple.

    And the reason for choosing those stats above is that, John said doing those certain things might equate to “grit”.

  126. SO you wanted the 8th best offense in baseball (and tied for 2nd in the NL) to score more runs?

    Maybe that’s the problem. No matter how hard you try any little mistake and its over. That must have been psychologically exhausting.
    Team tight rope is right.

  127. Winning teams display an aura. David Wright likes to use the term “swagger.” They had it once, when they won 10 straight. But, when they had a chance to put away the division they couldn’t pull the trigger. … The played poorly down the stretch for the second straight season. They can’t finish the deal. … The first step in changing their image is to improve their pitching.-JD

  128. So the Mets are the A-Rod of baseball?
    It’s 25 Alex Rodriguez’s.
    Because don’t let A-Rod’s 150 RBI’s fool you, none of them mean anything. It’s all empty production.

  129. yes there were many holes thats what worries me….the pen was awful the offense couldnt compensate and the rotation could go deep enough to not use the pen

  130. Give the Mets a Brad Lidge or a K-Rod and we’re not discussing this. And that’s just one player. The Mets wouldn’t be gritless/swaggerless/auraless.
    If your a good team, if you have pitching, defense, and hitting, you have grit, swagger, aura.

    If the Mets make the playoffs by that 1 game, and playing the same way they did all season, make it to the world series, would they be gritless? and lacking of all those things? I doubt that.

  131. benny (198): Sure, they could score more runs. But, they could do it without a big trade or signing. They could do it by being more fundamentally sound. The need to score more is because their pitching is so suspect. … You have two starters now, Santana and Pelfrey, and the latter had one year. John Maine is coming off surgery, and Perez and Pedro might be gone. The Mets don’t know what they’ll get from their starters, but they know what they’ll get from their bullpen. And, it isn’t good. … That’s why fixing the pitching is paramount. History is full of powerful teams that don’t win.-JD

  132. (195) Do they have it though? Far too often they seemed to be playing with their tails between their legs. It’s nice to talk the talk off the field, but to have “swagger” is to play as if you really believe what you’re saying is true. The Mets did not. Whether that’s the fault of the bullpen, the offense for poor fundamentals (especially late in games) or whatever else.

  133. DW left a man on third with no outs in the 10th of a tie game the last week of the season,,,,,despite the 30 blown saves which is ridiculous he gets that hit they’re playing the brewers

  134. The Mets won the season series against all teams except these: Cubs, Braves, Astros, Padres.
    Only one good team, two bad ones, and one average team. So they won the season series against all other teams. How is that padding against the weaker competition?

  135. (206) The sad part is, there are so many of those moments we can point to. Though, that one does stick with me, particularly since I was there. Me and a buddy snuck down from the worst possible upper deck seats to the mezz. What an absolute gut punch of a game, particularly after how much the stadium rocked when they had tied it up earlier.

  136. the east is weak …they play 19 games each against the Braves, Marlins and Nationals plus they play seven games each against the NL west which was won by an 86 win team

  137. It should have never gotten to the point where they’re depending on that one run because that pen was historically bad. An average bullpen and we’re not stressing.

  138. ed (209): The NL might be weak and so might the NL East, but unless something happens, the next champion will be from the NL East. … The Phillies are a lot like the 2006 Cardinals in that they didn’t have the great record but played fundamentally sound and got hot at the right time.-JD

  139. I agree benny all I was pointing out was that the Offense if it had been more “clutch” for lack of a better word could have compensated….But yes the pen is absolutley the prime cause

  140. ed (209), then what do you want from me?
    You say they only pad stats against weak teams. I show you the only teams they lost the season series to which were 4, with only one team being good. Proving they beat everyone.
    ANd then you say the East was weak… c’mon dude. what do you want?
    All divisions but AL East and NL Central were “weak”.

  141. I think the Phillies are good and they improved over the year playing us…Yanks/Sox rivalry made those teams better….Cards were well managed and lucky to get hot at the right time

  142. I was googling a “bone spur”, to see what kind of recovery time is in place for John Maine. And I saw a picture of what a bone spur looks like? It’s ewww. Very gross.

  143. Benny im saying for example without numbers in front of me you win against the nationals 10 times by 10 runs that makes up for losing to the padres 2-1 four games in a row and thats how you pad the numbers without changing the records

  144. Run differential:

    DBAcks – 1
    Braves -15
    Cubs -15
    Reds + 1
    Rockies +15
    Marlins +11
    Astros – 5
    Angels – 1
    Dodgers +12
    Brew + 8
    Yanks +13
    Phils +15
    Pirates – 8
    Padres – 4
    Seattle – 8
    Giants +13
    Cards +17
    Rangers + 7
    Nats +29

    Based on that you make your on conclusions on that it means. Did they beat up bad teams? I dunno… I guess but they seemed to struggle against crappy teams.

  145. Ok i’m trying to leave but i’ll use this real quick +29 Nats, +17 Cards, +13 Giants,+13 Yanks, +12 Dodgers, +15 Rockies,

    +11 Marlins and +15 phillies

    Most of there huge differentials are against weaker teams but the fact that they have huge differential is padding the teams offensive numbers to compensate for the teams they barely beat or had a negative too…

  146. John (184/5)Hi John – Sorry I missed out on this discussion last night – I had an early business meeting this morning. You have captured the Mets mess accurately in those two posts. Not only is the mess itself a continuing problem, but it continues because there doesn’t seem to be anyone – owners, management, manager, players, coaches – who has any idea what is causing it and how to fix it.

    This will make for some interesting discussions over the off season.