It will be all but impossible for the Mets to overtake the Phillies, especially if they lose and Philly wins. A Mets’ loss and Milwaukee win makes the wild card tight.
Johan Santana goes tonight for the Mets, who are 11-3 in his last 14 starts. Santana has won seven straight decisions, so there’s more than a little bit of hope for the Mets.
Tonight’s closer: Anybody’s guess.
Carlos Beltran, who ran into the wall last night, will play. There’s never been any doubt of Beltran’s toughness in my mind. The guy played with a broken bone in his face after his collision with Mike Cameron in 2005.
Here’s tonight’s lineup:
SS Jose Reyes
2B Luis Castillo
3B David Wright
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
C Ramon Castro
RF Ryan Church
LF Nick Evans
LH Johan Santana
Someday, Jon Niese might become a viable major league pitcher. That he started such a critical game last night indicates the seriousness of the Mets’ pitching woes and I’ve drawn these conclusions:
1. John Maine is too valuable for them to screw around with in the bullpen considering his health issues. He’s not going to be the difference. They will not win the World Series this year. Shut him down and have him be ready for spring training.
2. Pedro Martinez has had a Hall of Fame career. But, those days are gone. If he comes back next year, it should be as the fifth starter. They should cut ties with Martinez, but I’m entertaining his return because I anticipate Oliver Perez’s departure and Niese not being ready.
3. It is a sad state of affairs Perez will become richer than beyond his wildest dreams for being mediocre. He’s pitched well this year in parts, but his record screams mediocrity.
4. Of course, the records of Maine, Perez, Johan Santana and even Mike Pelfrey are below what they should be because of a bullpen that blew 29 saves. The pen has to be overhauled.
Last winter I wrote how I didn’t want the Mets to trade for Johan Santana. I was thinking he would cost too much in prospects and money, and would break down before the end of the contract. Who knows about injuries?
But, he’s been worth it. Every time he goes out there you expect him to throw a good game and have the feeling the Mets will win. He provides a sense of confidence. You are surprised when he doesn’t pitch well.
That’s an ace.
The man should have 20 wins this season. Seven games the bullpen coughed up for him. Many more times the offense snoozed.
If he keeps pitching like this and the Mets give him some help, he will win a Cy Young Award here. I’m glad he’s here. I always enjoy seen the best perform.
Johan Santana pitches tonight for the split at Washington. After last night’s game, Jerry Manuel said his expectations for Santana were to go 170 pitches. He was joking, but after sending out seven relievers last night you had to wonder if there wasn’t a grain of truth to what he was saying.
We all know about how Santana has been shortchanged by his teammates this season, both in run support and bullpen help.
He really does need to get at least into the eighth inning tonight. Nine would be even better.
Luis Ayala closed last night. It’s probably a good assumption to think the same tonight.