History dictates that whoever is leading on July 4th will make the playoffs. That’s a good omen for the Mets, who lead in the wild-card chase. By the end of the month, if there are trades, then the Mets will be buyers.
Their top priority is the bullpen as they have enough offense, despite limited power, to get the job done.
Let’s look at the other playoff contenders.
Washington has the best record in the National League and with its pitching could sustain it into the playoffs. The question here is what will happen if, and when, they shut down Stephen Strasburg.
Atlanta could make a run, but the Marlins and Phillies have too many issues.
In the Central, it would be nice to see Pittsburgh hold on, but the Reds, Cardinals and Brewers are still close. This division should be a scramble until the end.
In the West, it is the Dodgers and Giants, with Arizona 5.5 games out.
Things seem more definitive in the American League. I expect the current leaders to hold on, with Tampa Bay, Detroit and the Angels the prime wild card contenders.
If the disabled list was a place of residence rather than a simple list, Jason Bay should be paying taxes there. He’s on the concussion DL this time after his hitting his head against the left field wall attempting to make a diving catch over the weekend series against the Reds.
In which they were swept, by the way.
Bay’s nightmare tenure with the Mets continues, and Terry Collins didn’t discount the idea he might be done for the season. Yes, Bay has underperformed with the Mets, but nobody – at least no right thinking person – wants to see an injury. However, should this be the case, it opens up an even greater opportunity for Kirk Neiuwenhuis, who figured to lose playing time with Bay’s return.
The most amusing thing I read all weekend were those comments advocating the Mets sign Manny Ramirez. Getting Ramirez was a bad idea years ago because of the talent it would require to land this clubhouse cancer. It’s a bad idea now because he’s remained a cancer, but one who can’t hit.
At one time Ramirez was a skilled hitter, but we must remember he’s failed three PED tests. And, he’s always been a head case, often a foul tempered one. No, the Red Sox wouldn’t have won without him, but they also might have won another title had he not quit on them.
With the Mets out of contention awhile ago, it was hoped September would be the month where some 2012 answers could be found. It has not turned out that way.
Only .500 remains, but the Mets must run the table for that to occur, and that would mean nine straight against Cardinals, Phillies and Reds. They couldn’t win nine straight against their own minor league system.
The one slot where it was hoped could be definitive was the closer role, but Bobby Parnell has spit the bit. He’ll get another chance in spring training, that is, unless the Mets sign a qualified, veteran closer, but that would require some spending. That’s not going to happen, either.
Ruben Tejada has played well, but not well enough to see if he will be able to assume Jose Reyes’ role. We might never know that answer.
The only comfort I see has been Lucas Duda in right. So far, he’s fielded the position cleanly, but we need a full year at the plate and in the field to see for sure. And, there are usually hills and valleys in the first year as a starter.
I like how R. A. Dickey is finishing, and Chris Capuano and Dillon Gee pitched well enough this year to warrant a chance in next year’s rotation. Gee, however, is struggling, with his ERA jumping nearly a run a game over his last ten starts.
There’s too many unanswered questions Sandy Alderson must spend the winter trying to answer. There are holes in the rotation that can’t be masked by a thin bullpen. There’s a lack of power from David Wright and Jason Bay. Angel Pagan has regressed. There’s nothing that suggests Johan Santana will make it back.
There’s also no indication the Mets will be a heavy player to retain Reyes.
Every year produces one of those wild games where the box scores that scrawl down a quarter of the way down the paper and leaves the manager scratching his head for immediate solutions.
This day in 1986 generated one of those games in a 6-3 victory at Cincinnati in 14 innings. Gary Carter wound up at third base and both Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell playing right field. McDowell also briefly played left field.
Manager Davey Johnson shuffled Orosco and McDowell, depending on the Reds’ hitter, in the 10th through the 13th innings. In fact, Orosco and McDowell batted back-to-back in the 14th inning.
The Mets won it on Howard Johnson’s three-run homer off Ted Power. Scoring ahead of him was Orosco, who had walked.