Friday, August 17, 2007

On Vacation

Yes, it is time for Ed to take a break (yes, he knows he hasn't been posting a lot). Time to get away from work for a little while.
So, starting Monday Aug. 20, Ed is out for two weeks.
He may post here next week.
The following week he will be in Emerald Isle, NC. He will check here in case any comments are left.
He may also pop onto Metsgeek.
I will have a column on F.U. on Tuesday Aug. 21, but not the next two weeks following.

Let's hope for a nice winning stretch while I am gone.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

51 Games Left

The title says it all. There are 51 games left starting tonight. It's actually quite simple. The Mets need to simply win at the same pace they have been all season, 57%, and go 29-22 the rest of the way. The final record would then be 92-60. In order to beat the Mets, the Braves (with 50 games left) would have to go 34-16 (play .680 ball), while the Phillies (51 left) would have to go 35-16 (play .686 ball). Neither team has done that this year. And neither has show the ability to do so.

The Mets have 9 games (3 sets of 3 games) left with Atlanta and 7 (a 4 game set and 3 game set) left with the Phillies. Obviously, series wins over each of these teams is vital. It starts tonight with 3 at Shea against the Braves. The pitching match-ups are as follows:

Perez v Carlyle
El Duque v Smoltz
Maine v Hudson

To date, the Braves hold a 6-3 edge on the Mets, with Perez winning all 3 games. El Duque faced them once, with an ND, and Maine has actually never faced the Braves. Of course Carlyle being a scrub will work against us, a classic SUCK ME pitcher. Smoltz is hittable against the Mets, but they never seem to get the "big" hit against him. Hudson is having a very good season to date. For a detailed look at the Braves pitchers, visit Metsgeek.

Following this series, the Mets have the following schedule

Florida (3)
@ Pittsburgh (3)
@ Washington (3)
San Diego (3)
LA Dodgers (3)
@ Philly (4)
@ Atlanta (3) 8/31 and 9/1, 9/2
@ Cincinnati (3)
Houston (3)
Atlanta (3)
Philly (3)
@ Washington (3)
@ Florida (4)
Washington (3)
St. Louis (1 rainout make-up)
Florida (3)

The time is now to send a message. Taking 2 of 3 is a must against Atlanta. The Braves then face the Phillies this weekend, so taking 2 of 3 against Florida is also important. The Phillies have Florida the next 3 days, so they could sneak a tad closer. One thing is for certain, the Mets will remain in 1st after the Braves series, no matter what happens.

The bats are warming up. Wright and Delgado are hitting. Castillo seems to be settling in. Shawn Green has hit the Braves well this year (of course, his fielding leaves something to be desired). PLD has as well. Jose Reyes is hitting, Milledge is providing a spark in the #8 spot. For all the wishing that Lastings would hit #2, he is doing a good job hitting 8th, he creates excitement, and is able to be on base when Reyes comes to the plate. He lengthens the lineup there, and for a team that needs to be creative to score runs, he adds that dimension. Willie gets panned for hitting him so low, but it is paying off, and at the end of the day, that is what matters. We may not like the "gut", but we need to realize that it is right many times.

The key this week is going to be the pen, and defense. Heilman needs to have a strong series, he has taken two of the losses against the Braves, both in games the Mets were leading. Pedro Dos needs to get back on track. On the defense, Green needs to tighten it up, and guys need to make the basic plays.

The Mets control their own destiny for the most part. Frankly, this team has the talent to play much better than .568 ball the rest of the way. They played .600 ball for April, and were at .654 at the end of May. Do that the rest of the way, and the job for the Braves and Phillies becomes nearly impossible. The Mets would finish with 96 wins if they play .654 the rest of the way, just shy of last years 97 wins. Get it done. Starting tonight.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Congrats Tommy, F U Wally

Congratulations to the latest 300 game winner, Tom Glavine. A nicely pitched game by him last night, on the heels of his last start which was also a nice job by him. Don't look now, but Mr. Glavine has done a pretty good job of late (let's forget the Dodgers start in LA, shall we?)

Tommy helped himself early. Following a walk to Milledge, Lastings stole second (apparently against the wishes of Willie, I gotta think Rickey sent him). Glavine then singled to center, and Lastings scored, thanks to Angel Pagan losing the handle on the ball. Milledge wound up 3-4 with a walk and 2 runs scored hitting 8th. I'll have a tad more about his lineup place in my F.U Column tomorrow. Luis Castillo also had a nice night, going 4-5 with 2 runs. Delgado went 2-4 scored a run and drove in 4 (he seems to be warming up just in time.) All in all, the lineup got the job done, despite 15 LOB.

The pen, nearly notsomuch. Mota entered for Tommy inthe 7th and gave up a hit to the only batter he faced. Pedro Dos got an out, but allowed a hit driving in a run. Heilman finished the 7th, inducing a fly to center. New bullpen component Jorge Sosa pitched a scoreless 8th, and Wags finished it up in a non-save situation, as Willie's gut told him to make damn sure Tommy got the win.

So, you would think we could celebrate Tom's accomplishment, and put aside any snarkiness about how Brave he is. Nope, thanks to Wally (I Hate the Mets) Matthews. Now, you all know I hate Wally, and I typically do not read his crap anymore, since all it does is annoy me. I also like to joke about Tommy and the Braves. However, there comes a time when you put that aside when a goal is met, and this is one of those times. Wally plays armchair psychologist and writes a column about how Glavine would have preferred to win #300 as a Brave. Is he right? Maybe. Then again, he might be wrong. Considering how Atlanta told him to go away twice, it is possible Tommy is not that upset to have not won it as a Brave. I also do see how he could be somewhat saddened, after all, he did come up in their system, and players do have attachments to their original team when they play there for a long time. Look at it this way, if Derek Jeter ever leaves the Yankees, and hits # 3000 as a member of another team, he may wish he was still a Yankee at the time. But my point is this, the day after the milestone, put the thoughts away. Don't write a story about it. Let the guy enjoy his moment. As for the fans who Wally is so sure still haven't embraced Glavine, sure, there is a subset that harbors ill will for his having beaten us so many times over the years. But even that subset cheered his accomplishment, because at the end of the day, he is a Met. He is one of our guys, and we cheer our guys. There was a nice contingent of Mets fans in Chicago last night, including several bloggers IIRC. Mostly they went to watch their team, but I'm pretty sure they cheered their pitcher, Tom Glavine, as he won #300. Sadly, Matthews would prefer to stir the pot, again, and look for headlines.

I'm saddened that Newsday continues to allow this hack to write hit pieces on my team. I expect that from the News and the Post, noted Yankee propaganda outlets. Newsday is usually a Metscentric paper. Yet it allows Matthews to continue with his drivel. I don't know who pissed in his corn flakes, but it is a tired act. One that I hope will be shut down. Maybe when the Mets win the World Series this year, behind a win from Glavine, Wally will write a story about how Glavine wishes he could have won it as a Brave.

In closing, F U Wally. You are dead to me.

And Congrats to Tom Glavine, a Met.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm Still Around

I've been neglecting the BOG for a while now. Things have been a little hectic at work and at home for one. Also, the play of this team of late hasn't exactly inspired me to write a lot of positive stuff.

The one thing I didn't want to do was to turn this into a place where I would just bitch and moan all the time. I'm not saying I won't be critical, but to write the same stuff every day about this guy sucking in the field (I'm looking at you Shawn Green), or this guy not hitting (Shawn, a two time winner, also PLD of late, Delgado until last month), or this reliever throwing batting practice (Pick One) or Willie's Gut driving fans mad (not me, for IGIT! In Gut I Trust) gets boring for me as the writer, and for all 7 (is it that high?) of you who stop by and read my ramblings.

In any event, time to catch up on the events of the past week. Let's see, we took 2 of 3 from the Pirates, with Perez the loser in the lone loss. We then split a 4 game set with Manny Acta's Nationals over the weekend, where on Saturday night we had Willie losing count of who he had available. This week, we travelled to Milwaukee, with a heartbreaking loss on Tuesday in a game Tom Glavine pitched well enough to win #300, if not for Mota blowing it. The good news was that the boys rebounded, winning 8-5 yesterday (despite Perez having a bad first couple of innings) and 12-4 today (Brian Lawrence pitching OK in a spot start. Please have him go back to NOZ tonight.) David Wright had a nice game, going 4-5 with a HR. Easley had an Inside the Park HR, and Reyes went deep as well. Every starter had at least one hit. Except for new second-baseman Luis Castillo, who went 0-6.

Which brings me to trades made and not made. First, I am not bothered by the Castillo deal. For one, he cost nothing. Second, I like Gotay, he's a nice hitter, but he is not a good fielder. He has had at least 1 game losing error (the Dodgers series) and a few other miscues as well. It's not his range that is a problem, its on the DP turn. Castillo may not have great range, but he is a heck of a lot better turning 2. I know, he lacks the SLG% Gotay has, but in the playoffs, you need defense. You and I both know that if we went into the playoffs with Gotay at 2nd, and he lost a game on an error, Omar would be eviscerated for not trading for a new 2nd baseman.

As for trades not made, well, I hoped for some bullpen help, but the cost for a Cordero from the Nationals of Humber PLUS another player was too damn high. Frankly, Humber alone is too high for a set-up guy who's peripherals are not even close to say Aaron Heilman. Who knows, maybe Omar can pull of a waiver deal. Mota bounced back well last night, and Sosa has done well in the pen this week. Heilman is having his typical 2nd half resurgence. Wagner is Wagner. Just use The Show as a LOOGY, and use Pedro Dos as needed, and we will be fine. Who knows, maybe Joe Smith returns to April form.

As for deals other teams made, well, the Phillies added Kyle Lohse, who strikes fear into the hearts of the fans of the team he pitches for and no one else. They also added Tadahito Iguchi, to replace the injured Chase Utley. They also lost Victorino and Bourn to injuries. They are battling, I give them that.

The Braves of course made the big splash, adding Mark Teixeira and Octavio Dotel (let us not forget the other old friend, Royce Ring) by trading away half their farm team and one of their starters in Kyle Davies. Yes, the lineup is formidable, but their starting rotation isn't very deep and Smoltz has seen some skipped starts due to shoulder issues. They are getting career #'s out of a couple of guys. Let's see if that lasts.

The Yankees at least got their 3rd baseman for next year in Wilson Betemit in exchange for Scott Proctor. (End obligatory Yankee bash).

This weekend the Mets visit the Cubs, then it is home for 3 against the Braves. The Braves are in Colorado. The lead is 3.5 entering today. I would like to see that at 4.5 before Tuesday. Please?