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Why the Mets won't play up to the hype

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Postby George_Foreman » Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:07 am

Heh. Time for me to take my medicine. >_<

The Mets' prospects are looking up. Glavine should be fine, Pedro should be back for the playoffs, and the offense... well, the offense is pretty good. :-)

And I was very wrong this year. I though Reitsma could be solid, I thought Devine could come back. I thought Thomson would be solid (and healthy!), I thought Hudson would be good. I was right about the Braves' offense, mind you. They're actually doing better than the Mets in season OPS, and that's with Chipper missing 30 odd games. I was right about McCann; he's the BEST catcher in the NL already and he's only 22. Smoltz has been strong and, with decent bullpen support (6 blown wins), would be in the lead for the Cy Young. And the Braves were able to make a few moves at the deadline that solidified them in the long run.

I was also correct that their lack of depth would hurt the Mets. They've needed to trade away prospects and take on ugly salaries when injuries hit them. And when it looked like some of their starters might be out for the post-season, people began questioning how they'd do in the playoffs (since they already had a 2000 game lead in the division. ;-)).

But it was Jose Reyes who made the strides I was counting on Jeff Francoeur to make. And Jorge Sosa's complete collapse, while not unforseable, combined with injuries to Thomson, Davies, and Horacio to force the Braves to go with their TENTH option at SP (I had Lerew penciled in as the 9th, but his suckyness made him unusable). And on the other side, the Mets have enjoyed another solid season from Traschel (pretty much the one I had envisioned for Thomson, alas!), John Maine has come out of NOWHERE (he was the #6 prospect in Baltimore in 2004 and had a crappy premier year with the Os in 2005, posting a 6+ ERA in 40 IP) to be brilliant, while El Duque has actually been decent since coming over from Arizona. The Mets have made the right moves and they've worked out quite well for them.

And the bottom of their order has actually been productive. Endy Chavez improved his carrer OPS over 100 points to near .800 with a BA better than .300. Jose Valentin is posting a career high in OPS in his 15th ML season, and this coming off the worst year in his career. And while Chris Woodward has been predictably bad, they've been able to limit his playing time. And finally they're Paul LoDuca, who is posting his second-best year. While the power certainly isn't there (Yay! Got that one right.), his .317 BA is second only to his .320 career year of 2001. So bully for him. :-)

All this is to say that this certainly has been the Mets' year. While I question if they can continue to perform at this level next year, their 15+ game lead in the NL East is a testament to their awsome performance this season. What is most impressive is how, in a year where the NL is plaugued with parity, the Mets have distanced themsleves so thoroughly from the rest of the field. I still don't think they have the pitching to win (let alone get to) the WS, but if their bats get hot (I'm looking at you, David Wright and Carlos Delgado), you could see some high-scoring games and the WS victory for the Mets. And besides, they've got Pedro so they can give the big bats a couple of days off for sure. ;-)
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Postby pokerplaya » Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:10 pm

George_Foreman wrote:Heh. Time for me to take my medicine. >_<

The Mets' prospects are looking up. Glavine should be fine, Pedro should be back for the playoffs, and the offense... well, the offense is pretty good. :-)

And I was very wrong this year. I though Reitsma could be solid, I thought Devine could come back. I thought Thomson would be solid (and healthy!), I thought Hudson would be good. I was right about the Braves' offense, mind you. They're actually doing better than the Mets in season OPS, and that's with Chipper missing 30 odd games. I was right about McCann; he's the BEST catcher in the NL already and he's only 22. Smoltz has been strong and, with decent bullpen support (6 blown wins), would be in the lead for the Cy Young. And the Braves were able to make a few moves at the deadline that solidified them in the long run.

I was also correct that their lack of depth would hurt the Mets. They've needed to trade away prospects and take on ugly salaries when injuries hit them. And when it looked like some of their starters might be out for the post-season, people began questioning how they'd do in the playoffs (since they already had a 2000 game lead in the division. ;-)).

But it was Jose Reyes who made the strides I was counting on Jeff Francoeur to make. And Jorge Sosa's complete collapse, while not unforseable, combined with injuries to Thomson, Davies, and Horacio to force the Braves to go with their TENTH option at SP (I had Lerew penciled in as the 9th, but his suckyness made him unusable). And on the other side, the Mets have enjoyed another solid season from Traschel (pretty much the one I had envisioned for Thomson, alas!), John Maine has come out of NOWHERE (he was the #6 prospect in Baltimore in 2004 and had a crappy premier year with the Os in 2005, posting a 6+ ERA in 40 IP) to be brilliant, while El Duque has actually been decent since coming over from Arizona. The Mets have made the right moves and they've worked out quite well for them.

And the bottom of their order has actually been productive. Endy Chavez improved his carrer OPS over 100 points to near .800 with a BA better than .300. Jose Valentin is posting a career high in OPS in his 15th ML season, and this coming off the worst year in his career. And while Chris Woodward has been predictably bad, they've been able to limit his playing time. And finally they're Paul LoDuca, who is posting his second-best year. While the power certainly isn't there (Yay! Got that one right.), his .317 BA is second only to his .320 career year of 2001. So bully for him. :-)

All this is to say that this certainly has been the Mets' year. While I question if they can continue to perform at this level next year, their 15+ game lead in the NL East is a testament to their awsome performance this season. What is most impressive is how, in a year where the NL is plaugued with parity, the Mets have distanced themsleves so thoroughly from the rest of the field. I still don't think they have the pitching to win (let alone get to) the WS, but if their bats get hot (I'm looking at you, David Wright and Carlos Delgado), you could see some high-scoring games and the WS victory for the Mets. And besides, they've got Pedro so they can give the big bats a couple of days off for sure. ;-)


Nice post. But I do have a question for you. You said that you don't think they have the pitching to win, let alone get to the WS, and I respect that...and if they do get to the WS they are going to need their bats to come alive if they intend to win it - but who in the NL, with possibly the exception of the Astros (who, right now, are not favorites to win that NL wildcard) that has better pitching then the Mets?

I'm not saying that the Mets will 100% get to the WS, but I do believe they they are the team to beat in the NL, without a doubt, and that their pitching is pretty much just as good as anyone else and the only arguments I could see being made to silence those Mets bats would be Houston, and, perhaps, LA. But even that is a stretch.

Just curious of who you were thinking of.
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Postby brandnew » Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:29 pm

I think LA's pitching is excellent. Maddux has been great, we've seen what Lowe can do in the playoffs, and Penny outside of the past month has been fantastic. And that's not taking into account the newer, more efficient Bills.
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Postby George_Foreman » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:52 pm

Right now, I kinda like the Dodgers. But don't count the Pads out of it. Peavy, Young.... If their bats get hot enough for them to make the wild card, I could see them allowing like 2 runs (and scoring 6 ;-7 ) to win a 4-game series against the Mets with Peavy getting two starts or something.

I dunno. I just don't want to trust Trachsel in a playoff game, and Glavine's ERA in the second half is like 5.50. Peavy vs. Pedro would be an awsome matchup, though. :-D

Oh, and the Marlins have better starters for sure.
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Postby brandnew » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:58 pm

davidmarver wrote:
brandnew wrote:Next year, I think it's going to be a different season.

Ya think? :-b


I was wondering if anyone would catch that. Nice ;-D
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Postby pokerplaya » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:38 pm

George_Foreman wrote:I dunno. I just don't want to trust Trachsel in a playoff game, and Glavine's ERA in the second half is like 5.50. Peavy vs. Pedro would be an awsome matchup, though. :-D

Oh, and the Marlins have better starters for sure.


Trachsel won't get a start, so you won't have to worry. It's going to be Pedro, Glavine, El Duque. Book it.

And I'm not worried about the Marlins, especially since they would have to A: make the playoffs and B: win their first series for the Mets to play them
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Postby George_Foreman » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:41 pm

Well, I don't really trust Duque, either. :-) and Pedro in a 3-man rotation is... questionable.
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Postby pokerplaya » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:45 pm

George_Foreman wrote:Well, I don't really trust Duque, either. :-) and Pedro in a 3-man rotation is... questionable.


Points taken.

But answer me this....do you really put any other team in the NL as a favorite against the Mets in the playoffs this year? :-?
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Postby Xtreemes » Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:33 am

I totally trust Duque in the post season. He gears himself up to another level in the postseason, to the tune of a career 2.55 playoff ERA
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Postby George_Foreman » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:25 pm

pokerplaya wrote:
George_Foreman wrote:Well, I don't really trust Duque, either. :-) and Pedro in a 3-man rotation is... questionable.


Points taken.

But answer me this....do you really put any other team in the NL as a favorite against the Mets in the playoffs this year? :-?
Hmm. I guess I wouldn't pick any other specific team against them, I just think it's a better than 50/50 chance that they don't make it to the WS. Something like I give them a 2/3 chance of winning each series, but that means only like 4/9 that they win both. So they're still the most likely to do it, it's just more likely that they won't. If that makes any sort of sense at all....
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