On Deck: Saturday May 3, 2008 D-Backs

New York Mets (15-12) at Arizona Diamond Backs (20-9)   3:45pm

Mike Pelfrey (2-1) vs. Brandon Webb (6-0)

TV: Fox   Radio: WFAN

What to watch: Going against Webb is a really tough draw for the Mets. He won the Cy Young Award two years ago, and looks like he’s on his way to doing it again this year. If Carlos Beltran can wake up offensively the Mets will have a much better chance against Webb.

Reyes, Mets Rock First Place D-Backs 7-2

Sorry for the late post but I was too tired to start writing last night. These West coast night games are tough.

John Maine, once again, didn’t have a great game although his velocity was up from his previous starts. You never know if it’s the radar gun in the particular stadium though. The radar gun at Chase Park had Maine throwing his fastball as high as 95-96, which is unusually high for him. But he has had some “dead arm” periods over the last couple of years.

Jose Reyes put on a show offensively going 4 for 5 with 3 runs and a stolen base. He also had an incredible diving stop and throw at shortstop. He was on fire last night. Two of his hits were triples and one was a double. In one triple he was thrown out at home going for an inside the park homer. Reyes is the most exciting player in baseball right now… period!

David Wright looked good at the plate. He was right on the ball last night. He went 3 for 5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI’s, including one double. Even Carlos Delgado got in on the act going 2 for 4 with two singles.

It was great to see Moises Alou back in left field. He’s still turning on inside pitches and ripping line drives into the outfield. He adds a huge force in the middle of the lineup.

Box score

On Deck: Friday May 2, 2008 – D-Backs

New York Mets (14-12) at Arizona Diamond Backs (20-8)   9:40pm

John Maine (2-2) vs. Micah Owings (4-0)

TV: SNY   Radio: WFAN

What to watch: The Mets are in Phoenix for a three game series this weekend that will be the best team they’ve faced this season. John Maine has been fair this season and hasn’t been able to capture the magic he had in spring training where he was unhittable. Micah Owings is a tough draw for the Mets to start the series. He’s in the Babe Ruth mold, a pitcher that’s probably more valuable as a hitter. The guy is a really dangerous hitter, as evidenced by his pinch hit two run homer to win the game for the D-Backs the other night. Oh by the way, he’s 4-0 as a pitcher as well. Tough game and series for the Mets.

National League Cy Young Award Contenders

Johan Santana's 2006 AwardsImage by resedabear via Flickr

When Johan Santana was traded to the Mets this off-season I was thinking that he would win the Cy Young Award for the National League hands down. He still might do that but there are other pitchers having better April’s than Santana.

Brandon Webb (6-0) has been lights out this year and won the award two years ago. His 1.28 ERA and the Diamond Backs early season success has him as the early favorite.

Jake Peavey (2-1), last year’s winner, has a 2.09 ERA in San Diego. With little offensive support and the D-Backs looking like a runaway train in the West, he probably won’t win it again even with another big season.

Johan Santana (3-2) is still in the running. His 3.12 ERA is just fine but not elite material yet. He’s still got plenty of time to take his place among the league leaders so don’t get down on him (or boo him).

John Donovan at Sports Illustrated wrote a good analysis of the pitchers that have Cy Young Award aspirations this season, and the talent to get the award.

Check out the picture of Santana’s 2006 awards: Cy Young Award, MLBPA Players Choice Award, and Baseball America Player of the Year.

D-Backs Front Office Blogger

The Arizona Diamondbacks logoImage via WikipediaI’m sure you all know about Curt Schilling’s 38 Pitches blog. There are other baseball insiders blogging too. I read in The Hardball Times today that A.J. Hinch has a blog as well. He’s the Director of Player Development for the D-Backs. His blog is called D-backs On Deck. It’s very interesting reading.

Although we haven’t seen the D-Backs yet this season, I’ve seen plenty of highlights on my favorite show, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Everyone knows about Brandon Webb and Randy Johnson but they’ve got a ton of really good young players on that team. They could contend for years with that team.

The success of the D-Backs makes Hinch’s blog especially interesting. Check it out.