When things are going badly it’s nice to have a three game series against the Nationals. They are absolutely putrid. Even Tim Redding looked good against them going 6 innings and giving up just one run. And the bullpen backed him up big-time. They got 4 shutout innings from the bullpen and Shawn Green looks like he’s found his stuff again after a few weeks when he couldn’t get anyone out.
The Mets offense was all about David Wright tonight (4 for 5). He hit a huge 2-run double in the tenth inning to win it and cap a big night for him. On a strange note, he was thrown out at third base three times in the game. You don’t see that very often, and with good reason. I’m not sure if Razor Shines was the culprit or Wright was overly aggressive on the bases. But he needs to sharpen that up. Against a better team that could cost the Mets a game.
The Mets take the first of three and do it again tomorrow night in DC. Don’t forget the game is at night, there aren’t too many Saturday night games.
Shawn Green’s departure to free agency has left an opening in right field for 2008. I would love to see some combination of Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, or even Fernando Martinez (if he’s ready) take over the position successfully. There’s nothing better than farm system talent taking over a position and producing. I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
There are some intriguing possibilities on the free agent market. Jose Guillen from the Mariners is free. He’s also a major league loose cannon, and has a history of causing major disturbances with management, teammates, opposing teams, and anyone else that he encounters. He’s also a serious offensive force. Last season for the Mariners he hit .290 23HR 99RBI’s and he’s got a big time arm in right field. That would be a huge improvement over Shawn Green. Green could barely hit the ball out of the infield and stumbled around defensively for most of the season. Of course, Guillen has also allegedly purchased steroids illegally. But that’s never stopped the Mets before (Guillermo Mota).
My choice for a free agent right fielder… Barry Bonds. That’s right, I said Barry Bonds! Yeah, he’s old and another alleged steriod user. He also appears to be a real jerk. The question that you have to ask yourself is: do you want to win a championship or not? Bonds is a free agent, he hasn’t been suspended for anything. I guess that could happen depending upon the results of his federal indictment. But this guy can hit like nobody ever has before except maybe Babe Ruth and Alex Rodriguez.
Sign Bonds to a one or maybe two year contract. It still leaves plenty of playing time for Milledge/Gomez because Barry won’t play every day. Even on the days that Bonds doesn’t start, wouldn’t you like to see him coming off the bench to pinch hit against right handers?
If you think that you’re taking some moral high ground by disagreeing with me, you’re wrong. Were the 1986 Mets a bunch of Boy Scouts… Gooden, Kevin Mitchell, Strawberry? No, but you loved them anyway. And you’ll love the way Bonds can knock the lights out of the scoreboard in right field too.
It’s time to get this team going. The 07 version of the Mets looks very strong from an everyday player perspective. I (and everyone else) am not so sure about the pitching staff. I like that Willie got Glavine lined up for the opener tomorrow, especially when I see that the Yankees are opening with Pavano. I really hope the fans at Yankee Stadium boo him. He deserves it. Can you believe this is his third year with the Yankees?
Chris Carpenter is a tough matchup for the Mets tomorrow night. Last year he was 15-8 3.09 ERA in 32 starts. He also had 5 complete games, of which 3 were shutouts. That is a solid season! He also worked 221 innings. He had 184 K’s and 43 walks, so he’s usually pitching in or around the strike zone. He’s 31 years old. I wish the Mets had a starter of this caliber.
The player to watch in the short term is Shawn Green. How much patience does Willie show if he struggles early? Maybe not as much as you might think… Milledge made the team. Even though Green is making $10M this year, Milledge is the future (assuming he isn’t traded for pitching at the deadline). The bottom line here is that Shawn Green has had a severe drop off since his 2002 season with the Dodgers. His lack of performance this spring didn’t do anything to make us believe he can turn things around.
How can Glavine and El Duque hold up this season? Can we tread water until Pedro gets back in August? Can Oliver Perez collect himself and throw strikes again? These are a few of the questions that will be answered starting tomorrow night. The pitchers are a serious question mark!
The positive side of all this is that there aren’t many good teams in the NL. The Phillies, Cards, and Mets are clearly the best teams on paper. Let’s see if it plays out that way over 162 games. It usually doesn’t…