Monday, April 21, 2008

Without a Trace

Games 8 through 17 - Mets

Mets 4, Phillies 3
Mets 4, Brewers 2
Brewers 5, Mets 3
Brewers 9, Mets 7
Mets 6, Nationals 0
Mets 5, Nationals 2
Mets 3, Nationals 2
Mets 6, Phillies 4
Mets 4, Phillies 2
Phillies 5, Mets 4
Record: 10-7

Hi there. Remember me?

Not sure exactly how it happened, but I spent the last 10 days away from MLC, save a quick visit here and there to keep up with doings in Red Sox Nation. Somehow a perfect storm of work, family time, friends in town, jaunts out on the town, episodes stressful and blissful, poker, darts, chores, and [insert other lame excuses here] created enough blogging inertia where I ignored you people like weirdos at the airport. My apologies. Won't happen again, at least any time soon.

While I walked away from my duties as MLC cornerstone, I didn't ignore the Metropolitans. I caught between a few innings and every pitch of nearly every game, and I'm utterly rife with analysis on this ballclub.

So what to make of the New York Mets now? Beats me.

Seems like things are going just a touch short of ideally in the Township these days. Let's start with the good, and there's a fair bit. Dee-Dub and Reyes are generally doing what superstar idols do. Sure, Dave flirted with the yips for a few games, and Jose seems to be buying into "Thou shalt not steal" more than we'd like and remaining decidedly not down with OBP. But Reyes' exuberance seems to have returned, and David Wright seems poised to will this team to wins.

In less predictable and therefore more pleasant successes, the ex-Nats the Mets got for Lastings Milledge are producing in the early going. Hey, we can't help but keep a comparative eye on Milledge and wonder if we got a good deal. 'Stings has a decent if unspectacular OPS and that same sizable upside. Meanwhile, Schneider & Church have managed to rap out a number of timely hits and look good doing it. Schneider got dinged up and has slightly less power than a Richard Marx song, but a .308 BA (and SLG, natch) so far to go along with his catching skills is gravy. Church is eminently likeable (you don't hear that much in the modern era) and could be a fan fave.

Angel Pagan -- more than just a name ripe for sacrilegious jokes. Too early to start thinking silly thoughts like whether we want Alou back quite so soon, but I'm thinkin' 'em.

Luis Castillo -- dear Lord, you're overpaid, sir. You flail that bat like you're Luke Skywalker with a light sabre battling that robot ball on the Millennium Falcon, except less athletic. In softball we'd occasionally play one of our outfielders as the "short-fielder," roaming somewhere between SS and left-center; he's the guy who catches the gorks, bloops, and dinks hit by nancy-boys and flair-wearers who can't clear the fence. Other teams need to seriously consider this possibility against Castillo.

Sorry, I quickly leapt from the good to the bad. I had intended to praise the starters on the whole, highlighted by surprising adequacy -- even dominance at times -- from the likes of Nelson Figueroa and Mike Pelfrey. Maine's shaking out the shakiness, Ollie's pitching like he's in a contract year with only occasional bouts of needing a GPS for home plate, and Johan Santana has performed decently while strategically leaving himself room for improvement. Nicely done.

And the pen . . . so I've got mixed emotions, I must say. On the one hand, Aaron Heilman seems like a real swell guy, don't ya know, and on the other, he seems to suffer from what doctors are calling "gopher balls," so it's hard to say. Actually, Heilman does remind me of Ed Grimley when he's out there, and that's not good.

The biggest reason for optimism, though -- albeit tempered -- is the return of Duaner Sanchez. He may have been missed the very most last year. You know, say, in September when late-inning leads were slicker'n two eels in a bucket of snot? He's back, and it's easy to get caught up thinking he looks really good.

Bench hitters have sucked, not so much to do anything about it except get them more AB's at this point, but they've sucked. Rob, haven't they sucked? They've sucked.
And you know, I was going to leave you two clowns alone to figure yourselves out, but so far Beltran and Delgado are reminding us a lot of the last time we had two Carlos's in one Met lineup (Baerga & Mendoza, 1997). Carlos, Carlos . . . get it together, dudes.

10-7, half a game behind the "give them time" Marlins. Unfortunately, the Braves and Phillies both look like they've got the horses for the long haul. This could be a long and storied summer in the NL East, and just a long summer for the Nats and Fish.

That's it for now. You're starting to wonder why you wanted more from me, aren't you? Well, too bad -- I'm back, refreshed, and ready to grace you with my snippets of uninteresting tripe for quite a while. Let's Go Mets.


TJ said...

I'm at the airport right now, and actively ignoring all that slack-jawed troglodytes I can.

However, rejuvenated by my visit to Legends Field minutes ago, I too will be back at MLC, albeit tomorrow.

And perhaps that will please Gozer the Gozerian.

Nick said...

Welcome back home. I hope you don't mind - we've rearranged the furniture a little.