After Remarkable Road Trip, Mets May Be In Contention for Coveted Honor
Note To Readers: The following article was posted on Sunday, July 25th with a significant typo and is being reposted on July 26th with updates from the games later that day.
The road trip ended Sunday, mercifully, and the Mets are much closer to winning the Golden Possum Award than before. The Golden Possum Award is given to any team that at any given moment has the most notable reputation for “dying on the road,” as it were. Just like a dead possum, the team that wins this coveted statue really stinks on the road, just a plain fact.
Two weeks ago the Mets were over the .400 mark on the road and out of the top ten, but after going 2-9 on this road trip, their ranking in the Golden Possum Standings has been steadily rising. After Saturday’s miserable extra inning 3-2 fiasco against the Dodgers, and Sunday’s 1-0 Golden Sombrero Fest, they now may even have a shot at the trophy. When all the members of a team think alike and do the same things at the same time, its bound to get results.
In an exclusive interview with Amazine, Mets’ third baseman David Wight* said, “The New York Mets really stink during road trips this year. They accomplish this as a team. There is hardly a game in which each player doesn’t fail to contribute to this goal. As soon as they leave the safety of Citifield, these players really come out of their shell and play like there’s no tomorrow. Its worth it to travel to other MLB cities outside of the New York area, just to see them play in a way that we never get to see at home. Its so remarkable.”
What is remarkable about this season is how exceptionally horrible many teams are this year away from home. It must be some kind of record. During a normal season the Mets would have no trouble capturing the flag with their astounding 20-33 “away” tally, but this year there are so many teams tanking on tour that only a miracle will allow the Mets to walk away with the superlatives this time. As they say, its not just the games behind in the loss column, its the number of teams, and the Mets are now 8th, ahead of Houston and Colorado, and a half game behind the “Clueless in Cleveland” Indians. Their chances of catching the Pirates this year in RGME, road game massacres experienced, are almost nil, but they keep trying anyway.
Here are the current standings as of July 26th, 2010. This shows only the top ten contenders, across the majors, without regard to league membership or overall win percentage.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates 11-38 .224
2. Baltimore Orioles 13-34 .276
3. Arizona Diamondbacks 13-33 .282
4. Seattle Mariners 15-32 .319
5. Washington Nationals 17-36 .320
6. Detroit Tigers 16-29 .355
7. Cleveland Indians 19-33 .365
8. NEW YORK METS 20-32 .377
9. Houston Astros 19-30 .388
10. Colorado Rockies 20-31 .388
Pittsburgh, with a breathtaking total of 11 wins all year away from PNC park, and 6 games “up” in the win column from the Mets, are in the running to have the worst road record in baseball history, with Baltimore and Arizona nipping their heels. Seattle, running fourth, has the same number of losses as the Mets, but in five less road games. The Nationals have accumulated an amazing 36 losses on the road, but are still two losses behind the Pirates, in spite of all their efforts to the contrary. The Mets are really going to have to blow alot of late inning leads on the road if they are going to pass Washington and compete with Pittsburgh for that distinction. Meanwhile even the Orioles’s 13-34 record may prove insurmountable for the New York Mets, who are known to be a streaky team and may suddenly win three or four road games in a row for no apparent reason. I think that with a few more injuries and some inept pitching performances from Oliver Perez, the Mets have a shot at passing Cleveland and Detroit in lost road games, but Washington and Seattle are now at .320 on the open trail, so I wouldn’t count on the Mets to place any higher than 6th this year in the Golden Possum Standings.
I have a better idea: Let’s forget about winning the Golden Possum this year, and focus instead on winning road games and blowing away the Braves and Phillies in the positive thinking column! What a concept! Don’t they have some kind of trophy for winning the NL East? Yes, I think they used to call it a “pennant!”
*That’s ten year old David “Gameboy” Wight, third baseman for the Trumbull, Connecticut Little League Softball Mets, who by the way haven’t had a “road trip” in ten years, since there is only one field for the entire league.
Mets and Braves Find Themselves Competing on Several Levels This Season
Copyright 2010 by Evan Pritchard for Amazine
The Mets’ and Braves’ rivalries are as old as the Civil War; Atlanta never forgot what happened during Sherman’s March and New Yorkers can’t forget that day a southerner killed Lincoln. At the end of the 1990s, as you no doubt recall, the rivalry was red hot, and into 2001 it was a matter of daily concern to citizens of both cities. But after that blown save by Armando Benitez against the Braves in 2001, the Mets went quietly and the rivalry subsided for just a bit. 2006 was all Mets, and in fact the Phillies eclipsed the Braves as Mets’ rivals for two or three years. Earlier this year it was the furthest thing from my mind, and probably yours as the Braves wallowed in a miserable last place. But now the Braves are in first again, with the Mets in hot pursuit, just like old times.
In fact, there are several intriguing subplots here that may have escaped your Wayne Hagan/Gary Cohen-like attention to detail.
First of all there is a hot contest for Rookie of the Year between the Braves’ Jason Heyward and the Mets’ Ike Davis. Then there is a hot contest for the NL Batting Crown between the Braves’ Martin Prado and the Mets’ David Wright, with possible challenges to both from Braves’ Omar Infante and Mets’ Angel Pagan. Then there is a tied contest between David Wright and Troy Glaus for the top ten in the NL home run champion. Then there is a somewhat heated contest for RBI champ between Troy Glaus and David Wright. Then there is an interesting comparison between catcher Rod Barajas of the Mets (plus his subbies) and catcher Brian McCann of the Braves. Then there is a rivalry for All Star Ace between the Braves Tim Hudson and the Mets’ Johann Santana. Then there is a rivalry for All Star Closer between the Braves’ Billy Wagner and “K-Rod” Francisco Rodriguez of the Mets. Then there is a rivalry between number two starters; Derek Lowe of the Braves and Mike Pelfrey of the Mets, who have similar numbers. Then there is a rivalry between Japanese number-four pitchers; Kawakami of the Braves and Takahashi of the Mets, who have similar enough numbers to make a comparison. One could also imagine a rivalry between the set-up relief pitchers, T. Saito of the Braves and Pedro Feliciano of the Mets, who have similar numbers. Each of these contests are fun to watch separately, but the accumulative effect promises to keep the baseball hotdogs hot all summer long.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
The Braves’ star rookie Jason Heyward is getting a lot of votes for Rookie of the Year, with his 45 ribbies, five stolen bases, 13 doubles, 3 triples, and 11 home runs. In 255 at bats, he is hitting .251 and has walked 42 times and has 64 hits and 41 runs. The Mets’ star rookie Ike (Isaac Benjamin) Davis is doing equally well. The slick fielding Ike Davis, in 275 at bats (20 more than you know who) has scored 43 runs (2 more) on 71 hits (7 more) with 16 doubles (3 more) 0 triples (3 less) and the same amount of homers, 11. Davis has 40 ribbies, (5 less) and is currently batting .258, 7 points higher than Heyward. Davis has 4 less stolen bases and has walked ten less times. So what? A pretty close contest between the Braves’ outfielder and the Mets’ first baseman, but Heyward has been picked for the All Star game and Davis has not. Both players bat and throw left; Both players are youngsters: Heyward was born 8/9/89 while Davis was born 3/22/87. Heyward hit a homer in his first at bat, which was against the Cubs, and Davis went 2 for 4 in his first game, which was also against the Cubs. Davis’ first home run was off the Braves, ironically, on April 23rd, only his fifth game. Davis’ first homer traveled 450 feet, which is 36 feet longer than Jason Heyward’s first homer, which was also a mighty blast.
NATIONAL LEAGUE BATTING CROWN
Who is going to have the highest batting average at the end of the season in the NL? Will it be All Star David Wright, who is now at .314? Or the Braves’ Martin Prado who is now at .325? Will it be the Mets’ Angel Pagan, who is batting .315? Or the Braves’ All Star Omar Infante who is batting .332 in only 193 at bats, not enough yet to qualify for the batting crown
listings? Only time will tell. If Wright can keep up his recent .400 pace he will pass these other players in three weeks, providing the others don’t improve on their stats in the mean time. Prado will start at second base on the All Star Team, but in 2009 he played 41 games at third base, Wright’s position as a starter on the All Star team. Prado hit a grand slam on May 10th of this year, while Wright has yet to hit one this year. Wright was born December 20th ,1982, while Prado was born October 27th, 1983, less than a year later. So far this year, Prado has 372 at bats with 61 runs and 121 hits (!!!) including 25 doubles, 2 triples and 10 homers. He has 39 ribbies, 4 stolen bases, and 26 walks, with a .325 batting average, although he peaked at .340. David Wright, his elder by ten months, has had 325 at bats (47 less) with 52 runs scored (9 less) 102 hits (19 less) including 25 doubles (they are in a dead heat for doubles, both leading the league), and 2 triples each. David has 14 homers, leading Martin by 4. Wright has 65 ribbies, leading the league, while Prado has 39 (26 less). Wright is batting .314 (11 less points) and has 15 stolen bases to Prado’s 4. Wright has walked 45 times while Prado has only 26 walks.
HOME RUN CHAMPION/RBI CHAMPION
Wright is leading the Mets in homers, and is in the running for the home run crown, although at a distance. Wright has 14 homers, and has had for a while, unfortunately. Troy Glaus, first baseman for the Braves has 14 homers as well, a dead heat. Both players would have to go on a power surge to take the league lead, but are still in range to possibly seize the crown by the end of the year. David Wright is leading the league in ribbies with 65, while Glaus is only 7 behind with 58. Troy Glaus has 295 at bats, 30 less than Wright, with 43 runs scored (9 less than Wright), 75 hits (27 less) 13 doubles (12 less) no triples, and 49 walks (4 more than Wright), and is batting .254 (60 less than Wright).
Brian McCann, the Braves’ All Star catcher, has had 255 at bats, scoring 40 runs on 68 hits, 16 of which were doubles, none of which were triples, and 10 of which were home runs. He has 37 rbi’s and his batting .267 with 3 stolen bases and 42 bases on balls. Rod Barajas is only slightly less impressive: He has 227 at bats (28 less), scoring 29 runs (11 less) on 54 hits (14 less), 11 of which were doubles. Both have no triples, but Barajas has one more home run than McCann this year, 11.
Barajas has 32 ribbies (6 less) and is batting .238 (29 points lower) with 8 walks. McCann is a better hitter on most accounts, but it’s pretty close, considering the 28 less at bats. The Mets also have Thole and Blanco as regular catchers, and Thole added to Barajas is just slightly better than McCann. Add Thole’s 17 at bats to Barajas and you get 254 at bats, one less than McCann. Add his 9 hits to Barajas’ 54 hits and you get 63 hits to McCann’s 68 (five less) Add Thole’s 5 rbi’s to Barajas’ 32 and you get 37, (tying McCann); calculate Thole/Barajas batting average combined and you get .248, only 19 points lower than McCann. Now add Blanco’s 74 at bats and 21 hits and the Mets’ battery team is batting .256 on the year, only 11 points behind. This would also give the Mets’ catchers 13 homers (leading McCann by 3) and a total of 44 rbi’s, (leading McCann by 8.)
ALL STAR PITCHING ACE
Perhaps the most obvious player to player rivalry is in the category of All Star Pitching Ace. The Mets have Johan Santana, who has really shown his stuff the last three outings, and Tim Hudson, the Braves All Star Ace. Johan Santana lowered his ERA today to 2.98. He has a record of 7-5 with one complete game and one shutout. In 127 innings he has struck out 83 batters and given up only 8 homers and 41 walks.
Tim Hudson has pitched well so far. He has an ERA of 2.30 (.68 lower) with a record of 9-4 (2 more wins to one less loss) with also one complete game, same as Santana. In 121 innings (6 less) he has struck out 61 batters (22 less!!) and has given up only 9 homers (1 more) and 43 walks (2 more). Sanatana has been a hard luck pitcher this year, hence the low wins, but Mets fans would say Johan’s lead in strikeouts is equal to Hudson’s lead in the ERA department, so they’re even. Why is Tim Hudson on the All Star team and not Santana?
ALL STAR CLOSER
Former Met star Billy Wagner is now an All Star for the Braves, boo hoo. But we have K-Rod, who has the better rep. But which is better this year? Wagner, unfortunately. Wagner in 37.1 innings, has an ERA of 1.21, with a 5-0 record, and 20 saves. He has 56 strikeouts to only 12 walks and has given up only 3 dingers. Francisco Rodriguez has been having an off year by comparison. K-Rod in 44 innings (6.2 more) has a 2-2 record, with 53 strikeouts (3 less) to only 17 walks (5
more) and has given up only 3 dingers, same as Billy. K-rod has 21 saves, one more than Billy.
Derek Lowe and Mike Pelfrey are both number two starters for the two rival teams and they are quite similar. Pelfrey was born 1/14/84 and is 6’7″ and 230 lbs. He bats and throws right. His ERA is currently up to 3.58 but was at one time the lowest in the NL. He is now at 10-4 with one save. He had pitched 113 innings with 69 strikeouts and 42 base on balls. He has given up 7 homers. Derek Lowe is only one inch shorter than Pelfry, at 6’6″, at 230 pounds, just like Pelfry, and bats and
throws right, exactly like Pelfry! Lowe has an
ERA of 4.35 (77 points higher) with a 9-8 record (one less win but 4 more losses). In 113.2 innings (same number!) he has thrown 70 strikeouts (1 more!) and 44 base on balls (2 more!). He has given up two more homers than Pelf with 9. Lowe is much older than Pelf, born in 1973, 11 years earlier. Some of the similarities between these two pitchers is striking, but Pelfry is the better pitcher this year.
JAPANESE NUMBER-FOUR PITCHERS
The Braves and Mets both have Japanese number-four starters, and their numbers are remarkably similar. The Braves’ Kawakami is 1-9 with an ERA of 4.48 in 82.1 innings. He has given up 9 homers, and 28 walks, while ringing up 57 strikeouts, a strong K number. The Mets’ Takahashi is 7-3 (clearly much better) with an ERA of 4.15 (.33 better) in 78 innings (4 less) . He too has given up the same number of
homers, 9, and has given up 31 walks (3 more) while ringing up 72 strikeouts (clearly better in this department, with 15 more K’s.)
While we’re at it we can compare Braves’ starter Hanson to Mets’ Dickey. Hanson is 8-5 with a 4.13 ERA in 102.1 innings. He has 104 strikeouts while giving up 7 homers, and allowing 23 bases on balls. While no pitcher on either team comes close to Hanson’s 104 strikeouts, he matches evenly against Dickey, the knuckleballer, who has a similar 6-2 record and an ERA of 2.77 (1.36 less).
Dickey has only 65 innings pitched (37 less) and has given up 4 homers (3 less) and 19 walks (4 less) while striking out 48 men (56 less). Mets fans will eagerly point out the ERA versus strikeouts is a good tradeoff.
Both teams have similar middle relief men. The Braves have T. Saito, who has a 1-3 record with an ERA of 3.71 in 34 innings. He has given up 3 homers in that stretch, and 12 walks, while striking out 41 opposing batters. The Mets have Pedro Feliciano, who has a 2-4 record with an ERA of 2.34 in 34.2 innings (almost the same number of innings, but a much better ERA, 1.35 lower). He has given up 1 homer during that stretch (2 less) and 17 walks (5 more) while striking out 33 batters. (8 less). Saito’s better strikeouts to walks ratio balances out his much higher ERA in comparison to Feliciano, but Pedro’s low homers and strong winning record gives him the edge.
Escobar is no match for Reyes but take a look at Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones’ numbers this year compared to New York’s All Star Jose Reyes. They are in a close contest as all around hitters and players. Chipper (Daryll!!!) Jones in 242 at bats has scored 33 runs on 61 hits and 16 doubles with no triples. He has 6 homers on the year, with 33 RBI’s and has 5 stolen bases. He has earned 50 walks and is batting .252 this year. Reyes, in 324 at bats has scored 52 runs (19 more!), 89 hits (28 more), 15 doubles (1 less!), and 6 triples (6 better than nothing), with 6 homers (exactly the same), with 33 RBI’s (the same!) and 19 walks (Jones gets the edge on this one). Reyes leads the league in stolen bases with 19,(14 more than Chipper) and is batting .275 (23 points higher than Jones). Reyes is clearly ahead of Jones.
One might argue that Jeff Francoeur is a close match at the plate with Chipper Jones. Frenchy, in comparison to Chipper, has 51 more at bats, one more run scored, 13 more hits, 1 less double, 1 more triple, 2 more homers, 9 more RBI’s, 31 less walks, 2 more stolen bases, and is batting .253, 1 point more than Jones. Except for walks, that’s a pretty close match! But the two have opposite personalities; Jeff is a clowner while Chipper Jones hardly cracks a smile. I’d rather have a Pooh than an Eyore on my team.
Another interesting comparison is between the Braves’ Prado, who will be allowed to play with the other All Stars on Tuesday, and Angel Pagan, who will not even be allowed into the parking lot at Anaheim. Yes, Pagan has 74 less at bats, and has scored 25 less runs with 27 less hits, 8 less doubles, and 4 less homers, but he has 4 more triples than that Prado. He has one more RBI than Prado and is batting only .10 points lower. He has 15 more stolen bases than Prado and two more walks. (Prado is injured and will not be playing)
So as you watch the Mets during the second half of the season as they try to pick up games on the Braves in the obvious rivalry that everyone knows about, also keep track of the deeper rivalries that are invisible to the uninitiated.
Anger Management 101: Bay’s First Error of Season Fails to Discourage Slugger/Closer Santana in 9th
Johann Santana really channelled his anger this evening and slugged a foul pole smashing homer to right to score what turned out to be the winning run and pitched a complete 113 pitch shutout to place the Mets at the top of the National League in shutouts, tying San Diego with 12. This was obviously in response to my blog of earlier the same day, begging the Mets to keep a careful eye on this important stat. They are on a pace to have 23 to 24 shoutouts this year, which would demolish all recent shutout records for the team. The last Mets complete game shutout was made on September 27th of 2008. The last Met pitcher to homer was John Maine on July 24th, 2007. It wasn’t Dave McNally’s two grand slam complete game, but this game will be the one they all remember at Citi Field.
Santana has had alot to be upset about lately, with vicious rumors being spread in the tabloids about his “golf game,” and a lack of home run support from his buddies, and being taken out of shutout games only to see them squandered by lesser men. Over the last 7 no decision games he has started, he has maintained a 1.24 ERA to no avail, probably breaking some record only Cooperstown knowns about, the “Heartbreak Hotel” record. Tonight he decided, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” He provided the runs, the first eight innings as a starter, and was his own closer as well, making a surprising reappearance in the ninth after hurling about 100 pitches on the evening. In that tumultuous ninth, Jason Bay muffed a simple fly ball with men on, his first error of the season, but it did not lead to a run. Santana was already at 111 pitches, so it looked like Bay’s error had placed the CG out of reach, but when Manuel asked “How are you doing?” Santana growled, “I’m fine, leave me alone.” With help from a cat like horizontal leap from the surprising Ike Davis on a scorching line drive, Santana needed only 2 more pitches to finish off the hot-hitting Redlegs, who lead the league in most offensive categories. His angry fastballs were topping off at 91 MPH, which is where he performs best. He recorded five strikeouts and three base on balls. This guy should get mad more often.
The home run was Santana’s first in 182 at bats. He fouled off about nine tough pitches, until he got a change up and belted it off the right field corner foul pole and guy wire. The run was all the Mets needed to win their 47th game of the season against 37 losses. The Reds were left counting three hits among them, while the Mets collected seven in the 3-0 win. Both teams made an error.
Johann (one of about a dozen players who don’t need a last name) is now 6-5 on the year, with a 3.15 ERA in 18 starts. He has 78 strikeouts, an all-time low, only his second win since mid-May. He gave up a lead off triple to start off the game, then mowed down 10 in a row.
David Wright Still on a Course for TC
In spite of a one for three performance in tonight’s game, Wright is still on a tear at the plate. He is currently batting .317, but has been batting .398 for the last 30 days. If he were to keep going at a .400 pace from this point, he would be hitting .322 by the All Star Break (106 for 329). If the were to keep that .400 pace after the break, he would hit .326 a week after the Mets resume play (114 for 349 by July 22) and .330 a week after that (122 for 369 by July 29th) and .334 by August 4th (130 for 389) That would place him high on the totem pole for batting champion for the NL. Unless Reyes, who bats ahead of Wright, is abducted by alien baseball scouts after the All Star Game and taken to Alpha Centuri to play for the Alpha Males, Wright should also be able to easily maintain his lead in the RBI category as well. That leaves the homers, AH WELL! At least he leads the NL in doubles, which is half a homer!
NL Pitchers Ringing Up More Strikeouts, Shutouts, Every Year Since 2006; Mets Pitchers on a Similar Trend
As I was sitting watching yet another amazing pitching performance in the NL a little while ago, I had the feeling that pitching had been becoming more of a big deal since 2006. Since the word steroid became a lynching word in some cow towns, hitters have suddenly become more anemic at the plate. But it also seems that the pitching is better as well. I thought, “I may be crazy but I think not, some of these pitchers have got more pop!”
I looked up NL pitching stats from 2006 through to the halfway mark of this season, on shutouts and strikeouts, and there does seem to be a trend. Does it mean our hitters are getting worse, or our pitchers are getting better? In my opinion, the answer is, one or the other, I frankly can’t tell which, but pitching is dominating hitting more each year, with some minor fluctuations.
Here are the strikeout totals:
2006 Mets 1,161 (#3)
2006 NL Total 17,258
2007 Mets 1,134 (#7)
2007 NL Total 17,299
2008 Mets 1,181 (#1)
2008 NL Total 17,959
2009 Mets 1,031
2009 NL Total 18,205
2010 Mets (proj) 1,196
2010 NL Total (proj/est) 18,660*
While the NL has been consistently getting more strikeouts each season, the Mets have topped previous totals every alternate year.
The shutout totals are even more amazing. In fact, the Mets are on track for a record-busting year in terms of shutouts, so pay attention to this stat.
2006 NL 136
2007 Mets 10
2007 NL 128
2008 Mets 12
2008 NL 143
2009 Mets 12
2009 NL 150
2010 Mets (proj) 22
2010 NL (proj) 182
Other than 2007, both the NL and the Mets have either increased or held steady in the number of shutouts pitched each year, and this year looks like its going to blow away previous seasons in this important stat. Later on I may take time out to see if the Mets have ever had a 22 shutout season before. I kind of doubt it.But 182 for a league total is unusually high as well. It seems to be the year of the pitcher, like 1968. One theory is that teams are looking to cut their budgets and having three great pitchers may be cheaper than paying eight sluggers. In any case, this is the trend to watch this season. Maybe we should lower the mound again, or better yet, have the pitchers stand in a hole.
That would give our post-steroid sluggers a better shot at an RBI.
* Not all teams have played a half season exactly, so this is an adjusted figure
New York Fortunate to be Wild Card Team in NL
The Mets are currently the NL wild card team, with a record of 45 + 36. They are on a pace to win 90 games, and become the wild card team and compete in the playoffs. They are batting .260 as a team, which would stay the same, 7th in the NL. They now have 372 runs, 710 hits, 144 doubles, 23 triples, and 65 homers, with 355 rbis and 77 stolen bases. They are 9th in runs scored, 7th in doubles, 2nd in triples, 11th in homers, 9th in rbi’s, and leading the league in stolen bases. They are on a pace to make 744 runs, 1420 hits, 288 doubles, 46 triples, and 130 homers, with 710 rbis, and 154 stolen bases.
The Mets are not scoring runs quite as efficiently as they have in the past, either.
Here are the runs-efficiency standings as of now for the NL. The number represents runs per at bat.
The good news is that David Wright is leading the NL in batting average during the last seven games; he is batting .484 during that period.
Yesterday’s 9th inning loss the the Nationals was the 10th time the Mets have lost in a walk off situation this year.
Dateline July 2nd, 2010
The Mets’ bullpen held off a late surge by the Nationals to win 5-3, grabbing an important win to keep pace with the victorious Braves from Atlanta, whom they trail by 2 in the NL East. It also preserved their grip on the NL Wild Card berth for now. Also significant was David Wright’s 3 for 5 performance, which helped the team, but which also improved his come-from-behind race for starting third baseman at the 81st annual All Star Game.
Is he close to winning the Triple Crown? No, of course not. But if this Holy Grail of Baseball were the lead solo from Hendrix “Purple Haze,” David Wright should be able to do the “Air Guitar” Version by the All Star Break, and turn a few heads our way in the process. Plus if he does that, more people will read my blog.
Here is a brief summary of his offensive (and I mean that in a nice way) standings in the National League. In fact if he played like a maniac between now and the All Star Game on July 13th, he could be contending for the league lead in homers, rbis, and batting average, not to mention doubles, OBP, Slugging, hits and to a lesser extent, stolen bases. For a Mets fan, this would be a really nice “Experience”, especially after last year.
RBI: David Wright currently has 63 rbi’s, which leads the league and is 2 ahead of the nearest competitor.
Homers: David Wright has been smacking them lately, and hits them on the road which is where he’s going to be next week. He is now at 14 homers, which is #13 in the league, but only 5 behind Albert Pujols, not my closest friend, so I don’t care what happens to his lovely swing. If Loudmouth can go into a power slump and Wright can go on a homer streak and hit one each game for 9 games, he’ll surely top Pujols in this important category. Votto could also get in the way. Polanco only has five.
Batting Average: David Wright is batting .312 right now, in case you haven’t been paying attention. That’s number eight among the top ten hitters with more than 110 at bats, and number 5 for players with 230+ at bats. Prado is first at .337, only .25 points ahead. Furcal is second at .333, Manny is third at .322, (only 10 points ahead) Renteria is fourth at .320, the Phillies’ third baseman Placido Polanco is fifth at .318 (6 points ahead), Olivo is sixth at .316, and Votto is seventh at .314. Seems like easy prey to me, but hey, I’m not out there dodging bean balls every day.
Wright at last count is still 22,000 votes behind the Phillies’ Placido Polanco. But here’s the scoop, Polanco just went on the DL on Tuesday, freezing his measley .318 batting average for now. I’m sure that Wright, on his way to the Triple Crown Thing, can raise his BA by seven points before July 13th and pass Polanco. If you are making a serious run for the triple crown and you can’t be the starting third baseman in the All Star Game, you need a new toothpaste.
Doubles: David Wright also happens to lead the NL in doubles with 25. Good work Dave. That puts you ahead of Polanco anyway.
Wright has 13 stolen bases which is #12 in the league, 12 behind M. Bourn.
Wright has 92 hits so far this year, which is 22 behind Prado, 8 behind Phillips, and one behind Braun, placing him in 4th place in the NL.
Wright’s On Base Percentage is .391, which is good for #7 in the NL.
Wrights Slugging Percentage is .546 which is #8 in the NL.
Plus everyone likes to see Wright make those barehanded grabs at third, so the All Star Game should be in his back pocket. Go Mets Fans! Write up those All Star Tickets like a hoard of New York State troopers and make David Wright a lock in for the Summer Classic as a starter.
What would help would be if Jason Bay can put some heat on the opposing pitchers, coming up after Wright and protecting him in the lineup, so that the batting average goes up. Also having Reyes on base ahead of him would help with the RBI’s.
Also, I for one would like to see Steve Strasberg in the All Star Game. He’s exciting to watch, and All Star Games can get boring. Washington DC has always had taxation without representation, in the All Star Game as well as in real life; so let’s let the kid have a turn. After Pelfrey pitches.
For more rah rah about the Mets, read my book The Boys Of Shea, available on Amazon.com.