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Sunday, July 15, 2007

After the Shakeup

I don't know that I'd actually call the actions of the Mets after the All-Star game a shakeup, but they've gone 2-1 since then. It's a very soft 2-1 so far, but I'll take it. The pre-game Ralph Kiner events were very nice. It was cool to see all those guys come onto the field, guys like Seaver and Koosman and Yogi. It was cool seeing clips of Kiner's Korner and all of that stuff. I'm only 25, so i barely remember a lot of the old stuff, I don't even remember '88 or '86, and the Mets were bad for a lot of the time after that so my focus was never fully on the Mets growing up.

I was at the last two games, Friday and Saturday. I was witness to, and part of, the growing anger of the Met fan. Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, particularly on Saturday, were getting booed when they failed. It's probably part booing the Mets for failing in key situations, as they had six hits and no runs through four innings on Saturday. It's also part booing what is perceived as Delgado's and Beltran's recent struggles. I can refer you to my earlier post about Beltran, where I point out that he's had some pretty key moments with the Mets. Or I can point out that although it's primarily taking pitches that fans have a problem with, but Beltran did draw one of the Mets two walks. He also had two of the Mets four walks on Friday. On Friday it was primarily David Wright and Delgado swinging at everything and not taking pitches, but Delgado had a couple of hits. Saturday Delgado hit two long fly balls, and three of his outs were hit the other way, which usually will help Delgado get some hits against the shift.

Alternatively, it's not any one player that's struggling, but all of them. The Mets are hitting, the Mets are even on occasion drawing walks, but they're inconsistent. Saturday Matt Belisle for the Reds has 60 pitches through three innings, but managed to get through seven innings. They were working counts early, but failed in the middle innings. The Mets had 11 hits, they just failed, and have failed to string together hits at the right time. Whether this is because of bad luck, bad approaches at the plate, or just a coincidence is hard to say, but it's something Howard Johnson and the Mets need to address.

This post has been more negative than I feel, so let's put together a list of good signs.

-Shawn Green gets a hit with a runner on third and two outs.

-Lastings Milledge got a hit with two outs and a runner on second to score the go-ahead run and the win for Glavine after he'd pitched eight terrific innings.

-Lastings Milledge scores the go-ahead run on Thursday by scoring from first on a hit.

-Saturday the Mets played terrific defense, and when you start doing well at one aspect of the game, it often carries over to others.

-Wagner continues to pitch excellently.

-The Mets are showing signs of being able to work counts and take walks.

-The Mets are accumulating a lot of hits.

-The Mets are still in first place.

-Oliver Perez looks like his back is fine.

-Even John Maine's bad outing wouldn't have been horrible without two errors.

-Delgado has hit some long fly balls for outs, suggesting that he's just missing having his stroke back. He's slowly raising his average up to miserable from completely miserable. Some of this fly balls have been the other way, suggesting he's making an attempt to use the whole field.

I'm going to describe this season like I would describe John Maine's pitching last year. They're a good team, but they have some mental blocks at key times. I'm still confident in them, and you should be too. Every season can't be easy, but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, and I don't think the Braves or Phillies have what it takes to kill our season.

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