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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hot Potato

The game of hot potato continues. Can anyone remember the last time their was a serious division fight? 2006 was a runaway, and 2007 ended with a crazy game of hot potato, with both the Mets and the Phillies doing their best not be be stuck with the division in the end. The Phillies lost, or won depending on how you look at it, that game, but it appears we're playing a new round. I serously thought that by this point in August the Mets would be taking that potato like a football and heading into the end zone. Instead they floundered around in April, and whenever they've acquired the lead, they've made sure to play just bad enough to lose it again. Then the Phillies take a shot at playing badly, the Mets catch and pass them, and we repeat the process.

Sure, last night sucked. Not because of anything Philly is or did, but the same revolving story with the Mets. The bullpen giving it up in key situations, although Pedro could've been better, the inability to score after putting up runs early. This wasn't a 'great battle', it was an exercise in frustration. However, it was just one game, and even if it technically puts the Phillys back in first, there is still plenty of time to play. It's merely a two game series, and tonight is merely one more game. I wasn't surprised that the Mets, who were so hot, have faltered a little of the last five games, but it's time to make a serious play.

We've got Santana going, they've got Kendrick. A mismatch on paper, but then so was this division going into this year. Santana's pitched so brilliantly lately, you wonder if he's not just due for something more medicore. However, the Mets are also due to beat on Kendrick a little, and maybe they'll be able to mess up a now tired Phillies bullpen. Getting Kendrick out early serves that purpose as well. Keeping the bullpen puts pressure on their starters, and gives the Cubs a prime opportunity to beat on them this weekend. The Mets have an off day tomorrow, which allows them to throw everything they've got at the Phillies today and rest after.

It's an important game, but not a dire one by any stretch. Let's see the Mets get back to some decent baseball and put some solid distance between them and the Phillies. I'd like to see the September series as an opportunity to bury the Phillies, not a close battle.

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