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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pitching Holding Up

More bad news on the Billy Wagner front, as it looks like he'll need some more time to deal with his elbow issues, but the Mets continue to find ways to win. This is much different than the first two or three months of the season, when the Mets were finding ways to lose. Of course it's against bad teams, but the Mets do have a good record against good teams too.

I'm pretty sure Manuel was spinning his normal tall tales when he talked about moving a starter to the bullpen, but the media, the fans, and the blogosphere can't seem to stop talking about it. I don't think it's likely, despite Maine's longevity problems lately. I'd much rather see the Mets throw whatever relief pieces they have in the minors, particularly after roster's expand, against the wall and see what sticks. Maybe all Ayala needs is a change of scenery, and he can make an impact here. If we want to talk John Maine to the bullpen for October, that's certainly something to think about once the Phillies fall out of it.

The Phillies are probably due for another upswing after a bunch of losses, and it's important for the Mets to stay ahead of them. This way when the Phillies struggles resurface, which is pretty much inevitable, they can lengthen the lead and start really pulling away. It's hard to think the bullpen could possible be worse, and any improvement in the team can only make it stronger. Despite being second in the league to the Cubs in runs scored, the Mets have struggled with big hits with RISP.

The biggest factor in thinking the Mets will take this division..semi-easily.., is that the Mets seem to have made the case that they can beat anyone and can win in a variety of ways. Conversely, the Phillies have exhibited the behavior of being able to be beat by anyone. The Phillies, particularly their starters, are very hit or miss. If their offense isn't on that day, even the lowly Nationals can beat them, and even if their offense is on, it's possible that their pitching will keep opponents in the game.

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