Thursday, August 07, 2008


I was all set to rip the Mets after Wednesday night's game. Especially David Wright. Because everything that represented what has been wrong about the Mets in 2008 was on display, even as what's right about them was taking place.

Here's the example. In the fifth inning Wednesday night, Daniel Murphy comes up, batting second in the order, after a Jose Reyes single. After Reyes steals second, Murphy tries to move him to third by hitting the ball to the right side. The pitch is inside, and Murphy turns on it and pulls it right over the second baseman's head for an RBI single. That tied the game at 2. David Wright then reached on an error, so it's first and second for Carlos Beltran. Beltran flies out to deep right. Murphy tags at second, and would advance easily, except Wright forgot how many outs there were and got doubled off first.

To make matters worse, possibly because he was still thinking about the bad baserunning move, Wright made the error in the seventh inning that allowed the Padres to take the lead, and ended up giving Pedro Martinez* an unearned loss after a very good outing.

These were exactly the type of blunders (the baserunning more than the error) that cost Willie Randolph his job. And there's one of two things happening - either 1) Randolph so woefully prepared this team in the fundamentals of baseball in the spring that they're still suffering the consequences (obviously, the minor league system is teaching the right things, because Murphy and Nick Evans have been doing the right things all along), or 2) The current coaching staff is still stressing the wrong things with this team.

Either way, these Mets have made unacceptable mistakes all season.
Then along comes Thursday afternoon. Everyone is clamoring for David Wright to get a day off, but the problem isn't Wright - it's the bullpen. For the hundredth time this year, Johan Santana is pulled from a game, possibly prematurely, and the bullpen costs him a win. That's another story for another day.

What happened today was David Wright won a game for the Mets a day after losing one for them - a total turnaround for him. He hit a walk-off two-run homer. So that's a nice little bounceback. And it's good for the Mets that just when everything was seeming to go wrong (another blown save by the Wagner replacements), they're able to pull out a win.

Another big series with Florida begins Friday.

LAST WORD ON PENNINGTON: I'm not going to go through all of the possible destinations for Chad Pennington, because I've already done that. This is from before the draft (actually, before the Super Bowl even), but it's not outdated at all. I still think those are the most likely destinations, although maybe Minnesota moves up to the "very likely" category.

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