8.8.05

Three Game Sweep, Omen Of the Future Or Harbinger of Doom?

Although Victor Zambrano's 8 strong innings coupled with David Wright's 3 RBIs helped lead the Mets to a 6-1 victory to complete an unlikely sweep over the Chicago Cubs Sunday night, it's been well documented that the one consistent aspect of the Mets season has been their inconsistency so not even this hopeful tic is an indication of where this seasons future lies.

How many times have they sunken into what we all begin to believe is an irratractable abyss only to see them pop back out like tassle-nippled coeds from a bachelor party cake?

Remember the spastic misery of five losses to start the season? Remember the humiliating three game sweep in Atlanta, two of which were shutouts, just on the tail of losing two of three to the hated Yankees and then with the Marlins looming forebodingly on the horizan?

And just as equally, in the few sputtering moments of daylight when the Mets appear to be generating some kind of momentum, some precious modicum of team chemistry that would propel them into the type of winning streak that can make a team's season and send them flying into the postseason, they have just as equally disappointed, sputtering, whiffing, giving up back-breaking homeruns in 9th innings that send the
team reeling back into uncertainty and confusion.

So here we are on the precipice again.

On the heels of a frustrating and heart-breaking performance against the Brewers the Mets have bounced back to sweep three straight from the Chicago Cubs and are now a mere three games from the coveted wildcard, still 6 1/2 behind the Braves for the NL East lead but only a game out of second place.

Are these the first rumblings of a massive winning streak carried on to the West Coast that will lock up the wildcard or lead them on their first legitimate run for the NL East title this season?

Or is it merely the final muscle twitch from the corpse before the first incision of the coroner's scalpel?

Tonight the Mets begin a six game Western roadtrip against the Padres and the Dodgers, who collectively, are 10 games below .500. Thereafter they return home to face the less-than-imposing Pirates and the quickly fading Nationals. This is followed by another seven game Western roadtrip (mercifully breaking in two what could have been a 13 game trip) at the Diamondbacks and Giants, two more teams that have floundered for the better part of the season and finally, they will end
August at home against the Phillies, whose number we've had all season.

It's been pointed out by far wiser men that August is the month for the Mets historically to make their move. The World Series teams of '69, '86 and 2000 all performed spectacularly in August and for each, it was the beginnings of the final push forward. These Mets, who have squandered every brief sunrise of potential this season in favour of watching the sunsets on spectacular disappointments, have their chance now to seize control of their season, astound us by surpassing their
potential and recording a Met season that will go down as the year the franchise turned the corner. They've only got to keep winning to do it.

We will all begin to find out tonight when Pedro (12-3, 2.81 ERA) takes on the recently-traded Chan Ho Park (0-0, 10.38 ERA / 8-5, 5.66 ERA in AL in 2005) in San Diego.

*****

Who's Laughing Now?



Scott Kazmir: 6-7 4.22 ERA 22 GS 128.0 IP 117 Hits 67 Runs 60 Earned Runs 9 HRs 7 HBP 70 walks 112 strikeouts

Victor Zambrano: 6-9 4.00 ERA 21 GS 126.0 IP 123 Hits 62 Runs 56 Earned Runs 10 HRS 10 HBPs 59 walks 77 strikeouts.

*****

The Mets are first in the National League in stolen bases with 102, far ahead of the second-fastest team in the National League, the Astros, with 85. Unfortunately, they are 5th in the NL in team ERA, behind the Astros, Cardinals, Nationals and Braves in that order, proving their run for the NL Wildcard is going to be a tough one.

*****

Jose Reyes' left field single in the 4th inning of Sunday night's game increased his current hitting streak to 20 games, four behind the Mets team record of 24 held jointly by Mike Piazza and Hubie Brooks. Cliff Floyd has already had a 20 game hitting streak this season.

*****


Following Pedro v Park on Tuesday night will be Kris Benson, who is 1-1 record in his three starts against the Padres since the beginning of last season. Benson has allowed 11 runs in his last 10 1/3 innings and perhaps more foreboding, has a 1-2 record in his last eight starts, which the Mets have split evenly.

His opponent will be Brian Lawrence (6-11 4.43 ERA).

In the final game of the series, someone yet announced, perhaps Seo, will face Woody Williams (5-8 5.16).

1 comment:

mr. met said...

The Devil Rays are still laughing. One is 21 with upside and pitching in the AL East while putting up almost identical numbers to a 29 year old who is probably as good as he is going to get pitching in the NL East.