Mets Secure NL East

Going into last night the Mets had beaten the Braves three in a row to give 'em the auld death blow to NL East hopes. They lost two of three to the Marlins knowing the Marlins are not serious contenders this season and now they've completed the demoralisation of the Phillies by taking two of three, last night by an 8-1 margin in a quasi crucial series and crushing their hopes as well.

The lead is back to 13 games.

There's no one left in this dust heap and the Army, anxious to plant the NL East flag in the dirt and start looking at the postseason competition, declares the Mets the NL East Champions.

After 11 days rest, enough to forget he even HAD a scoreless streak running, John Maine continued to justify the unloading of Mr Anna Benson by continuing his scoreless innings pitch streak by what can only be slight of hand, mirrors and deception.

Maine threw six innings, gave up a mere three hits, walked three and struck out four to stretch the streak to 23 innings, retiring 12 in a row at one point.

His streak is the longest since reliever Mark Guthrie pitched 27 consecutive scoreless innings in 2002. The last time a Mets starter pitched more consecutive scoreless innings was in 1998 -- 25 1/3 by Al Leiter. One of Maine's 23 came in relief.

He's still miles from Orel Hershiser's record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings and frankly, given what that streak combined with a determined postseason did to his career, it might be better to simply hope that John Maine is what he is cracking up to be. It's puzzling in that light, why most teams were asking for Mike Pelfrey all along.

The game was over by the fourth inning when Jose Reyes, prior to this season not known for his homerun hitting prowess, smacked a grand slam off of overmatched Scott "I'm No Christy" Mathieson, who allowed 7 runs in 3 2/3 innings, only 2 of which were earned runs. In other words, another blundering game by the choking dog Phillies and another painful loss.

Reyes' grandslam was filled with numbers. It was his career highest 11th homer of the season, one for every time he has been caught stealing this season. Reyes, who signed a $23.25 million, four-year extension on Thursday, set a Mets season record for homers by a shortstop with his 11th, breaking a tie with Kevin Elster (1989) and Ed Bressoud (1966).

It was also the sixth grand slam in the last 19 games. More importantly, it snapped the Phillies' will, admittedly, not a difficult thing to do, but when they managed only a run off of the bullpen combination of Royce Ring, Chad Bradford and Darren Oliver, you have to believe that the Phillies never took themselves seriously as contenders to begin with.

The Phillies Phutility also have us the chance at resting the normal bullpen troika for the big series against the Padres.

Ok, it's not a big series for us at this point. It's a big series for Mike Piazza and the Padres who hold a precarious 2 game lead over the NL West and might be a potential postseason opponent.

After a renaissance in July during which Piazza hit .407 with 5 homers and 14 RBIs in 19 games, the auld boy is back to late career form, hitting .167 in August.

His Mets replacement, Paul Lo Duca is hitting .430 (43-for-100) since July 1.

And let's not forget in the wake of Reyes' extension, David Wright getting one of his own which appears to have dwarfed that of Reyes. $55 million for six more years of service. Future secured.

1 comment:

sanchez said...

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If only they'd had Reyes and Wright.