Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, July 19, 2003
 
A combination of things have led me to today's entry...

1. I have no relevant Mets topic
2. I haven't written enough baseball stuff that doesn't have to do with the Mets
3. In his e-mail column on Friday, Aaron used my e-mail about Brian Giles.

So, today's topic is obviously... Brian Giles is the most underrated hitter in the game.

Why? Well, I would actually make him the most underrated player in the game except that Mike Cameron's defense is so much better than his that it makes up for the hitting difference. To read the article on why Cameron is the most underrated player in the game, go here.

First, here are Brian Giles' stats this year...

2003- 256 AB, .313/.447/.516 for a .963 OPS, 10 HR, 18 2B, 47 RBI, 2.19 BB/K ratio (59/27)

Those are impressive numbers and he's been injured a little bit this year. Those numbers rank him in a tie for 14th in OPS with Bret Boone and Manny Ramirez (All-Stars... I'l get to that later). He's 2nd in OBP to Barry Bonds and 39th in SLG. The .447 OBP astounds me and he's only been given 7 IBB's, which means he does most of the walking on his own, showing he has an extremely good eye. He has a BB/PA of .184 behind only Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds. His 2.19 BB/K ratio is second to Barry Bonds (2.21). The next is Sheffield with 1.89. He has an extremely good eye, gets on base, and hits for power with the 10 HR and 18 2B's. Why do you think Billy Beane attempts to trade the world for him every season.

But that's just this year. So, let's look at this career. Well, here are his stats in Cleveland, where he started his career...

1996- 121 AB, .355/.434/.612 for a 1.045 OPS, 5 HR, 14 2B, 27 RBI, 1.46 BB/K (19/13)
1997- 377 AB, .268/.368/.459 for a .827 OPS, 17 HR, 15 2B, 61 RBI, 1.26 BB/K (63/50)
1998- 350 AB, .269/.396/.460 for a .856 OPS, 16 HR, 19 2B, 66 RBI, 0.97 BB/K (73/75)

So Brian Giles was starting to show signs of becoming a very good hitter. He came up in 96 and tore the cover off the ball. In 1997, he came back down a little, but played well. In 1998, his OBP went up, while his SLG and AVG stayed the same. Then he was traded to the Pirates for Ricardo "I am the lefty specialist everyone trades for" Rincon.

1999- 521 AB, .315/.418/.614 for an OPS of 1.032, 39 HR, 33 2B, 115 RBI, 1.19 BB/K (95/80)
2000- 559 AB, .315/.432/.594 for an OPS of 1.026, 35 HR, 37 2B, 123 RBI, 1.65 BB/K (114/69)
2001- 576 AB, .309/.404/.590 for an OPS of .994, 37 HR, 37 2B, 95 RBI, 1.34 BB/K (90/67)
2002- 497 AB, .298/.450/.622 for an OPS of 1.072, 38 HR, 37 2B, 103 RBI, 1.82 BBK (135/74)

These stats are amazing. He's also only 32. His OBP is over .400 every year and his SLG is around .600. He shows great patience at the plate and developed great HR power now that he plays everyday. Here are Giles's OPS+'s over his career (OPS+ adjusts for league and park).

1996- 161
1997- 112
1998- 120
1999- 157
2000- 158
2001- 153
2002- 173

For early in his career those OPS+ numbers are good, but the last four years are outstanding. He's over 50% better than the rest of the league in OPS. His career OPS is .986 and his career OPS+ is 150. The OPS+ of 150 ties him for 34th all time with guys like Honus Wagner and Nap Lajoie. His career OPS puts him 11th all time, ahead of guys like Mark McGwire and Mickey Mantle. His career of OBP of .4159 is 23th all time. The numbers he's put up quietly are so amazing. He never gets talked about as an All-Star and only made the team last year because of the 32nd man vote. This year Mike Williams and his 6+ ERA made it from the Pirates and he didn't. Kenny Lofton was on the list for voting for 32rd and Brian Giles wasn't, even though he is having a better year and they play for the same team. I could go on and on about how he should be an All-Star and go over all his career numbers, but I think this puts things into perspective best.

Player A
1999- .315/.418/.614 OPS- 1.032
2000- .315/.432/.594 OPS- 1.024
2001- .309/.404/.590 OPS- .994
2002- .298/.450/.622 OPS- 1.072
2003- .313/.447/.516 OPS- .963

Player B
1999- .285/.357/.586 OPS- .943
2000- .316/.420/.606 OPS-1.026
2001- .318/.399/.622 OPS-1.021
2002- .300/.392/.623 OPS-1.015
2003- .285/.373/.544 OPS- .917

Overall, those numbers are pretty close. Well, if you remember the statistics and guessed that Player A was Brian Giles, you're correct. Player B... well he's regarded as maybe the best player in the game and one of the best hitters in the game. His name... Alex Rodriguez. That's how good of a hitter Brian Giles is. Maybe one day, the casual baseball fan will find out.

Also check out the three new links on the side... Batter's Box, Baseball Musings, and Baseball Crank.

Friday, July 18, 2003
 
I have an assorted bag of stuff to get to today...

First off, two new links on the side

Josh Heit's Blog: A look into the world of politics and sports among other things. Check out the article on the Reds four man rotation here

Major League Baseball Graphs: Interesting site using graphs to track all major league teams.

He's also pointed out to me that when you open my site it doesn't scroll down all the way. Just hit the maximize button (even if its open totally) and it allows you to scroll through the whole article. I'm trying to figure out why it does that....

While I got links going...

Aaron's Baseball Blog, which is the first baseball blog I read everyday, includes my E-mail about Brian Giles (That Jeremy is me) in his column. And he gives me a plug at the end! Hope everyone who comes over enjoys the site.

Also, Michael's Mets Ramblings has an article about my favorite Mets young player, Jason Phillips. Check that out also.

First off, I'd like to point I got a free preview of MLB Extra Innings through my cable provider this weekend and absolutely love it. Yesterday I got to see (I wasn't home till 9 PM EST)....
-Jose Lima pitch extremely well till he got injured
-Mora catch and double of ALL-STAR Tory Glaus to end the game
-Henderson and my boy Burnitz's debut
-And you can get most scores by flipping

I also did watch the end of the Mets game...

-I loved the Duncan first to third play when Chipper was lolligagging in the outfield
-Of course, then Floyd grounds into the DP to end the inning
-The Mark Derosa groundball that ended the game was typical to the Mets season. You got what you wanted and it still didn't work.

A bright spot, as he's been all season, was Steve Traschel who pitched well again last night... his stats line was 6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K...

I was looking at his stats last night and came across something interesting. Look at his 2001 stats compared to his 2003 stats

2001- 173.2 IP, 4.46 ERA, 168 hits, 28 HR (1.45 per 9), 47 BB (2.43 per 9), 144 K (7.47 per 9), .254 AVG, 1.24 WHIP
2003- 111.1 IP, 4.61 ERA, 120 hits, 18 HR (1.46 per 9), 43 BB (3.48 per 9), 59 K (4.77 per 9), .282 AVG, 1.46 WHIP

Now, if you remember, Trachsel pitched so pitifully in the first half that he got sent down in 2001. So here's his Pre/Post All-Star stats (I know, he got sent down in the middle of May and came back in June, but this split shows my point.)

Pre- 75 IP, 6.72 ERA, 97 hits, 15 HR (1.8 per 9), 24 BB (2.88 per 9), 56 K (6.72 per 9), .316 AVG, 1.61 WHIP
Post- 98.2, 2.74 ERA, 71 hits, 13 HR (1.19 per 9), 23 BB (2.1 BB per 9), 88 K (8.03 per 9), .201 AVG, .95 WHIP

So, really, his 2001 stats are skewed by the first half and he still pitched better that year overall. So maybe I've been giving Trachsel more credit than he's due by calling him the best Mets pitcher this year because 2001 and 2003 are close, but he hasn't pitched nearly as well stat-wise in 2003. He always gave up the HR, but his walks are up and his K's are down. So, looking at his stats, maybe his ERA should be somewhere in the middle 5's, in between the 2003 4.61 (looks like it should be worse than that) and the Pre 2001 6.72 (he hasn't pitched nearly that bad...)

So I went over to Baseball Crank and looked at his NL East Mid-Year DIPS Report column. Well, when this column was written his actual ERA was 4.10. His DIPS ERA is 5.14. Looks like the DIPS stats back up the above statement... maybe he hasn't been THAT good. Overall, his monthly totals of ERA has been going up since his 3.76 ERA month in May. (Also would like to point out Glavine's DIPS ERA is higher than his actual, which doesn't seem all that strange to me because of the HR problem I've talked about with him here, but according to my argument on his problems this year (which is in the Glavine link), a higher DIPS ERA would not help his case that Ques-Tech is hurting him, unlike what most people might think)

I'm not saying Steve Traschel has been horrible this year, but he hasn't been quite as good as I thought... The winner for best pitcher this year would probably go to Jae Seo, whose DIPS ERA is basically the same as his actual...


Thursday, July 17, 2003
 
Two deals went down yesterday...

First off, Shannon Stewart was traded to the Twins for Bobby Kielty. Want a breakdown? Head over to Aaron's Baseball Blog. In my opinion, this trade makes no sense because they are the same offensive player (basically) and Kielty is cheaper and younger. Aaron touches all these points and more in his entry.

And the Benitez deal went down. I'm not going to rant and rave about my absolute hatred for the man, but I want to talk about another aspect of this deal people seem to be upset about... The Mets allowing the Yankees to pay the 3 million. OK, I know that if you pay the money, you get better prospects, but what are you going to get from the Yankees? A 25-year AA pitcher whose not overpowering and doesn't have the same control he used to instead of the same guy whose 23 in A-ball. The system is not strong and probably isn't worth forking over 3 million dollars for. Your not getting Johnson, your not getting Claussen, at least for a guy like Benitez. They would probably end up with someone like Juan Rivera if they had paid the money. I'm sorry, but Juan Rivera was worse than Alex Escobar when Alex Escobar had his stint up here. And hey, maybe Wilpon will put the extra 3 million on the payroll for next year...

Here's an in-depth breakdown of the prospects...

Jason Anderson
AAA- 7.2 IP, 3 hits, 13/2 K/BB ratio, 0.00 ERA
Majors- 20. 2 IP, 23 hits, 3 HR, 14/9 BB/K ratio, .280 BAA, 4.79 ERA

The numbers in AAA are good, even though it is only seven innings. The numbers in the majors are not good, the BB/K is terrible, and the 1.33 HR/9 is not good, especially for a reliever. As I've said before, I've seen him pitch and I like his stuff. He probably belongs at AAA to finish out the year and could come up next year. I've heard he tires after a few innings, so I'm not sure if its true that he could be a back of the rotation guy, though the Mets sent him to Triple-A to try to turn him into one.

Anderson Garcia (low-A ball), 22 years old
76 IP, 57 hits, 62 K, 36 walks, 3.32 ERA

Hits are extremely good, 7.34 K/9 ratio is nice, but the 4.26 BB/9 is too high for a 22 year old is A-ball. Those numbers go down, he could be good, but he looks like a middle reliever/mop up guy at best in the majors.

Ryan Bicondoa (A-ball), 24 year old
Last year- 85 IP, 94/7 K/BB ratio, 1.90 ERA
This year- 48.1 IP, 48 hits, 30 K, 20 BB, 3.54 ERA

The stats last year are amazing, but that is in lower A-ball. The stats this year are good except for the 1.5 K/BB because he is a control pitcher. The K's are OK, the BB are the problem here. He looks like a good prospect who could be a set-up man to a power closer if he finds his control again.

Overall, its not that bad of a trade and at least Benitez is gone. As Michael's Mets Ramblings points out in his breakdown of the trade (go read it, its good), the Mets got 3 right handed-relievers, which you could find anywhere. I would have liked to see them grab an outfielder, a position they need the most help in, or a starting pitcher, but hey, the world isn't perfect. I'm gonna trust Jim Duquette on this one (I haven't said I'll trust the GM in a while), hoping he has better judgement than Steve Phillips.

Also, I haven't heard who is going to take over at the closer's spot, though I really hope its John Franco. In a season that is lost and over, why not send out John Franco the right way, doing what he did best for the Mets: Saving games.

Also, check out Shea Daily's sidebar for the KazWatch, which watches everyone's favorite prospect, Scott Kazmir. Complete with stats and a pitcure!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
 
Lost this post, have to type it again...

Before I get to the All-Star game, I have to mention the Mets rumors...

Benitez: After rumors of going to the Yankees for Weaver who would then be traded to the Red Sox (Youkilis... gotta stop dreaming about him), it looks like Benitez for 22 year old A-ball pitcher Anderson Garcia, AAA/major league pitcher Jason Anderson, and another player not named yet. Garcia has good stats, but is old to be in A-ball. Jason Anderson had some good stuff from when I've seen him pitch, but isn't highly touted. (I'll go more in-depth on them with stats when the trade happens.)

Trachsel: Now rumored to go the Red Sox. Probably won't get a lot, but hey, getting anything for players is how you build the system.

I've also heard Sanchez to a team who needs a utility infielder and even Timo Perez to the Expos. It will be a crazy July 31st.

To the All-Star Game which the AL won 7-6 to get that wonderful home field advantage. Good game, dead crowd. Here are 5 things I wanted to mention.

1. No Benitez, NL closers blow it. Perrty ironic? Benitez was supposed to be the guy from keeping it a tie and after 6 innings with the 3 closers it was supposed to be over. So much for that...
2. No Dontrelle... Dusty, do you understand what baseball wants? They want to see Dontrelle pitch, not Woody Williams... I want to see Dontrelle, not Woody Williams (and that's no offense to Woody, who is a fine pitcher). You put everyone else in by the 5th inning it seemed, so why not get Dontrelle the ball... (I'll get to this again later)
3. No "doomsday matchup" meaning this crazy notion that Dmitri Young vs. Mike Williams or Lance Carter vs. Geoff Jenkins was going to decide this game. It came down to Wagner and Gagne on the hill with Giambi, Wells, Anderson, and Blalock (who isn't in contention, but hit off someone who is) and in the 9th Foulke vs. Castillo, LoDuca, and Furcal. So much for that scary horrendous matchup to decide it.
4. Garrett Anderson is one of the top 10 pure hitters in the game... hopefully everyone knows why now.
5. 8th inning strategy. I spent the whole game yelling at Mike Scoiscia for being stupid enough to leave Glaus in the game ,who was stinking it up, when he had Blalock on his bench. Shows you what I know... Mike Scoiscia saved his bench, especially lefites, for when he knew Gagne and Smoltz were pitching. Dusty, saved nothing... So here's the situation, 6-4 NL, Mora on second, Everett up (switch, bats left on Gagne), 1 out, Wells on deck. Seeing that Scoiscia saved his lefties, Dusty SHOULD have gotten the forgotten Dontrelle up in the pen (a lefty). Since Everett is switch, leave in Gagne. Fast forward.... 6-5 NL, Wells on second, Blalock announced as pinch hitter. Dusty should go in and get Dontrelle to pitch to him. Why? Well, Blalock hits righties a lot better than he hits lefties and Scoiscia couldn't take Blalock out because he was his only 3B left. You get the match-up Scoiscia hadn't planned on, a lefty to face Blalock. But that would require Dusty to think and manage. (He should have also saved Aaron Boone for the ninth so that he would have someone who could play Castillo's or Furcal's position when they got pinch hit for.)

Other than that it was a really good game, a good showcase for baseball, and brings up a very interesting question, "Who will be fired first, Isiah Thomas or Dusty Baker?" These two have done the least with the most talent and have shown no ability to coach...

Tuesday, July 15, 2003
 
Luckily, yesterday gave me news so I didn't have to resort to an in-depth look at the All-Star game (NL 4-2! MVP is Dontrelle... but then again I picked Carlos Delgado in the Home Run Derby last night...)

Jeromy Burnitz traded to the Dodgers for three prospects: If you want an in-depth look at the prospects go to Michael's Mets Ramblings, who does a very good job breaking down what the Mets got. Here are my quick impressions from what I have read...

Victor Diaz: Power infielder with terrbile plate discipline, sounds like Alfonso Soriano a little too because he has a good arm but shaky hands in the field. Original position is 3B but playing 2B now...

Joselo Diaz: Apparently had fairly good A ball stats (can't find them) and had one good start in AA ball. Heard he has some control problems, but hey, at least he's a starting pitcher prospect.

Kyle Strayhorn: Probably the best raw numbers of the group, has a 44/13 K/BB ratio in A ball. Unfortunately, he's a right handed reliever, so unless he's an elite closer or Octavio Dotel, he's easily replaceable.

Now I'm sad to see Jeromy go. Jeromy was one of my favorite players before he came to the Mets from the Brewers in the trade. That was the trade I was most presonally excited for (even though I liked Glendon Rusch...). Well, he struggled here last year, but he was a stand-up guy about it (unlike Benitez) and always played hard. Even when he struggled, he went all out. He wasn't the most gifted defensive player, but he tried as hard as he could no matter how bad the team was. This year, he got hot, and was turning around, making him probably the only big acquisition the fans liked. Once again, in the field he would hang on the fences on a home run ball just to see if he could maybe catch it. The guy gave the Mets everything he had and I hope the rest of his career is successful.

Rickey be playing again! The Dodgers, who were extremely busy last night, signed Rickey Henderson, who was batting .339/.493/.591 in 56 games with the Newark Bears... I would say that warrants a contract.... so now, when Dave Roberts comes back, they had a pretty good four man outfield. And if Rickey can come anywhere close to mirroring his former Bears teammate's success in the majors, he'll do well. (And yes, Jose Lima and major league success in the same sentence... you tell me that at the beginning of the year and I tell you your crazy.)

Of course, this won't be nearly enough offense to help the Dodgers win, even when Shawn Green hits his hot month. Don't be surprised if they finish fourth in the division behind Colorado.

Also, the Home Run Derby might have been the best one ever. Pujols put on an absolute show, while Giambi almost came back on him in the semis, but in the end, quiet smooth swinging Garrett Anderson won it. Maybe somebody other than baseball fanatics will know who he is now.

Dontrelle was also a very impressive interview on the HR Derby. Expect him to be either miked up and interviewed during tonight's game...

Well, that's all I have time for unfortunately (that's why I didn't go in-depth on the prospects), so enjoy the All-Star game tonight and I'll be back with my own review of the game (including "Zito-gate"... why do people just take a person's name and add gate to it when there's a problem... is that supposed to be cool?) because... THIS TIME IT COUNTS!

Monday, July 14, 2003
 
Roger Clemens replaces Barry Zito on All-Star team: Bud Selig (and FOX) got their way as Clemens does get on the All-Star team. That's not the problem here. As much as I hate Roger, he deserves to be there this year in his final year before retirement. The problem is how he got there. If you read the report, apparently Bud got Clemens pushed onto the team with the help of Billy Beane and the coaching staff. That's nice. Except Barry isn't imformed or too pleased by the idea. Basically, this is gonna end up bad for baseball, as it looks like they are trying to push Roger onto the team while knocking out another deserving candidate out who wants to pitch. Now, the Oakland management doesn't want to see him pitch on one day's rest, but they didn't seem to have a problem with Barry on that issue last year. Baseball doesn't seem to have a problem with Dontrelle pitching on one day's rest. I know, I'm picking on Bud... And Selig really did have good intentions and is trying hard for baseball, but once again he went about it the wrong way.

Also, this undermines Mike Scoiscia by saying he picked the team incorrectly (since Zito isn't off the team because of injury), but that's a whole different issue.

 
It's the break... and the Mets are 40-53 and 21 GB. The biggest surprise on the standings is the 51-41 KC Royals up 7 games on the White Sox and 7.5 on the Twins. Every passing day that they get the lead in the division bigger and keep themselves up there, more belief is going into me that they will win the central. I don't know why everyone is just accepting a downfall from them as a fact. Though everyone has also accepted that the White Sox will eventually win the division twice (beginning of the year, after the Alomar (July 2nd) and Everett deals) which is not happening.

The Futures Game was on yesterday and most of you probably missed it. Why? Because it was unceremoniously put on ESPN2 at 5:30. I thought MLB wanted better marketing? So instead, lets shove our best young players that we could show people to excite them on ESPN2 on some time on a Sunday when there are MLB games going on. How about like the NBA, with the Rookie Challenge, where they put it before the Slam Dunk and 3-point shooting contest. How about putting this before the Home Run Derby? That would be good marketing. Anyway, I watched it yesterday because, well, I'd rather watch it then the All-Star game anyway (and I'll watch that). And here are four guys who left an impression on me...

1. Zack Grienke- He had impressive stuff with a really good breaking ball. He threw his first 8 pitches for strikes, had great control, and was around the plate. He looks like he could be up with KC in 2004 and KC looks like it has a great future with minor leaguers.

2. Kevin Youkilis- Boston 3B prospect, who well, I've talked about a little lately. Well, I saw him live yesterday. Interestingly, Peter Gammons was allowed to talk about Moneyball and mentioned the Greek God of Walks thing... well, he would like to be known as the Jewish Greek God of Walks.. hehe, though that was pretty funny... Anyway, he has a .482 OBP this year at AAA. .482!!! Now, he needs to develop more power and he would be a sabermetrics dream, but .482! That's Barry Bonds territory! And guess what? He walked on four pitches... maybe only 2 were close, but he didn't even come close to swinging at most of them. He had an unbelievable eye from what I saw.

3. Justin Huber- Mets catching prospect (like we need another? I feel sorry for Jason Phillips... he's doing everything right this year and won't have a spot on this team with Piazza probably playing first next year (trade him to an AL team who needs a DH... far-fetched... but I'm for it..)... and he might be the best young hitter of all). Anyway, focus back to Huber... A little shaky defensively, though he did throw a runner out. Showed a decent eye in his at bat, grounded out, but swung way too hard on a couple of fastballs in the zone before he grounded out on 3-2.

4. Royce Ring- You can read what I said about Royce Ring here (July 2nd again). He came in with 2 out in the top of the 7th inning with a 3-2 lead. He had a good electric fastball and a nice curve, but it didn't have great bite. He hung one of those over the plate for a single, hen got a guy to ground out to short to end the game. He did do a very good job of getting ahead of the hitters which is a much needed change form a guy like Armando. He looks like he could be good if he could get the curve to be a little "tighter" and maybe throw his change more. (which I didn't see...)

And one other note from last night's ESPN Sunday Night telecast... the main truck lost power, so Joe (who I dislike) and Jon (who I like) were off the air and replaced by... ESPN Deportes!!! Ernesto Jerez and Candy Maldonado (that gave me plenty of laughs). Unfortunately for these guys, they had to speak English for about 2 innings. When Jon and Joe came back, Joe wondered if someone sabotaged them and knocked him off the air. Well, Joe, there are plenty of people I know that would want to do that...

Anyway, All-Star Break, so the Mets can't lose today. I'll be back tomorrow with an in-depth look at the All-Star game... not really...

Sunday, July 13, 2003
 
This is late getting up, so first, yesterday's stuff...

Mets lose 4-2 in 10: Seo pitched well, they didn't hit. Rollins had some issues in the field (like Jimmy Hoffa was under there, but that would be in the Meadowlands, on my side of the river.) and Reyes made another error to help Philly tack on to the lead. Basically, another game in the lives of the 2003 Mets.

Jeff Duncan also hit a homerun. He looks like a good player... has speed, plays CF well, and had a good OBP at AA. Could use some time in AAA, but not a terrible player at all. (Read Moneyball... almost a throw in in a Mike Venafro deal Phillips was discussing with Beane because he was batting .217 at A-ball that year...)

Also, if you didn't see Chad Bradford's pitch on Saturday against the Orioles, you missed something funny. He hit the dirt in his submarine delivery and well, threw it 50 feet outside or inside... not sure which. Very funny.

On to today's action...

The Mets won 4-3 today on a single by Jason Phillips in the 9th. We'll get to that and stupid Larry Bowa strategy in a second, but first lets get to the rest of the game. Glavine pitched today on three days rest in Shea "Ques-Tech equipped" Stadium... here's his line...

6 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 K

He didn't give up the runs. Unfortunately, the hits still aren't good, the the BB/K isn't really either, but he was able to get away with it. A few balls seemed like they could have been caught. So, going to the top of the 9th, Mets up 3-2, chance for Glavine to get some confidence with a win at Shea. But then Armando emerges from the bullpen. He sets down the first two batters easily. Then he loses NICK PUNTO! Then he loses Jim Thome, which is understandable. But NICK PUNTO! And he doesn't throw a splitter (which by the way is why Benitez isn't good anymore or why he isn't feared. It's because he refuses to throw the splitter, especially for a strike, so all you do is go up there looking for a 96 MPH fastball) to either one of them even though he gets Punto in a 1-2 situation and Thome in a 2-2 situation. Lieberthal then comes up, lines it hard towards third, Wigginton dives and tries to stop it, it gets through, Punto scores. Benitez gets out of the inning and it stays 3-3.

So the Mets come up in the bottom of the 9th. And well, Larry Bowa does not make a smart move in this inning, but first let me set up the inning. Tony Clark, first up, flies out to LF. Rey Sanchez, in a miracle, gets a base hit through the right side. Howe pinch runs Cedeno for Sanchez... what is he thinking? The only person on this team dumber and more worthless than Rey Sanchez is Roger Cedeno. And, of course, it shows on the very next batter. Jose Reyes hits a double to RF (That Bobby Arbeu screwed up on badly, turning around in circles at least three times...). Cedeno starts and stops three times trying to figure out whether Abreu will catch it and ends up just making it to third instead of scoring while Reyes gets to second. So Art Howe has made a bad managerial move, so how will Larry Bowa counter...

He intentionally walks Jeff Duncan with Jason Phillips on-deck! I know, set up the double play, Phillips is slow, etc.... but Jason Phillips is batting over .300 with close to a .400 OBP. Jeff Duncan is 5/13 at the major league level this year and belongs in AA ball still! All Phillips has to do is get a sacrifice fly ball and hopefully Cedeno will run home without stopping three times. This made no sense at all. Don't always go by the traditional book, you have to look at whose at the plate. 1 out, game winning run on third for other team and you have the choice of Jason Phillips or Jeff Duncan... Who would you want to face? I would pick Duncan everytime.

And Phillips works a 2-0 count, watches strike 1, then hits a single over the drawn in Bobby Arbeu's head which would have been a sac fly (And Abreu still might have been able to catch that ball anyway). Strategy backfires, Mets win. All we needed in this game was Jose Mesa and we'd have the complete realm of idiot managing and terrible relief pitching.

So basically the Mets won because Art Howe outmanaged Larry Bowa. Only, by outmanaged, I mean made the less idiotic move.

All-Star break coming up, so I guess by getting today's game in today's article, I can talk about some stuff around the major leagues or some Mets' stat stuff. I'll see, but expect tomorrow's article to be up in the morning, when they usually are.


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