Monday, July 17, 2006


Two straight series, one at home and one on the road. Winners of four of their last six. Clutch hitting. Big innings. Good pitching for the most part. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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There has been much speculation in this space and elsewhere that Pat Burrell is one of baseball’s purest guess hitters and that based on his track record he should not be relying on the lottery to supplement his retirement income.

Now Jim Salisbury has provided some interesting statistics on Burrell’s proclivities.

Ever watch the Phillies and get the feeling that Pat Burrell takes an awful lot of called third strikes?

The Elias Sports Bureau confirms your suspicions.

In 2005, Burrell struck out 160 times, second most in the National League. Of those 160 Ks, 68 came on called third strikes, the most in the majors.

Burrell also led the majors in taking called third strikes in the first half of this season. He struck out 76 times before the all-star break, and a whopping 39 of them came while looking at a called third strike.

Sounds like someone needs to be a little more aggressive.

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Yesterday the New York Mets showed everyone why they are going to go deep into the post-season, potential pitching woes notwithstanding. Down 5-0 to the Cubs in Chicago after three innings, the Mets rallied to win going away, 13-7. The big inning came in the sixth when the Mets hit two grand slams en route to eleven runs.

Pedro may be ailing and Glavine may be aging but these guys are going to outscore their opponents at least .598 times out of 1.000. I know, in a short series pitching is everything, but the Mets have a frightening lineup consisting of speed, power and good but not great defense. And remember, left and right fields have not been productive most of the season. If Cliff Floyd rebounds, they could be even more fearsome.

Everyone assumes the Mets’ GM Omar Minaya will not sit still at the trading deadline and that pitching is foremost on his mind. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind having Chris Benson right about now. The Mets have prospects to trade, especially Lastings Milledge and Mike Pelfrey, but they don’t want to move Milledge because their current corner outfielders are definitely on the down slope and they would be loath to give up Pelfrey, their top pitching prospect.

The biggest questions facing the Mets is whether or not this year is THE year and what do things look like next season. Pedro and Glavine aren’t getting any younger or healthier. Billy Wagner will have more mileage on his arm and his mouth by next year. Carlos Delgado is no spring chicken. Do they go for broke now?

1 comment:

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

The Mets have to go for broke. Their time is now. They have a divsion willing to hand them a playoff spot by the remaining teams ineptitude. They need to strike while the iron is hot.