Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Zambrano sucks

It takes just one incompetent starting pitcher to bring a thriving team down a notch, and in the case of the Mets that pitcher is Victor Zambrano. Stupidly traded for minor-league prospect, lefty Scott Kazmir (see Around the Horn), by outgoing GM Jim Duquette in the summer of 2004, Zambrano has been nothing short of awful in his nearly 2-year stint with the Mets. He's a veritable punching bag on the mound.

Last night, Zambrano (1-1) gave the Mets little chance to beat the Braves. He allowed 3 HRs (2 by Andruw Jones, his 6th and 7th of the season) in five weak innings. Meanwhile, Braves' starter Kyle Davies (1-1) shut down the suddenly injury-riddled Mets on three hits, and went the distance (final score: 7-1). At gametime, three starters - Carlos Beltran (strained right hamstring), Cliff Floyd (strained rib cage) and Anderson Hernandez (unknown injury) - were scratched from the lineup, replaced by the Mets' umimpressive benchwarmers. Chris Woodward, filling in for Henandez, provided the only offensive spark with a solo HR in the 3rd. Light-hitting outfield subs Endy Chavez (.091) and Jose Valentine (0 for 12) offered little to a lineup that is now 5 strong from the top. David Wright (.375), Carlos Delgado (.346) and a slumping Jose Reyes (.263) went hitless. Xavier Nady now leads the team in BA (.396); he's 7th best in the NL. Suddenly, GM Omar Minaya's decision to demote OF Victor Diaz on Monday is not looking so good.

The Mets (10-3) are now 4 games ahead of the Braves (7-8). Today's rubber-match vs. the Braves is a must-win, what they call a "gut-check." The Mets leave after the game for a 10-game road swing that begins in San Diego on Thursday.

Next game: Wednesday, April 19 @ Shea, 1:10 pm start on SNY & WFAN, Tom Glavine (2-0) vs.Tim Hudson (0-1)

For more on the Mets: CLICK HERE

* The Yankees' road woes continued as they lost again to the Blue Jays in Toronto, 10-5, last night. Troy Glaus blasted 2 HRs off Randy Johnson (2-2). AL Player of the Week Jason Giambi knocked his 5th HR. Combined with the Red Sox victory over the Devil Rays, the Yanks are 3.5 games out of first place. They finish up the series today with Mike Mussina (1-1) facing lefty Ted Lilly (1-0).
* Barry Bonds extended his homerless streak to 13 in the Giants' loss to the Diamondbacks in Arizona. He did have a double. "He looks tired," said Giants' manager Felipe Alou. To read my brother Barry Bloom's game story: CLICK HERE
* Ex-Met 3B Ty Wigginton has found a home with the Devil Rays. Traded for Kris Benson in 2004 to make room at the hot corner for David Wright, Wiggington is hitting .289 with 6 HR and 14 RBI. Wright has 3 HR and 13 RBI. Tampa teammate Scott Kazmir is 1-1 in 3 starts with a 4.82 ERA and 16 Ks.

There has never been a truer statement than "Zambrano sucks!" I just want to know when Minaya and Randolph are going to admit that keeping Zambrano and trading Benson was a mistake. He has all the qualities you seek to avoid in a starting pitcher. Deceptively bad stuff, no consistency, can't get the big out, can't skate through the bottom of a team's lineup. I feel like Randolph and Minaya are keeping this guy around just to show the media who's boss. Their ignorance of the truth about Zambrano's ability reminds me of Bush when he talks about Iraq. I'm waiting for Randolph to get up and say "I'm the decider and I've decided to keep Zambrano out there throwing batting practice to our opponents".
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