Sunday, June 11, 2006
GM Omar Minaya is looking like a genius right about now. He's solved the Mets' back-end-of-the-rotation problem with Soler's promotion from the minors and the trade for "El Duque" Hernandez, who threw his own complete-game 3-hitter in the opening game of the Arizona series. Suddenly, the Mets have the best staff in baseball.
And they're hitting on most cylinders. David Wright continues to tear it up (.339, 43 RBI) and Carlos Beltran is on his own tear (.293, 17 HRs, 45 RBI). Carlos Delgado snapped out of his HR drought with 2 round-trippers (leads the team with 18) on the Western swing. Jose Valentin, Endy Chavez (filling in for Cliff Floyd - sprained ankle) and Lastings Milledge (filling in for Xavier Nady - appendectomy) have been terrific in the 6th-to-8th slots in the order.
The Mets (38-23) have the biggest divisional lead in the majors. They're 5.5 games ahead of the Phillies and 9 ahead of the (fading?) Braves. They go for the sweep in AZ today: Pedro Martinez (5-2) vs. Russ Ortiz (0-4), 4:40 pm start on Ch. 11 & WFAN.
• The Yankees (35-25) have lost 3 straight, the last 2 to the A's at home. They'll attempt to prevent a sweep today: Shawn Chacon (4-1) vs. Barry Zito (6-3), 1:05 pm start on YES & WCBS Radio.
• Game 2 tonight in the NBA finals, 9 pm start on ESPN. It's pretty much a must-win for the Heat, who lost the opener to the Mavs.