Monday, July 10, 2006
Mets take a break, sort of
Four Mets were voted on to the NL's starting All-Star lineup (David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Paul Lo Duca), amd two more pitchers were selected (Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez).
Injuries to Reyes and Martinez, and Glavine's decision to withdraw from the team because he pitched yesterday, reduces the Mets' on-field contingent to three. Tonight, Wright competes in the Homerun Derby. Perhaps his game-winning HR yesterday against Florida will provide the Mets' MVP candidate momentum to win the long-ball contest. Wright's numbers at the break are staggering: .316 BA, 20 HR, 74 RBI. At this rate, he'll break the Mets' all-time RBI record for one season (120 by Robin Ventura in 1999).
The news is virtually all-good for the Mets. Yes, Martinez is hobbling a little and the 5th starter situation has yet to be resolved, but rookie Mike Peltry should be fun to watch for a few starts in that role. Aaron Heilman's been off his game somewhat, but not enough to spoil the team's fortunes. Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd are both hitting around .250 (could do better), but Delgado has plenty of HRs and RBI. Floyd, if he stays healthy, could have a big 2nd half.
Will the Mets make a major trade before the July 31 deadline? There's still talk about them trying to acquire Dontrelle Willis. If he were available, Lastings Milledge and Pelfry might both need to be in the package for the Marlins' lefty ace and occasional slugger (see his grand slam against Jose Lima on Friday). Other pitchers' names being bandied about are Washington's Livan Hernandez and the Orioles' Rodrigo Lopez.
But for now Met fans should just sit back and enjoy the All-Game featuring a rare trio of Shea Stadium starters. An NL victory equals home advantage in the World Series, a destination the Mets have their sights firmly set on.
DAVID WRIGHT PHOTO BY ALPINEINC