Okay here we stand on August 18th 2011. The Mets are in third place with a record of 60-63 . We have known for a while now that our Mets are no longer in contention for either surpassing the Phillies for the division, nor the Braves for the Wild Card. Anybody who still thinks there is a chance – well your straight jacket is waiting for you at Bellevue.
But that is not to say that all hope is lost. There are still 39 games left to play in the season and the biggest moral victory for both this team and it’s fan base would be for the Mets to finish at or above .500. Last year under Jerry Manuel the Mets finished at 79-83, just 3 games under .500. This years squad led by Terry Collins is in my opinion a bit better than Jerry’s team. Yes the pitching ( both the starting rotation and the bullpen) have hit a rough patch, and yes there are times when it seems like the defense is non existent. But this team is a hell of a lot more resilient than the one that was fielded last season.
I am not saying that the task at hand is not going to be an easy one. The Mets have to go 22-17 in their last 39 games in order to finish .500. To finish the season. The Mets will be facing some pretty stiff competition against the likes of the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds along with our division rivals ( Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Nationals) . But still 22 more wins for this team is not a pie in the sky fantasy. Collins is a motivator. and the fact that this team has not just laid down and died is a testament to his managing. This team has a lot more fight left in them, and I feel they will go down swinging.
But for this to happen guys like Gee, Duda, Niese and Pelfrey have to step up. Pagan has to tighten up his outfield defense as well as be a bit more patient at the plate. Josh Thole also needs to become a better defender – and call a better game from behind the plate.
There are many people that consider anything short of a playoff appearance a failure. I see the Mets reaching ( and possible surpassing .500) a moral victory, and a building block for future seasons.
And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes :
Mets third base coach from ’97-’99, Bruce Benedict is 56 (1955). He also managed the Norfolk Tides during their ’96 campaign.
One time Mets first round draft pick (1981), outfielder, Terry Blocker is 52 (1959). Blocker played briefly for the Mets during the ’85 season, and was traded in November of ’87 to the Atlanta Braves for relief pitcher, Kevin Brown.
Current AAA Buffalo Bison pitcher , Pat Misch is 30 (1981). Pat has played in parts of three seasons with the Mets. His Mets record as it stands so far is 4-8 with a E.R.A of 4.43.
The New York Mets purchased the contract of middle reliever, Dave Eilers from the Milwaukee Braves on August 18, 1965.Eilers spent 2 seasons with the Mets, and compiled a record of 2-2 with a 4.44 E.R.A in 34 games.
The New York Mets traded outfielder, Brett Butler to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league outfield prospects, Scott Hunter and Dwight Maness on August 18, 1995. Brett was one of the brightest spots of the ’95 team. He had batted .311 with25 RBIs in the 90 games he played with the Mets. He requested the Mets trade him back to the Dodgers so that he could finish his career there and the Mets obliged. Neither Hunter nor Manass ever broke the bigs with the Mets.
Mo Vaughn had to buy three airline seats for his return trip the New York City Last night. They were all for his significant GIRTH !!!