"He's a specimen." -Keith Hernandez
From the beginning, Friday night's game against the Braves was all about Chris Capuano. The veteran lefty threw what is easily the best start for a Mets pitcher all season, as he went the distance and allowed just a pair of hits, while striking out a career high 13 Braves to help lead the Mets to a stress-free 6-0 victory. Capuano, who's had his struggles with durability in the second half of the season, allowed a single to Dan Uggla in the fifth inning that squeaked past a diving David Wright to break up the perfect game bid and only allowed a double to David Ross in the eighth. The lefty faced just a batter over the minimum and topped his previous career high of 12 strikeouts, which he set way back in 2006 with the Brewers.
On the offensive side, Nick Evans snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth inning with a run scoring single and Josh Thole added his own a batter later. In the seventh inning, Justin Turner gave the good guys some insurance, knocking a two run double down the left field line and an inning later, Lucas Duda broke it open with a mammoth two run double that clanged off the bottom of the right center field fence.
Unless you've been living in a cave for the past few days (a cave without Wi-Fi and television, that is), you probably know that Hurricane Irene is scheduled to hit the tri-state over the weekend. The Mets decided to cancel their two games against the Braves, which were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. They will be made up as part of a single admission doubleheader on September 8th, beginning at 4:00 PM. The next game will hopefully be a Monday doubleheader against the Marlins, although it's certainly not set in stone that the games will be playable.
In injury news, the Mets placed Scott Hairston on the 15 day disabled list prior to the game and in his place, they called up 40 year old RHP Miguel Batista. The well-traveled righty will likely start one game of Monday's double dip, should it be played. Jason Bay missed Friday's game with a shoulder injury, sustained while diving for a ball in left field. He's expected to be back in the lineup on Monday. Finally, Jose Reyes played his second rehab game in Binghamton and went 1-3 with a solo home run, playing seven innings.
The Mets have informed Binghamton RHPs Collin McHugh and Brandon Moore, 2B Reese Havens and OF Juan Lagares that they will be a part of the contingent of Mets prospects who will play in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is used by teams as a way to get some of their most promising, near major league ready prospects extra reps.
So the Mets bullpen has been bad of late, hasn't it? Well, here's a preview of what the pen could possibly look like next year after some cheap, yet hopefully effective signings.
Want to read some more debate over the Citi Field dimensions? No? Well, I'm going to give it to you anyway, as both sides of the coin are pretty evenly argued here.
Around the NL East
The Phillies have lost two straight games now, as the Marlins beat Roy Oswalt 6-5 in Philly. Things have gotten so bad in their awful two game slide, that Roy Oswalt was surprisingly (okay, not surprisingly) booed by his home fans. Those fans are such crybabies, amirite? Keep it classy, Philly. Speaking of the Phillies, every picture Cole Hamels ever takes is embarrassing.
The Nationals fell to the Reds by a 4-3 score, as Miguel Cairo grittily hit a walk off single. Dontrelle Willis also had 3 hits in this game, as he and Chien Ming Wang squared off in a "flash back to 2005" matchup.
Around the Majors
The Yankees were mad that the Orioles took their sweet time shifting the schedule of their series in preparation of the impending storm. Awww boo-hoo! Poor babies!
With the coveted Cubs GM job open, Jon Heyman lists some candidates who could have a shot at the position. Among the candidates, White Sox assistant Rick Hahn and former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes were in the running for the Mets opening before Sandy Alderson was chosen.
Vin Scully will be back in the Dodgers broadcast booth in 2012. No word on if he'll be doing it for free or if Frank McCourt has decided to take out another gigantic loan to pay for
more frivolous personal expenses, houses and psychics Scully's contract.
Finally, the Brewers beat the Cubs with the help of a strange home run turned double with a two base error for Ryan Braun.