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Game Notes: Mets vs Brewers (04/16/2006)

Nine wins in eleven games . . . four consecutive series victories . . . no matter how you cut it, the Mets are off to an historic start, at least relative to the last 44 Mets teams. The Mets won again on Sunday afternoon, an important win representing a bounce-back from a loss on Saturday. The final score -- 9-3 -- is a tad misleading, as the score was just 4-3 before the Brewers' bullpen imploded in the bottom of the eighth. Five runs in that frame stretched the Met lead to seven runs, a margin that even Jorge Julio's unique brand of spastic ball-slinging couldn't squander. As others have suggested, the Mets should seriously consider sending Jules down to AAA to work on some things . . . like pitching, for one. While he's down there, it would be in the Mets' best interest to free Heath Bell.

En tout, Mets pitching yesterday was deceptively blah. Brian Bannister allowed just one run in five innings, but he also allowed eleven baserunners, five via the walk. One way to look at Bann's performance is that he did a marvelous job of pitching out of jams. Another way to look at it is that he did a marvelous job of pitching into jams. All things being equal -- they're not, I suppose -- I would prefer he did neither. I'm willing to concede that some pitchers may be better than others at "bearing down" when they're in trouble, though in most cases their ability to pitch well in the "clutch" is directly proportional to their ability to pitch, period. What that in mind, here's a news flash: unless the Mets continue to average more than eight runs each time he starts, Bann is not going to win a lot of games in which he allows anything like two baserunners per inning.

Moving on . . .

At some point this team will stop hitting as it has been. Six-eighths of the Mets lineup look like members of a freaking all star team:

Reyes -- .300/.340/.500 (3 BB)
Lo Duca -- .324/.410/.412 (3 BB, 2 HBP)
Beltran -- .273/.422/.476 (10 BB)
Delgado -- .356/.408/.667 (3 BB, 1 HBP)
Wright -- .429/.426/.810 (2 BB, 3 SF!?!)
Nady -- .366/.386/.683 (2 BB)

I'm a little concerned that Beltran is the only guy drawing any walks . . . I doubt many people won the "Reyes will have more walks than Wright and as many as Delgado after eleven games" pool, but when you're annihilating opposing pitching like these guys, who wants to take a walk? Wright is a member of the fairly exclusive "lower OBP and AVG" club thanks to having more sacrifice flies than walks to this point. Once these guys slow down a bit, look for those guys in the middle of the lineup to start working deeper counts and drawing more bases on balls.

The Bravos (sic) roll into town for a three game set beginning Monday evening, and the Mets have an opportunity to put some serious distance between themselves and the fourteen* time defending champions.

* The Braves didn't win bupkis in 1994, so this questionable streak will always be denoted with an asterisk on this site.