News fluttered in prior to Tuesday's game against the Pirates that Moises Alou did *not* have a fracture in his ankle bone thingy and that he might be ready to come off
Medicare the disabled list. Endy Chavez's three hits against the Bucs notwithstanding, the return of a healthy-ish Peehands McGee would provide a huge lift for an offense that ranks near the bottom of the league in a number of categories. The over/under on 2008 games played by Alou is around 60, but now's as good a time as any to get those out of the way so the Mets can go sign Barry Bonds for the pennant run. Or they could just stick with Angel Pagan. See if I care.
As for last night's game, we can all thank the Jebus that the Mets came away with the win. There's little worse than watching a four-hour snoozefest against the Pirates only to cough up a tenuous lead in the ninth inning and ultimately lose the game in spectacular fashion. I can hardly summon the energy to comment on how boring this game actually was, which was an incredible feat in and of itself considering that Johan Santana started the game.
Having just written that, I'll still offer that there were a few items that piqued my interest.
1. Ryan Church
Everyone's favorite silly ignorant erstwhile theologian-ballplayer went 1-for-5, but contribute a massively exciting 2-run homer that knotted the game in the fourth inning. Most importantly, it gave me an opportunity to shout "Time to go to Church!" for all to hear and enjoy (all = Kim and the dogs). For her part, Kim was a good sport and even repeated my clever slogan, to the continued puzzlement of the dogs. Whatever. Those humps never appreciated my wry punny wit anyway.
2. Jose Reyes
Hoo-ray for Jo-sé! Reyes had a tremendous game, going 3-for-3 with a triple, a run, a rib, and two-plus walks. He also added a caught stealing to his season register (three now) and another error to same (five now). The error indirectly led to the Pirates' tying run off Billy Wagner in the ninth and directly led to me having to suffer through two more innings of Mets-Pirates "baseball".
Speaking of Reyes's walks, I smugly referred to his three walks as "two-plus" because I really struggle with giving a hitter credit for intentional passes. The hitter should certainly get credit for it in some manner, but giving him points in the discipline column just for standing there seems disingenuous, especially considering how important walks are in gauging a player's development and overall approach at the plate.
To me, the subject of intentional versus unintentional walks is not an insignificant one, and most baseball stat sites do expose the divergence if you dig deep enough. For instance, Reyes "drew" 77 walks in 2007, up from 53 the year before; an increase of 24. However, if we only consider unintentional walks, the increase is just 17 (47 to 61). Look at Ryan Howard: considered a patient hitter (albeit one who strikes out prodigiously), Howard walked 107 times last season. Great, except that 35 of those were intentional. So, Howard really walked 72 times on his own, just 11 more than Reyes. If anything, intentional walks are more a reflection of power than patience, though there's no easy way to track them that way.</digression>
3. Luis Castillo
Luca went 0-for-2 but picked up three walks, raising his on-base percentage to .382. Sure, his slugging lags well behind at just .303, but at least he's doing something, and a walk is just as good as a bunt single.
4. Jorge Sosa
Woot, no runs allowed!
5. Carlos Delgado
There's the big guy we all know and love. Any boost he might have picked up from his big game on Sunday was surely washed away by Monday's rain, because by Tuesday he was back to his old sucky self. I'm not closing the book on him just yet, but I'm also only leaving it open a crack so someone might actually think I'm still reading it.
Quick turnaround to an afternoon game on Wednesday before the Mets head west to play the Diamondbacks. They're likely to get Micah Owings, Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. Woot?