It's cloudy in Atlanta, and I'm not just talking about Mike Hampton's future as a starting pitcher *snigger*. There's a fifty percent chance of rain in Hotlanta tonight, though I'm mostly trying to figure out why the Mets would start Mike Pelfrey tomorrow against the Braves instead of Johan Santana, who is scheduled to pitch on Sunday. Throwing Santana tomorrow would mean that he would still get a start in this series against the Braves but he would also get a start against the Phillies next week. If Pelfrey starts tomorrow then Santana *won't* start against Philly, and would appear against Milwaukee instead. The Brewers are a good team, but wouldn't you rather your best pitcher face your two closest division rivals than, you know, not? Isn't that why you brought him here?
Johnny Maine takes the hill tonight -- weather permitting -- for his first start in what I expect will be a terrific season on the hill. He showed flashes of brilliance last season, but I think he will continue to improve and settle in as the #2 starter for this team for years to come. He is opposed by Tim Hudson, making his second start of the year and coming off a terrific 2007 season where he finished second in the NL in SNLVAR to Cy Young winner Jake Peavy. SNLVAR neutralizes run support and strength of opposition, distilling a pitcher's performance down to that which he was able to control himself. The result is a value relative to replacement and can be easily compared to that of other pitchers. Err, woot?