Meet the Mets
Last night's game, summarized. (N.B. audio not entirely safe for work)
The New York Mets returned to Citi Field and shockingly failed to score more than a single run in support of R.A. Dickey's quest for win #19. Dickey gave up a pair of wall-scraping solo shots, but was otherwise quite good against the Phillies. Same as it ever was. Dickey still has three more shots to get the two wins he needs for 20, so he better pitch three shutouts. As for today's game, Matt Harvey will make his last start of the season against those very same Phils.
You may have noticed Lucas Duda getting an awful lot of starts at first base the last week or so. This may be more than just an evaluation period, as the Mets seem to be contemplating an Ike Davis trade this offseason. Yes, Davis bounced back after a horrific start, but he's still basically hitting like a league average first baseman for his career. That's not *that* valuable. Also, he stays out late after games or something, which is a problem, since all the best players in Mets history never did that.
Ted Berg is starting a new collection over at Tedquarters: Embarassing pictures of Bryce Harper.
Yesterday at AA
The aforementioned players who never went out carousing after games clinched the division on yesterday's date.
Chris McShane doles out a whole lot of red arrows as he reviews the Mets hitters' performances from the last week.
R.A. Dickey got to 200 strikeouts last night and Amazin' Avenue rejoiced.
Eric and Rob break down the Mets new AAA team, the Las Vegas 51s. Eric is totally right about the merchandise, and Rob is totally right about the horrible run environment.
Finally, relive the awesomeness of the Dickster, and the less awesomeness of everything else with our game recap from last night.
Around the NL East
The Braves struck early and then held on to defeat the Marlins, inching closer to the Nationals for first-place in the NL East.
Not that I need to tell you guys this, but Crashburn Alley would like to remind you not to be fooled by Ryan Howard's RBI total.
FanGraphs wonders if Christian Garcia might be a spark in the pen for the Nationals come playoff time.
The Orioles simply aren't going away, as they smashed the Mariners to creep back within a half game of the Yankees.
The Rays, however, are very quickly going away as they fell to the Red Sox.
The White Sox beat the Tigers again to extend their lead in the AL Central.
As for the rest of the pennant races, I'll just defer to Joe Posnanski.
Beyond the Box Score continues their series looking at the greatest pitching peaks in baseball history.
Grant Brisbee uses the Dodgers/Red Sox trade to look at the silliness of calling any team a lock for the playoffs after a big in-season move. In the words of Joe Sheehan "variance swamps everything" when it comes to deadline deals.
The Rockies terrible four-man rotation is going back to being a terrible five-man rotation.
Craig Calcaterra wonders if teams should use their closer to start a wild card play-in game. Craig is a Braves fan, of course, so he might have an ulterior motive here.
And finally, it's that time of year when pundits start to blithely predict free agent landing spots and then completely ignore when they are in wrong a couple months later.