9/15/16

WILD CARD DRIVER'S SEAT

17 comments
 
WILD CARD DRIVER'S SEAT by Tom Brennan
Sixteen games to go, trailing the Giant and leading the Cards by a half game each, how do the Mets look?

They look to be in the driver's seat.

Of course, they looked that way against the Phil's several years ago when they led the Phils by 7 with 17 games to go and folded.  So there are no guarantees until the words "the Mets Win the Wild Card" can be excitedly spoken.

The Mets have those 16 games left, 10 of which are at home, all of which are against sub .500 teams, so if they do not make it in, they do not deserve it.

The first 3 are against the Twinkies this weekend.  Easy, right? Well, Brian Dozier has hit 24 homers...no, not this season, he's hit them in his past 43 games! (Compare to Jay Bruce's performance as a Met over the same period.  Compare to Travis D's 14 RBIs this entire year while you are at it). So they will have to earn a winning series.

Then 3 at home with the Braves. Then 4 at home vs. the Phils.  Nice.

Anything less than 6-4 on this homestead would be a huge disappointment.  A good team would find a way to go 7-3.

We should have Matz and deGrom back for at least short outings, a plus, but if Wilmer remains hurt and his hot bat goes missing, they are at risk.

Then they close with 3 on the road against a hopefully eliminated Marlins squad (currently 4 back in the WC race) and a final 3 game series in Philly.

Prediction:10-6 season finish. Wild Card.

The Cardinals currently have a much tougher schedule, with 4 on the road vs. The Jints, and 3 vs. The Cubbies.  Of course, the Cubs will have clinched and may be throttling back, so that needs to be kept in mind. Also, 3 vs. Rockies, 4 vs. the wimpy Reds, and a finale 3 game set against the currently collapsing Pirates.

The Giants of course square off against the Cards for 4, but also face the Kershaw-led Dodgers for 6, plus 4 vs. the Pods and 3 vs. the Rocks.  So they, like the Cards, have a far more difficult schedule than the Mets.

One has to believe either the Cards or Jints will falter down the stretch, given their tough schedules. The Giants are 4-6 in their last 10, and the Cards 5-5, so they do not appear to be juggernauts by any means.  I think, of the two, the Cards will find a way to nail down the other Wild Card.

All in all, though, the Mets are in the driver's seat for a Wild Card berth, hopefully at home.

But they can't have games like yesterday, when Bruce and then TJ Rivera failed to come through in a bags full, one out situation in the first inning that cost them the 1-0 game yesterday.  You can have the easiest schedule in the world, but you have to win the winnable games.

BOYS, LET'S DRIVE!



17 comments:

Anonymous said...

They have 16 games left not 14

Thomas Brennan said...

Updated. Thanks.

Hobie said...

Ideal:

Mets get 1st WC,
Giants/Cards tie for no. 2 and burn their top starters in a pre-play-in play-in.

And my power ball hits.

Reese Kaplan said...

You left out Aledmys Diaz and Buster Posey having a collision at the plate.

Thomas Brennan said...

May everyone on the other teams collide, Reese, so we can magically find our way back to the WS.

Three teams that really want it: Giants, Cards, Mets combined for 1 run yesterday.

bob gregory said...
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bob gregory said...

Flaw in Alderson's vision:

2015- Alderson wanted Upton/Bruce/ and just about anybody else before being forced to make the Cespedes trade.

2016- choosing to trade for Bruce instead of Lucroy.

All years: emphasis on OBP and disregarding AVG as worthless.

Last night in the 1st inning is a perfect example of AVG value in situations as being more important than OBP.

Two men on base. One is on 3rd. One out.
Granderson at bat with the struggling Bruce and a rookie to follow in the order.
Granderson walks to load the bases. YAY for OBP!
Result no runs.

Let's imagine 3 instances of similar situations occur for a player.
If he walks all 3 times.....Great for OBP.

If however, he goes 1 for 3 in those situations his OBP is much less....
BUT..
at least one run scores and one out of 3 games has a much better chance to score the extra run or runs that the team needs to win.

bob gregory said...
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Thomas Brennan said...

Bob, I agree. Keep in mind that when the Mets got Bruce, I noted that while he was having a fine 2016 up to that point, in the prior two years he averaged about .220 (.217 and .226), at ages 27 and 28 in a hitter's park.

I hoped we'd get the good Jay Bruce, but so far, we've gotten the bad jay Bruce. And the bad Jay Bruce can be pretty bad.

Thomas Brennan said...

The Twins, despite the Dozier explosion, have only won 5 of their last 26 games...don't let them off the mat now.

Twins have scored 98 more runs than the Mets, but they have allowed 817 runs already, an astonishing 252 runs more than the Mets. Let's jump on that this weekend and score at least 20 runs.

IB said...

I thought Alderson wanted Lucroy but Milwaukee was asking for too much.

Granderson did not opt for the walk. He got nothing to hit. Why would you pitch to him with Bruce on deck? I wouldn't. Situational baseball work both ways.

Thomas Brennan said...

It is amazing that the Mets are just 8 over .500 with 16 games to go and have the best odds to secure a Wild Card slot.

bob gregory said...

You are focusing on one specific play.
My point is much broader and farther reaching.

I am addressing Alderson's (and many others) tendency to completely discount t avg while focusing almost exclusively on OBP

bob gregory said...
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Gary Seagren said...

OK according to the Post 4 years @ $100 million for Cespedes and how about a solid offer to Wilson Ramos so we can finally have a catcher who can hit and me I take the 1 million buyout on Bruce and go with YC in left and a cast of characters Grandy, Conforto, Lagares and Nimmo in the outfield....stay tuned.

Thomas Brennan said...

Good plan, Mr G

Thomas Brennan said...

Good plan, Mr G

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