Glen Allen Moves into First Place

 

            After the first two months of the season the Mets were deadlocked in a National League East battle for the division lead.  This month, they ended with a five game lead on Port Richie.  With more than half the season over, the team still does not seem to be playing great baseball.  Manager Jim Clark responded to questions by scratching his head, We should be doing better in all aspects of the game.  Each month our hitting and pitching seems to get a little worse.  I change the lineup around trying to find a combination that will click, but I have not hit the jackpot yet.  Of course some of the players like Albert will end the season with the stats that we expect despite a slow, slow start.  Pujols hit only .218 in April with 5 homers and 16 RBI compare that to our shortstop Royce Clayton who hit .316 with 11 doubles and 17 RBI, while batting in the bottom of the order.  In May Albert raised his average to .268, scored 22 runs, hit 11 HR and drove in 23 runs.  Now he has 26 homers, third in the league, 62 RBI 11th in the league and just off the leader board with 59 runs.  His average is only .280, so he will have to stay hot to get to that .300+ we are used to for Pujols.

            On the other hand, I have guys like Pierre, Ensberg and Nixon that should be doing much better.  If you noticed, they have all dropped down a spot in the order and Juan no longer leads off against left-handed pitchers because he has been so bad.

 

Pitchers Side

 

            Mets pitching coach Jimmy Key gave his report, Im happy with our big three starters, Smoltz, Carpenter and Zito, but our project #4 & 5 Towers and Milton have been more of a horror show than a thriller.  Mike Hampton came off the DL this month to give us 5 solid starts, while we put Eric on the DL with some inflammation in the knee and slipped Towers to #5.  We will use that rotation again for July and then reevaluate for August.

            The bullpen has been shaky!  They have been inconsistent at best and some guys were worse than that.  For example Miller, Sturtze and Shouse were sent down to the minors to work on thing and hopefully help us down the stretch.  MacDougal started off great and recently has been mediocre.  Ohman who looked poor in spring training pitched well last month as the left-handed set up guy and will get another shot this month.  Our closers Roberto (Hernandez) and Mike (Gonzalez) have not been dominate either which we hope will improve.

            Our team ERA went up in May but down last month due to the changes I mentioned. We are tenth in the league overall, but lead our division by a wide margin.  I remain optimistic as usual, but strive for the guys to continue to improve.

 

Rookie Alert

            Mets second baseman Robinson Cano is leading the team in hitting and is fifth in the league.  He is currently ahead of former Mets Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki on the leader board.  Third base and infield coach Billy Ripken commented, Cano is a solid hitter!  Thats not a soft average; he has 22 doubles second on the team to Clayton, 82 hits, second on the team to Albert.  He is third on the team in RBIs with 38 and also has  8 homers.  We were concerned in spring training about his defense, kind of lackadaisical sometimes, but he only has 4 errors and has made some highlight plays.  His footwork around the bag needs a little more work, but he has been a solid player for us batting in the #2 spot against right-handed pitchers.