Good News and Bad News!

The Glen Allen Mets won twelve games in their first month of the 2001 season!  Most of the pitchers did a good job especially the bullpen.  This was led by new closer Bob Wickman with 7 saves & 1.05 ERA, left handers Felix Heredia 2.42, Mike Venafro 3.07 and righty Wayne Gomes 2.93.  The starters all gave up much more:  Milton (4-1) 4.50 with 8 homers, Gardner(3-1) 5.63 and 10homers, Trachsel (1-4) 7.08 And 5 homers, only Todd Ritchie (0- The Glen Allen Mets won twelve games in their first month of the 2001 season!  1) 3.41 and 2 homers neared the standards of the relievers.  Pitching Coach Jimmy Key was often scratching his head looking for solutions, " Historically, Trachsel is a slow starter so we expect him to really improve.  Gardner and Milton gave up too many homeruns for my liking."

The team's ERA of 4.51 was about a half a run higher than last season so we know the pitchers will be working to improve.

The Mets lost sixteen games in April, finishing 3-4 against each opponent in the American League West.  Bench Coach Buddy Harrellson was frustrated, "We were 1-3 in extra inning games and 3-7 in one run games.  We did not come through with the clutch hits when we needed it the most!"

Hitting Coach Eddie Kranepool was satisfied with a few of his pupils, "John Flaherty seemed to hit all the time!  In 19 games he batted .350 with 2 homers and 6 RBIs.  He was signed primarily for his defense but we are pleased with his offensive numbers."  His second star goes to rightfielder Matt Lawton, "We knew last year his stats were not his norm so batting .330 with 3 homers and team leading 19 RBIs is no surprise.  The team home run leader is Ryan Klesko with 5 and he had a couple caught or blown foul by the bad weather at home that will be out of the Yard most of the year."

Firstbase coach Mookie Wilson lamented, "I missed Omar!"   Usually the team catalyst Vizquel did not spend much time with Mookie at fist base because he batted only .150.

Harrelson said, "We need to get our tablesetters (Vizquel, Velarde (.265) and Grissom (.261) on base to generate some offense ahead of our #3,4,5 hitters.   We knew that third base would be our Achilles heal of pulled hamstring or whatever with Fernando Tatis and Cal Ripken Jr. who have combined for 5 homers and 16 RBIs but batting only .220.

Rookie Centerfielder Melvin Mora batted a respectable .276 but had 23 strikeouts.  General Manager Clark has decided to send  Mora back to the minors to try to cut down on his swing.  "We like his play in the outfield, but he needs to put the ball in play."   When asked who will man centerfield, the GM responded, " Bautista, Grissom and Trot Nixon. He will add another lefthanded batter in the order to balance our attack.  I like defense as much as maybe more than the next guy does, but we have to try something.   I was pleased with Charles Nagy in April, but we need to shut him down for a while with that shoulder trouble.  Scott Erickson is rehabbing nicely so he will be our #5 in May.   Joey Hamilton is still working on his control and Barry Zito still needs more time in the minors.  The fifth spot in the rotation will be juggled throughout the season, maybe somebody different each month.  Right now the team is hitting only .259 so that is my biggest concern.  How are we going to generate more offense and take some pressure off of the pitchers?  We are only one game out of the division leader so there is still plenty of time.  I expect our veteran hitters like Cal, Ryan, Fordyce, Colbrunn and Vizquel to improve over their first month's statistics.  Once the weather warms up some more balls will fly out of the Yard so that will help our hitters, but the pitchers will have to work harder to keep it in play."