Mets Need Some Home Cooking
The Glen Allen Mets maintained first
place in the National League (L)East despite a mediocre month. They did not win a game in Stanley or Fleetwood
0-4 in each. Do they miss their own pillows, the home cooking or what is it? Bullpen coach John Stearns half jokingly replied,
We could hire a chef to travel with the team to provide quality, balanced nutritious meals. Guys could ask for their favorites, it might be nice "
Bench coach Buddy Harrellson replied' " We still need to play the game on the field. A roast beef dinner is not going to catch or throw the baseball. We have lost some heart breakers that we won last year, but at home we have more confidence to win them late.
Hitting Coach Eddie Kranepool was asked about the team from his perspective. Smiling he started, " Eric Karros got hot as the day in July, so he will get more playing time even against right handed pitchers and move Klesko to the outfield sometimes. Ryan continues his solid play and was glad to get some protection behind him in the batting order even if he has to share first base. Colbrunn and Lawton remain solid hitters, but both will have some time off to rest this month. Melvin Mora will go back to the minors to try to cut down on his strikeouts, and Danny Bautista will be given the chance to start in centerfield in August. Our catchers Flaherty and Fordyce have combined for good stats .290, 15 Hr and 61 RBI. Brook has had less opportunity against left handed pitchers lately since he is one of the league leaders and John has surprised me with his clutch hitting. So many guys had a poor month so as a team we only hit .252 at home dropping our overall average to .269. The hitting really needs to improve down the stretch for us to have any chance in the playoffs."
Jimmy Key the pitching coach was questioned about his pitchers performance. "Painter did great! Hamilton did not and that shoulder will shut him down for the rest of the year. Barry Zito will come back this month to try to improve on those June stats. Dude will be busy in the pen since we have added a twelfth man this month. On the road Lance will help out so there will be eight to juggle. We do not want to wear out everybody with the division title still at stake. Bob (Wickman), Wayne (Gomes) and Felix (Heredia) will maintain their eight and ninth inning prowess but the setups will chance almost daily. Do not be surprised for us to use five or six guys almost every game. We do want to stretch Zito out a bit, but the other starters will be on a short leash. I already have spoken with Eric (Milton, Steve (Trachsel) and Todd (Ritchie) and explained that this is still a marathon which is only 3/4 completed. We want them to give us six good innings and turn it over to the pen. Gardner and Magnante rejoin the team for early or long relief so the starters will not be allowed to struggle this month.
Coaches Billy Ripken and Mookie Wilson compared note on the teams' defensive play. Both smiled at the stats 42 errors in 112 games. Tatis leads the team with eleven errors. "We must continue with our fundamentals. Mookie had to remark about 99 steals in 120 attempts.
GM Clark was unable to complete any trades this month. He will leave it up to the team that he has assembled. "We have veteran guys who know how to play this game. We are not laden with lots of super stars and most of the guys are comfortable with their roles to lead the Mets to that Division title. After that we will have to wait and see. "