METS WIN ON THE ROAD!
The Glen Allen Mets finally had a successful month away from The Yard. They lost all three in Ocala against the division leading Ocelots at 95-45 the best team in the National League, but won ten of eleven from the rest of the N.L. Central. At home the results were not as favorable only 6-8 and they only could beat the Avengers one time. Manager Jim Clark explained, "I had to be careful and rest guys like Colbrunn and Bautista which allowed for their success on the road. Our catchers continue to play great, Fordyce and Flaherty have been the dynamic duo! They have combined for .299, 75 R, 18 2B, 21 Hr 86 RBI, and only 2 errors, sounds like and All-Star if it came out of one man. I kind of hoped for the same thing from third base, but Tatis and Ripken have been riddled with nagging injuries and streakiness so they have not combined for the production we had expected. It is nice to see Eric Karros almost as hot as the weather, forcing Ryan (Klesko) to play some outfield, or rest Greg (Colbrunn) to play DH. Eric now is the team's homerun leader, second in RBI and batting .293; very nice stats after a slow start this spring. Omar Vizquel's hitting stats are way down, but only 3 errors in 140 games, playing every inning of each game are remarkable. I can not count how many highlight plays he has showed us, and those double plays certainly help the guys on the hill. His partners at second base Velarde and Jackson also have disappointing stats compared to last season. On a brighter note Matt Lawton remains our rock in the outfield! He is the team leader in hits with 154, 47 2B, 94 runs, Stolen bases27/32, only 1 error, 95 walks and .426 OBP has been superb at the top of our order. Trot Nixon and Melvin Mora were not the answer in centerfield so last month I let Danny Bautista play and he raised his average to .295 scored 14 runs, had 23 hits, 8 2B, 1 3B, 4 Hr 14 RBI in 20 games. Marquis Grissom has been solid against LHP but not RHP so this month Daryl Hamilton will come up to help out Vs RHP. We have 22 games in the regular season and a lead in first place, so we need to keep everyone healthy and happy as we head toward the playoffs."
Pitching Coach Jimmy Key was asked about the final moth for his staff. With a broad smile he responded, "So glad it's September and the rosters are expanded! Our starters are showing signs of fatigue from the long season and since we are seven games up in our division we can only hope that there will be no rest for a while. Zito did a fine job and would have been incredible if his control were better. We will see Barry for a full season next year, but for now with the pennant race we are going to the veterans. Chuck Nagy, Scott Erickson and Mark Gardner will rejoin Eric Milton, Todd Ritchie and Steve Trachsel in the rotation. The bullpen will be loaded for Coach John Stearns to juggle to keep everybody ready yet fresh. Last month was a headache trying to win, but not wearing out guys, so we have a little room to breath this month and tune up for the playoffs. Bob Wickman the closer with 31 saves, primary set up men Wayne Gomes and Felix Heredia have done a fine job. Lance Painter has been surprising and is trying to make the post season roster after spending most of the year in the minors. We may not have the big names that some other teams posses but anything is possible in a shot series."
This Mets team does not have the numbers of the team that went to the World Series last season, but they expect to win their second National League East Title and 'roll the dice' for the playoffs.