Here are a four things I’ll be thinking about during the game today:
1) Has David Wright really been that bad? Seriously. I mean, he’s hardly the lone issue in the lineup, which is how it sounds sometimes when reading the newspaper and listening to talk radio. Last night he doubled Jason Bay to third to start a game-changing rally, then scored, but all I hear people talking about is him striking out with the bases loaded, after the team took the lead. Why is that at bat some how more or less important the one before? Yes, he is striking out WAY too much. But, if he puts the ball in play, it tends to fall for a hit – especially against left-handed pitching, and at the same rate from seasons past. I mean, despite all the criticism, the kid is batting .293 and already has nearly as many home runs as he had all of last season. He’s only been slightly less productive with runners on base as he was last season and the season before. He’s hitting the ball on the ground, on a line and in the air at roughly the same rate as he did in his most productive seasons. The difference is the swing and misses, which could be because he is getting more pitches outside of the strike zone – evident by his increase in walks, as Ted Berg pointed out to me on Instant Messenger.
2) Why aren’t people as worked up about Jeff Francoeur’s struggles, as they are about Wright? Francoeur was on fire, but has not been the same since the 20–inning game in St. Louis when he had eight at bats. I don’t know, maybe he picked up a bad habit, or forget all of the magic HoJo tips from the off-season, but, wow, he’s batting just .150 with only FOUR extra base hits in the 90 plate appearances since that game ended. Not. Good.
3) Why is Jose Reyes as close to an automatic out as anyone on the team, especially with runners on base? Why is such a player batting third? I mean, if you back out those four hot games he had in mid-April, he’s batting .192 in the other 104 at bats, despite hitting the ball pretty well at times. He’s swinging at everything, be it batting first OR third. Sadly, right now, his approach at the plate is reminiscent of his rookie season when he was swinging at everything out of the strike zone.
4) How come Hisanori Takahashi never gets a single vote when I run that MVP poll for the MetsBlog Power List every week? He has been quietly awesome, and, as they say, ‘a Staff Saver.’
5) From what I understand, when asked, Gary Matthews Jr. was unwilling to accept a minor-league assignment. So, if he was willing, would Frank Catalonotto still be here, as well as Chris Carter? Also, the Mets are well aware of Jason Pridie, so how long before he is promoted?