Monday, September 29, 2008

Mets Out, Brewers In, White Sox still working on it

Once again, the Mets "choke", though this year's edition wasn't nearly as legendary as last year's. And, to be blunt, this year they were facing better competition - the Phillies had improved themselves in the bullpen and with better CF/RF combo and bench (Healthy Victorino + Werth > Rowand + injured Victorino), and while the Brewers had their usual slate of incredibly talented young players who forgot how to play baseball (c.f. Hall, Bill; Weeks, Rickie, etc.), they did have a mostly healthy Ben Sheets and a ferociously determined Carsten Charles Sabathia. And while the Mets got plenty from their upgrade in the rotation, they got a lot less from their bullpen and from their outfield. Honestly, only the Phillies all-or-nothing results (and extended romances with Kyle Kendrick and Adam Eaton) kept this thing close. The Phils open at home against the Brewers on Wednesday, with Sabathia unavailable and the spectre of the Phils' 4-game sweep earlier in the month hanging in the air. The latter doesn't matter much, but the former does, especially with Ben Sheets and Yovanni Gallardo both health-related wild cards. Throw in a bullpen that includes Eric Gagne, and the Phillies, frighteningly, look like favorites.

Meanwhile, the Twins failed to take care of business, which means they get to sit and wait and see how seriously Detroit's going to take tomorrow's makeup game against the White Sox. If the Tigers roll over - and given that their manager doesn't smoke cigarettes, he eats them, this is unlikely - then the Sox should roll and force a one game playoff. But even if the Twins left it all on the field against the White Sox earlier last week, there's no excuse for not taking care of business with Kansas City. Not at a time like that, with so much on the line.
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