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The Mets are back. For now. The New York Mets swept a double-header against the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday to run their winning streak to six games. The Mets also took over first place in the NL East for the first time since May 29th of last season. The Mets were a team for whom so much went wrong in 2009, but thus far everything seems to be going right in 2010. The hitters are hitting, rookie call-up Ike Davis looks like everything the Mets were hoping for, Mike Pelfrey has remembered how to pitch, and the bullpen has been nigh unhittable. Even Oliver Perez is giving up less than a hit per inning.

4/3/10: Around the Horn - Here's a simplistic-yet-revealing analysis of the New York Mets. Of their eight position players currently listed as starters, six had a slugging average of less than .450 last year while five were below .425, four were below .405, two were below .350, and good ol' Alex Cora, the starting shortstop while Jose Reyes recovers from a thyroid issue, had an SLG of .310. Also, five of those eight had an on-base percentage .350 or lower, four were .320 or lower, and two were .300 or lower, with Rod Barajas bringing up the rear at .258.

By the way, the reason those numbers look as good as they do is because Angel Pagan had an OBP of .350 and an SLG of .487. When you are counting on Angel Pagan to be the third-best hitter in your lineup, you may have trouble scoring runs. --KG

08/05/09: What is wrong with David Wright, Part Two? - After averaging 29 homeruns per season for the first four full years of his career, Wright has hit only seven homeruns in 2009 and has an OPS under .900 for the first time in his career. Many New York Mets fans and commentators have been quick to blame the Mets' new stadium, Citi Field, for Wright's drought. There are two problems with this theory. First, Wright never had any problem hitting in Shea Stadium, which was also an enormous stadium. Second, while Wright has hit only four homeruns at home this year, he has hit only three on the road. Whatever explains David Wright's sudden inability (or refusal) to hit homeruns must apply on the road as well as at home. --ABC

06/25/09: What is up with David Wright? - David Wright is truly one of the great all-around talents in the game, but he is also turning into one of the game’s greatest enigma’s as well. Coming into the 2009 season, Wright was averaging about 30 homeruns and about 23 stolen bases over the last three seasons. But this season, Wright has hit only 4 homeruns while stealing 19 bases (and leading the majors with 8 caught stealings). So, what gives? I dunno, but it is worth pointing out that he currently leads the NL in batting average and has a career high .954 OPS. Go figure. --ABC

5/26/09: Don't Cut The Sheff - If the Detroit Tigers fail to make the playoffs this year, they can blame their decision to cut Gary Sheffield this spring. The likely Hall of Famer is hitting .277/.419/.497 in part-time duty with the New York Mets. Each of those pecentages is higher than anyone who has played in the Detroit outfield this year and also better than anyone who has played more than three games as designated hitter for them. Meanwhile, the Tigers are paying Sheffield $13.6 million to help the Mets win the NL East this season.   --KG

4/3/09: Right Sheff, Wrong Kitchen - After the Detroit Tigers released Gary Sheffield - eating his $14 M contract - the Mets pounced on him. This is a good signing for the Mets, who lacked punch in their corner outfield spots, but it would have been a better fit for many other teams. Obviously, an AL team would figure to benefit from Sheff more than the Mets. Also, Sheffield currently has 499 career homers. His quest for 500 is sure to boost attendance, a draw that the Mets do not need, since they're moving into their new stadium this year. At the very least, he could have signed with an NL team that plays in Wrigley this April, so that Gary could hit #500 onto Sheffield Avenue... --KG

12/16/08: Dynamic duo - Could Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz form the greatest reliever tandem of all time?  They would have to at least beat the 1996 Bronx tandem of Mariano Rivera (8-3, 2.09 ERA, 130 K) and John Wetteland (2.83 ERA, 3.7 LSV) and the 1990 Nasty Boys, Rob Dibble (1.74 ERA 136 K) and Randy Myers (2.08 ERA, 31 SV).  But who are some of the other, less-renown reliever tandems throughout baseball history?  Send your suggestions to submissions@baseballevolution.com. --KG



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