It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me at:itsmetsforme@gmail.com or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Goodbye Atlanta, Hello Play-offs!


The Br*ves are eliminated! It was premature to comment until this was set in stone. With the Atlanta club most likely finishing a humiliating 19 or 20 games out, the season is already a sucess as far as I'm concerned. The NL East division title will sure be nice. But now its time for something we would only have dreamed about a year ago, time for a sober discussion of the Mets' playoff chances. Nothing groundbreaking below, just one fan's analysis.

Good Signs:
1)Weak field: of course anything can happen, but the Mets are the juggernaut in the NL
2) Fewer rookie pitchers: Playoffs teams face top starters; thus Mets will not face S.U.C.K.M.E. problem
3) Rotational smoke and mirrors: Mets have still won consistently throughout the second half using only about half their rotation, so imagine if Pedro can work some of his magic when he returns!
4) Facing the Pads: San Diego is shaping up as a likely first round opponent. The Mets can beat the Padres, I just know it.
5) Bullpen strength wins in the playoffs and the Mets seem to have it.
6) Uncle Cliff seems to be coming around
7) Delgado is definitely coming around
8) Wagner has been increasingly solid

Bad Signs:
1) LoDuca not getting a lot of rest
2) Steve Trachell could be on postseason roster, and though some signs point to Maine taking the 4th slot, he has just been sent to the bullpen
3) Stash is starting to slump--is the pixie dust worn off, or is there more magic to come?
4) Yankmes gelling, winning as only a $200 million team can. Metsfans are divided as to whether they want another subway series
5) Bench: After super Endy, you have a bunch of guys who currently can't hit or are otherwise uninspiring: Woodward, Tucker, etc. Even Frankenstein is slowing a bit.
6) Those damn Fish could make the playoffs

Outlook:
I think they really have a shot this year. Why?
1) Skill: Since the last postseason appearance, this is the one quality the Mets have lacked recently. No more.
2) Intangibles: Have shown they can win all sorts of ways, rallying from behind, bludgeoning opponents, playing small ball.
3) Chemistry: this team likes each other, and has electric, inspiring players, with veterans and youngsters in almost a perfect combination
4) Character: enough said, this team has it.
5) The Boston massacre: The whipping at the hands of the AL in interleague play may have been a wake-up call, and the team could be stronger for it come the postseason--besides some key injuries, the interleague is the only real adversity the team has faced.

Who knows how they will stack up with the American league team. Early results weren't encouraging, but there is enough offense on this team, so you never know. Plus the Pedro window is closing, and although the team has many promising young arms all of the sudden, the rotation will need significant retooling this off season. In other words, the time is now, sort of!

Key Factors for Playoff Run:
1) Reyes is "on": If Reyes can perform like he has, and get on base, we got a shot.
2) Defense continues to be solid
3) Bullpen keeps it up
4) Starting pitching finds itself in time
5) Offensive Luck: will the ball bounce the Mets' way?
6) How will Petey perform? If he is ready and vintage, things will be very good.

Though I'd prefer to win it all a bit more often than every 20 years, this year's club does sort of have the look of destiny. 20 years ago the Mets gave us all memories that will last a lifetime. Here's hoping this year will be the same.

Let's go Mets!!

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