….and they’ll gladly have him back, whenever he can make it.
What looked like a pretty capable road team a few days ago has now allowed 19 runs in 18 innings since hitting Kenmore Square. While I like the odds of Tom Glavine putting on his Stopper Suit tomorrow night, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff suggests Pedro Martinez should be very grateful that facing the cream of the AL crop is rare occasion.
Chew on these numbers, entering last night: The Dodgers led the National League with a .281 batting average; five AL teams, including the Red Sox (.288), were better. The Dodgers’ .355 on-base percentage topped the senior circuit, and three AL clubs, including Boston (.371), topped that. The Mets’ .461 slugging percentage paced the NL, while two AL teams bettered it and the Tigers matched it. The Red Sox trailed here, barely, at .457.
This stretch of interleague play, with the Tigers, White Sox, Twins and Mariners joining the Red Sox as NL dominators, has exemplified how difficult life can be for pitchers trying to tame those lineups.
Last night’s winning pitcher, Josh Beckett, has defied the odds in successfully converting from the NL to the AL. Said Beckett, now a 10-game winner, of his new league: “It really makes a difference not having the ninth hole. A lot of National League teams have guys that do something specific well. In the American League, it’s one through nine. You get really good hitters.”
Enter Pedro, who, previously this season, dominated a thinned-out Yankees lineup on May 20 (Miguel Cairo started in leftfield and hit sixth) and lost to the Orioles June 17 with a respectable outing. One certainly can’t contend that Martinez would stink if he remained in the AL. But certainly, he has much more room for error against your standard NL lineup.
For the second night in a row, Lastings Milledge had great difficultly in left field. In the rookie’s defense, the warning track is murder on high heels.
The Red Sox have now gone 15 games without an error. You don’t have to be very old to recall Boston teams that couldn’t go 15 innings without an error.
Mets OF Cliff Floyd will instantly become the most accomplished active player to take the field at Coney Island’s Keystone Park tomorrow night when he begins a rehab assignment with the Brooklyn Cyclones (link courtesy Jesper Eklow). The Mets’ NY-Penn League affiliate finally won their first game of 2006 season on Wednesday beating Hudson Valley, 4-0. Starter Jeramy Simmons (above) struck out 7 and allowed just 3 hits over 5 innings.
Incredibly, the Mets’ lead in the NL East increased Wednesday, as the slip sliding-away Phillies dropped a twinbill to the Orioles. Even before this latest indignity, the Philadelphia Daily News’ Stan Hochman raised the spectre of —- who else? — Dallas Green offering his two cents on the state of the ballclub.
“Twelfth inning Monday. Ball hit to leftfield. [Shane Victorino] bobbles it and then throws home. That was the tying run that scored. Meanwhile, the winning run goes to second. That can’t happen.”
It happened. Writers would have found the wallpaper peeling after the game. It wasn’t all whips and chains with Green, though. There was the occasional pat on the back. Perhaps that’s something Bobby Abreu could use about now.
“Charlie has tried,” Green says. “I’m a Bobby Abreu fan. I know defensively he’s gone downhill lately. But I know what he brings to the table offensively, the homers, the on-base percentage. I guess everybody wants him to be a superstar. In his mind, he could care less about that status.”
And along came Bowa to muddy the waters. Had a long talk with Abreu when the Yankees were in town. Shared some of that conversation on a WFAN talk show. Said Abreu said a change of scenery could help a player. That sounds like tampering to some. The Phillies looked the other way. “With the way we’re playing and the Brett Myers stuff,” Green says, “the Bowa thing isn’t gonna get any attention.”