05.07.06

Lima Crime!

Posted in Baseball at 8:20 pm by

Braves 13, Mets 3

Sunday’s ugly line for Jose Lima (5 IP, 7 hits, 5 earned runs, 4 BB) was actually better than anyone had a right to expect given Lima’s struggles at Norfolk this year. But beyond Sunday’s capitulation — pretty nice work from John Smoltz on 3 days’ restthere are two huge question marks in the Mets’ starting rotation. At the moment, starters 1 through 3 are the only certainties, though given how long in tooth Martinez, Glavine and Trachsel are, it’s pretty dangerous to assume none them will miss another start this season.

The Duaner Sanchez-for-Jae Seo trade has been hailed as a steal for the Mets ; the Jorge Julio-for-Kris Benson swap somewhat less so (particularly in light of the former’s improvement…and man, did the latter get clobbered by Jason Varitek today). But the fact remains that Omar Minaya decided over the winter that an abundance of starting pitching was surplus to requirements compared to bullpen depth. The injuries to Brian Bannister and Victor Zambrano should quell much of the optimism surrounding this team, not unless the batting order is prepared to put up double digits on a regular basis.

Unless Minaya is prepared to move younger talent (Milledge, Pelfry) in a desperate attempt to acquire a 4th or 5th starter, Aaron Heilman has to receive another shot at the rotation.

Possibly lost amidst the Sunday gloom : Carlos Beltran just completed one of his best weeks in a Mets uniform.

Newsday’s Jon Heyman wrote this morning that Tom Glavine will have a 5th season in a Mets uniform.

One of the smartest moves the Mets made was their quiet, heretofore-ignored agreement with Glavine to restructure his contract in March 2005. That’s when they changed his deferred payment schedule and, without notice or fanfare, added an $11-million 2007 option, a distinct bargain for the resurrected Cooperstown-bound pitcher with 279 career victories.

Had the option not been added, Glavine, 40, would have had his own option to return to the Braves, something we know he’s considered before, thanks to Braves GM John Schuerholz’s revealing book, “Built to Win.”

Congrats to the Round Rock Express on winning their 9th in a row (a club record since moving to the PCL from the Texas League) with today’s 4-0 defeat of Omaha. 4 Express pitchers combined on a 3 hitter, Chris Baker doing most of the heavy lifting (6 IP, 4 K’s) after the Astros’ Trevor Miller faced a mere 3 batters in his rehab assignment. Hector “Vs. Rector” Gimenez (above) received a rare start at 1B and had a hand in busting up the shutout bid of the Royals’ Adam Benerro, eventually scoring after leading off the 6th with a single (coming in on DH Mike Rodriguez’ bloop single). Gimenez would later hit a 2 run HR to deep right off Joe Nelson.

Former Met Joe McEwing had been toiling in Round Rock prior to Sunday, and was summoned to Denver for the Astros’ 3rd consecutive loss to the Rockies. Houston has placed Chris Burke on the 15 day disabled list.

Earlier today, Cleveland’s C.C. Sabathia (above) had his 2nd consecutive strong outing since coming off the DL, scattering 7 hits over 8 shutout innings, as the Indians beat the Mariners, 2-0.

The Phillies are ahead of the Giants tonight, 5-2 in the bottom of the 4th. Pat Burrell hit his 9th HR of the season, a 2 run shot in the first inning off Matt Morris ; The Sultan Of Surly is homerless (one single, a run scored on a Mark Sweeny sac fly, one walk). Imagine what a nice guy Bonds might’ve turned out to be if his college teammates hadn’t borrowed his Trans Am without permission?

(not Barry’s car, but a reasonable facsimile)

(UPDATE : Bonds homered to right field off Jon Lieber in the top of the 6th for no. 713. Aaron Rowand countered with his career HR no. 60 for the Phillies in the bottom of the frame. Hopefully MLB marked Rowand’s ball with some sort of hologram.)

6 Responses to “Lima Crime!”

  1. Chuck Meehan says:

    Leave it to Jon Lieber to be the only Phillies pitcher this weekend that allowed Bonds to get hits off of him (actually, the only Phils pitcher that didnt make Bonds look like a cripple this series). I dont want to go off on a rant so I will just say that the ESPN Bonds fellatio was just sickening this evening. Comedic highlights (other than Sal Fasanos sac bunt): Bonds shaking his head and tapping his skull with his forefinger over and over again in the dugout after Aaron Fultz clowned him for the second time this weekend….that, and the snot rocket he blew while in left field.

  2. jesper says:

    Mets’ bullpen would be pretty deep even with Heilman as a starter. There must be something else to this story. Randolph didn’t give him he the chances he deserved last year and his unwillingness to use what could be a legit number 3 or 4 starter on any ball club is mystifying. he’s proven that he can throw a lot of pitches too which kind makes one think that long relief wouldn’t be needed as much as it would by using stellar arms like Lima….

  3. GC says:

    given the number of aging arms that anchor the Mets’ starting rotation (Trachsel, Glavine, Pedro) and the tendency of Willie to pull any of the 3 after 6 innings, I can understand why having so much bullpen depth is desired. If Heilman becomes a starter, Sanchez’ workload is only likely to increase.

    Minaya chose to start the season with Zambrano at no. 4 (questionable even before the elbow calamity) and Bannister at no. 5. A terrific first 6 weeks of the season aside, that might’ve been a wildly optimistic move for a team with title aspirations. Clubhouse harmony and salary considerations aside, who would you rather have on the roster right now, Kris Benson or Jorge Julio?

  4. jesper says:

    Julio.

    They do have a starting pitcher in Heilman that could be the stand-in for Benson if only they gave him the chance.

    The solution is staring Randolph in the face and he can’t see the wood for the trees.

  5. jesper says:

    I looked up Benson’s stats for last year… 4.13 ERA, 10-8. weak tea. He did average almost 6.1 innings though.

    Heilman started 7 games, one of which was a complete game shut-out. (Benson hasn’t had a complete game in 5 years). 3.17 ERA for the year, his won lost record was 5-3, not sure what portion of those 8 decisons came in relief (too short of time right now to look it up). This guy should be given the chance to prove that he is a legitimate starting pitcher.

    Plus the option of having Benson sans annoying egomaniacal wife and with a humble salary does not exist.

  6. GC says:

    i’m not nominating Kris Benson for a cy young or anything, but at this very moment in time,  an innings eater with a 4-ish ERA would really come in handy. With the team’s improved fielding and offense, he coulda won more than 10 this year.

    but I think your point about “humble salary” is what it really comes down to, more than the annoying wife. The Mets took on considerable future obligations with Delgado and Wagner, hence the willingness to part with Matsui or Benson for a bag of balls (or in the latter’s case, Jorge Julio).

Leave a Reply