As we enter the last week of August (Huh? What the..., How the hell did that happen?), things are looking promising. Following another stellar performance by Senor Santana last night, the Mets were able to stay 2.5 games up on the Phillies for the NL East lead. The team is 10-1 in their last 11 games and have received help, not problems, from the bullpen. The boys take on the Astros again tonight with John Maine starting against Brandon Backe. It will be interesting to see how Maine does tonight, in his 3rd start after his stint on the DL. His outings have been great, if baseball games only lasted 5 innings. He hasn't allowed any runs and has only allowed 3 hits in his 10 innings back. However, his fastball look all that great in his last start against the Nats. It kinda wasn't...fast, but I suppose it is all part of his recovery from the shoulder injury that put him on the DL at the end of July. After his last start, he said that he will be able to pitch more innings next time. In other news...
- Luis Ayala, who the Mets got from the Nats for Anderson Hernandez, has 1 save, has given up a hit and has not given up a run in 3 innings pitched for his new team. This trade has paid off so far in the absence of Billy Wagner, who will be out for at least three more weeks, with pain and swelling in his pitching elbow. Anderson Hernandez meanwhile, had a game winning hit for the Nats against the Phillies the other night, so thanks Anderson.
- Brian Schneider seems to have found his stride and has hit 3 home runs since the 14th of August. He has also had 7 RBI since that day. His last home run was exactly three months earlier on May 14th (I was there).
- Ryan Church was welcomed back into the starting line-up yesterday in right field with a standing ovation from the home crowd. Church hadn't played since July 5th, when he left the game with dizziness as a result of post-concussion syndrome that has plagued him for most of the season. Headaches and dizziness caused the Mets to shut him down for a few weeks before he was able to resume working out and playing. Hopefully, this is all behind him now.
- The player formerly known as Carlos Del-gotta-go was 5 for 5 on Thursday night, with 3 of the Mets' 5 RBI. This afternoon, WFAN's Steve Sommers took a call about first base in 2009. Steve believed that the Mets should pick up Carlos' option for '09 and keep him at first base, with the hope that he will play his hardest, since he will be a free agent in 2010. He also mentioned that Mets fans are quickly forgetting about Delgado's awful April-June performance, but wonders if Willie Randolph was the sole reason for his poor play. Hopefully this isn't the case, and hopefully #21 will keep up the amazing work.
- Over in left field, the tandem duo of Murphy and Evans is been working wonders. The two have been roommates since their time in Double-A Binghamton and are learning the corner outfield position together, since they came up as corner infielders. Daniel Murphy, a lefty who starts against righties, reached base in 18 of his first 19 games and is batting .380. Nick Evans, the righty who was up with the team once earlier in the season, has 9 doubles in 81 at bats.
- According to Rob Neyer of ESPN, David Wright is a leading candidate for NL MVP because of his 99 RBI, but thinks that an MVP must hit over .300. Wright is hot right now and oh-so-close, with an average of .295, so I think he can get that number up by the end of the season.
- At this point last season, the Mets were ahead in the NL East, but did not know that they had a monumental collapse ahead of them. It seems like they all know by now not to take anything for granted. Hopefully they will build on this lead and make it into October, but I'm not counting on anything just yet.