Gumby (Shawn Green, tell me you don't see it?) is back. I don't know what he's been doing this summer, but all of a sudden the temperature drops below 70 and it's time to break out the jackets and Shawn Green shows up.
I have been a big time proponent of letting Lastings Milledge play out this season in right field. We all know that this is Shawn Green's last year with the Mets and Milledge is part of our future. Plus Milledge has been hitting extremely well with runners in scoring position and he tends to be a better defensive outfield than Green.
However, I did have some concerns that Milledge might dwindle come playoff team since this would be his first year in that type of situation. I mean look at how David Wright struggled last year in the playoffs and I think Wright was a more seasoned hitter than Milledge is at this point.
But like the savvy old veteran who saves a little something in the tank for just the right moment, Shawn Green enters the picture. Last night Green knocked in the game winning run in the bottom of the 8th to seal the Braves fate, and even up the season series against our archenemy.
Over the last 3 weeks, Green has impressed me at the plate as he's stopped trying to pull the ball. I think he realizes he's no longer a home run hitter and has come to grips with the fact that he needs to start hitting the ball to the opposite field. Plus when he gets on he's thinks he's Lou Brock on the base paths and will quietly swipe second if you're not looking closely.
Although I'm not sold on his defense, I do think Green should be our starting right fielder come October. I'm definitely in favor of Chavez or Milledge coming in after the 7th inning for defense if we're winning.
Let's hope his mindset at the plate continues for another month.