Sunday, March 30, 2008

Timely Hitting is the Key

Benny Agbyani, Jay Payton and Timo Perez. Remember those guys? If you don’t, and you’re reading this, then God bless you, young Mets Lifer and welcome to our site. For most of us who do remember, they were a trio of outfielders who helped the Mets get to the 2000 World Series to face the juice-induced Yankees.

If the Mets can win the NL with those guys in the outfield, then there is no reason that this 2008 Mets team should not make it. When you roll out guys like Carlos Beltran, Johann Santana, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Pedro Martinez and Carlos Delgado, you expect to win, period! No excuses.

But it’s going to take more than star power to win this year. People can talk about how Jose Reyes needs to chill out, or how Willie needs to use his bullpen better (funny how no one complained about this in ’06). The biggest key for the Mets this year is getting timely hits. It’s all about fundamentals and last year, the Mets stunk it up with men on base. How many times did Reyes get left at third with less than 2 outs? How many times did they fail to move a runner over? It was downright infuriating to watch, almost on nightly basis. There is no question a ghastly inept bullpen (and a guy named Glavine) sabotaged the season for the Mets down the stretch last year, but if guys do what they’re supposed to do in basic hitting situations, you’re going to win most games.

If you look at this offense objectively, it’s not overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination. The Phillies have a far superior lineup, and the Braves are better as well. Angel Pagan is a nice story but the Mets need Alou’s presence desperately, especially if a quickly-aging Delgado can’t rediscover his once sweet stroke. And while I think Luis Castillo is still a productive two hitter, I have to admit I am concerned about his wobbly legs. (Waive Gotay? Total brain fart, Omar. Terrible decision) But, with Reyes, Wright and Beltran, at the top, all the Mets need is some good ‘ole situational hitting from the back of the order; kind of like Agbayani, Payton and Perez.


Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...

Well said. I totally agree with the necessity of having Alou back in the lineup. It's not just timely hitting, but situational hitting. That's something that has been lacking but I think guys like Castillo & Alou can help combat that.