After four games it seems that the Mets might struggle to finish in second place. Previously, I predicted the Mets would finish in second behind the Phillies, but now it seems that the Marlins might also have a better team.
Last night against the unbeaten Fish, Manuel made a puzzling move when he used Putz in the eighth after Manuel had said that when Rodriguez doesn't close, Putz will. In Rodriguez's absence, the Mets used five relievers; only one was able to hold the Marlins scoreless: Putz. Shawn Green surrendered three hits and a walk in one inning and, for the second straight game, Darren O'Day gave up a key, run-scoring single. Fortunately for the Mets, the game didn't go into extra innings, for the only reliever left on the bench was Brian Stokes. That's because no reliever pitched more than an inning, a managerial mistake that could have been disastrous for the team had the game gone into extra innings.
On the hitting side, though several Mets had multi-hit games, including Ryan Church who's on a tear, shredding opposing pitchers at a .533 pace, the Mets stranded 27 runners. (The Marlins stranded 12.) The biggest LOB loser, Luis Castillo, who stranded six. This season he's got one hit in 10 at bats. Over the hill?
Quick Tour of the Minors
Triple-A: The Bison did even worse than the Mets, losing 9-0. Bison batters managed to get just two hits.
Double-A: The B-Mets won. The Mets used two relievers: Both pitched shutout ball.
Single-A: St. Lucie won. Right fielder Carlos Guzman, a Brooklyn native, went 3-3 and is hitting .800.