Kevin here, giving you a postgame update on tonight’s 8-1 win over the Cubs at Shea.
Ã¢â‚¬â€ First and foremost, Jose Reyes says he’s fine. He left the game in the eighth inning after strugging to get out of the box on a single.
It was announced that he had “tightness in the left hamstring,” which isn’t a good thing to hear about a guy with a history of hamstring problems. But Reyes and Randolph both said it was actually a cramp.
Reyes was batting lefty for the first time all night and felt a little awkward on one of his swings. Randolph removed him immediately. Reyes said he was play tomorrow, although I don’t see why he should. It’s a day game after a night game delayed three hours by rain. Plus, the Yankees are coming to this side of town on Friday and the Mets are traveling to Atlanta for as big a series as you can have in May. Reyes should sit.
Ã¢â‚¬â€ Moises Alou was placed on the DL, retroactive to Saturday, with a pulled quad. This was obviously going to happen given Alou’s history. It’s a great thing if you ask me. The Mets need Alou healthy in the later months of the season, not May. And we get to watch Carlos Gomez play a little more.
Gomez is the real deal. I covered Milledge’s first few games with the Mets last season and he didn’t have nearly the presence and confidence that Gomez has. He carries himself like a big leaguer even though he’s played only three games (he’s 4 for 9). Tonight he had two hits and two RBI. He should have had three hits but Aramis Ramirez made a ridiculous diving catch at third to rob him.
Ã¢â‚¬â€ Jason Vargas will start today against the Cubs. With Alou going on the DL, the Mets didn’t have to make room on the roster. Vargas hasn’t pitched all that well in New Orleans. But he’s got good stuff and decent command when he’s on. It’s a matter of getting into a rhythym with him and throwing his breaking pitches for strikes.
Ã¢â‚¬â€ Jorge Sosa could potentially reshape the Mets rotation. If you watched him tonight, you’ll understand why. He’s a veteran who throws hard but has finally learned not to depend solely on his fastball to get outs.
That was the problem with Sosa in the past. He gave up a million homers (actually, it was 30 last year, which is an obscene number) because he wanted to blow fastballs by everyone. You can do that… if you throw 98. Sosa tops out at 94. But when he spots his slider the way he did tonight, that fastball sneaks up on batters.
Sosa seems like he finally understands what he has to do. Remember, he went 13-3 two years ago for Atlanta, which was the best winning percentage by a pitcher in the National League. He’s a proven pitcher who, I believe, got overconfident last year and had a meltdown (5.42 ERA between 45 appearances with the Braves and Cardinals).
Give Rick Peterson credit, he believed he could fix Sosa and he has. The Braves and Cardinals cast him aside. He probably won’t remain undefeated or keep his WHIP around 1.00 the whole year. But he could be a major difference maker.
Ã¢â‚¬â€ Don’t look now, but Damion Easley is on fire. He’s got eight RBI in his last five starts and is hitting .423 (11-26) in his last seven starts. Plus, he’s got 6 HRs, second only to Carlos Beltran’s 8.