I’ll be traveling to Atlanta today for the next series, so here’s the question while I’m in transit to ponder and then post a response: 10 games to play, a half game out of first, 1 1/2 up in the wild card. Do you think the Mets win the division, win the wild card or miss the playoffs?
Much of the postgame talk from the 7-2 win in the Washington series finale was about the value of Johan Santana, the type of guy they didn’t have last September. This was his 12th straight quality start. He’s 14-7 with a 2.65 ERA, and he should be a 20-game winner. And he gets to start two of the final 10. Right now, he’s lined up to pitch Tuesday against the Cubs and the Sunday finale against the Marlins. Jerry Manuel said the only way he would alter the rotation is if Jon Niese flames out Monday against the Cubs. The rookie would also be down at this point to start next Saturday.
There were other good signs in this game, like a second straight two-hit night for Jose Reyes, and a pair of RBI singles by Ryan Church, who had been lost at the plate. And Brian Schneider had his first two-homer game since 2003. Schneider has hit seven of his nine homers in his last 22 starts. By the way, Schneider, Mike Pelfrey, Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans got a White House tour in the morning arranged through Schneider’s father.
Al Reyes was released. Jerry Manuel said he had unfavorable reports about his mound work at Double-A Binghamton, that his velocity was down. That’s why he was never used in relief after being called up Sept. 1. These games are just too important.
This morning, you can read about Santana and the game in The Journal News and at LoHud.com. Plus there’s a Mets notebook on Church’s struggles, John Maine’s comeback hopes, the second-base situation and Aaron Heilman listed a probable for October if there is an October.
I’ll be back with the lineups from Turner Field later in the day.