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Another Rocky Mountain High For the Mets

Mike SteffanosThursday, August 31, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Mets 11 - Rockies 3

David Wright had a big offensive game for the Mets, and Dave Williams had another successful audition for a place on this ball club in 2007. Rockies outfielders continued to treat every ball hit to them like a hand grenade. It all added up to another huge win for the Mets in Colorado.

This game was over by the second inning. David Wright had a grad slam in the first, and Jose Valentin chipped in with a solo blast. Wright also singled home a run in the Mets' 3-run second inning, and Jose Valentin had another solo shot in the third. The Mets opened a 10-0 lead and never looked back. Williams was as good as he needed to be, and was also mercifully quick for bleary-eyed Mets fans tonight.

Thoughts on the game
Dave Williams was solid tonight. He wasn't as sharp with his location as he was in his previous start, but pitched aggressively and was able to coax a couple of big double plays. Let's look at the updated chart:

Dave Williams

You have to love a guy that pitches quickly and throws strikes. He has a deceptive delivery and isn't afraid to challenge right-handers. He's being sent down to Norfolk in a roster move, but will be back Tuesday to take his next start. I would think at the very least he has forced his way into the Mets' thinking as a fifth starter or long reliever/spot starter for next year, and maybe as a bullpen possibility for the post-season. I love those 11 Ks and only 2 walks in 19 innings. Williams was also on base 4 times, although he did cost Reyes a triple and an RBI for failing to touch third.

A second blowout in a row doesn't beg a long recap. Just some general observations:

  • It was nice that Wright hit a homer and knocked in some runs, but most important, he looked good doing it.
  • Wright also kicked in a terrific defensive play to rob Barmes of a hit.
  • I would have never thought this when he first started playing there this season, but it occurred to me that Jose Valentin has become a very good defensive second baseman.

It's part 2 of Oliver Perez' audition Thursday night.

This game is being discussed in the MetsMerized Mets Talk Forum.

Box Score

Comments (6)

Well, it looks like D-Wright is finally coming around and hitting again. A night like this was long overdue for him. His performance and Valentin's performance are the final pieces to the puzzle in the lineup, and I assume that Pedro, Glavine and El Duque will come back from their (probably) phantom injuries in time for the postseason. Bring on the playoffs, baby.

If you fiddle around with those stat sheets on the official Mets website, eventually you find the team fielding stats. It turns out that they include one of the newer stats, Defensive Efficiency Rate (or ratio), or the percentage of times a ball in play is converted into an out.

Is anyone surprised that the Mets lead the National League in that category? Having an efficient defense requires sure handed fielders with good range, along with good fundamentals -- and these Mets got 'em, from Beltran to Valentin to Reyes to Wright to Chavez.

And all it does is turn decent pitchers into winners, make the games terrific fun to watch, and give the devoted fan that oh-so satisfying feeling of smugness when watching the sort of team some of the other outfits are fielding. Such as those Rockies. Hurtle wept; and no wonder.

Matt -- Good to see him back, isn't it?
dd -- Funny you should mention that. I'm writing my post today about defense.

Funny isn't the word for it. I made a point of not mentioning the Hardball Times piece praising Omar Minaya, assuming you'd be referencing THAT, and stuck instead to my little thoughts on the action on the playing field.

Guess great minds run in the same gutter, or something.

1. Your analysis of Williams was very clinical. But the WHIP data stands out. As I said yesterday he is a protypical pitcher. Location is off in Colorado, because as we know breaking pitches dont break true there. However the fact he is aggressive helps.

2. Now for Oliie.

3. Defense: David Wright, Reyes and Valentin have been solid but Beltran is extremely underated. With Endy in Left and Lastings/Green in RF the OF has become a vaccum. And they do it with ease. (as log as Traxx is not pitching). Which brings me to this...With Endy emerging as the everyday LF, Green and Lastings could 'platoon' in the playoffs. Tucker could be the casualty. Also we desperately need infield depth. Ahern is a vaccum and translates at 2B and SS. Woody can sub at 2B/3B.

dd -- I have a link to the Hardball Times piece, but didn't feature it. I thought about defense last night watching that lovely outfield play by the Rocks, then Shpigel had something in today's time.

Talk about whatever you want here. If we bring up the same thing, so what?
micalpalyn -- A guy that gives up a few hits but doesn't walk people always has a chance. I agree with you that Tucker is the likely casualty. Don't forget Woodward is a good shortstop -- that was his primary position in Toronto.

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