he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Mets' first half awards and second half predictionsh

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mets' first half awards and second half predictions

In a few hours the second half for the Mets will officially begin against Greg Maddux and the Chicago Cubs. Steve Trachsel will be opposing Maddux, and Trachsel's six game winning streak will be on the line. However, Trachsel has not been the Mets best pitcher this year, not by a long shot, so who is?
Cy Young-
Tom Glavine is the clear choice. He leads the team in wins by a long margin, and his era is only second best to Pedro Martinez. However, Glavine has been a steady force in the rotation, and it has been rare if at all that the future hall-of-fame left hander has pitched consecutive poor games. Glavine is even in the running for National League Cy Young, but right now Brandon Webb is probably the leader. Nonetheless, I think Glavine would trade an NL pennant for a Cy Young any day of the week.
As I mentioned in my outfielder's report card I have a feeling that Beltran will have an even better second half, and he will win the National League MVP, but I'm handing out my mid-season MVP awards. David Wright and Jose Reyes are the only two options that make any sense, and my pick is David Wright. Reyes gets on base and creates run scoring opportunities without any assistance, but in order to score most of the time somebody needs to him him home, and most of the time if it isn't Beltran or Delgado it is Wright. The "symbiotic relationship" as the Mets' thirdbaseman called it has catapulted Wright into stardum, and Reyes not far behind.
Rolaids Relief Man-
Duaner Sanchez has been consistent all season long, and he has been the leader of the Mets set-up crew, and will likely remain there for as long as he is under contract with the Mets. Heilman and Wagner have been inconsistent, and Bradford and Feliciano have not pitched enough innings in tight games to warrant being rated over Sanchez. Sanchez is a good teamate (beaning Cabrera last saturday) and a warrior (pitching a few days after pinching a nerve in his neck) to boot.
Biggest bust
It is hard to pick the biggest first half bust, because the obivious choice (Kazuo Matsui) is no longer on the Mets, and there aren't many other players beforming poorly consistently. However, there is one man who has heard the boos from the Shea faithful, and that man is Billy Wagner. Despite a good era and strikeout rate Wagner has blown four saves, already more than he blew all of last year. With an enormous contract for a closer, and four more years after this one left Wagner better stop blowing saves if he wants that elustrious 400th save.
Biggest surprise-
There have been many pleasent surprises for the Mets this year. Such as Darren Oliver's long man success, Endy Chavez's terrific play off of the bench, and Jose Reyes' vastly improved eye. However, there is only one clear cut winner, and that is another Jose, Jose Valentin. The 36 year old former hit or miss player is not only hitting for average and power but he is playing very good defense at second base. Not only is he playing well but he is being paid under a million for the season and is a veteran presence on the bench. Plus, Valentin's success has filled the hole at second base, meaning the Mets don't have to trade for a second baseman, which in turn means the Mets have more trading chips to explore in other areas of the team.
My top five second half crazy predictions:
5) Carlos Beltran will win MVP
4) Orlando Hernandez will win more games then Steve Trachsel in total (in other words, he'll win more games not just in the second half)
3) The Cardinals will be considered the better team going into the playoffs.
2) The August series with the Padres will be the most emotional series of the year, with cheers for Piazza and Cameron, and massive boos for Hoffman.
1) Tom Glavine will get up to win number 298 this season.


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7/21/2006 1:31 PM

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7/23/2006 10:17 AM


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