The Mets had another mediocre week, splitting six games with the Dodgers and Reds. The offense does appear to be coming around as they put 38 runs on the board in these six games. They even put together back-to-back twelve-run efforts. Of course, they wouldn't be the Mets if they didn't follow that up by being shut down by a pitcher of dubious quality. This time it was Bronson Arroyo who the Mets turned into Sandy Koufax for eight innings, lowering his ERA by a run and a half in the process, all the way to 7.14.
While the Mets' play continues to be characterized by enough inconsistency to drive Joe Morgan to drink, there were some encouraging signs this week. Carloses Delgado and Beltran both had big offensive weeks. Delgado hit .368/.409/.632 in the last two series while Beltran hit .381/.417/.810. These two need to hit well if the Mets' offense is going to be much more than league average and while I never doubted that Beltran would eventually start to hit, it's reassuring to see that Delgado still has some life in his bat. Ryan Church also had a big week with the bat at .333/.391/.810, but he's been hitting all year. Perhaps the most stunning development of the week was Brian Schneider's Saturday home run. It was his first extra base hit of the season in his sixty-seventh at bat.
The Mets (19-16) get another chance to assert themselves against weaker competition starting Monday as they begin a four-game series at home against the Nationals (15-23). Nelson Figueroa (2-2. 4.81, 25:19 K:BB), John Maine (4-2, 3.00, 33:21) and Johan Santana (4-2, 3.10, 52:13) will pitch the first, second and fourth games of the series with game three's starter as yet undetermined due to Saturday's doubleheader. Odalis Perez (0-3, 3.43, 34:18), John Lannan (3-3, 3.40, 27:17), Tim Redding (4-3, 3.83, 30:18) and Mike O'Connor (1-1, 13.00, 4:11 (yes, really)) will start for the Nationals. This is the Mets' third series against Washington this season and once again they will not have to face noted steroid user and adulterer Paul Lo Duca, who is now on the disabled list with a fractured right hand. Lastings Milledge, off to a slow start with the bat at .252/.322/.341 will be in the lineup.