Friday, September 29, 2006

Two Possible Previews

Kris Benson was the first of what the Empire hopes are many victims this fall to this Death Star lineup.

However, Daniel Cabrera gave Yankee fans a glimpse of what a good pitcher can do when he's on his game. And why the playoffs can be such a crap-shoot if you don't have solid pitching.

Granted, that wasn't the Death Star lineup out there since Jeter and A-Rod were out. But they had more than enough firepower to win last night. They've won this year with less.

That's why the Randy Johnson situation is such a cause for concern. You want to go into the postseason with no less than three solid starters, preferably four. If Unit can't go, it gives us Wang, Mussina and some serious question marks afterward. Anyone who saw Jaret Wright in the 2004 postseason with Atlanta knows that he's hardly a lock to get out of the third inning, much less a quality start. And I don't even want to think about if it gets to Corey Lidle.

That's why, as much as you as you might hate Pedro and the Mets. Be careful before you laugh at their recent misfortune. There but for the grace of Palpatine, go the Yankees.

And they might not be as bad off as you might think. It's not as if the 2001 Diamondbacks, the 2003 Marlins or the 1995 Braves are on their horizon. This year's Senior Circuit Playoff roster is very, very weak. With El Duque, Glavine, Trachsel and Maine, they probably have enough to get through two rounds with their strong bullpen. They would have their hands full in the Fall Classic even with Pedro pitching. But they should have enough to get there provided Duque's arms doesn't fall of and Glavine's elbow doesn't explode.

Don't forget the 2002 Angels. They hardly had a lights out rotation, but they had a relentless lineup and a rock solid bullpen. The Mets lineup is better than that lineup and their bullpen isn't as good but its better than most. They'll be a very tough out for whoever faces him.

However, with the pitching rich AL, the Yankees, the clear favorites, won't have an easy ride. Johnson has to be able to give us something for us to guarantee that we get through two rounds and the big dance. Having this lineup gives us some wiggle room if one of the starters is less than stellar. But I'd rather have the insurance of Unit and win a few games 9-3 rather than 10-7.

This Toronto series is huge. It looks like we're guaranteed at least the number two seed. But I would love that number one seed for the ALCS.

More later....


Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

I wouldn't get too pumped up over smacking around Benson. The whole league has done that this year.

That being said, the Yankee lineup is scary. Pitching will be the key, as you noted. The Yanks ain't facing any pushovers on their way though.

No, I will not say good luck.

I for one have not given up on my Mets. The lineup is good, the pen is good. The starters did well enough without Pedro since July basically.

The playoffs can be a crapshoot. Who knows what will happen.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

You harp on pitching and then completely ignore that the Mets may have to face Houston in the first rounf? Clemens-Oswalt-Pettitte is money. Yes, the Junior Varsity has been able to get by without Martinez for much of the year but they have also been able to play bad teams and face back end starters on teams that will be in the playoffs.

As for our own club, I think our starters match up well with whoever we face - with or without Johnson. The Twins are going to be throwing rookies and Carlos Silva after Santana. The Tigers depend on Kenny Rogers (and we all know how that goes) and the A's pitching, no matter how good, always fades under the bright lights of Yankee Stadium in October.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

The Astros aren't in yet. The Cards are still a half game up. And even if Houston gets in, their lineup is awful outside of Berkman. The Mets have enough to beat them.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Chip Wesley said...

"That blast came from the Death Star Lineup! It's fully operational!"

How can any team look at that lineup and not throw up in their mouth?

5:55 AM  

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