Santana is having his typically filthy second half: he's won his last 6 decisions and hasn't given up more than 3 runs since July 17.
The Mets pitchers (Wagner, Maine) are dropping like flies, and last year's collapse is still fresh on everyone's mind, so he has that much less room for error.
Hopefully the Mets offense continues to provide sufficient run support, and the wins continue to suppress the bickering. To wit: The NY Post at the end of June:
At least one person in the Mets' clubhouse didn't appreciate Johan Santana pointing the blame at teammates for not scoring enough runs in the four straight decisions the ace left-hander has lost.
Posted anonymously inside the clubhouse was this saying: "Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scales."
Carlos Gomez has struggled at the plate, but that hasn't mattered much to his manager. Gardenhire's season-long theme regarding Gomez continues:
"He's exciting," Gardenhire said. "Guys are into it. When he's all over the field like he usually is, the other team they see what we're trying to do here and it affects them. They have to start getting the ball in quicker. And that's what it is all about."For the Sabermaticians out there who might snicker at the above praise for intangibles, the Jamesian "Zone Rating" and "Range Factor" both show Gomez to be the top defensive CF in all of baseball.
"I'm not saying other guys aren't bringing that energy to the table, but there is something different about that young man that he does," Gardenhire said. "He's got a little charisma."
Phil Humber was the only one of the rest of the batch to get a September call-up. He made his Twins debut last week and gave up 1 run in 2/3 IP of mop-up duty.
Deolis Guerra is still a typical 19 year-old developing in A ball. He can throw 95, but is reworking his arm angle.
Kevin Mulvey has been in AAA all year. He's lowered his ERA in three consecutive months, finishing his August 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA and healthy 8 K/9. Considering that the Twins' bullpen is struggling maybe Mulvey might get a call to contibute in these next couple weeks. Then again, per CBA rules, as a 2006 draft pick out of college, Mulvey isn't required to be added to the 40 man roster until after the 2009 season, so maybe the frugal Twins will elect to keep him from arbitration that one extra year.
Clay Buchholz toiled in the minors for a while, working out injuries and technique, then got called up for a month, only to be sent right back down.
Jon Lester is 14-5, with a 3.23ERA, the latter good for 4th in the league.
The guys at Sports Lounge said it well:
Lester has become everything Buchholz was expected to be, but with a little less hype. He’s been nothing short of spectacular this season, leading Red Sox in innings pitched (167.2) and ERA (3.17). Since Buchholz’s no-hitter on September 1st of last year, Lester has won Game 4 of last year’s Fall Classic, pitched his own no-hitter, and become Boston’s solid number three starter behind Beckett and Dice-K . Dice-K has been terrific this season; he and Lester are the sole reasons the starting rotation has put Boston at the top of the wildcard standings.Lester said after his last win,
“I think I’m more consistent with my mechanics, that’s making me stronger,” Lester said. “I don’t have to use as much energy, wasted energy, as before. Now it just seems that I’m more efficient and I’m consistent with what I’m trying to do, so I’m not wasting energy on bad thoughts or anything like that."Yankees
Melky Cabrera was playing so poorly (.242/.296/.337 thru 117 games) that he was sent down August 15. Now that Bobby Abreu will miss a few games with a hurt wrist, he'll have another chance, but has "much to prove."
The Miguel Cabrera Trade coming tommorrow