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Santana Delivers, Mets Cling To Playoff Hopes

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 17:47:50 EST

Any chance Johan Santana can pitch on no days' rest? Desperate to stay in the playoff race, the New York Mets brought back their ace early and he delivered, pitching a three-hitter that led them over the Florida Marlins 2-0 on a rainy Saturday. "I just went out there and tried to finish it. I didn't do anything crazy," Santana said. "I knew the situation we were in." With the crowd standing and chanting his name, Santana (16-7) assured the Mets will play at least one more meaningful game at...



Mets Fall Behind in Playoff Race With 2 Games Left

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 01:01:33 EST

It's all slipping away for the New York Mets again. With a listless loss to the Florida Marlins on Friday night, New York relinquished control of its playoff fate. Now, the desperate Mets will start ace Johan Santana on three days' rest Saturday, but they need help to reach the postseason. Mike Pelfrey lost to Florida for the fourth time this year and New York's offense fizzled in a 6-1 defeat that put the fading Mets on the brink of elimination with two games remaining. New York fell two games...



Despite Alleged Collapse, Mets Are Very Much Alive

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Before beating Washington last night, they were losing mostly by small margins, mostly to bad teams, and mostly because their best hitters stopped hitting just as the wretched state of their bullpen was fully exposed. It's no wonder so many scented the stink of death on the Mets. They were losing ugly. Curiously, though, given the apocalyptic feel of the situation, they weren't losing that much. On September 4, the Mets held a three-game lead over Philadelphia in the National League East. A...



Delgado Surge Has Put Other Contributions in Shadows

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

When I was a teenager, my high school class was dominated by Yankees partisans. The Mets fans were small and harried, small mammals scurrying between the dinosaurs' toes. Then came a day, about this time in 1986, that the roles were suddenly reversed. With the Mets rampaging through the NL East, the hitherto shamed Mets fans were suddenly standing tall, joined by a huge number of supposedly devoted Yankees fans, newly outfitted in Darryl Strawberry jerseys and Dwight Gooden T-shirts. The...



Much of K-Rod's Value Is Derived From Context

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

As soon as this coming week, 26-year-old Francisco Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Angels, wunderkind of the 2002 playoffs and the American League's career leader in strikeouts per inning, will become the first pitcher ever to save 60 games. Going into last night's game against Seattle, he had 56 saves, one shy of the record Bobby Thigpen set with the Chicago White Sox in 1990. Thigpen set his record in the 159th game his team played that year; last night's game was the Angels' 146th. If things go...



Twins Versus White Sox: The Tale of the Tape

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Last week, we looked at the NL East race pitting the Mets against the Phillies, a rematch of the 2007 division chase. We're back with another tale of the tape, this time comparing the two combatants in the tight AL Central race: the White Sox and Twins. RELATED: Phillies Versus Mets: The Tale of the Tape STARS White Sox: Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, Bobby Jenks, John Danks Twins: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano When Carlos Quentin slammed his hand against his bat after...



Thanks to Manuel, Minaya Likely Will Keep His Job

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Whether or not the Mets make the playoffs, in one important sense this year has already been a raging success: It's fun to root for the team again. This may not be a hard criterion like wins or revenue, but in a way it's just as important. The heavy despair that settled in over the franchise last fall wasn't caused just by the team's collapse and failure, after all, but also by the joyless nature of it. To lose is one thing; to lose with a Hall of Fame pitcher tossing balls into short left...



Major League Baseball To Allow Instant Replay

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 15:03:15 EST

Major League Baseball reversed its long-standing opposition to instant replay and will allow umpires to check video on home run calls in series that start Thursday, a person familiar with the announcement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized before commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement at 5 p.m. today. Three series are scheduled to start Thursday, with Philadelphia at the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota at Oakland and Texas...



Giambi Comes Off Bench, Saves Yanks Against Boston

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 07:28:02 EST

Two big swings by Jason Giambi invigorated the New York Yankees. Now, can they muster one more run at the playoffs? Giambi saved the Yankees yesterday, coming off the bench to hit a tying homer in the seventh inning and a game-winning single in the ninth for a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Desperate to get back in the pennant race, New York salvaged the finale of a three-game series and won Boston's final regular-season game at Yankee Stadium. "We have a pulse," Giambi said. "Hopefully...



Brewers-Cardinals Race May Come Down to Wire

Fri, 22 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

What once looked like a division that the Chicago Cubs could take easily has instead turned into the most competitive division in baseball, as the National League Central boasts three of the top teams in the league fighting for just two playoff spots. The Milwaukee Brewers were patching up their early-season issues even before acquiring ace C.C. Sabathia from the Indians, and the St. Louis Cardinals have surprised many analysts by hanging on this far, powered by the best lineup in the NL. Now...



These Yankees Need To Be Dismantled - Immediately

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

"Break up the Yankees" was the cry after the Joe DiMaggio-led Bombers won straight championships between 1936 and 1939. In an effort to stop the Yankees from improving or replenishing their dominant team, the American League even briefly adopted a rule saying that no team could trade with the previous season's pennant winner. The rule was misguided, since the Yankees largely built from within in those days; it took until World War II to accomplish what the rule was intended to, and then only...



Tatis the Unlikely Catalyst of the Resurgent Mets

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

Few teams have suffered more setbacks this year than the Mets. Already coming off one of the biggest late-season collapses in recent memory, the Mets have given their fans more heartburn this year, thanks to a cavalcade of high-profile injuries — Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner, Moises Alou, Ryan Church, John Maine, Luis Castillo, and Orlando Hernandez, not to mention plenty of more minor ailments. The team's woes seemed to peak in early August. The Mets lost Maine and Wagner to the disabled list...



Mets Closer Wagner Out Indefinitely

Tue, 19 Aug 2008 22:02:42 EST

Billy Wagner has more pain and swelling in his pitching elbow, and the New York Mets' All-Star closer is out indefinitely. Wagner had an MRI exam today that revealed additional inflammation in his left elbow — an alarming sign after he spent most of the past two weeks resting his ailing arm. Now, the NL East leaders don't know when he might be able to return to the mound, if at all, this season. "I'm very frustrated, but there's not much for me to do," Wagner said. "I want to play. I want to...



Martinez, Mussina Exits May Mark End of an Era

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

It's the end of an era in New York. Forget the dual destruction of two long-standing baseball edifices in Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium; the end of the season may also have brought a conclusion to the careers of two fin de siècle pitching greats, Mike Mussina of the Yankees and Pedro Martinez of the Mets. Mussina has indicated that he might retire, while Martinez has not made his future plans known. "Fin de siècle" refers, in this case, to the end of the 20th century, but given the current...



For Scorers, the Game is in the Details

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Baseball umpires, just like their brethren — the referees in football, basketball, and soccer — wield power with game-altering, lightning-quick decisions and unchallengeable ball-and-strike judgment calls. Yet the unseen overseer of the final statistics — and of all sports, baseball is the most statistic-driven — is the official scorer. Sitting on press row, next to the official scorer during one of the last games at Shea Stadium, one observes just how much his calls shape our perception of...



Team Now Faces Plenty of Offseason Questions

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

For the second year in a row, the Mets have suffered elimination on the final day of the regular season. These consecutively aborted grasps at destiny recall lines from the Bob Dylan canon: "Tonight you got the power to take it, tomorrow you won't have the power to keep it. ... I see the turning of the page, curtain rising on a new age, see the groom still waiting at the altar." The groom, that is, the pennant, has indeed been left waiting — incomplete and unconsummated. The Mets now go into...



Mets Fans Should Embrace the Suffering

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The Mets, according to a survey Siena College conducted earlier this year, are the favorite team of 12% of New Yorkers, a population that, broadly defined, counts 18.75 million people. We can thus suppose that there are about 2.37 million Mets fans in the metropolitan area. If team owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and general manager Omar Minaya were to apologize personally to them all 10 at a time, and if each of these apologies lasted a minute, it would take 164 1/2 days of round-the-clock...



Brewers Reach Postseason For First Time Since 1982

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

MILWAUKEE — Thanks to CC Sabathia and Ryan Braun, it suddenly didn't matter that the Milwaukee Brewers spent much of the past month squandering a shot at their first playoff appearance since 1982. Sabathia delivered a dominant four-hit complete game in his third straight start on three days' rest, and Braun hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning to lead the Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 3-1 yesterday. Milwaukee won the NL wild card less than a half-hour later when the Mets lost to Florida...



Mussina Notches First 20-Win Season

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Mike Mussina wrapped up a postgame television interview on the field then returned to the New York Yankees clubhouse. In a season with little to celebrate, his teammates gave him a rousing welcome — one he had waited his entire 18-year career to receive. Mussina had just become the oldest pitcher to win 20 games in a season for the first time as the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2 Sunday in the opener of a rain-delayed day-night doubleheader. "This is one of those things that I think will...



Brewers Clinch Wild Card Berth With 3-1 Win Over Cubs

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 16:53:28 EST

MILWAUKEE — CC Sabathia and Ryan Braun put the Milwaukee Brewers in the playoffs for the first time since 1982 — with big help from the New York Mets. Making his third consecutive start on three days' rest, Sabathia pitched a four-hitter and Braun hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning to lead the Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 3-1 today. The Brewers, who fired manager Ned Yost with only two weeks left to go, won the NL wild card less than a half-hour later when the Mets lost to Florida...



Florida Ends Mets' Wild Card Hopes in Shea's Last Game

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 17:03:13 EST

Mets collapse, the sequel. Doomed by a dreadful bullpen that failed them again today, the New York Mets completed their second consecutive September slide with a 4-2 loss to Florida that knocked them out of playoff contention in the final game at Shea Stadium. Scott Schoeneweis and Luis Ayala served up back-to-back homers in the eighth inning that put the pesky Marlins ahead, and New York (89-73) lost out to Milwaukee (90-72) for the NL wild card on the last day of the season. Next up, a gloomy...



Lee, Halladay Top Award Choices

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

It's the end of another baseball season again. Time to get psyched for the playoffs, rake some leaves — and argue like mad over awards choices. Before I present my picks for league MVP awards (as well as Cy Young and Rookie of the Year), a note about my methodology. I don't penalize players for playing on nonplayoff teams, at least not significantly. If the choice comes down to two similarly qualified candidates, give me the one going to the playoffs. Otherwise, "Most Valuable" to me simply...



Beltran's Base Hit Lifts Mets in 9th After Rally in 8th

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Carlos Beltran singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning and the Mets rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs 7-6 last night for a huge win that halted their late-season slide. After trailing by three runs in the seventh, New York fought back in the rain to move within one game of NL East-leading Philadelphia with three to play. The Mets began the night tied with Milwaukee atop the wild-card standings. Rich Harden pitched six solid innings in his final playoff tuneup for the NL...



The Amazing, Yet Unnoticed, Feats of 2008

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

You can do great things in baseball without anyone much noticing. A season takes in so many games, so many players, and so many teams that most of what goes on just disappears into a hazily remembered blur. Do something really unusual, and baseball nation will probably pay some mind, but there's always a chance it won't and that the attention you should be getting will instead be paid the burning question of whether Ryan Howard or Carlos Delgado are better than Albert Pujols. (The answer is...



Mets Season Again May Come Down to Spot Starter

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

History has a strange way of repeating itself. On Tuesday, the Mets pitched their big gun, Johan Santana, and won. No surprise there: the Mets have gone 21–12 when their lefty ace starts, the equivalent of being a 103-win team over a full season. When anyone else starts, they are more of an 86-win team over a full season. The difference between those two versions of the Mets is their biggest impediment to keeping their hold on a postseason slot. Unfortunately, with Santana unavailable to pitch...



Pettitte's Career as a Yankee May Be Over

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte is done for the season because of a sore left shoulder. "It's giving me a little trouble," Pettitte said. "I've thrown enough innings. There's not any sense in going out and continuing to kill myself now, to push myself through anything." Pettitte had an MRI exam on his shoulder earlier this month, revealing no major damage. He won his last start on Sunday night, beating Baltimore in the final game at Yankee Stadium. The 36-year-old Pettitte went 14-14 in 33 starts...



NL Playoff Races Are Defined by Mediocrity

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

This year's National League has often seemed divisible into two classes of teams: the Cubs, and everyone else. Lou Piniella's club has held at least a share of first place in the NL Central every day since May 11, and a share of the league's best record since May 26. The Cubs clinched their second consecutive division title on September 20, and Monday night's victory over the Mets guaranteed them home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. Their competition remains a mystery, however. With...



In a Must-Win, Sanata, Mets Deliver

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The Mets needed a break, and Johan Santana's bat shattered just in time. Santana sparked the Mets' offense with an unusual broken-bat infield single and struck out 10 in eight innings, leading New York to a much-needed 6-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs last night. Jose Reyes had a three-run triple for his 200th hit of the season and David Wright drove in two runs with a clutch single for the Mets, who ended a three-game skid reminiscent of last season's epic collapse. New York, which entered...



Despite Win in Toronto, Yankees Officially Eliminated From Playoffs

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The Yankees will miss the postseason for the first time since starting their run in 1995. Mike Mussina pitched five shutout innings to earn his 19th win, Jason Giambi homered and the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 last night. It wasn't enough to keep New York's slim postseason hopes alive as Boston beat Cleveland 5-4 minutes before the Yankees win. The Red Sox win clinched at least the AL wild-card and eliminated the Yankees from postseason contention. Mussina (19-9), who also won 19...



Deserving or Not, Minaya Is Rewarded

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Shea Stadium and environs have been an accountability-free zone for years, one of baseball's closer analogues to the sort of municipal agency where a dead man can draw overtime for years at a clip without anyone noticing. So it was no surprise at all last night when ESPN's Buster Olney reported, just minutes before the first pitch of the most important game the Mets have yet played this year, that general manager Omar Minaya had agreed to a four-year contract extension. Minaya, his many other...



Boston's Better Prepared For Future Than Yankees

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Now that the Yankees have bid farewell to that gloried but antiquated relic they have called a home since 1923, it's time to figure out when they're going to start hoisting new pennant and championship flags at their McMansion across the street. In other places, I have advanced the notion that the Yankees will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2000 World Series winners before they have a new championship to celebrate. This has provoked a rejoinder from the diehards in the audience that goes...



Met Bullpen Actually May Be Worse Than It Appears

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Sometimes, things are as bad as they seem to be. Sometimes, they're worse. For most of this season, the Mets' bullpen has been the former; for three weeks now, it's been the latter. It may not end up costing them a playoff spot, but if it doesn't, it will almost certainly consign them to a status as token victims of a brutal thrashing in the playoffs. If there's anything worse than a lousy bullpen, after all, it's a lousy bullpen that's been burned out. The Mets are burnt to a crisp. From...



Pitcher Marquis Hits Grand Slam in Cubs Win Over Mets

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 22:54:17 EST

Jason Marquis became the second pitcher to hit a grand slam against the Mets this season, and the Chicago Cubs clinched home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs with a 9-5 victory tonight that damaged New York's postseason chances. Struggling to avoid another late collapse, the Mets slipped 2 1/2 games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East and had their wild-card lead cut to one game over idle Milwaukee. Jon Niese (1-1) lasted only three-plus innings in his third major league...



For Love of a Ballpark

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The last game of Major League baseball has been played at Yankee Stadium, following an incredible outpouring of nostalgia and reminiscences. Now the vultures are swooping down to sell off the great coliseum, piece by piece. Seats will fetch about a $1,000 each, someone is ready to package the dirt from the field, holy ground to millions of baseball fans throughout the world, and even the urinals will be sold for their "historic" value. It wasn't supposed to be this way. When the announcement...



Mets Doomed By Bullpen And Braves

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Another late lead and another bullpen meltdown for the Mets. The Atlanta Braves rallied for four runs in the eighth inning and a 7-6 win yesterday that stalled New York's playoff push. The Mets fell 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East. The Phillies beat Florida 5-2. New York's edge in the wild-card race was cut to 1 1/2 games by Milwaukee, which beat Cincinnati 8-1. Down 4-3, Atlanta struck in the eighth against Scott Schoeneweis (2-5) and three Mets relievers. It was the latest...



Life Cycle of Stadium Could Lead to Brighter Future

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Earlier this year, at the height of their power, before the slow decline of age and injury had fully set in, the Yankees were valued by Forbes magazine at $1.3 billion, on the back of an estimated 2007 revenue of $327 million. This is another way of saying for every $40,000 of American GDP, one dollar came into the team's hands, which is another way of saying that for all the attention they draw as the richest team in the richest city in the richest nation in the world, the Yankees are — judged...



Bronx Bombers Close Yankee Stadium in 7-3 Victory

Sun, 21 Sep 2008 23:45:12 EST

After all those championships in this celebrated place, all those unforgettable moments, the New York Yankees weren't about to be knocked out of the playoff race on a night like this. Mariano Rivera finished what Babe Ruth started 85 years ago, and New York bid farewell to fabled Yankee Stadium with a 7-3 victory tonight that prevented postseason elimination — at least for a day...



L.A. or Chicago Could Be Headed Toward Inter-City Showdown

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg noted that his greatest fear is that he might be in City Hall eight years without seeing a subway series. Perhaps the exact opposite fear can be found in network headquarters and Major League Baseball's offices, because while New York's already shut out of the American League playoff picture — and if the Mets bullpen has anything to say about it, New York might be absent from the entire playoffs — there's nevertheless the...



Hall of Fame's Purpose: To Start Debate, Not End It

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Whenever the Hall of Fame makes the news, as it did this week when the annual Veterans Committee ballot for players whose careers began after 1943 was released, there is a knee-jerk reaction on the part of some fans and commentators to dismiss the institution as irrelevant and no longer worthy of discussion. This by-now clichéd position is the pseudo-intellectual response to the lax standards adopted by the Veterans Committee during the period the panel was dominated by Frankie Frisch, with the...



Teams' New and Improved Looks Lead to Contention

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Year after year, teams go through dramatic changes. This year's veteran champions become next year's aging also-rans. Last year's callow group of rookies becomes this year's energetic contenders. It's tough enough figuring out which teams are most likely to change from one year to the next. It's next to impossible to figure out how those changes might take place. Three of this season's top playoff contenders have seen a big change in a key aspect of their respective ball clubs. A year ago...



Rodriguez Passes Babe Ruth For Most Seasons with 35 HR, 100 RBI

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Alex Rodriguez became the first player with 35 homers and 100 RBIs in 12 seasons — one more than Babe Ruth — and the Yankees slowed the Chicago White Sox's pursuit of the AL Central crown with a 5-1 victory last night. Johnny Damon hit a two-run homer, Robinson Cano had three hits and Xavier Nady had a tying RBI single in the seventh inning. Nady then scored on a wild pitch as New York rallied against rookie Clayton Richard in the fifth to last regular-season game at Yankee Stadium. Jermaine...



Top 10 Excuses for Another Mets Collapse

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

If you're a Mets fan, you're likely, and justifiably, convinced that your team is about to give you every incentive to march on Flushing Meadows with a pitchfork and a flaming torch. As little sympathy as I have for you — letting the Mets get your hopes up is about like letting the Washington Generals do so — I do at least have to commiserate over the lame excuses you'll be offered should your men manage, again, to blow it. Here, then, in the strict interest of preparing you for what you may...



Yost Firing Unprecedented, but Not Necessarily Unwise

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

It wasn't just the American financial system that melted down this weekend, but also the Milwaukee Brewers. Having woken up Thursday with a four-game lead in the National League wild card race, they went to sleep Sunday with no lead at all, having lost four straight to the Philadelphia Phillies, who tied them with the final win. Today, Milwaukee wakes up with a new manager, as yesterday Ned Yost got the sack. If only Wall Street could do the same. The firing of a manager, who after all was at...



Yankees Must Be Patient With Problematic Cano

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Robinson Cano was in an unusual position as last night's game at Yankee Stadium began, watching from a seat in the dugout rather than second base. Joe Girardi, whose touch with young players this season has epitomized the Hollies' 1967 single, "King Midas in Reverse," belatedly discovered his disciplinary powers on Sunday after Cano disdained to pursue a ball that had deflected off of Jason Giambi's glove. Girardi showed the second baseman the bench, and there he remained as of the start of...



Mets Lead Slimmed to Just a Half Game

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

WASHINGTON — There was no late-game meltdown by the Mets this time, no real reason to point fingers at the relievers. This was a start-to-finish loss, New York's third loss in four games, and there will be no escaping the references to September 2007 now. Washington's John Lannan limited New York to one hit over seven innings, Anderson Hernandez delivered a two-run single off a tiring Pedro Martinez, and the Nationals beat the fading-again Mets 7-2 last night. The Mets' lead over idle...



Rivera Moves Into Second Place On All-Time Saves List as Yanks Win

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Mariano Rivera moved into second place on the career saves list and the Yankees put a small crimp in Chicago's postseason plans, beating the White Sox 4-2 last night. Beginning its final week at Yankee Stadium — barring an incredible playoff surge — New York got a two-run homer from Xavier Nady in the second inning and a tiebreaking double by pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit in the seventh. The White Sox, who still lead the AL Central by 15 games over Minnesota, wasted six strong innings by Mark...



Posada Says Chamberlain Should Stay in Bullpen

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Jorge Posada reignited the debate over Joba Chamberlain's future yesterday, recommending the young pitcher be kept in the bullpen and predicting more injuries if the New York Yankees put him back in their starting rotation. "I think if you start him and he pitches 200 innings in one year, you're going to lose him. He's going to get hurt. I don't see him as a starter," Posada said yesterday during a session of "CenterStage," scheduled to air on the team's YES Network starting September 28...



Mets Bullpen Blows Another One

Mon, 15 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

A dreadful bullpen is making it awfully difficult for the Mets to avoid another September meltdown. Fill-in closer Luis Ayala gave up a go-ahead homer to pinch-hitter Greg Norton, and the Atlanta Braves rallied for five runs in the ninth inning Sunday and a 7-4 victory that trimmed New York's tenuous NL East lead to 1.5 games. Wasting two homers by David Wright and a strong start from Oliver Perez, the Mets lost for the ninth time in 30 games. Their lead could be cut to one game — two in the...



Cubs Win as Zambrano Pitches No-Hitter to Astros

Sun, 14 Sep 2008 22:29:15 EST

MILWAUKEE — Carlos Zambrano pitched the first no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs in 36 years, returning from a recent bout of rotator cuff soreness to shut down the Houston Astros 5-0 tonight in a game relocated because of Hurricane Ike. Zambrano stopped a Houston team that had not played since Thursday and flew to Milwaukee on the day of the game. The storm forced baseball to move two games of the series from Texas to Miller Park, home of the Brewers. Zambrano, known for his emotional displays on...



Cashman Has Been Slow To React All Season

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

There have been a lot of opportunities over the years to level fair criticism at Mets general manager Omar Minaya for some of the moves he's made, but you have to admire the fellow's audacity. When Billy Wagner went down, he acquired Luis Ayala from the Washington Nationals, and together he and Jerry Manuel proclaimed him the team's closer. This was jaw-dropping wishful thinking given Ayala's track record in D.C., but it has somehow worked out, at least so far, and if it keeps working out...