Recently news came out that the Red Sox wanted to acquire Chris Capuano but that the Mets turned them down. Now, this was not at the trading deadline – this was in the last few days, meaning they wanted him to make *one* start for them. Yes, their pitching has been that bad. Since September 1st, Boston is 5-16 and has not won a game in which they did not score 10 runs. At the end of August they had a 1.5 game lead over the Yankees for the AL East and held a 9.0 game lead over the Rays for the Wild Card. Now the Yankees have clinched the division and the Red Sox hold just a 2.0 game lead over the Rays and a 3.0 game lead over the Angels in the Wild Card.
Capuano has been a solid acquisition for the Mets, taking the ball every fifth day and generally giving the Mets a chance to win. But he is a lefty who allows fly balls and has a slightly above-average HR/FB rate, which would not seem an ideal fit in Fenway Park. But desperate times call for desperate measures and it’s surprising that Sandy Alderson refused to work out a deal here. The take away from this should be for fans to expect Capuano to return to the Mets in 2012.
Thursday, Capuano pitched for the Mets and had to wait out a rain delay that lasted over two hours. He was victimized by the gopher ball, as three of the four runs he allowed came on homers, including one to Albert Pujols, who has simply owned Capuano. Coming into the game, Pujols had a .567/.639/1.100 slash line against Capuano in 36 PA. Capuano retired Pujols the first two times he faced him before giving up the HR, the fifth he has surrendered to the Cardinals’ slugger.
WRIGHT LEAVES GAME EARLY – Manager Terry Collins removed David Wright from Thursday’s game, marking just the third time this season that Wright did not finish what he started. The previous two times Wright came out early this year were in blowout losses, where the Mets trailed by 10 and eight runs. Yesterday he came out as part of a double-switch in the ninth inning of a two-run game. The Mets’ bullpen has been anything but automatic and it has to raise a few eyebrows that Collins did what he did.
Wright was removed early from a game five times last year. The first three removals came in blowout losses and the fourth one came when he was removed for a pinch-runner in a tie game. Afterwards, Wright revealed he had been throwing up earlier in the game and was too lightheaded to remain in the contest. The final time Wright was removed early came on the last day of the season, when manager Jerry Manuel removed both Wright and Jose Reyes so that the fans could give them a final ovation.
There was no mention of the early removal on MetsBlog or the New York Post. If asked about it, Collins would likely reply it was the move that made the most sense, as Justin Turner had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the top of the ninth inning and Wright made the next-to-last out in the inning. Still, it is noteworthy when the team’s franchise player is removed for defense, especially when the team has not made a similar move the past two seasons.
WHAT A RELIEF – Pitcher wins are far from the best stat to use to analyze performance and that goes doubly so for relievers. Frequently, a reliever earns a win simply for being in the right place at the right time. Yesterday, Manny Acosta picked up his fourth win of the season. He and Ryota Igarashi are both 4-1 for the year. The other Mets pitchers are a combined 68-80.
THOLE CONTINUES TO WIELD HOT STICK – Much has been made about the disappointing season that Josh Thole has had in 2011 but he has been very effective over most of the year after getting off to a dreadful start. Through games of May 21st, Thole had a .205/.281/.241 line in 128 PA. Since then he has a .300/.382/.404 line in 242 PA. Thole has also made better contact than he did earlier in the year. During his poor start, he struck out 22 times in 128 PA for a 17.2 K%. Since May 25th, he’s whiffed 23 times in 242 PA for a 9.5 K%.
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU – It was only the seventh time in Mets history that they won a game in which they trailed by four runs or more in the ninth inning or later. Before Thursday’s comeback, the Mets last such win was against the Cubs at Shea Stadium on May 17, 2007, and their last road win of that kind was on July 17, 1973 in Atlanta. This was the Cardinals first home loss in a game in which they led by four runs or more since Aug. 26, 1998 against the Marlins.