More so now than ever does the phrase, “It’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters.”
Leading their respective divisions for much of the season matters little since their rivals played better than they did in September. The San Diego Padres came back to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers on the arm of future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. However, the Arizona Diamondbacks also won, with a 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros. The Padres maintained their one game deficit.
The Mets lost Friday night to the Florida Marlins 7-4 while the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 6-0. With two games left, the Phillies have a one game lead over the Mets int he National League East.
If you combine the add the days that both the Padres and Mets led their divisions over the course of the season, you’d probably get a full year’s worth.
These crisises in S.D. and N.Y. show you that they didn’t have as great a team as each club thought they did. Chris Young went down for the Pads in September, and without that 1-2 pitching duo of Jake Peavy and Young, the team showed how much the offense sucked. With Milton Bradley out now, playing on Saturday and Sunday are going to be tougher.
The Mets were always hyped as having a great offense, but did anyone really expect them to do well with Oliver PÃ©rez as their starter. The fact that 41-year-old future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine (as great as he is) leads the club in innings pitched with 200.0 says a lot. You could also talk about the slump that Jose Reyes had in Sept too. But I think the major issue was the fact that Pedro Martinez came back from his surgery a lot sooner than many people anticipated and thus everyone else became complacent.
Complacency isn’t rewarded, not when an equally matched offense club like the Phillies are riding your doorstep. Mind you, the Phillies also have their pitching issues, but a left-handed power pitching in Cole Hamels helps a ton. (I will refrain from mentioning the Atlanta Braves in this discussion since I am very disappointed that they didn’t step up after getting Mark Teixeira.)
It would be a shame if the Pads and Mets don’t make the playoffs after dominating much of the season. But hey, the Chicago Cubs just won the NL Central.
This is a reminder that everyone should read about what their city councils are approving or disapproving. Now I’m all for creating and maintaining nice parks. But is paying $154,634 for a jogging path really worth the money in Sacramento’s William Land Park?