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Father's Day(s)

For the first time in a long while, Mike Piazza would be doing his job to suffocate the Mets. In '03 and '04, his long DL stints hurt the team. Now he and Mike Cameron will try to unleash their bats against their former employer. The Mets will head to sunny southern California to face the Friars after an extremely disappointing series against the Braves, where, for the first time this year, the Mets lost two in a row. The squad is currently battling injuries, including Cliff Floyd's ribcage, Carlos Beltran's hamstring, and the tumor that Kaz Matsui will be on this team. While I am as big of a fan of Kaz as any, where's Keppy? Haven't we established that he's better defensively than Matsui (though with a little less range) and better than KazMat and Andy Hernandez offensively as well? (Yeah, Andy's the best I could come up with.)

Game 1: Thursday, 10:05
Steve Trachsel (1-1, 4.09 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (1-2, 5.50 ERA)
  • Edge: Peavy. He's one of the top young pitchers in the game, despite his slow start, and Trax is coming off a game where he gave up a long double to Tomo Ohka.

  • Game 2: Friday, 10:05
    Brian Bannister (2-0, 2.50 ERA) vs. Woody Williams (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
  • Edge: Push. I didn't much care for BB's last start. WW's an established veteran. Good curveball. I just like all the initial repetition.

  • Game 3: Saturday, 10:05
    Pedro Martinez (3-0, 3.66 ERA) vs. Chris Young (2-0, 2.95 ERA)
  • Edge: Pedro. Come now, Chris Young is a good young (again with these annoying names) pitcher. But Pedro's hot and is certainly capable of defeating this Padre lineup.

  • Game 4: Sunday, 4:05
    Victor Zambrano (1-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Clay Hensley (0-1, 6.00 ERA)
  • Edge: Hensley. Hensley looked very good out of the bullpen last year, but he's not even a reliever. He's racked up double digit starts every year in the minor leagues. Expect a strong performance from him and expect Zambrano to have Mets fans calling for Lima Time from AAA.

  • SDP Breakdown: Record- 6-8
    This team has been made over. Big time. They are not close to an elite team, with Dave Roberts getting regular playing time when he should be speed off the bench and Vinny Castilla's old bat at cleanup. They have a pair of above-average rookies in Josh Barfield at 2B and Adrian Gonzalez at first. They also have the less impressive Ben Johnson doing time in center field. Brian Giles remains patrolling their deep right field and Khalil Greene will keep the game easy with his .375 career BA against the Mets at short. Mike Piazza will catch, and in an even stranger blast from the past, Shawn Estes was slated to start for them this year before he got hurt. Expect Mike Cameron to come off the DL sometime during this series and have some fun with his old friends like Cliff Floyd. Expect Mike Piazza to brood and expect Paul lo Duca to follow him wherever he goes.

    Players to Watch for:
    SDP: Brian Giles. His ridiculous patience and power will not face too many challenges with all righties toeing the slab for the Mets this series.

    NYM: David Wright. After a disappointing series from D-Wright against the Tomahawk Choppers, he should be due for some fun against this San Diego crew.

    Player of the Series: David Wright

    Picks: The Mets will take three of four if Floyd and Beltran start tonight. If one of them starts, they will split the games. If neither of them start, they will only win one.

    Sex can wait! Prognosticate:
  • Please stop insulting my intelligence by saying Jose Valentin is a better option in LF than Victor Diaz. With Anderson Hernandez going on the DL, VD can be recalled. Bite the bullet, and cut Valentin's million-dollar salary and horrible play.

  • Why doesn't Willie go to Woody as his premier pinch-hitter? He's a .412 pinch-hitter over the last three years and it makes no sense to let him rot on the bench while tossing Jose Valentin and Julio Franco (much as I love him) up there?

  • The Mets should swap Darren Oliver for Heath Bell. Old Man Ollie has no spot in this bullpen with the addition of Feliciano. It makes too much sense.

  • Steve Trachsel really needs to tell Zambrano the virtues of a minor-league stint to get everything straightened out. We cannot have games like the one against the Braves every five days. Get over the Kazmir trade and realize that something, even something small, must be done.
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