Monday, August 20, 2007

Mets Extend Lead, Yanks Shrink Lead [David Stefanini]

In the AL East, the New York Yankees continued to keep winning, as Boston continues to play good baseball, not great. Boston's loss combined with the Yankees' win, leaves Boston with only a 4 game lead in the division. When the All-Star break rolled around it looked as if Boston was going to run away with their division and easily make it to the playoffs. But then the Yanks started playing like the Yanks. Ever since then it seems every week the Yanks cut a chunk out of Boston's lead. I once thought the Yankees would never be able to catch Boston, now I am not to sure.
Now lets take a look over at the NL standings. What do we see? The New York Mets have a bigger lead in their division than the Boston Red Sox. With the Mets win, and the Phillies loss yesterday, the Mets have extended their division lead to 5 games over the Phillies and 5.5 over the Braves. If this team could just stay off of the DL they would have a 10 game lead in the division. Think about all the main components that have been on the DL at some point in the year for the Mets. Beltran, Pedro, Sanchez, Alou, Chavez, Milledege, Gomez, have all missed considerable amounts of time for the Mets. In the case of Beltran, he played several weeks injured because the Mets simply had no one to fill in for him. Now they lose Easley, Castro, Lo Duca, and Delgado to injuries. Delgado is probably going to return tomorrow but the other three guys will not. The Mets need to keep their winning ways now that the tough part of the schedule roles around. They have to face two of the best pitchers in the game, Young and Peavy, on back-to-back nights. Then they have a series against the Dodgers, Phillies, and Braves. Those two series against the Phillies and Braves can all but lock up the division for the Mets or on the flip side, put the Mets on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. If they can win those series or sweep one of them, they will have a nice cushion going into September.

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