Nationals Invade New York In Battle of Four-letter Words
When you go to New York, you expect to get into a battle of four-letter words. Tonight's game is no different. In their first regular season meeting, the NATS and the METS meet at SHEA Stadium. The Nationals, tied for first place with the Marlins and the Mets, tied for last place with the Braves and Phillies, battle at 7:10 Eastern time this evening. Talk about a close division.
Estoban Loiaza hasn't won a game yet, but the Nats have one both of his starts. His ERA isn't great, but it comes at the expense of a couple of bad innings. Overall, he's done a credible job, especially when considering he was so bad last year and the only team to tender a credible offer was the Nationals.
Tom Glavine has sucked since he bolted from the Braves and headed to New York. Since the days of Dale Murphy, I have been a Braves fan, and for me, Glavine has been persona non grata since the players strike in 1994, when Glavine became the public face of the players demands. Each year in New York, he has lost more games than he has won, and has an ERA well above 4.00
Carlos Beltran was the highest anticipated free-agent signing of the off season. Going into tonight's game, he is batting .283 with 3 homeruns and 11 runs batted in. Certainly acceptable, but he is being distanced by "bad-boy" Jose Guillen, who leads the league in homeruns and has a much higher batting average; all for a much smaller paycheck :) I consider OBP as perhaps the most important batting statistic. Anything over .370 and you're doing great. Right now, Termel Sledge, Brad Wilkerson, Vinny Castilla, Nick Johnson and Jose Vidro all are above that. :)
METS vs NATS BY POSITION:
1b] Nick Johnson over Doug M. [not going to try to spell his name]
2b] Jose Vidro over Kaz Matsuki
ss] Christian Guzman over Jose Reyes [but this will change by midseason as he matures]
3b] Vinny Castilla over David Wright [but this will change by the end of the year]
lf] Brad Wilkerson over Cliff Floyd [this one was close]
cf] Carlos Beltran. Nuff said
rf] Jose Guillen over Victor Diaz
c] Brian Schneider over Mike Piazza [I know, it sounds crazy but Schneider has always been a better fielder, but now he's a better hitter too.
NATS: Four strong wins/three soft wins
METS: One strong win
Overall, other than pitching, I'd take the Nats right now. However, the Mets have some very young kids that could turn into superstars around Carlos Beltran.