No Mets game Monday night means I spent a little bit more time watching other games.
I watched the Reds for the first time since the Mets were in Cincinnati, and they were pretty impressive against the Pirates. Which I guess maybe is redundant.
At one point the Reds' bullpen looked like it was going to lose control of the game, and blow a five-run lead they had built.
But one person almost single-handedly quelled the threat. And it surprised me, and that made me think about other players with some surprising numbers. Here's a small sample.
Allow me to direct your attention to:
Rhodes is the Reds player I was talking about. He's 40 years old, but he seems to be getting better with age. He's had a really good past couple of years, maybe as his role has veered towards more of that of a situational lefty. This year, though, he's pitched 18 innings in 20 games - more of an inning-at-a-time guy. In those 18 innings, he's given up just 8 hits and one run, for an ERA of 0.49, with 12 holds. It's a big enough sample size for me to say he's having an excellent year so far.
All right, I know you know about Ike Davis (pictured, left). But are you aware of how dominant he has been against left-handed pitching? Davis, a left-handed batter, is hitting .290 overall, with 4 homers and 12 RBI. Against righties (82 at-bats), it's .244, with 2 homers and 9 RBI. Against lefties (25 at-bats), he has 2 homers and just 3 RBI, but he's hitting .440! Again, a big enough sample size for me - and very exciting to think about continued success there.
Until Sunday, Capps had been perfect in save attempts. I'm familiar with Capps from two years of fantasy ownership, but it occurs to me that having pitched in Pittsburgh last year and Washington this year, he could be toiling in obscurity. He's now 16-for-17 in save attempts on the season, with a 2.70 ERA in his 22 appearances. There's a reason the Reds and Nationals are doing as well as they are right now - they have some reliable bullpen arms.
Maybe you know about Roy Oswalt and the lack of run support he receives - a constant problem. This year he hasn't given up more than 3 runs in a start yet he's 2-6. Well, Matt Cain can give Oswalt a run for his money in the run-support category. Cain is 2-4, with a 2.88 ERA. 3 of his losses were by scores of 2-0, 3-1, and 1-0. He gave up 5 runs in one of his losses, so I guess Oswalt has him there.
Those are just a few of the guys I've been noticing. I realize it's all National League - I'll do this again on another Mets' off-day, and maybe highlight some American Leaguers.
For now, the focus turns to Mets-Phillies. I'll say this - I'm not feeling great about R. A. Dickey's knuckleballs against Philly...and I can't make up my mind if Tim Wakefield baffling the Phillies' lineup is a good thing, since maybe they won't hit a knuckleball at all, or if it means they're now warmed up to it just in time for Dickey.