Winning is fun

Wasn’t it fun to watch the New York Mets beat up on A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies Monday night?

Bartolo Colon continues to laugh at Father Time, Travis d’Arnaud had a three extra-base hit game and Juan Lagares showed signs of rediscovering his lost hitting stroke.

But before you get caught up in fake pennant race fever, keep in mind that the Mets are still four games under the .500 mark at 51-55. They’re in fourth place in the NL East, one game behind the Miami Marlins, seven games behind the Atlanta Braves and 7.5 games behind the Washington Nationals. The Wild Card race isn’t much more realistic… the Mets are 6.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, with four teams between them and the San Francisco Giants, who would currently make the playoffs with a 57-48 record.

If they Mets hadn’t waited until July to start playing well…. who knows? But let’s enjoy the winning while it lasts and hope that they are building towards something that will bear fruit in 2015.

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Can’t win ‘em all: Trenton 7, Binghamton 3

While Jacob deGrom and Lucas Duda were beating the Brewers in Milwaukee yesterday, I was baking myself in the sun in Trenton as the Thunder trounced the Binghamton Mets 7-3.

Manny Banuelos (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Manny Banuelos (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

It started out as a close game. Thunder starter Manny Banuelos did not allow a hit, although the B-Mets took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third thanks to a walk, a throwing error, a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice ground out.

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Appel & the Astros

There are things to like about the Houston Astros.

Jose Altuve. George Springer. Dallas Keuchel. Nifty uniforms.

But there’s also plenty to be unhappy about, starting with a 42-63 record through 105 games.

So it’s disappointing to read about a clubhouse culture where the “veteran presence” has a problem with a minor league prospect getting promoted from Single-A to Double-A and throwing a bullpen session for front office members and the major league coaching staff at Minute Maid Park this weekend.

Mark Appel, the number one overall pick in the 2013 draft, has struggled with the Single-A Lancaster Jethawks in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League. Appel’s home ballpark is the second worst for pitchers in the league, likely contributing to his 2-5 record and 9.74 ERA this year.

Considering what the Astros invested in Appel, are you really surprised that the team would want to have senior officials take a look at how he’s throwing? Or that they’d want to move him to an environment that they hope will be more beneficial to his development? Who cares if that bullpen session happened at the major league ballpark before an Astros game?

Yes, Appel is getting preferential treatment – he received a $6.35 million signing bonus as the number one draft pick in baseball last year. The Astros are not going to invest that kind of money and treat Appel the same way they would a 20th round pick that got a $50,000 bonus.

That’s kind of the way things have been going forever in baseball.

The Astros’ current players should focus more on improving their own game, or some of them might find someone getting promoted to the majors to their jobs.

Watching the Binghamton Mets beat Trenton

Brandon Nimmo (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Brandon Nimmo (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

I missed watching the New York Mets beat their ex-closer K-Rod on Friday, but I did get to see the Binghamton Mets score two runs on a strikeout in a victory over Trenton, so it kind of evens out.

The B-Mets are making their only visit to New Jersey this weekend, so I was happy to have the chance to watch prospects like Brandon Nimmo and Dilson Herrera in person. (Both patiently signed autographs for dozens of fans before the game, which was nice to see.)

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John Rocker on Survivor?

I don’t think CBS has made any official cast announcements yet, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see how John Rocker would do on Survivor?

(Sorry, I don’t think I’m curious enough to really watch.)