What a difference a month has made for the Mets and Yankees – The Denver Post

To get a sense of just how fickle the fate of baseball can be, let’s flash back to July 17: The Yankees had just finished 14-1 and 13-2 off the Red Sox to set a record 64- 28, by far the best in baseball, 4.5 games ahead of the Astros. At the same time, the Mets lost the first of three straight games to the Cubs and Padres, which would shrink their National League East to a half game over the Braves, the smallest since April 12.

Right after that, the Yankees lost Michael King for the season to an elbow injury and Matt Carpenter for at least most of the rest of the season with a broken foot—while Giancarlo Stanton went to the All-Star Game, won MVP honors, and not seen since. By contrast, Buck Showalter’s Mets, bolstered by trade-deadline acquisitions Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin and Darin Ruff (combined .348 with five home runs and 22 RBI going into the weekend), along with the return of Jacob deGrom, have won 15 of 18 since July 23 to surpass the Yankees with the best record in New York.

After making one of the best starts in their history, it certainly looked like the Yankees were on track to reach their first World Series since 2009, with only the Astros and a likely ALCS matchup in their path. Now it’s a wonder if Showalter’s Mets might have a better chance of making it to the Series.

While the Yankees still have a comfortable lead in the AL East, this 7-14 swoon can’t be dismissed as just the dog days of summer since July 17. This is not the same Yankee team that dominated baseball for the first three and a half months. In 47 games after being scrapped, Carpenter, who conjured up the Joe Hardy myth, hit .305 with 15 home runs and 37 RBI. That loss cannot be underestimated, nor that of King, who had emerged this year as one of the deadliest Yankee set-up men ever. Together, the Clay Holmes/King back-end bullpen duo had a 1.76 ERA and struckout 110 in 92 innings. And it didn’t help that King’s loss came with Holmes suddenly losing his aura of invincibility lately, taking seven runs in his last five appearances.

As for the bullpen, a few defeats could have been avoided last week had it not been for Brian Cashman’s analytical wizards who were in love with Albert Abreu, who lost a tie to the Cardinals on Aug. 7 and a 3-2 lead against the Mariners. days later. Write that down to Cashman’s forced fouls, as rookie Ron Marinaccio, arguably the Yankees’ most effective mid-lighter, would normally have been turned on in those two situations, but is currently stuck at Triple-A Scranton for having options, while Abreu that doesn’t.

Indeed, while the Yankees were feuding in St. Louis and Seattle, there was a horn party in Queens almost every night to the tune of Edwin Diaz’ ​​Narco, and all those GMs (including Cashman) who shunned the old school Showalter for their leadership openings over the years now see the error of their ways. This is a deep, talented Mets team, with a starting rotation of six deep, versatile hitters in the lineup and the best closing in the business in Diaz. They are never without games and most of all they clearly enjoy playing for Showalter, who at his old age (66) has taken on the role of country philosopher. The clubhouse is loose, confident and in harmony with each other.

What has made Showalter particularly encouraging are the performances by its two Latin stars, Francisco Lindor and Diaz, who both struggled tremendously in their early seasons in New York. “When I met him last winter, I told Francisco I just wanted him to play a short stop,” Showalter said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player who prepares for a game like him. diaz? He’s a man who’s come all the way back from the other side of the mountain, not easy in New York. You can see what it’s made of.”

However, Showalter has been around long enough to know that baseball fate can turn a team quickly. Flying high in April, shot down in May. It’s been an encouraging few weeks for the Mets. Starting Monday: Eight straight road games against the Braves and Phillies.

IT’S A MADD, MADD WORLD

Has there ever been a bigger jerk in baseball than? Fernando Tatis Jr.? Bad enough after signing his $340 million contract last year, the Padres star goes and breaks his wrist in a motorcycle accident last winter, costing him the first five months of the season. Now he will miss all season and much of next year after getting busted for PEDs on Friday. What a colossal waste. …

Not sure what this means, but sources tell me the Red Sox were shopping privately, but aggressively Rafael Devers on the trade deadline, looking for the same kind of prospects that could take the Nationals out of the Padres John Soto. Definitely looks like someone else Mookie Betts scenario unfolds in Boston where the Red Sox just don’t think they can sign their best player. …

Towards their sixth consecutive losing season and third last place in the past four years, the Tigers fired their general manager last week. Al Avila to no one’s surprise. Cuban-born 64-year-old Avila, who spent 22 years in the Tiger organization, is highly respected in the baseball industry, but there was simply no escaping a string of (until now) failed draft picks, poor trades and disastrous free agent signatures. First round draft picks from their decision to refuel four years ago are either hurt (pitcher Casey Mize) or in the case of first baseman Spencer Torkelsonmidfielder Riley Greene and pitcher Alex Faedo big disappointments. At the same time, Avila got little in return in his All-Star professions Justin Verlander, JD Martinez, Shane Greene and Nick Castellanos. Then he signed on the free agent market last winter javy baez for six years/$140 million and left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez for five years/$77M, both of which were miserable flops. As Bill Parcells so famously said, “You are what your record says you are” and Avila couldn’t escape his. …

There is no one who embodies this horrific Red Sox season more than Chris Sale who (1) missed the first three months of the season with a stress fracture to his rib cage while throwing batting during spring training, (2) was unavailable to them when they went to Toronto because he was not vaccinated, (3) suffered a broken little finger when he was hit by a batted ball at Yankee Stadium on July 17, and went permanent on the IL last week when he broke his right wrist in a bicycle accident. “You can’t make this up,” the beleaguered Sox told GM Chaim Bloom. The sale is in the third year of a $145 million five-year contract in which he pitched a total of 48 1/3 innings after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020. First bad luck, now bad luck.

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