I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya (to steal a line from this guy) using the Spadafore-style mechanism. But it was a busy Sunday, so let's do it.

News: The Mets win, again, and get the benefit of major bullpen rest, thanks to rain ending things after five innings plus one Raul Valdes pitch.

Views: When we talk about luck playing a factor in the season, it's stuff like this, right? Points to Mike Pelfrey for working through a night in which he clearly lacked his best stuff, but the Mets got lucky because Chipper Jones spent the last two days playing as though he just turned 88, rather than 38.

And then, for the weather to cooperate, as Jerry Manuel was going to have to figure out how to get 12 outs from a worn-out bullpen with only a one-run lead? "We deserve a break here and there," Manuel said, and I don't think there's a Mets fan out there who would disagree.

As Joel Sherman wrote, we often get caught examining our teams in a vacuum, failing to appreciate that we have to weigh them against their opponents. I do think the Mets can spend the bulk of the season involved in the wild-card conversation, although I think they lack the horses to actually make the playoffs.

For my column, I spoke with Ike Davis and David Wright, about the rough treatment Wright has been receiving from Mets fans and what it means to be a homegrown Mets star.

Jason Bay has stayed even-keeled, Mark Herrman writes. Arthur Staple wrote about the relationship between Francisco Rodriguez and Jerry Manuel.

John Maine said he's good to go for Wednesday. Maine is usually an affable guy, but he has not put on a strong front during his early-season troubles. After offering a terse statement to reporters about his throwing session, he walked away shaking his head and muttering.

NewsJavier Vazquez got rocked again, and the Yankees lost their first series of the season.

Views: I haven't seen too many studies correlating velocity to "heart," so I'm going to dismiss the notion that Vazquez is choking. There's clearly a problem with that velocity. As you can see here, it's down significantly, and his competition has improved. Not a good combination.

Is Vazquez injured, as he was in the second half of 2004? He says no, and Joe Girardi points to some mechanical issues in Erik Boland's linked story.

In any case, we're now entering the ultra-scrutiny zone for Vazquez. He's going to be the story for every game he starts until he looks something closer to the guy who has passed the 200-innings mark in nine of his last 10 seasons.

NewsJoe Girardi said he "screwed up" in the seventh inning.

Views: The Mets had the Yankees game on TV in their clubhouse, and where I was positioned at the time - near Wright's locker, waiting for him - I could see Kendry Morales rounding the bases, but I hadn't seen the steps leading up to that.

It sounds as though Girardi was oddly indecisive. What I found more interesting, however, was how Girardi appeared more than happy to discuss his mistake afterwards. I agree with Ben Shpigel - Girardi was happy to fall on his sword if it meant fewer questions about Vazquez. It speaks well of Girardi.

The Yankees will visit the White House today.

Good take by Joe Posnanski on the Alex Rodriguez-Dallas Braden silliness of last week.

News: Last week, I wrote about two "early regret" teams, the Red Sox and White Sox. Both had good weeks.

Views: But neither offered great hope for the future. The Red Sox went 5-2, and all five victories came by one run. For the week, they were outscored, 40-34. They're just not putting it together.

The White Sox went 4-2, including three late-inning victories in an exciting sweep of the Mariners, yet they were outscored, 35-21. While their pitching is strong, it sure looks like they're going to have a hard time putting together enough runs to roll off many easy victories.

News: The Astros are now 8-10, after starting the season 0-8.

Views: Sing it with me now: "It's a long season." But more specifically, it means that, despite Poppy's fantasies, Roy Oswalt probably isn't going anywhere. Going back to our Mets discussion, that race for the NL wild-card spot figures to be wide open. Only the very worst teams will be sellers.

News: I'll be at the Mets game tonight, weather permitting.

Views: I'll put up another post at that time.







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