Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thursday's talking points memo

If you caught last night's postgame on SNY you know doubt saw the smirk spread across the face of Ron Darling when Gary Cohen mentioned that the Metropolitans' current 6-1 record is their best start since 1985, a year when Ronny Baseball went 16-6 with a 2.90 ERA in his third year in the show.

This season marks Victor Zambrano's sixth year in the big leagues, and needless to say he has not impressed the way Darling did. But I want to carve a little Z on my forehead. Z, he lives. Z, for Zambrano. Z for a sweep tonight against the Nats.

Despite the constant hand-wringing over the terrible transaction that made Z a Met, he still deserves a record better than 9-12 with the team, and, as no member of the Shea front office will let any of us forget, was the team's best pitcher during a two-month stretch in aught-five.

In a season of rebirth and rejuvenation, with much better defense and hitting to support him, who knows how Victor, who always strikes me as being a lookalike for a Generalissimo in some sort of South American junta, will end up performing. On a team that is vastly more consistent than any we've put on the field in nearly a decade, Z's start tonight will set the bar for the rest of his season.

Let's hope it's a good one.

Today's unbridledly optimistic win total prediction is 117.

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