I had to get up early this morning so I went to bed in the Third Inning last night. When I woke up I checked the score and we were tied in the SIXTEENTH. I went back to bed and when it was time to get up I learned that we had won in the EIGHTEENTH. UNREAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just before the season began I made a list of how many games we would win this year. It started at 70 and went to 95 based on certain things happening. We might ACTUALLY win 95 games this year and virtually none of what I thought HAD to happen actually did.
The young pitchers maturing? Not really. Tillman has risen like the Phoenix but the rest are mixed results.
Reynolds becoming a better 3B? NOPE, but he has settled in nicely at 1B and seems to be improving every game.
Wieters taking the next step at the plate? Mixed results. The average is down but the production is trending upwards. Probably the MVP of this team and deserved of league MVP votes.
Jones becoming a more complete hitter? Kind of. Many steps in the right direction, but still not the force at the plate that I think his talent warrants.
No major injuries? Yeah, Right! Our best SP gone for about half of the season. Our best OF gone for the last six weeks of the season. Our best 2B never really got started this year. Our second best C gone for the first half of the season.
I valued an improved bullpen at a two or three win improvement. WRONG! It's been worth at least ten.
I valued Buck's management at a two or three win improvement. WRONG! It's been worth at least five games, probably more. The fact that he's managed to pick the right players for each game is reminiscent of Earl Weaver; and he's gotten great results out of the bullpen despite having to carry Kevin Gregg most of the year.
About the ONLY thing I got right was that I felt we could gain at least five games IF the division came back to us. It sure has.
This team has EARNED whatever national recognition they are FINALLY getting.