A colleague of mine (I'll call him Joe) had dinner the other evening with an individual from the Mets' organization. Joe loves to talk baseball and got a few opinions out of the Met representative. I'll list the significant ones and examine them.
First, the Red Sox infield defense is overrated and they have limited range. They catch what they get to.
Let's look at the range factor and zone ratings for them and where they stand and see whether an outsider's perspective is true. Range factor is the number of chances (putouts plus assists) times nine divided by the number of innings Played. "Zone Rating is the percentage of balls fielded by a player in his typical defensive ‘zone’, as measured by STATS reporters."
----------------Range factor(rank)--------Zone rating(rank)
Youkilis 9.46(8) .843(7)
Loretta 4.67(8) .803(6)
Gonzalez 3.95(11) .876(2) Jeter 10th and 9th
Cora 4.56 .767 (not qualified by chances)
Lowell 3.15(3) .868(1)
AVERAGE 7.5th 4th
Delgado 9.09 (9) .866 (6)
Wright 2.24(13) .727 (12)
Reyes 3.96(14) .878(2)
Although they aren't at the top of the heap, the Red Sox appear to be in the upper half of the AL overall, and relatively at least equal to the Amazing Mets.
Second, the Met said that he was glad the Mets had a big lead in the NL East because he had concerns about their pitching.
As of today, the Mets had allowed the third fewest runs in the National League, and had the second best E.R.A. Looking at my favorites, the WHIP ratio and the K/BB ratio (the best predictor for future E.R.A.) the Mets were second in WHIP and 4th in K/BB. So, allowing for the fact that they play without the DH and in what most feel is currently the weaker league, their pitching looks solid.
Maybe that's the difference between analysis of objective data and one's "lying eyes", as we see what we believe.
As for tonight's Jason Johnson work so far, it looks like there's a reason Cleveland dumped him.