The Mets may be well-positioned at the deadline

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The thing I said earlier today about the Mets essentially being a .500 team refers to them in their current state.  Obviously if they make a few moves they can change the complexion of the race and remain in the thick of things no matter how high their current highs and how low their reasonably expected lows.

Indeed, as Buster Olney notes, the Mets could be particularly well-positioned as far as trades go given the nature of this year’s trade market. And they could even make a deal that would drive Phillies fans nuts:

There will be lots of starting pitching available, whether it’s Roy Oswalt or (perhaps) Cliff Lee or Ben Sheets or Jake Westbrook or Fausto Carmona or Kevin Millwood or Ted Lilly — and so it’ll be a buyers’ market as the Mets look for a pitcher.

There is a nightmare scenario is possible for the Phillies: Imagine if Cliff Lee, who was famously traded by Philadelphia over the winter, is dealt to the Mets? And if the Mets’ great week inspires fans to start filling the empty seats at Citi Field, you can bet that club ownership will want to do what it can to fan the flames of success.

The Mets offense could use patching up far more than their pitching at the moment, but if they could pick up someone like Lee (maybe) or Oswalt (a longer shot given his no-trade clause), they could make some noise.  And remember: Madoff or not, the Mets probably have the money to make moves many other
teams can’t. 

Marcus Stroman loses no-hit bid in the seventh inning of WBC final against Puerto Rico

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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Update (11:57 PM ET): And it’s over. Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive double down the left field line off of Stroman, ending the no-hitter. Manager Jim Leyland immediately removed Stroman from the game.

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U.S. starter Marcus Stroman has held Puerto Rico hitless through six innings thus far in the World Baseball Classic final. The Blue Jays’ right-hander has held the opposition to just one base runner — a walk — with three strikeouts on 68 pitches.

WBC rules limit a pitcher to throwing a maximum of 95 pitches in the Championship Round, so Stroman has 27 pitches left with which to play. If he hits the limit during the at-bat, he can continue throwing to the completion of that at-bat. Needless to say, though, Stroman won’t be finishing his potential no-no.

The U.S. has given four runs of support to Stroman. Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the third inning. Then, in the fifth, Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen both provided RBI singles. Update: The U.S. tacked on three more in the top of the seventh when Brandon Crawford drove in two with a bases-loaded single and Giancarlo Stanton followed up with an RBI single.

We’ll keep you updated as Stroman and any pitchers that follow him attempt to complete the no-hitter. Shairon Martis is the only player to throw a no-hitter in WBC history. However, the game ended after seven innings due to the mercy rule, or as it’s known now, the “early termination” rule.

Video: Ian Kinsler homers in WBC final, rounds bases solemnly

Harry How/Getty Images
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Ian Kinsler found himself in hot water on Wednesday evening when he criticized the way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play baseball. It is his hope that kids watching the World Baseball Classic decide to emulate the emotionless way players from the U.S. play baseball as opposed to the exciting, cheerful way players from other countries tend to play the game.

Needless to say, Kinsler’s comments didn’t sit well with many people, but he has the most recent laugh. Kinsler broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s WBC final against Puerto Rico, slugging a two-run home run to left-center field at Dodger Stadium off of Seth Lugo.

Kinsler, of course, rounded the bases solemnly which is sure to highlight just how cool and exciting the game of baseball is to international viewers.