Fighting Words

At Issue: Fact or Fiction: The Mets will win the National League Championship Series.

Mets, Schmets

By Chief Achilefu

Fiction. The Mets have one of the better offensive lineups in the National League, but pitching wins games in the postseason.

For the past few years Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine have anchored their rotation. Martinez is fresh off of shoulder surgery and Glavine is over 40 and leads the team in innings pitched. No one knows how an arm with so much mileage will hold up in the playoffs.

Teams like the Padres have much deeper pitching with Jake Peavy, Chris Young, and Greg Maddux. Not to mention having all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman closing out games.

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks also have solid pitching staffs led by Brad Penny and 2006 Cy Young award winner Brandon Webb.

The Mets are good, but they’re going to have to score a lot of runs to have a chance.

Take it to the house

By Eli Jabbe

Chief, you made some good points, but you’re wrong. Fact, the Mets will win the NLCS (again). Why? Because they have the most balanced team in the National League, which is why they are a win short of the best record in the entire league.

They have a good combination of everything: offense (Beltran, Wright, Delgado, Reyes, Castillo,all of who are either current or previous All-Stars), a solid rotation(hard throwing stars Martinez and Perez, as well as a soft tosser like Glavine, who has continuously shown he is skilled despite his age, and El Duque, who has always been an X-factor for any team he is on), and a nice bullpen (crafty, proven veteran Feliciano, impressive rookie Smith, and former Astros legend Wagner, who has 34 saves this season).

Of course they are going to have to score runs, Chief, which is why the lineup is structured the way it is: full of potent hitters. And, oh by the way Pedro is 2-0 with an excellent 1.69 ERA since his return from surgery. The numbers don’t lie: The Mets are clearly the best.

All Bets on Mets

By Ronnie Turner

Eli, I hope you were referring to 2000 when you said the Mets would win the NLCS (again) because that’s the last time the Mets won the NL pennant. You do know the Mets fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in last year’s NLCS? By the way, get your facts straight. Not counting Tuesday’s games, the Mets (83-66, .557 winning percentage) have the best record in the National League based on winning percentage, not the Arizona Diamondbacks (84-67, .556).

But now that I’m done ripping you, I’ll agree that the Mets are probably the most balanced team in the NL. Their pitching isn’t great, but efficient enough to get the job done. And when you have players like Beltran, Reyes and Wright in your lineup, you’re set offensively for the long haul.

So, in the end, I’m going with the Mets to win the NLCS. After all, San Diego (first-round exits in 2005 and 2006) and Arizona (zero postseason appearances since 2002) probably wouldn’t know what to do in the NLCS if they ever got back there.

It was just one bad night

By Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd witnessed a most horrific event while typing Fighting Words Tuesday night. Mets pitcher John Maine surrendered eight runs, five in the fifth inning, to the freakin’ Washington Nationals to blow a six-run lead.

The whole ordeal was very disheartening for Judge Dredd, considering he is a Mets fan. He will not, however, let a couple off innings from a solid pitcher of Maine’s caliber sway his vote of confidence in best team in the NL to win the NLCS.

Chief, by the way, if you haven’t figured it out already you’ve been disqualified for your insolence and failure to recognize Judge Dredd has a Mets screen saver on his laptop. Picking against them is a bad choice, at least when it comes to Fighting Words.

Though they were swept in their three-game series against the second-place Phillies (NL East) and are in the process of dropping their series against the Nats, they should break out of their slump in time to maintain their division lead and regroup in time for the NLCS.

Judge Dredd expects the clutch performances by the rotation and is predicting a great October for Endy Chavez if Willie Randolph keeps him on the field and in the lineup.

Verdict: Ronnie wins Fighting words for the third week in a row because Judge Dredd was amused at his mocking of Eli.

Ronnie’s Face Time: Eli and Chief, everybody knows you can’t come into Fighting Words talking that smack!

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