The Baseball Desert

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

After all the hoopla surrounding some of baseball's more senior players recently, it's nice to see a series where the new kids on the block get to make a good impression. Last night's Mets / Marlins game in Florida featured two names I hope we'll be hearing a lot more of: Mets' shortstop Jose Reyes - whose first major-league home run on Sunday was a grand slam - and Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis. Willis was pitching in just his eighth major league game, and was up against veteran Tom Glavine, who was making his 519th career start. Willis was by no means fazed by the experience - his funky delivery ('s term, not mine...) and his blazing fastball baffled the New York hitters, and he ended up pitching a complete-game, one-hit shutout, to give him a 6-1 record for the season, with a tidy 2.61 ERA. All of that just one night after the Anaheim Angels were on the receiving end of a one-hitter by New York pitcher Steve Trachsel. It's not often we've been able to say it this season, but the place to look if you want to see good baseball right now would seem to be the NL East cellar. Long may it continue!