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Flores helps Mets surge in fascinating deadline postscript

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David Wright Is Back and So Are the New York Mets


For the New York Mets, August has been like a dream, and nothing sums up their charmed life better than the saga of Wilmer Flores.

On July 29, reports surfaced that Flores was being traded in a deal that would bring Carlos Gomez to the Mets. An emotional Flores wiped tears from his eyes on the field, but the trade was never completed.

Since that night, the Mets have gone 20-9, and they now lead the NL East by 5 1/2 games. Flores has hit .322 with an OPS of .903 in that span. Gomez, meanwhile, ended up being traded from Milwaukee to Houston. He has hit .210 in the same span.

SEE ALSO: Morning Rewind: These aren't your father's Cubs

"I don't think I've changed anything (at the plate)," Flores said recently. "I feel the same way. I'm just trying to see the ball and hit the ball."

Flores outhitting Gomez over that short stretch underscores the unpredictability of deadline deals. When a team makes a trade in late July, there's only about two months left in the season, and that's not always enough time for the presumably better player to prove his worth.

For example, last year Detroit acquired David Price from Tampa Bay in a three-way trade, sending Drew Smyly to the Rays. Price went 4-4 with a 3.59 ERA the rest of the way for the Tigers, while Smyly went 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA. Price did make four more starts than Smyly, but the point is that in two months, anything can happen.

Including Wilmer Flores hitting like an All-Star.

Here are a few other developments from around baseball:

LACK OF LUCK

Shelby Miller is having a fine season for the Atlanta Braves. He has a 2.62 ERA, and he has a good chance to set career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts.

That makes it nothing short of baffling that Miller's record stands at 5-11.

In Miller's last 18 starts, he's posted a 3.24 ERA and somehow gone 0-10. Atlanta's offense has been the main culprit. He's received only 21 runs of support in that span.

THINNING CROWD?

Is the race for the American League's second wild card finally narrowing to three or four teams? Texas (68-61) leads by 1 1/2 games over Minnesota, and it's another two back to the Los Angeles Angels. The Tampa Bay Rays have lost five of seven and trail Texas by 4 1/2, while Baltimore has dropped 10 of 11 to fall 5 1/2 back.

We'll see if the Rangers, Twins and Angels can separate themselves in the coming week. One team to keep an eye on is Cleveland, which has won five straight but still trails Texas by five games.

FANTASY FOCUS

Rotisserie owners should have a good idea by now of what categories they need help in, and although it may be too late to make a big trade or a major acquisition off the waiver wire, some creative roster management can come in handy down the stretch.

For example, if you're in good shape in wins and strikeouts but your team ERA needs improving, dropping your least effective starters and replacing them with relievers might work - and the top middle relievers might still be available on the waiver wire.

And if you're doing well in saves but need more wins and strikeouts, you might consider fielding an entire pitching staff of starters. Your ERA might take a hit, but sometimes the best way to chase wins is by simply having more starters than anybody else.

(Unless one of those starters is Shelby Miller, apparently.)

LINE OF THE WEEK

Another week, another no-hitter. Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs pitched the sixth no-hitter in the majors this season when he blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Sunday night. It was the second no-hitter against the Dodgers in 10 days.

The Dodgers face Madison Bumgarner on Tuesday night.


RANKING THE TOP BASEBALL STADIUMS:

7 PHOTOS
Ranking MLB stadiums
See Gallery
Flores helps Mets surge in fascinating deadline postscript

29. Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays

The only things worse than this warehouse-looking place are the metric measurements on the outfield walls.

(Shutterstock)

23. Angel Stadium, Los Angeles Angels

Nothin’ like some fake rocks in center field to really set the mood for a baseball game.

Flickr

22. Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians

The fact that it’s no longer Jacobs Field bumps this down at least five spots.

Flickr

21. Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals

Can this place just stay out of the playoffs just once?

Flickr

19. Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks

Center field is the deepest part of the stadium, guys. The wall doesn’t need to be that high.

Clintus McGintus/Flickr

5. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

Relax, Fenway is definitely an amazing place to watch a game. But sitting directly behind a pole and/or facing the left-center field wall just isn’t always appealing.

(Shutterstock)

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