New York Mets Strike Early By Signing El Duque

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The New York Mets are 5 games ahead in the race for the NL East division title but they are not taking any chances as evidence by their deal on Wednesday. General Manager Omar Minaya went to the Valley of the Sun and snatched experienced starter Orlando Hernandez from the Diamondbacks.

Listed at 36 years old and a proven postseason pitcher, Hernandez was struggling in his first season in the National League. He was just 2-4 with a 6.11 ERA in nine starts for the West-leading Diamondbacks, and was not pitching with a set turn.

El Duque pitched for the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox last year and many feel was the calming influence that allowed Jose Contreras to thrive on the South Side, after being inconsistent with Joe Torre’s Yankees.

He was a key member of the Yankees’ rotation when they won three straight championships from 1998-2000. He’s 9-3 with a 2.55 ERA in the postseason.

Minaya said Hernandez, who starred in Cuba before coming to the United States, could help rookie Alay Soler the Cuban pitcher who was making his first major league start Wednesday night against Philadelphia.

The thought here is that Hernandez could give the Mets 10 quality starts and having Pedro Martinez around will help him settle back in the Big Apple. New York has three experienced starters in Martinez, Tom Glavine and Steve Traschel, but have been scrambling since Victor Zambrano went out with a season ending injury.

Embarrassing Road Trip For Cubs!

After going 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA in April, four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddux fell to 0-4 with a 7.81 ERA this May. The last time Maddux went through a full month without a victory was September 2001.

Maddux gave up six runs and eight hits in six innings. After giving up five runs in the fifth and falling behind 6-3, he clubbed the cooler.

Being swept by a team with a payroll of $15 million is rock bottom for Chicago!

Meanwhile the Tigers keep rolling and you know their for real when their 5th starter Bonderman wins and the Detroit lead the majors with a 32-14 record and the AL with 39 road homers. Detroit has won 12 of its last 13 and has a major league-best 19 road victories.

In their last 33 games, Detroit starters are 20-6. Tiger’s starters lead the majors with 27 victories!

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