Mets

Lucas Duda up to bat
Arturo Pardavila III

MLB:

The New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays are beginning to demonstrate just how they feel about their playoff chances.

The Mets have initiated their roster-pruning by sending first baseman Lucas Duda to the Rays for minor league pitcher Drew Smith. Duda is hitting .246 with 17 homers and 37 RBIs this season, which hasn't been enough to prevent New York from falling nine games out of a playoff berth.

Duda joins a ballclub that is within striking distance in the AL East and the league wild-card race.

Ron Darling is a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning baseball analyst for TBS, the MLB Network, SNY, and WPIX-TV, and author of The Complete Game. He was a starting pitcher for the New York Mets from 1983 to 1991 and the first Mets pitcher to be awarded a Gold Glove.

In his new book, Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life, he looks back at what might have been a signature moment in his career, and reflects on the ways professional athletes must sometimes shoulder a personal disappointment as their teams find a way to win.

We're talking baseball on this edition of Vox Pop. WAMC's Ray Graf joins WAMC's Alan Chartock to talk standings, stats, steroids and R.A. Dickey.