Turning The Page

       -In the wake of the release of Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez
the Mets have done what needed to be done to get rid of the last dead weight
that came from the Omar Minaya era. From the beginning of camp everyone knew
that this was going to be the sad but inevitable conclusion to the Mets’
relationship with Castillo and Perez but it had to be done.  Sandy Alderson did exactly what he needed to
when handling such a potentially disastrous situation; he gave them both a
chance well into spring training to prove if they were worth a roster spot.  Needless to say to the adulation of all Mets
fans everywhere they were not. This does not mean that the Mets’ troubles are
over with; in fact they are just starting. They still have no second basemen in
prime position to land the job they are still struggling to find a fifth
starter to fill in until Johan Santana returns from rehab after having surgery
last September.  

    In more ways than one this will be transitional year for the Mets organization,
from the front office to the players on the field. With a new regime in place
spear-headed by Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins accompanied by J.P. Ricciardi Met
fans have a reason to be hopeful; only thing is we should not expect immediate
results. N.L. East year after year is proving to be the toughest division in
the entire national league.  There are
the 4 time defending N.L. East champions the Philadelphia Phillies, who have assembled
what some consider the greatest rotation ever (at least on paper), there are
the Atlanta Braves who are the defending N.L. Wildcard champions who have an
influx of talented youth that are sure to become headaches for the Mets for
years to come (led by rookie sensation Jason Heyward). The Florida Marlins
despite their defensive issues still have tremendous pitching led by the
legitimate ace that is Josh Johnson. Then there are the Washington Nationals
who if anybody has been attention are slowly but surely on their way to
becoming serious contenders. They just happen to draft once in a lifetime picks
two years in a row in Strasburg and Harper, add them to their already talented
major league roster it is needless to say the Mets have their work cut out for
them in the years to come.

    As for the Mets in 2011 my prediction is that they will struggle to maintain a
.500 record. Some would say that is a little generous when it comes to this
ball club but I would say I am underestimating them. On paper this is an
extremely talented and competitive line up.  The top half of the lineup has four players
with the potential to each hit 30 homeruns in Wright, Beltran, Bay and Davis.
It is not extremely far-fetched to believe that they can still do this but until
they actually do we won’t believe it. Potential is very different when you don’t
live up to it (Just look at Fernando Martinez). When you complement that heavy
fire power with the speed of Reyes and Pagan they have a complete and well
balanced offense, providing of course that they all stay healthy. Hopefully
this year’s club will exceed expectations and surprise a lot of people with a
few new fresh faces along the way. 

Time To Panic

    With the horrific game played Tuesday against the Brewers if there was ever a time to push the proverbial panic button, it would be now. The Mets with half their payroll on the D.L. have fallen to two games under .500 and third in the National League East behind Florida. If there was ever a message to the front office to make something happen is when your 137 million dollar ace loses a game in which he gave up 6 runs (5 earned) and the team commits three errors in the process. Hey Wilpons, WAKE UP!!!!!!!! 

Maybe There’s Hope … ?

    Aside from last Sunday’s disaster I am liking what I’m seeing lately from these Mets. They took two out of three from the Nats last week (even though they should’ve swept) but I can’t complain. Now they are well on their way in taking the series from the suddenly normal Florida Marlins thanks in much part to what I believe is a god-send, Omir Santos. Last Monday he hit his first career homerun for a grandslam in the first inning leaving the Mets to cruise through the rest of the game, aside from that Maine showed significant improvement allowing one earned run overall. Let’s hope Hernandez gets the job done tonight and keep the streak of good pitching alive with Santana tomorrow.

The Loveable Losers

    As the Mets head into today’s game trying to salvage the last game of the three game set in St. Louis, I look back at the past two games and again I say “I am not surprised”. The Mets’ perennial problems were again front and center for these past two games highlighted by the second fielding blunder by the rookie less-than-sensation outfielder Daniel Murphy. This was the second time in this young season that an error by Murphy (both seemingly catchable balls) have led to a go ahead run from the opposing team.

     The first in Florida which handed Santana’s first loss in 18 starts without giving up an earned run by the way, and the one on Tuesday, he ran to then slipped tried to recover with a futile last second jump but sailed right over his head that led to a leadoff triple and the eventual loss by the Mets. But lets not focus solely on one of many mental and phisical errors that plagued the Mets on Tuesday on one monstrosity of a game. Where do we begin? First inning Daniel Murphy singles and subsequently gets picked off by the veteran Met killing Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina for the second out, which I wouldn’t have minded as much if it didn’t follow with three straight hits which would have scored 2 runs instead just one.

    Later in the game on a fly to right Beltran tags up on second to go to third (where he should’ve stayed)  but the ball gets away from the thirdbaseman and Beltran tries to score the ill-advised run, he directly sees that Molina is blocking the plate yet he doesn’t decide to slide, he runs into Molina’s foot which led to the end of the inning. That would have tied the game which Oliver Perez let get away a four run lead after 3 terrific starting innings. This of course was followed by Murphy’s error which untied the game in the eigth. But this was the typical (so far) 2009 Met game: less than stellar starting pitching, no hitting when it matters, striking out in key situations (David Wright), terrific bull-pen work and an anemic offense after the sixth inning. Same thing goes for Wednesday’s game. 

    John Maine, less than six innings 5 runs, the offense 7 hits ONE run. I believe its safe to say that we at least need 6 innings 2 runs maximum, from Livan Hernandez this afternoon to at least give me a ray of light that will tell me this team can win a game and get back on track to get to .500. The only good news is that the Nats come in for a three game set at Citi Field and then we will see what the Mets are trully made of as I really need a reason to love these losers.

P. S. The Marlins finally came back crashing down to Earth as they got swept by the suddenly hot Pitsburgh Pirates.  

The Season So Far

   Twelve games have gone by and what have we seen? Certainly not anything new. The Mets are .500 as we’ve come to know, but who’s to blame? Not the shiny new bullpen of course; best E.R.A. in the Majors. Then what, you may ask. EVERYTHING ELSE! The season so far has highlighted every other problems the Mets have that have managed to go unnoticed the past two years. The hitting with RISP, the starting pitching (Everyone after Johan at least),  the defense and more. The Mets to shake off what I believe is still this 2007 mentality that things are going bad now but they’ll work themselves out like they did in ’06 … THEY WON’T!. Until these guys whip out their broomsticks and start sweeping teams regularly at least twice a month I wont have much confidence in them. Right now the main knocks are: no one’s hitting with runners in scoring position, David Wright is striking out way too much he needs to stop swinging for the fences, Beltran’s power is seemingly non-existent, Reyes is barely on base and will somebody other than Johan please, please go at least six innings. Other than that Castillo has been a nice surprise as has the flame-throwing Bobby Parnell. And as for Sheffield, he’s hitting around .200 no surprise there. Bottom line I WANNA SEE BROOMSTICKS AND THEN I’LL BE CONFIDENT IN THIS TEAM!