The Week That Was: The Mets limped out of their disappointing home debut series with a poor showing against the Rockies. The first three games were close affairs, with the Mets holding leads in all of them, but losing three 1-run games. Poor starting pitching doomed the team in all three games.
Game four was also tight, until Brad Emaus, continuing his hugely disappointing season, failed to turn a textbook double play, and this opened the proverbial floodgates, leading to a 9-4 drubbing. Capuano kept the rancid week going for the starters, with another weak outing.
This game seemed to sap a lot of the remaining spirit from the team. They were given a respite with another rainout Friday, then largely sleepwalked through a doubleheader sweep in Atlanta. Carrasco was about what should have been expected, but aside from one bad Misch pitch, the bullpen looked good. Game two featured yet another Pelfrey disaster, followed by more good work from the pen. The lowlight of Saturday had to be the incredible 3 singles-for-35 AB performance from Reyes/Pagan/Wright/Beltran/Davis.
Overall, the six losses demonstrated what many felt would be the way this season would go-some offense, decent bullpen performances, but terrible starting pitching which would fatally handicap the team.
Gee To The Rescue: To the team’s credit, they are indeed reacting and reacting fast. Dillon Gee was called up to start Sunday in Atlanta, and picked up right where he left off in 2010. While not overpowering, Gee is composed and professional, and most definitely needs to stay in the rotation until he pitches himself out of it; should Young return soon, the career mediocrity Capuano must go first.
Collins treated this game as a must-win, and can be excused for doing so. Going into an off day with an 8-game skid and an 0-7 week could have been disastrous for this clearly fragile team’s psyche. The win may not turn the season around, but it surely made the plane ride home more pleasant, and will have the team in better spirits for the upcoming homestand.
Despite the terrible start, the continuing change we see has to be applauded. One can hope that Bay will return very soon, that Gee will continue to exceed expectations, and that Collins will continue to experiment and take risks to right this ship.
Pagan’s WAR: At this point, WAR for Pagan might actually stand for Weak As a Regular. Or it might be relevant if the replacement player was to be Timmy Lupus. Let us hope that Pagan’s offense does not indeed become 2011’s classic case for the limits of sabermetrics, as Bay’s defense was in 2010.
Pagan seems to have regressed and continued his mediocre play of late 2010; the hope here is that it is a slow start, and not simply a regression to being the bench player he had always been prior to last year. Should his weak play continue, without a serious resurgence from Beltran and good production from Bay, the team’s offense will be crippled.
Did the Mets Really Try That Hard to Avoid Playing Two Saturday? According to on-air reports from both FOX and SNY, the Mets apparently made serious appeals to both MLB and the Players’ Association to oppose the Braves’ insistence on a Saturday doubleheader after the Friday rainout. This is, according to rule and custom, the option of the home team.
Yes, the team has injury problems; yes, the team is perilously short on pitching. Boo hoo. The team also had Tuesday and Friday off due to rain; and the coming Monday was a scheduled day off. Three off days in a seven day period. And did they actually desperately try to avoid playing two on Saturday?
If so, one has to wonder whether other Met teams would have done this. Should there be a player in the clubhouse who screamed at this apparent weakness? Suggested that the team toughen up and not appear to be incredible whiners to the rest of the league?
One can be forgiven for wondering.
The Week To Come: The Mets come home to play six against the other NL last place teams. This is followed by three in DC with the Nats. The team returns to Queens, after a fine win, to play teams we should all continue to believe the Mets are better than. Should they win each series and go to DC having won 5 of 7, they would truly have something to build on. But as the always wise Hazmet suggested in the comments section, let’s “Hope they focus on winning 1 inning at a time and don’t look at the homestand as a whole. They’re not good enough to do that yet.”
The matchups with Houston show the Mets facing three pitchers boasting stats eerily similar to their own train wreck of a rotation.
The time to get well is clearly now. Time to show toughness, to be aggressive, to hit with runners on base, and for starters to go six and allow three runs or less.
Let’s get it done, starting Tuesday!