I am sure that if you asked most Baseball beat writers, columnists and Mets fans what the Mets record would be after their first 8 games most would not have said 6-2. But that is the Mets record after yesterdays 5-0 dispatching of the Philadelphia Phillies. I know that this is just a small sample size, and there is a long season ahead of them, but from what I have seen so far has encouraged me.
There are 5 things that have surprised me so far about this team.
1. The revamped bullpen has been up for the challenge so far. It seems like Sandy Alderson was right to allocate to bulk of his off-season budget to the bullpen. Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, and Frank Francisco have been in lock down mode. Bobby Parnell seems to have finally come into his own, and having both Byrdak and Acosta in specialist roles has turned out to be a luxury that many teams lack.
2. Daniel Murphy’s defense. We all know that Murph can hit, but even though he hasn’t shown that he is the second coming of Wally Backman with his glove he is as serviceable as Jeff Kent during his tenure here.
3. Going into this season I would have been happy if Ruben Tejada could hit and field like Rey Ordonez. So far he has shown that he is anything but a slap hitter, and his defensive range is impressive. I think he may make most fans forget about some guy who defected to Miami.
4. I was expecting Johan Santana to be a bit inconsistent in his first few starts after coming back from major shoulder surgery. I looked at both Chieng Ming Wang and Mark Prior as a baseline. So far Johan has shown that he is not that far off from the pitcher who the Mets traded for back in ’07. Johan still has some major hurdles that he must get past ( fatigue, cold weather etc) but if he continues to pitch the way that he has so far, I think this team will be better than expected.
5. This team with the exception of one game against the Nationals never seem to be down for the count. Lets face it , the first month of the Mets schedule is not an easy one. The Mets face many teams that are billed as being more superior to them. They have manhandled the Braves and are on the verge of sweeping the Phillies. So far it seems like the Mets are playing with an “us against the world” mantra.
So I ask you what about this team so far has surprised you ?
And with that said… HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:
One time first round draft pick, outfielder, Jeromy Burnitz (1969) is 43. Burnitz was something of an enigma. During his brief time with the Mets he was a feast or famine power hitter ( more stress on the famine). After the Mets traded him he developed into one of the premier power hitters in the American League. The Mets re-obtained him before the ’02 season but he was a shell of the player he once was.
Reserve outfielder from the ’95 season, Ricky Otero is 40 (1972).
The New York Mets traded relief pitcher, Mac Scarce to the Cincinnati Reds for middle reliever, Tom Hall on April 15, 1975.
The New York Mets signed free agent shortstop, José Oquendo on April 15, 1979. Oquendo is currently a coach in the St Louis Cardinals organization.
The New York Mets signed free agent catcher, Alberto Castillo on April 15, 1987. Alberto spent the better part of four season as the Mets back up catcher. He would end up with 2 homers, 14 RBI’s ans a batting average of .198 during his tenure here.
Mo Vaughn has been feasting on Scrapple as well as the flesh of Phillies fans !!!