Chapter 2 : Phillies v. Mets 2010…Does the Empire Strike Back ?

The baseball season is approaching Memorial Day weekend. And, Met fans are still hoping and wishing their season has a heartbeat after the Phillies leave town on Thursday evening. After taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees this past weekend and the Phils losing 2 of 3 to the Red Sox, the Mets trail by 5 games and are sitting in the basement of the NL east. Last month, at Citizens Bank Park the Phillies tore the guts out of the Mets two best starters and spit them out, en route to taking 2 of 3 from the Mets. At the beginning of this series the Phils had been struggling some at the end of their west coast trip and the Mets were flying high coming in to town on a 7 game winning streak. But, although that series didnt mean much to the Phillies, it turned the Mets season downward. Now, the Mets are feeling a little better about themselves, because their offense has awoken a bit and their winning 3 of their last 4. At 22-23 they are not exactly inducing confidence in their fan base. Their pitching staff is constantly under renovation except for Santana and Pelfrey. But hopefully, they can take 2 of 3 from the Phillies beginning tomorrow night and return the favor. After the Phils inability to hit Wakefield Sunday, the Mets will start knuckleballer RA Dickey against Jaimie Moyer in the series opener.

If Jason Bay can turn it around as he did last weekend against the Yankees and Wright can continue driving in runs despite his mounting strikeouts, then the Wild-card is also a very viable option to get to the post season. The need to pick up a starting pitcher is more evident now, with Niese and Maine on the DL and Oliver Perez designated to the bullpen. But, will the Mets pull the trigger this early in the season? Probably not…eventhough Roy Oswalt is pleading for the Astros to trade him.

Anyway, back to reality the Mets need 2 of 3 wins to inch closer at 4 games behind and still be relevant going into June…for the fans sake and for the organizations sake as they hope their fans will start to return to Citifield soon!

1/5 of the season in the bag, so……

Well, Its true…The Mets are 17-15 in the first fifth of the season. At this rate, this would produce a roughly a 85 win season. Surprise? not really. If not for an 8 game winning streak(ended by the Phillies) a week and a half ago, this team has been playing sub. 500 ball. But, they did win 8 in a row and it all counts. Of course what the Mets and any other team have done thus far doesn’t predict their finish at their end. It gives you a glimpse of what they have done to this point. At this pace the Nationals will win 90!…really? Yeah, Dont think so! But a good start gives the contenders a springboard towards bigger things and the pretenders? well…something to believe in.

Coming out of spring training the Mets figured their offense would be carrying them and their pitching was very questionable….who was going to step up in that bullpen and rotation? Well, their record is not a surprise, but their overall ineptness at times to put two hits together and drive in runs, has. Along with a pitching staff and bullpen that sports the best ERA in the NL East and fourth in the National League at 3.58. How are they above .500 with Jose Reyes batting under . 240 and batting 3rd, Jason Bay with 1 homerun at cleanup, No Carlos Beltran…YET (Has he retired?) David Wright on pace to strike out over 200 times and Johan Santana pitching like a number 3 with an ERA hovering around 4.50 ? Well, Mike Pelfrey has been a pleasant surprise with a 4-1 record and 2.65 ERA, Jonothan Neise has pitched very well in his first full season and a 3.60 ERA. John Maine has pitched well in his last three starts and is averaging almost 9 k’s per 9 innings pitched. The relief corp as a whole and each guy individually has pitched excellent.The catching tandem of Rod Barajas with his 9 homeruns has saved a bunch of games, as well as Henry Blanco with throwing out 100% of base stealers.They have also played pretty solid defense.

So, who knows in one-fifth of the season what to expect the rest of the way. You expect things to level out. The offense has to turn it around right? But, doesnt that mean the pitching will come back to reality too? There is no way in the world that this staff will lead the NL East in pitching. But, since its only 32 games old, this season still is relevant because the Mets are 17-15 and their is hope that the pitching will hold on and not drop too much, while we expect the offense to wake up and throw some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Afterall, with all their injuries last year they tied for the best batting average in the National League.