The Mets' Rotation: Twice Around the Block

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The Mets' Rotation: Twice Around the Block
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

After 10 games into the 2009 inaugural baseball season for the New York Mets at Citi-Field, the team is at .500 with five wins and five loses.

This report will not be about five Met hitters being over .300, or Gary Sheffield’s 500th home run tonight or, beyond my wildest dreams, Luis Castillo’s reemergence. This will be about the Mets rotation, which I wrote numerous articles and comments about all winter long.

Each starter has pitched in two games. Only Johan Santana has not yet pitched at home in Citi Field. We will have the pleasure of watching him here tomorrow.

What we have so far is a little upside from Ollie, Big Pelf, ,and Livan. On the flip side, we have equally some downside from Ollie, Big Pelf, Jon, and Livan. The mainstay and the only one that when he doesn’t win is surprising, is the ace, Johan Santana. Let’s take a look.

Player    W  L   ERA  G  GS  CG    IP    H  R  ER  HR  HBP  BB  SO

Santana  1    1   0.71   2    2    0     12.2   6   3    1      0       0      5    20

You really can’t expect more. Conceivably, if not for a misplayed ball by Daniel Murphy, Santana would have continued his winning streak. Not known as a spring pitcher, if his first half is anything like his second half of last season or his first two starts so far, you are looking at the starting pitcher of the 2009 All Star Game. After Johan, a considerable drop off.


Player     W   L   ERA   G   GS   CG     IP     H    R   ER   HR   HBP   BB   SO 

Pelfrey    1   0    8.10    2   2    0     10.0   13   9     9       3    0       6      5

Mike Pelfrey is hurt. He has been since the beginning of spring training. Probably from falling off that golf cart. All kidding aside, he is not showing nearly the same stuff as he did last year. If it is an injury and rest is the cure, he will probably go on the DL. He is, however, a terrific competitor and wants to pitch through the pain. Look for Nelson Figueroa to take his next two or three starts.


Player    W  L   ERA  G  GS  CG    IP    H  R ER  HR  HBP  BB  SO



Perez      1    1   7.20   2    2     0     10.1   8   9   9     1       0       7     11

Bad Ollie, good Ollie. So what else is new? Certainly no surprises in his first two starts. At times brilliant, strikes out four of the first six hitters he faces, and then the implosion and he loses his control. I’ve always liked the way he bounces back after a fair or poor outing. This is a work in progress and will probably give the Mets and us fans fits all year long. Again, what else is new?


Player    W  L  ERA  G  GS  CG    IP     H   R  ER  HR  HBP  BB  SO



Maine      0  1   7.20  2  2     0     10.0    9    8     8   2     0     4     9

John’s season may well determine if the Mets will be in the postseason. He is coming off shoulder surgery and should, by all accounts, get stronger as the season rolls on. He looks like he’s throwing comfortably with ease and then, like his counterpart Mr. Perez, one bad inning takes him out of his game. He needs to challenge the hitters and allow his fielders to do the job behind him.


Player        W  L   ERA  G  GS  CG    IP     H   R  ER  HR  HBP  BB  SO



Hernandez    1   0    4.63   2   2   0    11.2   13   6     6   1     0     3      7

The biggest surprise of the season so far, Livan was one pitch away from a dominating performance which would have put him at 2-0. He looks great and if he continues on his present course, it will be very difficult indeed for anybody else that the Mets have to be able to replace him in the five spot.

The biggest pluses for the staff as a whole are the strike out to walk ratio. 52 K’s and 25 base on balls are excellent. Of course, as long as Santana keeps the ratio he has, the whole staff benefits.

They have given up seven home runs, which is a lot spread out over a 162 game schedule. They are 4-3, while the bullpen has lost the other two games. Their ERA is way too high and they need to get key outs in the innings that they put those BB on base.

The major concerns are mirror images of last season. They have gone 54.2 innings, which is not good. At this pace, even the vastly improved bullpen will get run down, and that is a recipe for disaster.

Is it time to panic yet? I think not. The Met fans have always been extremely hard on their managers, coaches, and players. Their expectations are enormous and they are only happy with immediate successful results. I’m not criticizing this attitude; in fact, I admire and respect our passion when it comes to our team.

My opinion, let’s take a careful look after 40 games. That’s just under one-fourth of the season and 10 times around the block. I suspect that we will see a gradual improvement in all of the starters, barring injuries. I still believe that Santana is going to win between 18-22 games, while Perez, Big Pelf, and John can win 12-15 and if Livan can do the same, we will be fine come September.

Let’s go Mets.

This article also appears on the Mets Police, Dom D's Mets Fan Blog, and Take The 7  Train.


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