New York Mets: April Review

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New York Mets: April Review

The 2008 season couldn't get started soon enough for the New York Mets. 

After last year's devastating collapse and the acquisition of Johan Santana, I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only Mets fan who was ready to put the past behind and look forward to a successful future. 

Johan did not disappoint in his debut, striking out seven Marlins in seven innings en route to his first Metropolitan victory.  It was a great high to start off the season, but it came crashing down faster than David Hasselhoff's music career. 

The very next night, Pedro Martinez, who was talked about all spring as being the "healthiest he's felt in a long time," went down with a strained hamstring; an injury that will keep him out until at least late-May. 

Those two games were a prime example of how the first month of the season went for the Mets—both good and bad.

Let's look at the good first: With the exception of his start against the Brewers, Santana was what we expected, and he should only get better as the season goes on.  

Ryan Church and Angel Pagan saved the Mets otherwise inept offense.  I'm convinced it has something to do with their religiously affiliated names. 

Mike Pelfrey hasn't been great, but he's finally showing signs of being a successful Major League pitcher, and Nelson Figueroa has already become the feel good story of the year. 

Billy Wagner kind of pitched a no-hitter and should still be perfect in save opportunities if it weren't for Jose Reyes's inexplicable defense. 

Most importantly, unlike the second half of last year, the Mets have shown they can beat the Phillies (taking four of six, including two of three in Philadelphia), which is going to be key all season.

With all of those positives, you would think us Mets fans would be pretty content, but of course we love obsessing over the negatives. 

In April, there were plenty of those. 

Carlos Delgado looks about as done as a burnt chicken leg, and the other big bats in the Mets lineup didn't do much to pick him up.  David Wright started out hot, but slowed down toward the end of the month.  Jose Reyes's inconsistent bat has apparently rubbed off on his glove, committing as many errors as the number of his jersey.  Dancing or no dancing, this kid needs to get it going sooner or later. 

Brian Schneider ran into more bad luck than Charlie Brown and, as a result, Raul Cassanova became a familiar name and we were introduced to the reject of the Molina family, Gustavo.  

It seems as if Jorge Sosa and Aaron Heilman are actually on the payrolls of whatever team the Mets are playing that week, making Mets fans at least think about asking the question—was Mota even this bad?

Yes, he was. 

And just to top it all off, the Mets decided to finish off the month of April with a 13-1 loss at home to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates; a game in which they had more errors (3) than hits (2).

Of course, this mix of good and bad play has resulted in what it should: a mediocre 14-12 record. 

However, don't hang yourselves just yet, Mets fans. 

Despite the inconsistent start, the Mets are only 1/2 game behind the Phillies entering tonight's series with the Diamondbacks. 

Moises Alou is set to make his return and should help out the offense for a few games, before he stubs his big toe and is out for another month, and hopefully Brian Schneider can last at least a couple of weeks. 

Hopefully, Willie has learned by now that Sosa and Heilman can not come into a game unless the Mets are leading 15-0 in the ninth inning, or if everyone else in the bullpen suddenly comes down with food poisoning.

That being said, don't be surprised if either one comes in this weekend with the Mets nursing a 3-2 lead late in the game. 

We'll just have to wait and see what May brings.

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