No Brawn for Johan Santana

Zeke FuhrmanAnalyst IIIMay 5, 2008


That is how many runs the New York Mets have scored this season. Only the Padres (12-20, 108), Rockies (12-19, 134), Reds (12-20, 132), Giants (14-18, 106), and Nationals (14-18, 125) have scored less in the NL.

But unlike these cellar-dwellers, the Mets have a record of 16-13 and find themselves tied for second and a half game out of first place in the NL East. 

To go along with their 135, the Mets also share the number .248...their combined team batting average. Only the Brewers (.246), Nationals (.239), and Padres (.230) are lower on the totem pole.

If the Mets want to be playing baseball instead of golf in October, something needs to change. Santana hasn't been getting any coinsistacy from his offense. Although Santana has a 2.91 ERA with 47 strike outs, he has a 3-2 record, which is considered a slow start for the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

In the three games Johan has won, the Mets offense has scored an average of 6.6 runs per game. In the two games he has lost? Only two runs.

How many runs did Johan get in his no-decision vs. Arizona last night? Two runs. And the Mets should have lost the game had in not been for Chris Burke's greedy base running and Conor Jackson's Chuck Knoblauch-esk throw to second.

The Mets bats need to wake up. Luis Castillo, whom the Mets traded for last season, is hitting only .239, and is a career .293 hitter. Endy Chavez is hitting .169 after hitting .287 last season.

Carlos Beltran is hitting only .210 with two home runs, and he is a .279 hitter. He has hit 74 home runs in the last two years as a Met. The Mets have only hit 20 home runs this year. That is 28 less than Philadelphia, 22 less than Florida, and 13 less than Atlanta.

Other than Billy Wagner, who has been lights out with an ERA of 0.00, 13 strike outs, and seven saves in eight chances, the bullpen has been awful. They have a combined record of 4-4 (four of those wins belong to Jorge Sosa, who is 4-1).

The bullpen ERA has room for improvement as well. Sosa, 4-1, is sitting on a 6.38 in 16 games. The Mets' season won't last past August if this trend continues.

With a competitive NL East and the Mets reputations for "excelling down the stretch," they need something to happen. Acquiring Johan was the right move. He has a 2.91 ERA with a NL leading 47 strike outs.

John Maine has an ERA of 3.48, Oliver Perez has 4.08, Nelson Figueroa has an 4.08, and Mike Pelfry has a 5.27. Pedro Martinez is scheduled to come back this season, but one has to wonder if and how long he can stay healthy.

With a very good Phillies team, a young Marlins team, a road-weary Braves team, and an improving Nationals team in the division, it will take a lot to get the Mets back to the postseason. Acquiring Johan was a step in the right direction, but I think the Mets are one good bat and a couple relievers away from popping the champagne.