Looking at The Mets With The Glass Half Empty
I'm as pessimistic a Mets fan as you'll meet, and I'm not ashamed to say so.
I was sitting in the upper deck of Shea when the Mets completed their second consecutive collapse just moments before celebrating the closing of the place.
I sat there two years prior, having my heart sink and Carlos Beltran's knees buckled in game 7 against St. Louis.
I can reel off an endless number of moments that have relegated me to believing the baseball team I bleed orange and blue for will never give me the satisfaction of winning a championship despite the countless hours and dollars I've invested into it.
So you'll have to excuse me for once again seeing the glass as half empty when looking at the Mets 25 games into the 2010 season.
After the unwatchable 4-8 start, they seemed to turn things around with a 9-1 homestand that saw them take advantage of decent teams playing really bad baseball.
They extended their winning streak to eight with an emphatic victory in Philadelphia to open their three game series this weekend, extending their seemingly too-good-to-be-true first place lead to 1.5 games.
Providing more hope for Mets fans, like myself, was the fact that the next two games would be started by the reinvented Mike Pelfrey and the reliable Johan Santana.
Yet here we are, two losses, 21 runs allowed later, wondering if the winning ways of the previous two weeks was something the team would build off of or simply an aberration.
While they certainly have a chance to prove themselves in Cincy this week, they were given a golden opportunity to send an early season message to their hated division rivals, and failed miserably.
Sure, Roy Halladay was, well, Roy Halladay in silencing the Mets bats on Saturday as he went on to pitch the 846th complete game shutout of his career (give or take a few) while Pelfrey you could argue was due to get lit up sooner or later.
However there isn't an excuse in the world that gets Santana off the hook for his heartless performance Sunday night.
Given a 3-0 lead after a David Wright home run, Santana gave two right back via the long ball, and three innings later, allowed two more in the midst of an eight run meltdown, completing the worst outing of his professional career—outdoing the gem he gave us at Yankee Stadium last year where he only allowed 9 runs.
The low point was undoubtedly the bases loaded walk he issued to Jamie Moyer, whose AARP membership was accepted sometime during the at-bat.
It was simply inexcusable for the so called ace of a pitching staff to deliver such a performance, after being given a lead and a chance to take a series, on the road, from your division rival.
Santana, despite his three wins, has looked unbelievably average this year. Even in his good starts, he throws too many pitches, seems to 3-2 on every batter he faces, all while the velocity and command of his pitches is severely lacking.
Of course the half empty glass look at the Mets also reveals how bad Jose Reyes continues to look despite a decent looking homestand.
Seven years after making his major league debut, he continues to lack any plate discipline and continues to show the immaturity of a rookie while lacking the poise a player with his experience should display at least once in a while.
Jason Bay has looked better, but after a month still only has one home run and eight runs batted in, hardly enough production to justify the money the Mets spent on him.
Then there's Jerry Manuel. I can't say I've ever cared for Jerry, dating back to the story that it was his suggestion to pinch hit Cliff Floyd in game seven instead of sending up somebody to bunt the runners over down by two runs. Floyd couldn't walk, was never asked to bunt, and struck out leaving the runners where they were at first and second.
His success in 2008 after the firing of Willie Randolph was erased by the collapse that awaited his team by seasons end, and despite the rash of injuries in 2009, even when healthy his team lacked fundamentals and baseball instincts that are reflective of a manager and his coaching staff.
At 14-11, the team is certainly off to a far better start than anybody could have hoped for, however major problems remain and as the 9-1 homestand and eight game winning streak fades away, the problems plaguing this team will no longer hide behind success.
It was a very discouraging finish to an otherwise encouraging stretch of baseball.
Then again, I'm only looking at the glass half empty.
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