Mets: Do They Have a Pirates Problem?

Tom AuSenior Analyst IIJune 3, 2009

PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Ramon Martinez #90 of the New York Mets poses during photo day at Tradition Field on February 23, 2009 in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

This is not a reference to the fact that the Mets have just lost two games to the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is, in fact, about something deeper: the Mets now have a line-up that is too much like the Pirates'.

That's not because the Mets have skimped on cheap replacement players like the Pirates have. The Mets have good players with the second highest payroll in Major League Baseball. The problem was that most of those players haven't been available due to injuries in this series.

The Mets' Carlos Beltran is more than a match for the Bucs' Nasty Nate McLouth, but Beltran wasn't playing, and McLouth was—ditto for Ryan Church, who in 2007 looked to be the "new Nady" (the original was traded to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez and Ollie Perez). 

Jose Reyes is a better shortstop than the Pirates' Jack Wilson, but Reyes wasn't on the field and Wilson was. And Ramon Martinez, the "back-up to the back-up" was injured last night. Fernando Tatis at first base is probably the equal of the Pirates' Adam LaRoche, but no comparison to Carlos Delgado.

For about the past week, David Wright has been more like the Pirates' Andy LaRoche (the old LaRoche, not the one that has been hitting over .300 since mid-May).

Don't blame Cy Young winner Johan Santana even though the New York Post called him "very hittable" in a "short outing." On this, his worst start of the season, he pitched six innings of a three run quality start, a performance that the Pirates would be happy to have most nights.

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Their de facto ace, Zack Duke, pitched better in a 3-1 game.

For a change, the Mets' bullpen closed out the game with two scoreless innings, but so did the Pirates.

Hopefully, some day soon the Mets will get it all back together when their players get back together on the field.

But, for now, the Mets are the Pirates. And the Pirates may be the Mets.