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If This Is Sunday, the Sky Must Be Falling (Again)

Mike SteffanosSunday, August 20, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Adam Rubin from the Daily News broke the story today that Tom Glavine is undergoing tests for a possible blood clot in an artery, with the chance under a worst-case scenario that Glavine might be lost for the season. Needless to say, the usual suspects will take this latest piece of bad news for the Mets and milk it for every last drop of gloom and doom value. There are people in this town that make a living off of playing on the fragile psyche of some Mets fans.

Personally, I'm obviously hoping that the worst-case doesn't play out, but if it does, I'm not going to go searching for a ledge to throw myself off. We've been aware that Pedro and Glavine will be somewhat of a crap shoot in the playoffs, anyway. They might pitch great with the money on the line, but then again, they might not. You never know how it's all going to play out. The Mets made a really nice run in 1999 and 2000 without a great starting staff. The mid-80s Mets had the best staff in baseball over a 5-year period and won once.

First of all, let's wait to hear the final results of Glavine's test. If you really need to depress yourself, my fellow Mets fans, close your eyes and imagine being forced to use Jose Lima in a post-season start. When the pain becomes unbearable, pinch yourself and realize it was only a bad dream. The Mets really do have a lot of more attractive options than Jose Lima right now. Dave Williams is a solid pitcher with a track record. Oliver Perez pitched another very strong game in Norfolk last night:

Oliver Perez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Saturday night as the Norfolk Tides blanked the Charlotte Knights, 1-0, at Harbor Park.

Making his fourth start for the Tides since the New York Mets acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 31, Perez (2-5) yielded a single and two walks while striking out 11 over seven frames.

The Mets reportedly were close to promoting Perez to pitch on Saturday against the Colorado Rockies before opting for fellow left-hander Dave Williams.

"When they call me, I have to be ready for it," Perez said. "Everyone gets excited when you get talked about going to the Major Leagues. Everyone is working hard to get to that point."

... "Everything was working really good today." Perez said. "I was pitching to both sides of the plates. You always know when you are throwing good and have a no-hitter. I was just trying to make pitches and throw strikes."

... "I'm trying not to think too much," he explained. "This game was very important to me. I was having lot of problems. This game helped me get a little more comfortable. I'm feeling better now. I just have keep working."

Brian Bannister has pitched well, also. Steve Trachsel seems to be turning his struggles around. There are options for the Mets that simply didn't exist a month ago.

Does that mean they're going to win it all with what they have? Maybe, maybe not, but the point is that there were never any guarantees in the first place. My game plan as a fan has not changed: root hard, enjoy every good moment, and not let the "gloom and doom" bastards get me down.

Note: As I penned the final words, the Mets completed a 2-0 win for a series sweep of Colorado. Look for a complete recap later on.

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Comments (5)

Bitter Sweep.

It's great that we've taken the antidote for an August sputter (three games against the Rockies), but it stings to see Glavine out for what could be the rest of the year, coming right on the heels of Pedro's calf troubles.

I say bring up the kids. Pelfrey, Bannister, Perez...bring them all up, and give them all starts.

There are usually only two options to get young pitchers major league experience, and neither one involves pitching in Norfolk:

1) Mix them in slowly with established veterans, or
2) Throw them out there and suffer a season or two of triple-digit losses

With Pedro and Glavine temporarily on the shelf, the 2006 Mets can't use option #1. But they've got a unique opportunity to avoid option #2 by inventing the rarely seen option #3:

3) Grab a double-digit lead in the division early, then give all your young guns a shot, and see who shines

After seeing John Maine pitch in spring training against Atlanta in March, I would have bet my yearly salary that he wouldn't stick with the club. But in a recent four-game stretch, he gave up fewer runs than I saw him allow with my own eyes in less than two innings against a split Braves squad.

As my little sister said once (and Yogi Berra probably said as well), "You never know until you find out."

Willie has the rare luxury of six weeks for retooling and juggling. Let's take advantage of it, and find the right mix of arms to take us as far as we can go.

I agree with you. The Mets currently have a lot of options. Worst case -- a rotation of Hernandez (who's been pitching very well most of the time), Trachsel (who seems to be stepping up with an additional pitch), Maine (who has been as good as any pitcher in the league), Bannister, and Perez -- is not anything to be worried about, especially with the team's offense. I'd prefer to have Glavine and Pedro, but let's not go whining like whipped dogs over the possibility they may not.

NostraDennis -- I agree completely. Maybe someone else will really surprise. We all know that Perez has dominating stuff.
RealityChuck -- exactly. Whining doesn't change anything. At least there are some reasonable possibilities in this organization.


Maine turned his yr around why should Ollie and Bannister be different. I believe!

Cool! The ledges are already too crowded with despondent Mets fans.

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