By Mike Steffanos
A game like last night's is a lot easier to shake off than our concerns about Pedro Martinez. With about six weeks to go until the post-season, Pedro is looking about as fragile as a papier-mâché tree. As Mets fans, we're never the most optimistic of folks to begin with. The steady stream of bad news regarding our starting pitching isn't helping any. Pedro in particular has looked a lot more like Clark Kent rather than Superman this season.
Still somehow, Omar, Willie and the rest of the team manage to hold things together. Oliver Perez, who rebounded from 2 bad starts in Norfolk to pitch a pretty good game last time out, would seem to be the leading candidate to step in as Pedro's understudy if Martinez needs to miss his next start. Brian Bannister is another candidate, but he's coming off 2 really poor starts since taking his rehab north to Norfolk. I hear that Mike Pelfrey is close to returning back to action, but if I'm the Mets he'll pitch a game or two in the minors to show everything is okay. I guess the best part of all this is that you have a few options that aren't named Jose Lima.
The Mets ability to develop some minor-league options for their pitching staff is a welcome site for Mets fans. If Oliver Perez indeed comes up and takes a start, and then gets shelled, at least there is some positive in that. Maybe he's one step closer to figuring it out and helping this team, whether now or next year. When someone like Lima or Gonzalez started and pitched a bad game, all you had was an ugly loss that left me questioning my love for this game. If Perez takes a start and struggles, I'm still watching with some interest to see if he's showing any signs of putting it together.
I remember all the years I bemoaned the fact that this team lacked a can-do attitude. That's not the case this year. One bad break after another hasn't stopped this team, nor negatively affected the team's psyche. While some bemoan the fact that Willie Randolph will probably never be more than a mediocre in-game manager, I appreciate the fact that he has so completely altered the attitude of this team in less than 2 years. If Pedro can't recover his health for the playoffs, maybe that attitude isn't enough to push this team over the top. Still, after watching so many Mets teams absolutely wilt under adversity, I really appreciate seeing this.
With the rumors that the Mets are close to a deal for Shawn Green, I have to admit that if the rumors are true (Victor Diaz and Royce Ring for Green) I'd have to do it myself, despite some reservations about picking up another guy on the wrong side of his career decline. I still wouldn't give up anyone like Bannister for Green. Chad, a reader, sent me the following in an e-mail:
Ledee and Tucker are good fill-ins but if the Mets want another outfielder, why trade for Green who really doesn't have a desire to play here. Instead, how about signing Juan Gonzalez from the LI Ducks. I think he some power left in him.
I haven't seen Gonzalez play for the Ducks, so I couldn't really give an opinion on him. We'll defer to Chad on this one.
MetsBlog: Cerrone on Daily News Live
Just a reminder that Matthew Cerrone from MetsBlog will be appearing on SNY's program tonight at 5.
Update: Matt got bumped from the show. Guess I won't be watching tonight. That'll teach them.
Gotham Baseball: Booing
GB's Mark Healy looks at the Big Apple's tendency to boo our own.
Mets Guy in Michigan: ... won't be attending
Dave gives us the list of all who will be blowing off the big '86 reunion gala, and their reasons for doing so.