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A Better Pedro, But Mets Still Fall

Mike SteffanosFriday, September 22, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Marlins 5 - Mets 2

You'll forgive me if it's getting harder to blog about these games. It's almost surreal to be watching games that have so little meaning. Baseball teams don't usually have a month-long victory lap, but that's how this season has turned out. In an odd sort of way, I feel much the same way watching these games as I did last September when the Mets were out of it.

But this game did have some importance for the Mets, as we all waited to see how Pedro might bounce back from the awful start Friday night in Pittsburgh. For four innings Pedro was a magician -- allowing only a walk to Mike Jacobs that was erased when Wes Helms grounded into a double play. However, in the fifth inning it all came apart, as Pedro tired and started leaving his pitches up. With his fastball topping out at 85 tonight, that wasn't going to fly. After using an economical 57 pitches to navigate the first four innings, it took Pedro 30 to slog his way through the fifth. The Marlins touched him up for 4 runs on 4 hits and a hit batsman as Pedro visibly tired.

I'll wait until after his next start to judge Pedro's fitness for the playoffs, but will admit that I'm concerned. As great as Pedro is, a lot of his fastballs were coming in at 81-83, and he's really going to have to be almost perfect to get by with that. Having said that, I have to admit that Pedro is one guy who is impossible to predict based on previous performance, or logic and common sense, either. You resign yourself to the fact that anything can happen when he starts a game in the playoffs, and hope he takes us for a good ride.

The defense was pretty solid tonight, with Endy Chavez and Shawn Green making great catches in the outfield. I'm beginning to despair of Green ever contributing to this team offensively. I'm with my friend Shari from Take the "7" Train who wondered in her game recap where the offense has gone the past few weeks. Yes, I know these games are virtually meaningless right now, but I'd like to see the Mets start hitting again before the playoffs start. Carlos Delgado had another good night, and Endy Chavez is making a push to earn some playoff starts, but the team just hasn't been clicking offensively for most of this month.

Box Score

Comments (6)

Pedro was pitching in the 5th is a good sign. He is on my healing schedule 3 innings, now 5 innings, next time 6 or 7 innings and playoff strong. Is the glass 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? I'd like to think 1/2 full. He is 9-7 with one more start left and would look better with a 10-7 finish. Pedro said,"this time, I felt comfortable" said he knew to back off and not to push it,he just needed innings.I agree next start will tell alot. Castro could rejoin the team next week, I think that could be good for our bench in the playoffs...:>( Mets AAA to New Orleans,To far for us to go and enjoy a game.

Hi Mike-Thanks for the mention-I appreciate it as always - I'm a bit concerned about Pedro myself-not only were his fast balls topping out in the low 80s-some his other stuff was topping out at 68 mph. It was more than the occasional change up, he seemed to be throwing in the high 70s most of the night-against a play off team I see this as a potential problem unless he is meticulous with his control. Pitching into the 5th isn't going to cut it in the play offs.

The more games that are played, the more I'm convinced that Tom Glavine should be the Game 1 NLDS starter.

Rev - I'm not down on Pedro, it's just that I think he is still more hurt than they're saying. I wouldn't bet against him pitching well in the playoffs, though. Sorry about the Yankees moving in next door to you.
Shari - That's why what you said about the offense is so important. They need to score some runs in the playoffs with the pitchers they have. I'd be pretty happy if Pedro could give them 6 solid for the first game of the playoffs.
C Dubb - I don't know, if he was still pitching like he did in April and May, that would be a no-brainer, but the way he has been lately, I see it as a toss-up between him and Pedro.

I don't know, Mike. I know Pedro's Pedro, but the fact is that the team has consistently won when Glavine starts. (I think they're something like 23-6 when he starts.) And they only win about 1/2 of the time when Pedro starts. And it's been a while since he's looked like a guy capable of beating a playoff team.

I hate to say it, but right now I have more faith in Glavine winning a game for us than Pedro.

C Dubb - I don't know, I hear you. It's a tough call either way.

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