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Not Getting It Done

Mike SteffanosSunday, April 6, 2008
By Mike Steffanos


Game 5: Braves 3 - Mets 1

Last year my biggest frustration with the Mets was with how often in games against the Braves and Phillies they seemed to lack the focus and determination of their opponent. I have to admit coming into this series against the Braves, I wondered what I would see in this regard.

Well, one rainout and two dreary losses later, I guess I'm grateful that the Mets seemed to have left that lackadaisical attitude with the rest of the baggage from last year. Even in two games where their offense left much to be desired, the Mets were taking good at bats for the most part, even if the results weren't there. I'm grateful that I'm not watching them drop games that they seemed to take for granted. Also, while I suspect the offense might be an issue all season, they're certainly better than we saw the last two days.

On the other hand, they did lose both of the games actually played this weekend. I appreciated today's ninth inning rally, but the phrase "too little, too late" would definitely apply here. I won't go crazy 5 games into the season as some seem inclined to do, but the bottom line is... well, it's the bottom line.

So, while allowing a nice pretty gold star for competing, ultimately this team will be judged, and rightfully so, on getting it done -- finding ways to beat Atlanta, Philadelphia and their other opponents night after night. The jobs of the manager, many of the players and to some extent the GM hinge on the 2008 Mets being "can-do" rather than "we'll get them next time."

You can dissect individual plays. The one run against Santana scored on a 2-out hit that Pagan should have made the play on. Heilman simply has to learn how not to leave that changeup up in the zone in spots like this. I respect what he's done here, but that simply happens too often in key spots. Schneider was robbed of a game-tying double in a ninth inning that featured some nice at bats in a key situation -- but why was Carlos Beltran out looking at a fastball with two strikes?

In the end, all that matters is the final score. They didn't get it done this weekend, and they have to find a way to change that. Playing hard isn't enough.

View Johan Santana's Full Season Stats

Box Score

Comments (4)

Beltran Looking at a 3rd strike brings back painful memories. Atlanta owns us no matter who they put on the field.This team needs a something? they are just not right, something is missing.

Mike,
I feel your arguing with those "bottom line" guys (like my brother-in-law). But I firmly reject it. This was a win-win situation for both teams. I also reject the argument of "half empty or half full". Its 3/4 full for both teams. I would say more but I have to go to the dentist in an hour. This is going to be a great, great competition between these two teams. The only thing that tops this will be a game with Glavine and whoever you want to throw out there (please don't let it be Santana again!). I'll go ahead and say he looks like Cy (and I've never seen Cy)

hi mike, i agree it's early, but after the most colossal collapse in the history of baseball, the mets front office had a choice..fire willie, dump delgado and alou, castillo and el duque because of injuries or age or both and dump some of the firestarters in the bullpen and try some new faces and a new manager.minaya decided in to bring back willie, ( i wanted him out the minute the season ended last year), all the old and the broken down guys and for the most part the same horrible bullpen that killed us last year.i love the santana trade, but we can't put all that pressure on one guy and than have him pitch 7 great innings like today and get a loss.this team had to get out of the gate really fast to erase the horror of the last 17 games of 2007.this was willie and omar's mission..thay had a whole offseason to make getting a great start job #1 for this team.i still expect good things this year.WE BETTER WIN 2 OUT OF 3 AGAINST THE PHILLES!!!

Relax, Gary. I agree that this week was frustrating, but I've seen some good things, too. I like the bullpen much better this year, and Delgado's been hitting. I definitely don't agree with the "dump everyone" philosophy. They got rid of Mota and Sele. Delgado and El Duque are under contract for this season, so it wasn't a question of bringing them back. Between the 2 you're looking at $22 million in salary for 2008, and even the Yankees would think twice about that much money. Castillo was a curious signing for 4 years, I agree, but he's okay.

I'm not worried about them getting out of the gate fast. They did last year, and where did that get them? I'd rather they finished fast this time.

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