By Mike Steffanos
Game 26: Pirates 13 - Mets 1
I have to admit that I pretty much stopped paying attention to this game about halfway through when it became obvious most of the players had stopped paying attention. While it's certain that even good teams are going to have their share of truly awful games each year, it seems that the Mets have had more than their share of these so far.
This has to be the worst of them all, though. Facing a pitcher who has struggled this year and was having trouble finding the strike zone, the Mets could do nothing against Tom Gorzelanny. They managed to score one single run on the game despite receiving 9 walks from Gorzelanny and two relievers. Their error total (3) exceeded their hit total (2) on the game in what was just plain terrible baseball. Fans who paid to see that game deserved a refund.
Much has been made about how much the Mets have used their bullpen this year. Along with the 4 extra innings games played already, Oliver Perez is as culpable as anyone in this bullpen abuse. In 6 starts in April, Perez has averaged only 4.2 innings pitched. Yesterday it was only an inning and two thirds. He went only 4-1/3 vs. Milwaukee, 5-2/3 in 3 other starts, and only once -- his first game of the year -- did he go 6 innings.
What's even more worrisome is the walks. He's resembling the lost Oliver Perez who came here two seasons ago, issuing an average of 6.5 walks per nine innings so far. Ollie is hoping for a nice payday at the end of the year, but he'll have to show more than this to get it.
Twenty-six games into the season, the offense is still in need of a wakeup call. Wright and Reyes have been up and down, Carlos Beltran has been abysmal (.211/.366/.389), Angel Pagan has returned to earth (3 hits in his last 23 AB) and Delgado's struggles have been well-documented. As I've said before, I don't see the Mets having an elite offense this year, but they're better than this.