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Putrid Baseball

Mike SteffanosThursday, May 1, 2008
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.

View Oliver Perez's Full Season Stats

Box Score

Comments (2)

It really seems like something is wrong with this team and believe most of the problems are related to both the Mets offense and the defense. Take the extra innings game as an example, Reyes error leads to the tying run in the 9th, but it goes further than that. Reyes deserves the error, but Keith Hernandez or John Olerud would have saved the error. During that same game, the Mets had so many opportunities to add on runs but couldn't come through. Due to both of the issues I stated, Willie was forced to use his bullpen and by the way Santana missed out on getting a W.

Do I have concerns about Ollie, absolutely. In fact, with the exception of Santana I am concerned about all of the starters including Maine. With all of that said, if the Mets hit and field like they did in 06 I would feel a lot better about our starters (case in point is Trax winning as many games as he did). What's the deal with Castillo defensively and bunting? What's wrong with Reyes and the number of errors including mental errors. Wright is no golden glove but he shouldn't be making as many errors as he has had. Pagan is showing that he is a liability in the outfield and that Endy should be playing.

My last point is about Delgado. No, I'm not piling on, but stating something that is obvious to me. The Mets were an outstanding team in 06 because of Delgados offense and leadership skills. I still feel that Delgado is a quiet leader but if he isn't going to hit 30 plus homers and drive in 100 plus runs, then he needs to go. In my opinion, Delgado sucks defensively, therefore the only way he can make up for his defensive shortcomings is by hitting. Whether he can hit again is to be seen, but if the Mets continue to play 500 ball and he doesn't return to form by mid-season I'm hoping that Minaya can work out a trade.


Or just let him go. If he continues not to hit, they'll have to make a move.

Agreed to a point on the defense, but Ollie - who I also like - has to grow up. He needs to be able to pick up his teammates when they screw up behind him, and he hasn't been able to do that for the last 2 years. He gave up 20 unearned runs in 177 IP last year, and 5 on Wednesday. It's not a coincidence when it keeps happening.

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