By Michael Simon
Two weeks after sounding an early alarm on the 2009 Mets season, I am still waiting and hoping to be proved wrong. The lineup still NEVER gets a big hit, and when Santana isn't pitching the rotation is below average.
Yes, I realize that the season is young and records in April don't mean much. But at some point the "it's still early" excuse gets old. The Mets have shown no reason to believe that they will break the spell of the last two seasons, mainly because they are showing many of the same exact flaws.
At some point we have to accept that this group of hitters, led by David Wright, will put up good stats but rarely come through in the clutch. Not one Mets hitter has shown an ability to get the hit that puts the other team away for good, or the hit that completes a comeback. If the team is down by a couple of runs in the late innings, you might as well change the channel.
Fortunately the bullpen problem has been fixed, but that doesn't matter much when the starters consistently leave in the fifth inning with the team trailing. And while Oliver Perez may fool us once in a while, we should all realize by now that he is simply just not a good major league pitcher.
The poor record can and most likely will be overcome, but the lingering flaws from years past are likely to doom this team. Until they can break out of these bad habits, the 2009 Mets will never live up to our expectations as an elite team. Maybe it's time we lower them for our own sanity.