By Mike Steffanos
Game 5: Mets 8 - Marlins 4
Sorry I didn't get something up on this last night. Unlike last year, I've been trying to get these short game pieces up fairly quickly so that people can gloat, vent or otherwise comment on the games.
I didn't get a chance to watch this one live. My mom has been having some health problems, so I spent last night getting a couple of her prescriptions filled, food shopping and running some other errands for her.
By the time I got home I knew the Mets had won and that Livan had pitched pretty well, but not much else. I spent a couple of hours watching the un-blacked out portions of the game on DVR and came away fairly, but not completely, impressed.
Livan had his share of breaks in this game, but pitched aggressively and didn't panic when he was in trouble. His stuff was okay, and his command was decent, but he got a little lucky more than once.
The 6 2/3 innings he provided were a big bonus. Basically, Hernandez did just about everything you could ask for a fifth starter.
I'm not convinced that he's going to be able to give the Mets 200 innings at anything close to league average pitching in this role. I'm not as skeptical as some are about his chances, but I wouldn't put them any better than 50-50 at this point.
Still, if he could be fairly effective while Redding is rehabbing and Niese is figuring things out, the Mets would be in better shape for it. And again, unlike some pundits, I think he has a chance. Those Hernandez lads have a way of exceeding expectations on the mound.
The bullpen pitched 2 1/3 decent innings last night, although O'Day struggled some again. The best part of their performance was no walks, as bases on balls have played a part in their early season woes.
Nice to see Castillo bounce back. I actually believe he could give the Mets something as a number eight hitter this season. If he could get on base, Reyes is a decent RBI guy for a leadoff hitter. The formula worked pretty well last night.
The one guy that looks bad to me so far is Brian Schneider. He's looking more like the Schneider of the first half of 2008 than the second half. It's still early, but he's facing mostly right-handed pitching and not producing much.