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New Season, Old Problems

Michael SimonMonday, April 13, 2009
By Michael Simon

Editor's Note: This is Michael Simon's first contribution to this site. - M.S.

The season is less than a week old, but I can't help thinking that these are the same Mets we will be watching for the next 6 months: a starting pitching staff that is fantastic every fifth day but mediocre the other four; a lineup that can get runners base on but struggles to drive them in; a bullpen that is solid in the 8th and 9th innings but porous in the 6th and 7th.

In a word, the Mets look inconsistent.

If it wasn't for the utter disappointment of the past two years, I would call myself and anyone else crazy for making any judgments based on just four games. However, many of the same inconsistencies that plagued the team in 2007 and 2008 have already reared their ugly head in the opening week of 2009. And to make matters worse, not much has changed on the roster aside from the additions of Putz and Rodriguez. We have the same exact lineup that struggled to muster timely hits and still includes automatic outs in Castillo and Schneider. We also essentially still have the same rotation that often failed to pitch more than 6 innings and still includes the maddening Oliver Perez.

Most people will argue that the Mets would have gone far into the playoffs last year had the bullpen been better. And I agree that it was necessary to fix the back end of the pen and Omar did a great job doing so. However, if guys like Delgado and Pelfrey don't have the same fantastic seasons they had last year, will the bullpen additions be enough?

Now, don't get me wrong. I realize that it is still very, very, early and think the Mets do have a chance to finish with 90-92 wins, make the playoffs, and compete for the NL pennant. Just about every NL team is inconsistent or worse in many of the same areas as the Mets. And maybe Omar can pick up a guy like Peavy or Holliday at the trading deadline to put them over the top. If enough things go right the Mets should have a very good season.

However, until some of the inconsistencies finally start to disappear, I'm afraid that us Met fans are in for déjà vu all over again. After all, as a Mets fan, I know that it is never too early to be worried.

About Michael: I graduated from Union College in '06 with a Bachelors in Political Science and Spanish. I currently live in New York City and work for an internet marketing company. My love for the Mets started when I was about 5 years old and started going to games at Shea with my dad. Aside from watching and following the Mets, some of my favorite hobbies include skiing, reading, and traveling to new places.

Comments (6)

This is a joke right. Six games in and we are relegating the Mets to the same old inconsistent Mets. They were .500 on the road. Frankly, that is pretty good consider 6 of the eight teams that made the playoffs last year were either at, below, or just slightly above .500.

Lets cool it and wait until Memorial Day to declare the Mets inconsistent.

As a another Michael Simon in NYC, all I can say is - you're hurting my good reputations! Perhaps it's worth noting that they've been playing in 40 degree weather - atypical and oh yeah - IT'S APRIL 13, how about waiting till mid-may to declare the entire season a loss.

While it IS way too early to pass judgment on any team this early in the season, let's cut our writer a little slack, especially since this is his first post.

Please, PB and The Other David Simon, don't tell me either of you watched any Met game this week and didn't say "here we go again"? From Murphy stranded in scoring position with the meat of the order up, to Johan turning in a masterpiece and getting a big fat nothing, to Good Ollie/Bad Ollie rearing the ugly portion of his head.

I truly believe this team is positioned to win several more games than they have in each of the past two seasons. But the deja vu David notes is real, and it's troubling.

No situational hitting, and the lack quality starts. Again 6 games into the new season, but you just can't help getting that shaky feeling. But, I am remaining optimistic as I said and see where they are in Mid-May. Lets Go Mets 2009!

You want to feel bad? Try being a Phillies fan at this moment. Brey Meyers has already given up six home runs in 13 innings of work; Jamie Moyer looked like an old man in his one start. Did I mention Cole Hamels?

Every team either has problems today or will have problems soon enough. What say we enjoy the season anyway?

I agree that it is way too early to judge any team this early in the season, but Michael Simon does bring up some valid points. Runners left on base, starters only going 5 innings, and poor middle relief in the 6th and 7th innings are just some of the same old problems that have been apparent these first few games. That having been said, they are playing in cold weather and the losses so far are far from being blow outs so if you want to be optimistic there's still plenty of baseball left but any true Met fan knows it's never too early to start worrying.

Some positives are:

1. Delgado is hitting better than the first half of last season.
2. Like I said, they haven't been blown out. Each of the losses, the Mets were within a couple of runs and failed to drive in runs.
3. Better for Johan and other starters not to overpitch them this early in the cold weather.
4. Daniel Murphy's bat has proven that he's worthy of being an everyday player although its too early to say wehether or not it'll continue that way the rest of the season. At least for now, it's working out despite the costly error last night.
5. Livan Hernandez pitched well in his first outing although I certainly don't see him lasting the whole season as the 5th starter.

The Mets lost their first opening Day at Shea as well as the closing game of Shea. Maybe by losing opening day at citified, they've maintained a certain consisitancy that so few teams aspire to: for most of they're history, they've won over most over their fans by losing. What can I say? You've got to have heart to be a Mets fan. It builds character.

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