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.