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A Question of Trust

Mike SteffanosTuesday, May 12, 2009
By Mike Steffanos

As I was watching last night's game against the Braves slip away from the Mets, I can't say I was all that surprised. Despite the 7-game winning streak I never had the feeling that the team had put it all together.

I should clarify, though, and say that I wasn't necessarily expecting them to perform badly, as I often found myself doing earlier in the season. I thought they had turned the corner partway, but I think this club is capable of playing very good and very bad baseball. Moreover, either seems possible on any given day.

The 2006 Mets, starting to become a distant memory, was the last incantation of this club that I trusted to play sound baseball more often than not. They earned my trust by being both resilient and dependable over a period of time.

I guess last year's club was resilient, too, given all that they had to overcome from their bullpen, but that bullpen was the very reason that you couldn't trust them. It was never truer that a game was never over until the last out. Indeed it sometimes felt that the game wasn't over until my heartbeat went back to normal, which often didn't happen until halfway through the postgame show. Some of those wins were almost as tough as the losses.

The bullpen certainly is much less of a problem this year, but I don't have any solid read on this club yet. Even during the winning streak sloppy play injected itself at times, and I still feel that if the Mets are down even a run or two late they are very likely to lose the game.

Jerry Manuel has done some good things as a manager, but the longer I watch him the less impressed I am with his in-game management skills. He did a good job resurrecting this team last season, but I wonder if essentially any manager that wasn't Willie Randolph wouldn't have accomplished the same thing.

I think that, despite the nice week they just enjoyed, this Mets team is still at something of a crossroads. This season could still go either way. I guess that's why I have no clue what to expect tonight.

I'd like to have that feeling of trust in this team where I have confidence that they will put yesterday's bad game behind them and play a solid game tonight, but I really don't have any strong feeling what to expect from them tonight. They still seem to me a team that is equally capable of coming out strong or looking sloppy and lethargic. At least for this Mets fan the trust is not there yet.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

Comments (2)

Well Mike, you hit it on the head, last night they did come out lethargic, but managed to come away with a win, inspite of poor base running, not coming out strong, or timely hitting. They got a gift call at third on the Beltran steal, but how many times would that type of call go against the Mets (quit whinning Larry!). It's a about mid-May, and as I said I believe this would be the time when we could sort of gauge this group. Still some bugs and kinks to work through, but I am liking what I see out of the rotation after a slow start. The guys seem to be gaining confidence, and for some reason I feel they are now believing that they can comeback in ball games they previously would fall behind and put a W in the box. Beltran is raking, Wright (still pressing a bit) & Reyes (not consistent, but showing signs)are hitting together in the same games. Delgado's hip is going to take away from some of the cohesiveness we have seen during the streak, but maybe J-Man gets Church some more atbats. Can't get out of a slump on the bench. Go Mets 2009!

Mike, the difference between this year and last is that the club seems more comfortable with a late lead as opposed to the others. it's taking a lot of pressure off the team as a whole. i do feel that the sheffield acquisition is going to be key. it already has somewhat paid off last night with Delgado out. we should have a better reading on him soon. if the pen holds up, we should be in good shape. i,myself, didn't want ollie back so other than eating his salary i don't care if he ever comes back. just look how the team was when he was pitching? he can be a negative influence for the team knowing that they can't score enough for him every time he's out there. now if we could only score for Santana who gets about as much run support as Seaver did...........

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