BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Just the Mets luck!
The team gets out to a blazing hot 4-0 start behind great pitching and production from all-star third baseman David Wright, and then he goes and breaks his finger sliding back into first base. Since Wright’s injury the Mets offensive production has been absolutely anemic and they’ve dropped to 4-2.
The Mets looked impressive enough in sweeping the Braves and taking the first game of three against the Washington Nationals that fans allowed themselves to start dreaming great things. After all, if a team gets off to a really good start, that is generally an indicator of good things to come, although not always.
The big positives so far in the season for the Mets are the excellent offensive production of shortstop Ruben Tejada, David Wright before his injury, catcher Josh Thole and second baseman Daniel Murphy. Outfielder Lucas Duda also got off to a good start, with a two home-run game, before slumping.
And just as huge is the two excellent efforts put in by ace of the rotation Johan Santana, giving up only one run in 10 innings so far. Pitcher Jon Niese got a win, taking a no-no into the seventh inning but failing to be the first Mets to get the elusive no-hitter.
The bullpen was good during the four game win streak and has been shoddy during the two losses. Mainly the offense has done nothing without Wright to be focus point.
Bad news for the Mets is Wright’s injury, which hopefully will not be long-term, as well as that of centerfielder Andres Torres, although his replacement Kirk Nieuwenhuis has had some big games since getting the call-up from AAA. And of course Jason Bay continues to look like a ghost. It seems his talent fled his body when he signed the four year contract with New York prior to the 2010 season.
First basemen Ike Davis has yet to produce, and if Wright is going to be out for any period of time, it’s Davis who will need to pick up the slack.
The bullpen isn’t going to be perfect the whole season so their performance in games five and six are not cause for concern. The main concern is the dearth of offense in Wright’s absence.
What does Bobby O say?
The Rockland County Times bumped into 1986 Mets champ and TV analyst Bobby Ojeda during a recent trip to Port St. Lucie. Bobby O said it’s perfectly plausible that the Mets could have a great season this year. It’s baseball after all and you never know.
Ojeda said he expects good things from pitcher Jon Niese who happened to be born on the very day the Mets won the World Series in 1986. This was before the Mets signed Niese to his recent five-year contract. Ojeda had said he expected the team to hold on to him for a long time. He also said Niese is a “great kid.”
Ojeda was concerned over starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey’s spring performance. Specifically he didn’t like that “Pelf” was not throwing his sinker in the dirt, something that a pitcher ought to do in warm-ups and Spring Training.
The 1986 world champ also criticized today’s media for taking Spring Training too seriously. He said back in the day it used to be all about warming up for the season. Now he sees guys stressing when pressed for explanations by the media for their performance. Even Bobby O must agree that Jason Bay’s Spring Training performance was beyond dreadful.
Bay had no RBIs in almost 100 plate appearances, something which is virtually impossible to do in baseball, even for a #8 hitter, let alone someone in the middle of the lineup.