Sep 19, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Is Perception Actually Reality?

Barring a revelation in the physical, Shaun Marcum will replace R.A. Dickey in the Mets rotation. He most likely will not, if healthy, replace number by number what we got from our Knuckler in 2012, but he has a chance to be a solid back-of-the-rotation pitcher for the 2013 New York Metsies. With the rotation all but sorted out, we can now better assess its potential. Even before the signing, the starting pitching core has gotten me pumped up, and it is certainly what I am most excited for regarding the upcoming 2013 season. While the entire NL East worries about what the Braves just did, the last thing on our rivals’ minds is the make-up of the Mets rotation.

Yes, clearly most of the other clubs in the Eastern Divsion of the National League have, overall, better talent and more of it than our Orange and Blue baseball club.

The Nationals starting rotation could dominate. We know what their offense can do, and they’ve made solid moves to solidify their chances of contending for a World Series.

The Braves lineup has potential to be one of the scariest things we have ever seen.

The Phillies, silently, have rounded themselves out, adding some depth to the veteran club that powered through a lackluster season to finish over .500 and in 3rd place.

And, let’s all face it, the Marlins will probably be scrappy at some point and get on all 4 of our nerves. They’ve also got one of the greatest shows in the history of this Earth.

So, say the Mets will not compete because of youth and overall talent level, but saying they won’t win because of the starting pitching is, I believe, ignorant.

I’m sure many in the National League Ranking, fan base or otherwise, have done their homework and know about the Mets rotation.

At least one NL East team fan, however, might not have even heard of Jonathon Niese, who has done pretty well against his Philadelphia Phillies.

In an article regarding whether the Mets will sign Michael Bourn, Fansided’s own John Stolnis had this to say on the Phillies Blog, “That Ball’s Outta Here”, which I believe was an ill-advised comment:

Johan Santana is the only starting pitcher that gives anyone a second of hesitation.

–Are The Mets Going to Sign Michael Bourn? Only If Our Luck Doesn’t Change

This is only one fan from a rival team. My assumption is, though, where there is one in several million, there are more. Many Met fans believe their team will only win between 70-75 games. Most Met fans believe their undoing will be the outfield and the bullpen. Most of the Met fans I talk to, however, are pretty pumped to see our rotation go to work.

Apparently, our rotation is going to creep silently through the glassy null and snipe any NL East prey who doubt them.

Let’s start with Johan. He actually might be the one who you hesitate the least against (but that’s when they get you, so maybe you should hesitate more than a second with everybody, heh?)

If I were others in the NL East, I would hesitate more than a second when going over Matt Harvey‘s fairly dominant ten 2012 starts. I believe in Harvey enough to think if he does regress a bit, it will only be to, worse, a mid-3 ERA.

I generally see Jon Niese either shut the Phillies down, or give up only 1-2 runs against them. And that was before his relatively breakout 2012 campaign.

Shaun Marcum is probably our 4th-best pitcher now, and hopefully he stays healthy.

And, as we saw from last year, Dillon Gee is the glue that holds a rotation together.

Any one of those guys go down, and/or he’s ready, Zack Wheeler enters The Show, and hopefully shows as much bravado, confidence and stuff as Matt Harvey did when first called up.

Then you got randoms like Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and the versatile Jeremy Hefner.

So, if I were other teams, I would pay attention to EVERYBODY behind the Johan.

The only reason it seems they would hesitate less is because the other teams’ fans don’t know half these guys.

Clearly, every Met opponent will do their due diligence to study every aspect of how to beat the Orange and Blue. If every team just sat around believing they were gonna win the World Series, then every team would be the 2007 Mets.

In terms of expectations, maybe us Met fans need to buy into this whole “Coming Out of Nowhere” idea since that’s when we win most of the time. 1969–out of nowhere (though finely tuned by Gil over 2 years.) You lean over to most with 2 strikes on The Kid down 2, and see who they say is gonna win the World Series (though they probably would ignore you and just keep watching the ballgame.)

Regardless, a message to the other cities comprising the National League East:

If the Mets are going to suck, its gonna be because the rest of the team blew it for the starting 5.

KNOW THAT.

Thanks for reading! You can read Sam Maxwell’s personal Mets Blog here.

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Tags: 2013 New York Mets Dillon Gee Johan Santana Jon Niese Justin Upton Matt Harvey Michael Bourn Zack Wheeler

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