New York Mets News

The Good Vibes of Opening Day Have Been Washed Away for the Mets

By Adam Garnett

Was it really only a week ago that there was optimism abound after a 7-1 drubbing of the Marlins on opening day at Citi Field? To me, it feels like years ago. I guess when a team is under as negative a microscope as the 2010 Metropolitans, losses in four of

six games to start the year feels like a 20-game losing streak.

Amazingly, it really has not been the starting pitching or the bullpen which has been the bugaboo for this squad to start the year. Johan Santana (once out of two starts), Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey pitched pretty well in the homestand. While Ollie Perez and John Maine had outings that weren’t memorable, they were able to each go five innings or more and left the mound with their team in the ballgame.

The bullpen looks as if it is coming together nicely. Only Jenrry Mejia, Hisanori Takahashi and Sean Green (now on the DL, hopefully forever) have given up runs thus far. Ryota Igarashi has

looked dominant, yielding just one hit in three innings of work. Fernando Nieve has been just as good, giving up just two knocks in four innings. In all the pen, has pitched 22 1/3 innings, yielding 15 hits and just 3 runs which is good for a 1.21 ERA. Those are stats of a winning baseball team.

Unfortunately, in order to make any of those scoreless frames mean a damn thing, you have to score a run here or there. The offensive number that jumps out above all others is this one: The Mets are hitting a dreadful .189 with runners in scoring position so far in 2010. Bottom line….That is just not going to cut it. In fact, check out some of the putrid numbers Mark Simon of compiled through the first six games.

The most distressful part of this equation is that this is exactly what we’ve seen from this team the past few season. Lack of clutch hits. Guys trying to hit a five-run HR. Nobody seems to take the right approach up at the dish with ducks on the pond and to me, you have to lay some blame on Jerry Manuel and his staff. Jeff Francoeur is basically the only guy doing diddly squat at the dish, hitting .476 with 2 HR and 6 RBI. Maybe it will take the thin air of Colorado for this team to break out of their offensive funk, but don’t count on it.

As far as other observations/criticisms from week one, here are a few to ponder with me (or curse ownership and management with me).

  • Angel Pagan belongs in the damn lineup everyday. Now that Jose Reyes is back and batting leadoff, put Pagan in the two hole and reap the benefits of a their speed combo. I know Gary Matthews, Jr. is a better fielder, but they guy is a liability at the plate and needs to ride the pine.
  • Mike Jacobs needs to find another job. It is six games in and I already can’t stand watching this guy whiff up a storm. The fact that he has batted cleanup in two of the six games played is an absolute joke. On that note….
  • Ike Davis (please torture yourself and click on this link) is tearing up Triple-A in the first five games. He’s tallied 5 extra-base hits already (2 HR, 3 doubles) and is hitting at a .375 clip. I have already physically heard Mets fans at Citi Field shouting his name. Is anyone in the Mets brass listening. Doubt it

So it’s off to Colorado and St. Louis where the Mets will take on two playoff teams, and really at this point try to avoid having things become downright embarrassing. A 2-4 or dare I say 1-5 road trip (not unlikely considering they will be facing the likes of Jorge De La Rosa, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright) and it may not be too far down the line until heads begin to roll.