Well folks, the first half of the season is pretty much in the books, and to many’s surprise (including my own), even with all the injuries, the Mets are somehow at the .500 mark and have a legitimate shot of being in the wild card picture come August and September. (Find me somebody who would have though that with Ike Davis, David Wright, Johan Santana, Jason Bay and Angel Pagan all spending time on the disabled list this season?)
I used to compile lists of awards in my room when I was younger, but now that I have a public forum to write them on, here are my New York Mets first half awards and such.
MVP: Jose Reyes – .341, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 113 H, 14 triples
Duh. Just to give you an idea how valuable Reyes has been to the Mets this season, his batting aveage leads all qualifying Mets by 45 points. His 113 hits are 37 more than his closest competition, Carlos Beltran. He has 14 triples which actually equals more home runs than any single player has on the team this season. His .514 slugging percentage trails only Ike Davis. His 28 stolen bases lead the team by 17. He has scored 61 runs, which leads the National League. He also has 58 more plate appearances than anybody else on the team. Reyes isn’t just the team MVP; right now he is National League MVP.
Honorable Mention: Carlos Beltran – .278, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 21 doubles
Cy Young: Jonathon Niese – 7-6, 3.67 ERA, 79 K’s, 1.35 WHIP
This was a tough one between Niese and Dillon Gee, but regardless of win-loss record, Niese has been the more consistent pitcher in the last two months. Niese has allowed two earned runs or less in seven of his past eight starts. More importantly, Niese has gotten better in every month since April. In April, his K/9 rate was 5.94, in May it was 7.71 and in June it’s 8.33. Also, his BB/9 rate has gone down from 3.26 in May to 2.01 in June. He has been the ace of a staff that was desperately looking for one.
Honorable Mention: Dillon Gee – 8-1, 3.32 ERA, 51 K’s, 1.18 WHIP
Biggest Surprise: Dillon Gee – 8-1, 3.32 ERA, 51 K’s, 1.18 WHIP
We all knew going into the season that the pitching staff was going to be an area of concern. Santana was out, Mike Pelfrey was the ace (which is something I still have nightmares about) and we really had no idea what we were going out to get out of Chris Young and Chris Capuano. Once Chris Young went down with the season ending injury, who was going to replace him was anybody’s guess. I don’t think in anybody’s wildest dreams they had Dillon Gee coming in and not only replacing him, but going 8-1 in the process. He still needs to work on his command a bit (30 walks in 76 innings), but he has gone at least 6 innings in six of his previous eight starts, and has been a godsend to a pitching staff ravaged by injuries.
Honorable Mentions: Justin Turner, Carlos Beltran, Daniel Murphy, Pedro Beato
Biggest Disappointment: Mike Pelfrey – 4-6, 4.78 ERA, 53 K’s, 1.31 WHIP
It’s not that Pelfrey is having a horrible season (and trust me, I seriously considered Jason Bay for this spot), it’s the inconsistency that was plagued Pelf since he got to the majors that is starting to take a toll on me. Examples are all over the place. Look at his last two starts. On June 18th, he pitches a complete game against the Angels, giving up only five hits and one run. On the 24th, he comes back and gives up eight hits and four runs in six innings against the Rangers. This was supposed to be Pelfrey’s year. No longer behind Santana, Pelfrey has had every opportunity to become the ace of this staff and has failed every time. His home-away splits are staggering. At home, Pelfrey is 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA. Away from home, Pelfrey 1-6 with a 6.65 ERA. What’s his problem this year? Might be the long ball. Pelfrey has allowed at least one home run in 12 of 16 starts this year. He has already given up 14 home runs this season, whereas he gave up only 12 in all of 2010, 18 in 2009 and 12 in 2008. I’m starting to lose my patience with Pelfrey, and if he can’t get it straightened out by the end of the season, it’s time to move on from this experiment.
(Dis)Honorable Mentions: Jason Bay, The entire Mets training staff, David Wright, Fred Wilpon
Guy I’m most excited to come off the DL: Ike Davis – .302, 7 HR, 25 RBI
Okay, I am fully aware that Ike very well might not come off the disabled list until next season, but until I hear that definitively, I’m going to hold out hope. The reason why? I can’t remember a hitter since Mike Piazza that truly got me excited every time he came to bat until Ike. He is a true power hitter, and a threat that I don’t even think Citi Field can tame. Mark my words, he will be a superstar in this league for a long time as long as the injuries don’t mount up.
Honorable Mention: Johan Santana
Let’s all raise a glass to: Terry Collins
You just have to be impressed with what Collins has been able to do with this team. A completely makeshift pitching staff, playing primarily backups and journeymen, Collins still holds a .500 team that is completely overachieving. When your second best hitter is Daniel Murphy and your best pitcher is Jon Niese, you wouldn’t assume that is team that is still in contention for a playoff spot. With constant trade talk surrounding this team, Collins has been the motivator. He has kept his team focused on playing, not on the outside world, not on Fred Wilpon or the media.
Honorable Mention: The Loyal Fans
Here’s hoping the second half will treat the Mets even better than the first. Fingers crossed that Ike Davis, David Wright and Johan Santana will all be back sometime this season and even more fingers (and toes) crossed that no more big injuries will plague this team.