The bullpen does not look like it has improved. Bringing in Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch has not solidified the back of the rotation as only Rauch is off to a decent start. We do not have to go far back to remember the second half of last season where the Mets blew several leads in the 8th and 9th inning, costing them wins that could have changed the outlook of the season. If thats not enough, lets recall August and September of 2008, where the bullpen single handedly cost them the season. Francisco has pitched poorly since saving the first three games of the season and the rest of the pen has pitched from inconsistent to downright terrible. After dedicating their offseason to improving their bullpen, there is no excuse for this type of pitching.
The team's starting rotation was expected to be better than we think. The injury to Mike Pelfrey is unfortunate and once again the team is suffering the effects of having no depth by running out minor leaguer Chris Schwinden. The rest of the starters will stay in place, barring injury, but all four starters Johan Santana, RA Dickey, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee know that the team will not outslug the opposition. We have already seen a couple of Santana starts wasted because a lack of offense, despite being among the top of the NL in a lot of catagories. It is once again becoming safe to say that if a starting pitcher has a typical 4-5 run blow-up inning, even if that is all they give up, there is a very good chance the Mets will lose that game.
The Mets have hit very well with two outs, a characteristic they had for a good part of last season. They work the count better than almost anybody in baseball and have baserunners on in just about every inning. Outside of the four run inning yesterday, the Mets did not score in any other inning. This has been a problem for a couple years now. Hopefully it is not becoming a habit again. How many times have we seen the Mets score in just one inning of a baseball game? To me, its just as bad as being shutout. The production of one inning, especially if it is only a run or two, will not be enough to win most games.
In conclusion, this is my way to vent some frustration at a time where there is every reason to be concerned. While this is no time to give up as a fan, there are the disturbing similarities between this team and team's of Mets past. Very few expect a serious Wild Card race ahead for this team, but all Mets fans would be disappointed if the team became a second division club this early in the season. Heres to hoping the team plays some more consistent better baseball and not the same song and dance from the past couple of years.