The Mets are off to an “Amazin” start to their season. Sure, it is still relatively early in the season but the Mets have surpassed everyone’s expectations from the get-go. The Mets have won the opening game in all 4 of their series so far this year. The best part about those wins is that they all came against divisional opponents. Tonight, the Mets look to beat the Atlanta Braves for a sixth straight time, which would be their longest such streak since 1989. I wanted to write about the Mets after their 4-1 record with all 5 starting pitchers posting impressive numbers but I figured I would let them all get a second start under their belts before I got ahead of myself. Well it’s been 5 more starts so here I go…
With a 7-3 record, only half a game behind the surprising Nationals for first place, the Mets have impressed a lot of people with their remarkable pitching. The Mets biggest question mark entering this season was the health of Johan Santana, and so far there is nothing but good news. 2 starts in and Johan is holding onto a .90 ERA with 13 strikeouts in only 11 innings pitched. The Mets coach Terry Collins was cautious in Santana’s first start and pulled him after only 84 pitches and in his following start allowed him to throw 99. It seems as if Collins has completely removed Johan’s leash and will allow him to pitch until Santana looks like he can’t go any farther.
The other 4 starting pitchers the Mets have were also considered part of a terrible rotation at the start of the season and they have made a lot of critics eat their words in the early going…including myself. I always had faith in the ageless R.A. Dickey, who has been nothing short of spectacular since joining the Mets, but when the Mets signed the shaky and erratic Jonathon Niese to a 5 year contract extension the first thought in my head was that this was going to be another Oliver Perez fiasco. When I attended Niese’s first start of the season against the rival Braves and watched him smoothly pitch 6 innings of no-hit baseball, all my worries seemed to disappear about him. 4th in the Mets rotation was sadly last years ace, Mike Pelfrey.
There is not one Mets fan* in the world that does not consider Pelfrey to be a bust at this point in his young career. In Mike’s first two starts he has given up a little too many hits but he has managed to work his way out of a lot of jams, which is something he failed to do on a consistent basis all last season. I am extremely happy that he has an almost 9 K/per 9 innings pitched ratio to start. Finally, the Mets fifth starter and fan favorite Dillon Gee has a lot to live up to after one of the best rookie seasons a Mets pitcher has ever seen. He had 13 wins with over 160 innings pitched last year which for a rookie is great. The problem was that towards the end of the season Gee’s fire seemed to fizzle out. He came out of the gates this season hot with his most recent start being an impressive victory over the Braves.
All in all I am very satisfied with how my Mets have started this year. The question is will they keep this up or will they become the disappointment we all thought they would be this year. I am praying for success. Tell us how you feel the Mets will finish this season.
*Mets fan – a person who follows the Mets and agrees with me.