Tuesday, June 5, 2007

At the Precipice of an Enormous Crossroads

*** ATTENTION: Here be Sopranos spoilers ***

We've passed the one-third mark of the season and the Mets, at 35-21, are top dogs in the NL. While the rest of their division looks marginally more competent than last season, it's safe to say that Jimmy Rollins has reconsidered his preseason proclamations. In the meantime, David Wright and Carlos Delgado have shaken off long slumps, Shawn Green and Moises Alou are at least a week or so off, but Jose Valentin is rehabbing, and Carlos Beltran returned to the lineup tonight. That's what a deep bench will do for you, even one that includes David Newhan. As Tony Soprano used to say back in the DiMeo crime family's happier times, business is good.

So good, in fact, that we even get treated to some happy Pedro news today:
Sidelined Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez threw off a pitching mound Tuesday for the first time since he underwent rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder.

"I was trying to make sure I didn't rush, that I didn't go too hard -- especially on the first 15 throws. But, everything else after that felt like I was right at home," Martinez said.

Martinez threw over 30 pitches off a mound in 90-degree heat at the Mets' training camp facility, in a session that lasted a total of 12 minutes.
Not to rain on the Pedro parade, but Ron Darling made an interesting point in tonight's broadcast: when recovering from an injury you can feel amazing after one session, then be in excruciating pain after the next. You don't know if you're just stressing your scar tissue, or if you've reinjured yourself, so you worry. Pedro has been making bold predictions about coming back and throwing mid-90s. It's tempting to believe every word of this, so I just want to sound a cautionary note. Just a few episodes ago, Tony was shrugging, hey, business is good. Tonight Bobby Baccalieri is dead and Silvio Dante lies unconscious in a hospital, prognosis dire.

The Phils prevailed in extra innings, 4-2. Tom Glavine keeps waiting for that 300th win. Besides the singular pleasure of watching Pat Burrell make one of the dumber baserunning moves I've ever seen (though not the dumbest: I'm looking at you, Timo), there wasn't much to get excited about tonight. A flaccid offense: 0-4 for Delgado, 0-5 for Beltran in his return, 11 runners left on base for the team. Feliciano taking the loss without recording an out.

The Phillies. Those mortadells are number three? This is a home series we need to win. You know I'm serious when I invoke the third person plural. I use it rarely. And make incessant Sopranos references (less rare). The Mets have fattened up on teams outside the division (18-8 outside the NL East). It's time to take the fight back to the division, before interleague effs with everyone's shit.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the spoilers.

El Guapo said...

Well, sorry about that, but not that sorry. I mean, it's Wednesday already and, Tivo or no Tivo, this is appointment viewing we're talking about.

El Guapo said...

I've added a spoiler alert. Sorry again, Anon.

G-Fafif said...

The Phillies. Those mortadells are number three?

Lousy game. Awesome episode. GREAT line!

Mets2Moon said...

What gets me is that people still seem to be stuck in this minutae that the Mets need more pitching. While it's true that you can never have too much pitching, with the way the Mets are now, a couple of better pitchers could be the difference between losing 3-1 and losing 2-1. The team is really suffering because of too many injured starters, and too much inconsistency from key bats. Yes, Beltran missed 3 games, but Delgado and Wright seem to be going hot and cold, and the reserves pressed into starting duty: Easley, Endy, and to a lesser degree, Gomez, are obviously slumping, tired and in need of their own time off. And Franco and Newhan never were hot to begin with.

The reality: Whether Pedro's belief in himself is true or not, you know what you can expect of him when healthy. He will, at worst, continue to be a master of deception and get the job done when he needs to. And stick him into the mix with Glavine, who has pitched well in bad luck, El Duque, who has been great, Maine and Perez, and if and when you get to the postseason, who is the odd man out? Someone good would have to sit.

The Mets don't need another starting pitcher, unless Omar can pull a rabbit out of his hat and bring in a Halladay/Oswalt type, which is farfetched. A more reliable bat would be the answer in this situation. I only invoke the trading deadline of 2004 to remind you that rash stupidity can often be the downfall of a team.

El Guapo said...

g-fafif: I'm still reeling from that episode. It felt like it went by in like 15 minutes.

m2m: I haven't seen anyone suggest recently that the Mets go after another starter. Then again I don't follow the NY tabloids or WFAN so maybe I'm missing it.