Friday, July 4, 2008


I know, I did this last year. But it's too easy to make that joke and it's always pretty funny. Particularly after the results of last night.

For the Mets, it remains status quo. A little good, a little bad, one day they hit, next day they don't, they pitch, don't pitch, up, down, left, right. I think it's at the point where I'm beyond getting too worked up about it. At least, until the next time Heilman or Wagner or whoever blows a late lead, or the Mets lose a game 3-1, getting 4 hits and looking lifeless.

Last night, they managed to put a little bit of both together, with Pelfrey pitching 7 strong innings, and continuing his recent string of solid to very good outings, further solidifying his place in the rotation. It's nice, for once, to see a prospect such as Pelfrey mature on the job. All too often, we've been told of great prospects and talented young stars in the making who either were traded away or never really panned out like we hoped. Pelfrey, however, has stayed, and stuck it out, and persevered even after a host of well-deserved criticism, and now it appears that he's finally starting to put it together. It's similar, if only in pattern, to Edgardo Alfonzo, who spent two seasons backing up and filling in, shifting positions and playing sporadically before landing the starting Third Base job in 1997 and responding by hitting .315 with 72 RBI. But more than that, Alfonzo was our guy. He was a homegrown player who appreciated his journey and his role in the organization. I'd like to think that, should Pelfrey continue to peform well, he will become a similar figure for the Mets over time. For now, though, let's just let him continue to do his thing, and if he chips in with some clutch hits in the process, that's great, too.

Meanwhile, the Mets ride into Philadelphia tonight and will feature another pitcher who needs to do his thing a little better than he's been doing it of late.

Johan Santana hasn't pitched particularly badly over his last few starts, and his run support hasn't been great, but he's generally been undone by one bad pitch or one bad inning, and it's spelled his doom. We've been waiting for that bigtime Santana performance, and we've seen flashes of that at certain times, but with the Mets in Philadelphia, playing the team that they trail for first by 4.5 games, desperate for some consistency, now would be the time for Santana to step it up. Earlier this season, Santana took the ball in Philadelphia against Cole Hamels and threw a brilliant game and got the victory, the kind of game that made you remember why we got him in the first place.

It's time for him to do that again.

Tonight, Santana takes the ball against J.A. Happ, he of an emergency start due to the struggles of Brett Myers, and he of one Major League game's experience, that coming last season against the Mets, and that which saw him get knocked around for 5 runs in 4 innings, and allow 3 HRs, one to Wright, one to LoDuca and one to Beltran. A repeat of that performance would be nice.

This is the way the Mets are. They could very easily get swept by Philly this weekend, and it wouldn't really surprise me. They could also just as easily win 3 of 4, and that wouldn't surprise me. There could be a massive fistfight between the two teams' warring factions, and that wouldn't surprise me (in fact, I'd say this is the one thing you could most likely count on). Philly is similar, but they run hot and cold in longer streaks. Is this how the entire season will play out?

Probably so.

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