Tuesday, August 19, 2008

For Starters...

On Friday night, Mike Pelfrey threw seven shutout innings.

On Saturday night, Pedro Martinez pitched seven innings and allowed 1 run.

On Sunday afternoon, Johan Santana threw a masterful Complete Game Shutout, the first such effort by a Mets pitcher this season.

On Monday afternoon, John Maine threw five shutout innings.

The Mets won 3 of these 4 games against the lowly Pirates, however had things broken one way or another, the Mets could have very easily lost 3 of 4. This is because of a bullpen that's been justifiably maligned, and how it has managed to keep the opponent, no matter how paltry, in the game.

But let's not concern ourselves too much with the problems this team has. We'd be here all day. Right now, it's the starters who have been carrying the load for the Mets. During last month's 10-game winning streak, and again during the 6-game streak on this past road trip, it was the starting pitchers that set the tone. The offense helped by scoring early, but only in one instance did they follow up the early with often, and generally, it was 1 or 2 runs that a pitcher was working with on any given day to get through the rest of the game. And they all responded.

This was accomplished against the dregs, Washington and Pittsburgh. The quality of competition increases somewhat this week with Atlanta and Houston, the latter of which swept the Mets barely 3 weeks ago, and the former who swept the Mets 3 months ago. My, how things have changed since then. Both teams are sagging, their seasons about given up. But it's up to the starters, beginning with Oliver Perez tonight, to continue the trend. There's a week of this before the road trip from Hell next week, to Philadelphia, Florida and Milwaukee.

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