The Mets offense was shut down for the third time this week, this time it wasn’t against a Cy Young award winner, but Doug Davis. We can lose Jose Valentin for a while, no big deal. Moises Alou goes down? Well we expected that, and we’ve got a bunch of outfield prospects we want to play with, and it’s always nice to get Endy Chavez some regular time. Shawn Green’s going on the DL? Well maybe one of these prospects actually gets hot for a while, or David Newhan prospers with some regular starts like Jose Valentin did last year. Carlos Beltran bruised his knee? Well now it’s starting to look a little darker. Our offense was very depleted this weekend, but we never made it easy. Oliver Perez and John Maine both pitched well to start, but ultimately fell off the pace before the opposing pitcher did. The Mets failed to work counts to try to get into the bullpen to find somebody hittable, and they weren’t able to capitalize on most of the few situations that presented themselves. Still, 35-20 is a great record.
The weekend can basically be summed up by the 8th inning on Sunday. The Mets had four regulars playing; Reyes walked, Wright singles, and Lo Duca walked. This shows how the Mets regular offense can manage to get on base, while the rest of the fill-ins couldn’t get them home.
Now lets get to the optimism. The Mets pitched very well. John Maine and Oliver Perez kept them in games, which is what we’ve wanted out of them. Maine’s been showing that ability all season, while Perez has a couple of meltdowns that were problematic. Him being able to stay in the game, even after some struggles is important And then there is Jorge Sosa. What a great year he’s having after not making the team. He had one poor start, which is probably the only thing that’ll keep him from winning pitcher of the month for May. The real question, while way too premature, is what happens when Pedro returns? I know the Mets signed Aaron Sele to a minor league contract, but I have no idea if that means he’s able to be optioned down to New Orleans if they wanted to switch Sosa into that role when Pedro returned. Fortunately, it’s a good problem to have, and it’s Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph’s problem to deal with. Another consideration is to shop Sosa around, but I don’t know that the Mets have any glaring holes that are desperate for filling. Getting some minor league depth in pitching or second base is always nice, but it’s not a priority or urgency in any way.
Beltran will be back Tuesday, hopefully Alou will be too. Valentin will also be back before long. It seems clear that Carlos Gomez is going down, and at least Newhan or Ben Johnson. It would also appear that Ruben Gotay will go down when Valentin returns, as you can only have so many back-up infielder bench guys, and we all know that Franco’s not going anywhere. Once the lineup starts coming back together, I expect the Mets to put together a real win streak, where they go out and dominate the competition.
I probably won’t be at Shea for the Philly series, despite being at over a third of the Met home games this season, which means my 13th Met game probably won’t be until June 23rd as part of my Saturday pack. Going three weeks without being at a game almost feels weird with the rate I’ve been in attendance over the past two years.