It seemed like everything went right for the Mets last season. Guys (Pedro not included) were healthy. Balls took fortuitous bounces. The sun was always shining in Queens.
The 2007 season hasn’t even started yet and already it looks like the Mets don’t figure to be quite as lucky. And if you’re a Mets fan, it’s the pitching that worries you the most.
First Pedro Martinez had surgery that could keep him out all season long. Then New York failed to sign Barry Zito. Then they let Steve Trachsel walk. Then El Duque got arthritis in his neck. And now Oliver Perez is coming apart at the seams.
Yesterday, the talented but inconsistent Perez let a slider get away from him and hit a Sports Illustrated cameraman in the calf. From the New York Daily News:
“When he threw it I was like, ‘Oh, no,’ because I knew there were a bunch of camera guys back there,” catcher Paul LoDuca said. “That smoked that guy right on the freaking calf.”
Perez, not known for his pinpoint control in recent years, managed a grin. When the game started, the southpaw found the plate – too much of it, in fact, according to LoDuca.
In two innings, Perez surrendered four runs on five hits, including a homer by Ryan Raburn on a first-pitch changeup, in the Tigers’ 5-4 victory at Tradition Field.
The Mets are no doubt figuring that all they need is average pitching to make the postseason and that their awesome offense will do the rest. But it’s looking like the Mets pitching might fall well short of average.
It’s possible that the Mets starters will get their acts together. This may all be much ado about nothing. Then again, this could be the year the Mets go from first to worst.
When the Mets announced they wouldn’t be bringing back Steve Trachsel, I didn’t bat an eyelash. Trachsel is the definition of average. On the other hand, he was consistently average. And that probably sounds pretty good to the Mets right about now, as the watch Pedro go through rehab, El Duque get his cortizone shots, and Perez take out the press corps.