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Inside Mr. Met's Head


May 3, 2010 2:41 PM

Back to Reality

attachment.pngThis was a really tough weekend. I know it's really stupid to scoreboard watch so early in the season (magic number: 138?) but it was nice to be back in first place even if it only lasted a couple days and it's only the beginning of the second month. The 9-1 run at home was encouraging and the Mets may be a team that sticks around for a while, but Philadelphia still has New York's number.

There is no denying that the Phillies simply outplayed the Mets. After game one against Kyle Kendrick you sort of had the feeling that perhaps the Mets could get something going and continue their hot streak. It wasn't meant to be as Philly capitalized on Pelfrey's and Santana's mistakes and exploited their weaknesses. Pelfrey's astronomical LOB% rate finally came to hurt him. It wasn't hard to see that it was only a matter of time before Pelfrey would regress but of course it had to happen in the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park. Wouldn't you believe it, it's just our luck?

Santana's issues, on the other hand, are a little more worrisome. His K/9 is basically the same as last year's, his number of walks slightly inflated. His BABIP is right where it should be. So what the hell is his deal? For starters, his HR/FB rate is the highest it's been since 2007. He's not getting as many grounders as he used to get. His velocity on his fastball is down over a mile per hour. His change up appears to still be solid and is on par with his career averages. 

One thing that worries me is the movement on his fastball. According to PitchFX, the horizontal movement on his fastball is the lowest it's been in his career. This means that his fastball simply doesn't move as much as it used to. This could be a result of his off season elbow surgery -- is it possible that he hasn't fully recovered from it? I think that's unlikely considering that before his start against Philly he was having a good -- albeit a somewhat wild -- season.

Panic time? Probably not. Nine times out of ten Santana gets out of that inning and I'm writing about how great it is to take two out of three from Philly. He's the ace of the staff but sometimes these things happen. I think that it's kind of funny that all the Mets fans that were fitting themselves for World Series rings a week ago are now dooming and glooming everywhere. It's a three game series against arguably the best team in the National League. These things happen.

Tangentially related but the reactionary obsession over every single game by the media and Mets fans is frustrating as heck. It's a 162 game season and all ready people are freaking out about the playoffs. The Daily News today had an article about a potential Javier Vazquez to the Mets trade. Not only is that never going to happen but I can't even express how absolutely idiotic it would be for the Yankees to give up on one of the better pitchers in baseball  after one month of poor performances.

Yes, the Mets went 9-1. They're just as likely to go 1-9 this week. This happens.  It's baseball. Sometimes teams get hot and everything clicks. Other times they look like they're lost. Micromanaging everything and flipping out or getting overly enthralled because of a winning or losing streak is really dumb. As we're well aware of, in one month you can go from potential World Series champions to completely out of the playoffs.

So don't panic. Don't think the season is over because of one bad start. Untie that noose and enjoy the games. These things happen. Such is the nature of the beast of baseball.

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