The Coors Effect

September 1, 2009 10:56 PM

Rockies welcome "Mets" to Coors

Carlos Delgado.  Carlos Beltran.  Jose Reyes.  Gary Sheffield.  Johan Santana.

Those five players, plus David Wright and Francisco Rodriguez, were the core of a Mets team that was supposed to challenge the Phillies for supremacy in the NL East this season.  But it hasn't happened that way, and a big reason why -- well, it's the reason the Rockies likely won't be seeing any of those players when the Mets come to town for a three-game series starting tonight.

Sheffield is still on the active roster, but he's had back spasms lately and probably will be limited to pinch-hit duty.  The others are long gone.  Santana is undergoing surgery today and will miss the rest of the season.  Delgado and Reyes haven't played a game since May; Beltran hasn't played since June.

And the injury parade doesn't stop there.  Oliver Perez is out for the season as well; John Maine hasn't pitched since June.  Livan Hernandez was cut a couple of weeks ago, so four fifths of the Opening Day rotation is gone.  Setup man J.J. Putz is done for the season, too.    Even worse, young pitchers Jonathan Niese and Fernando Nieve are hurt, too, meaning that the Mets can't even use the opportunity to get some young guys experience and are instead resorting to throwing retreads like Tim Redding out there every fifth day.

The situation is no better on the offensive side.  Get this -- the Mets have given seven starts to Cory Sullivan over the last two weeks.  Not only have they given him seven starts, they've batted him fifth on five different occasions.  Yes, fifth.  Clint Hurdle never even considered batting Cory Sullivan fifth, unless that consideration was part of his "Ways to Get Myself Fired" hat, in which Clint placed a whole bunch of awful, completely off-the-wall ideas that would convince Dan O'Dowd to seriously question his fitness to perform his job.

But that just sums up the Mets' season: over the past couple of weeks, the Mets have had three hitters worse than Cory Sullivan in their lineup on a regular basis.

Okay, so the Mets aren't quite a AAA team right now.  David Wright is set to return for this series, which means that there's at least one hitter in the Mets lineup who commands respect, while Mike Pelfrey has been a decent number four (the trouble, of course, is that right now he's the Mets' de facto staff ace.)  Of course, this is precisely why I'm worried about this series.  I've looked at teams on the Rockies' schedule before and penciled in a sweep, only to watch the Rockies drop two of three for no apparent reason.  Yes, it's hard to work myself into worrying about a team that has Elmer Dessens in the bullpen and Cory Sullivan batting in the middle of the order, and I'm not really sure the Mets could take two of three from the Sky Sox right now (the Sky Sox being a team that deemed Sullivan not good enough to play for them this year, by the way)... but I've gotten myself into trouble with this sort of hubris before.  We'll see what happens.

The pitching matchups (Pelfrey vs. *crossing fingers* Good Jorge tonight, Redding vs. Jimenez on Wednesday, Patrick Misch vs. Marquis on Thursday) certainly favor the Rockies, and the Rockies sport an offense on which seven players have topped the Mets' home run leader on the season.  Still, though... after last week I'm starting to have my doubts.

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