2007 Mets Report Cards: Starting Pitching

An article by posted on October 16, 2007

 

The staff decided to have starting pitching it’s own part since it was so big. Part Five of this seven part series will feature the ever-so-commented Mets starting pitching. It’s obvious this was one of the Mets problems this year, but was it their worst? Get ready to do your reading. We have alot of things to say today.

Ryan P. – Yeah, I admit. This starting rotation wasn’t the best Omar put together, and they sure didn’t perform like it either. True, they did have many strong outings, but I felt like the Mets pitching woes outweighed the good. I didn’t know what was embarrassing at times, horrible starting pitching or horrible bullpen. Sometimes it just felt like starting pitching just put the team down. But in reality, any bad pitching puts a team down. The Mets started 12 pitchers in 2007, and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty at all. Sure, John Maine and Tom Glavine almost pitch no-hitters, but when you have Chan Ho Park or Brian Lawrence pitching 7 games combined for you, that isn’t a very pleasant sight. Not to mention, those short-time starters didn’t do a very good job either. Dave Williams, Chan Ho Park, Jason Vargas, and Brian Lawrence all had an ERA over 6.80. Oh yeah, combined, they went 1-5. Yikes! Out of the regular rotation, the only pitcher to have great looking stats are Oliver Perez and John Maine. That’s it pretty much. Ollie and Johnny went a combined 30-20 in their starts and struck out a combined 354 in 368 innings. Pretty good if you ask me. However, both are still very young and must control their composure and their control. It seems like whenever they get rattled, they make the situation worst by walking or hitting batters. But with 6 months left, they need to work on their breaking stuff if they want to be anything near a Cy Young candidate. Tom Glavine, well, good start to the year and after winning 300, but couldn’t get the wins down the stretch. His loss in the final game hurt so bad, I don’t think I can talk about him anymore. Enter Pedro Martinez. He was an instant spark for the Mets helping them win in Great American Ballpark. If he works hard in the off-season he should return to the dominating Pedro we all know and love.

Grade: C+

Joe D. – It’s so frustrating to grade our starting pitching as a whole because there was nothing dreadfully wrong with it, but at the same time, nothing absolutely brilliant about it either. They were in a word… bland.

If we look at the individual performances, it’s easier to see some of the positives. Both John Maine and Oliver Perez were inconsistent throughout the year, but made considerable gains in their development. Towards the end of the season they both faltered, but you can easily attribute that to fatigue. I am very optimistic about both their futures going into 2008. Orlando Hernandez was clearly the best pitcher on the team when he was healthy, but once again he came up lame when the team needed him the most. Pedro Martinez was pretty much a non-factor until the last two weeks of the season, but showed some promise that hopefully will continue next season. Tom Glavine also turned in a decent season even when you consider the unsightly numbers in September. However, he was supposed to be the ace and instead performed more like a solid number three pitcher. The number five spot featured many poor performances by a cast that was either past their prime, not major league ready, or waiver-wire re-threads. Key among them was Mike Pelfrey who made the team out of Spring Training and failed to get a win until he was mercifully sent back to the minors for more seasoning. This group had it’s moments, but unfortunately it came up short in the long run.
Grade: C

 

 

Andrew V. – Where to begin…The teams problem was its pitching, all year.  Tom Glavine reached a milestone this year, getting his 300th career victory.  But when the Mets needed a big spot from their Ace, he fell apart like a house of cards.  His last 3 starts were absolutely terrible just adding more pain to the already tough collapse and year.  I don’t expect him back at all next year, unless its really cheap.  John Maine and Oliver Perez are the typical young pitchers.  One day, they come out and they are stellar, striking guys out and getting out of tough situations left and right.  Other days they are absolutely terrible, walking guys left and right, being visibly shaken, and just looking young and inexperienced.  El Duque is great, when hes not hurt that is.  Consistently striking guys out and pitching out of trouble, he is exactly what you want out of a pitcher.  Out of the bullpen near the end, he was OK, but nothing special (see Yankees postseason appearances).  The young guys like Pelfrey and Humber will be good, but much later.  Never expected much out of them, but we shall see as they progress and change.  And to all those other scrubs who took the mound for us, good riddance.  Pedro was as good as you can be from a guy who wasn’t even supposed to be pitching this year.  He brought attitude and energy back into the squad with just his presence in the clubhouse.  Look for Pedro, Maine, and Perez to take control of the rotation next year, guiding them to a much better record and season.

Grade: C+ 

Brian M. – The Mets had 12 different pitchers make at least one start in 2007. From most to least amount of starts: Tom Glavine (34), John Maine (32), Oliver Perez (29), Orlando Hernandez (24), Jorge Sosa (14), Mike Pelfrey (13), Brian Lawrence (6), Pedro Martinez (5), Jason Vargas (2), Phillip Humber (1), Dave Williams (1), and Chan Ho Park (1). Ha ha, Chan Ho Park, I forgot about that one. Most of the replacement starters in 2007 got knocked around pretty hard, sans Jorge Sosa for a while. For the most part, Glavine, Maine, Perez, and El Duque were staples while the 5th spot was a rotary all year long until Pedro returned. The starters carried the team for the first half of 2007. John Maine got snubbed for the All-Star team, Tom Glavine remained consistent, Oliver Perez recaptured the form he had in 2004, and El Duque continued to impress. But that was also the problem (1st Half / Second Half ERA). Maine (2.71/5.53), Perez (3.14/4.04), Hernandez (3.22/4.28), Glavine (4.36/4.57), and let’s not talk about the 5th spot sans Jorge Sosa. It was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde season for Mets starting pitching. Unfortunately a little too much Mr. Hyde at the end of the year. Stellar first half, disappointing second half. 

Grade: C 

Jon C. – In a word: erratic. The Mets had a solid rotation during the first half with an All-Star caliber performance from John Maine. Glavine, Hernandez (when healthy), Perez and the surprising Jorge Sosa, who would later crap the bed in the bullpen, made up a consistent rotation from April – July. As the story goes, it all came crumbling down in the second half. While Glavine’s starts were hit and miss, Perez and Maine struggled and Sosa was put in the pen. With Hernandez disabled, the
Mets went through a string of would-be starters from Brian Lawrence to Vargas – but never really found a capable #5 starter until Pedro came back – ever so dominate and ever so wasted thanks to a bullpen meltdown. The biggest problem with any of the Mets starters was few got to the seventh inning – causing Willie to overuse the bullpen. Overall though, the Mets downfall in 2007 lies with the bullpen and not so much the starting rotation. Every starter – with the exception of Lawrence
and a few Maine, Glavine and Perez blow outs- always kept the Mets in the game. Bott
om line: The Mets need pitching and lots of it – acquiring a Johan is the way to go to gain back the fans’ trust. I’ll settle for Dontrelle or Oswalt as well.

Grade: C+

Shawn L. – The season started out without any high expectations, and was expected to be the Achilles Heel of the New York Mets, and that is exactly what happened.  It was a carousel of starting pitching for our 2007 Mets which included John Maine, Oliver Perez, Tom Glavine, Mike Pelfrey, Jorge Sosa, Brian Lawrence, Philip Humber, Dave Williams, Ambiorix Burgos, Jason Vargas, Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez, and Chan Ho Park, and most them ultimately ended up being a disappointment.  Oliver Perez and John Maine made great strides toward being a definite in the rotation for years to come.  El Duque was strong down the stretch (when he wasn’t on the DL), and Jorge Sosa was a nice fill in until teams realized that he only had a slider and fastball. Pelfrey, Humber, Burgos, Vargas, Park, Williams, and Lawrence were giant disappointments and ultimately lost of a lot of games that made a difference in the end.  Glavine pitched strong throughout the season, but hit a slide when it counted the most.  I don’t think the Mets should bring him back, not only because of his age, but we need to find out if Pelfrey and Humber can survive and hold their own in a major league rotation.  I believe Maine and Perez pitched well, but immaturity and lack of "late-season" conditioning led to their fall-off.  Pedro returned from the DL strong and pitched very well for the Mets when they ABSOLUTELY needed him the most,and kept me from lowering the grade to the D level.  Also John Maine’s strong April and May also kept me from failing them.

As far as the pitching rotation in the future, I love Pelfrey when he’s pitching well (like we saw in the Atlanta game), and we haven’t seen enough of Humber to make a judgment.  The lack of pitching talent in free agency, and my absolute denial of trading Jose Reyes, leads me to this "possible" pitching rotation:

1.)Pedro Martinez
2.)John Maine
3.)Oliver Perez
4.)Mike Pelfrey
5.)Philip Humber….

Ultimately moving El Duque to the bullpen.  This is the pitching staff of the future.  It’s time to see if Omar made all the right draft moves, and it’s time to see if Rick Peterson can actually build a pitching rotation.

Grade: C- 

Yeah, that was rough. But wait, there’s more! You think the starting pitching was terrible, wait ‘until you see what we have to say about the Bullpen on Thursday. It’s going to get nasty!

Come back on Thursday to see the carnage, the gore, and the blood. I’m just kidding, but I can guarantee you that it won’t be anything close to pretty.  

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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