Just one look to the right and you can see just how far the Mets have come in the past 30 days. Or if you don’t feel like stretching your neck a little, here you go:
The Mets, if nothing else, have surprised many a fan with many contributions coming from those we least expected like Ike Davis, Angel Pagan, R.A. Dickey, the catching tandem of Barajas and Blanco and yes even Ruben Tejada. The pitching, led by Mike Pelfrey, has been one of the team’s strongest suits.
After todays 6-0 shutout of the Twins, the Mets now lead the Majors in shutouts with eleven of them. Eleven shutouts and only one of them was started by our ace Johan Santana.
Santana tossed another stinkeroo his last time out, and concern is rapidly starting to reach a fever pitch. Only a few more starts until the All Star break when he is magically supposed to transform into… well Johan Santana, you know the good Johan Santana, not this impostor who has been pitching in his place for the past month.
I love what the 2010 Mets have showed me this season. They can battle and they play aggressively from the first pitch until the last. They have exceeded all my expectations especially when I consider that they have gotten this far without Carlos Beltran, their top hitter and defender, and I would even say without Johan Santana who has been here physically in the last five weeks, but not the ace we expected him to be.
Yesterday, Jim Souhan of the Star-Tribune, described the situation quite well.
When the Mets signed Santana in February 2008 to what was then the richest contract ever awarded to a pitcher, they thought they were acquiring the game’s best ace, a cornerstone player they could brag about for at least six years.
Saturday, when the Mets removed Santana for a pinch hitter after six innings, he didn’t even rate as best starting pitcher in New York. Or the best left-hander. Or the best pitcher on the Mets roster. Or the best pitcher sharing the mound at Citi Field on this warm afternoon.
His teammate Mike Pelfrey is 10-2 with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Teammate R.A. Dickey, the former Twins reliever, is 6-0 with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
The Yankees, who declined to make the Twins a serious trade offer before the Mets acquired Santana, have three pitchers who might be more valuable than Santana — Andy Pettitte (9-2, 2.48, 1.12), Phil Hughes (10-1, 3.17, 1.13) and CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.49, 1.15).
Santana now says he is still recovering, although through mid-May he repeatedly said he felt great and his elbow never felt so loose. Since the decline in his numbers, he’s changed his tune.
The Mets have about one-third of their payroll wrapped up in Beltran and Santana. The Mets have done quite well without much help from either… Okay we got some help from Johan when the season started, but that seems like an eternity ago. All I’m saying is that if this ride to a division title is going to continue, it would be nice if our two highest paid players started pulling their weight.
As for the rest of the team, what else can I say, but job well done.