Johan And Then What?

There has been so much talk this season about the injuries to three of the four offensive guys, that the state of the Mets starting pitching has gone virtually unnoticed. Until now. Looking at the Mets staring rotation, the only certifiable, front end pitcher is Johan Santana. Heck, for my money Johan is the best pitcher in the game. But after Johan, what do we have? A bunch of back end of the rotation guys. There isn’t even a viable number two or number three guy.

Fernando Nieve seemed to be the deal, until he injured himself last night. I guess nobody ever told him, his job is to throw strikes, not run out infield singles. After Nieve we have Livan Hernandez. Livan is 6-5 this season with a 4.93 ERA. But even after a solid start last night, his performance over his pervious three games: 18 earned runs in 14 innings pitched. No wonder why Jman wants to use him as a pinch hitter or first baseman.

Next on the hit parade is Mike Pelfrey. Going into the season, I wondered if Pelf would improve on his 2008 season, or hit a wall. Little did I know, or expect him to take a step back. Pelf’s record so far is 7-5 with a 5.07 ERA. In his last three games, he’s given up a total of 16 earned runs in 14.1 innings pitched. Even worse though, Mike appears to be having a nervous breakdown. By now his act has gotten so old, guys are making up drinking games about it. Take a shot every time he licks his hands or wipes his forehead. Guzzle a beer every time David Wright yells at him and slaps with his glove on the chest. Two beers for each balk. Its so awful its comical.

That brings us to Mr. Oliver Perez. I always have Tums nearby when Ollie pitches. OP’s record so far is 2-2 with a 7.99 ERA. He actually pitched okay his last outing, so lets hope he can string two good outings together.

The Tim Redding signing didn’t work. Its time to show Tim the door, and eat what’s left on his contract. Redding’s record is 1-4 with a 7.99 ERA.

I even have concerns about John Maine, (one of my favorites), when or if he ever comes back. Can Maine step in and be the number two guy on this staff, or at minimum the number 3?

I almost forgot, Johan Santana’s record so far is 11-7, with a 2.92 ERA. In his last three starts he’s given up two earned runs in the last 21 innings.

At a time when the offense on this team is struggling so hard to score runs, the starting pitching needs to step up. So far they have failed miserably on that account.