Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm Ready to Start Panicking - Mets Fan Style

My hiatus is over.  I didn't really have time to post as my wife and I welcomed our second kid in to the world.  But I'm back just in time to start panicking over the Mets.

I know I could be overreacting right now as a Mets fan but, I am now in fear of Johan Santana's no-hitter on June 1st being the catalyst in the wheels coming off on their surprising early season.

I shouldn't say the no hitter is the reason, but it's Terry Collins' handling of the pitching staff after the no-hitter.  Johan Santana is a creature of habit.  I completely understand that off of his surgery and 134 pitches you would want to do something to lighten his load, but giving him extra rest was not the way to do it.  By giving him extra rest and shuffling the pitching staff around it created a domino effect that resulted in losing 6 of their last 7.  Just say Santana is on a 110-115 pitch count for each game.  Have him start on normal rest but have him only throw 90-95 pitches.

Lets take a look at the last two series:

June 5th - @Washington - Lost 7-6 in 12
This was Chris Young's first start back from the same surgery Santana had.  As a means to push Santana back the Mets opted to go with a 6 man rotation and start Jeremy Hefner the next night.  So not only was the bullpen shorthanded with Hefner slated to start tomorrow, Jon Rauch had an elbow issue and was unavailable to pitch.  So 5 man bullpen.  My question   Of course it goes 12 innings and the bullpen blows leads in the 8th, 10th and 12th.  Knowing what we know now that the Mets would send down Pedro Beato and keep Jeremy Hefner up when the rotation stabilizes, wouldn't it have been nice to have Hefner available in the pen to eat some more innings instead of stretching Frank Francisco and Elvin Ramirez into second innings?

June 6th - @Washington - Lost 5-3
Hefner didn't pitch terribly after allowing a three-run homer in the 1st but this is where Santana should have been pitching on regular rest.  Based on how he's been this year you'd like to think he would have done as well or better than Hefner did in his 6 innings.

June 7th - @Washington - Won 3-1
Thank god for R.A. Dickey.  On regular rest by the way.

June 8th - June 10th - @ Yankees - Swept all 3 games
It's hard to assume this series would have gone much differently than a sweep even if the Mets staff was on regular rest.  The Friday night game was a foregone conclusion.  Anyone who expected anything from Santana was misguided.  Long rest = disaster for him.  It would have been Niese's turn and there was probably nothing he could have done with the way Kuroda pitched.  Gee on Saturday battled despite not having his best stuff and who knows what Chris Young would have given you on Sunday.

The point is, this is a brutal stretch of schedule for the Mets and as fun as this season has been so far, Mets fans know how fragile it is.  By babying Santana too much, I feel they probably cost themselves a 3-3 stretch in these which is a lot less damaging than 1-5.

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