It’s almost noon on the East Coast. Most of the Mets are probably snoozing right about now after their red eye flight from LA. I know most of you are thinking they’ve been snoozing the last three days against the Dodgers.
I take four positive things from the last three days, but two of them are tempered:
1) Daniel Murphy seems comfortable at first base after the horror show that was left field. His bat, however, needs to come around again. I believe Murphy will get through this, so right now he’s gone down on my worry meter.
2) Tim Redding came back with a strong effort Monday night. It’s a good sign. Better, of course, than if he were bombed. But, he has to keep doing it.
3) I was encouraged by Livan Hernandez’s strong outing last night in the terms of innings. Still, he’s a question because you can’t rely on him every fifth day to give you what he gave them last night.
4) David Wright continues to hit as is Carlos Beltran. They are the only players performing to their capabilities offensively.
All that being said, there are more than enough areas of concern for the Mets, beginning with the leg injury to Jose Reyes. He reinjured his calf last night after missing five games and his availability for the Boston series is questionable. Ramon Martinez and Fernando Tatis aren’t the answers, which gives you an indication of how much they miss Alex Cora. The injuries to Reyes and Carlos Delgado are emblematic of the franchise’s lack of depth in the minor league system.
What else is going wrong?
* I have no idea what to get from start to start from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey is becoming a source of concern also. These are your Nos. 2 and 3 starters and they take the ball every fifth day more as question marks than exclamation points.
* Luis Castillo has returned to earth following a fast start. His range is limited and he’s in an offensive funk. Also struggling offensively is Tatis, especially with runners in scoring position.
* JJ Putz has not been as good as advertised.
* Ryan Church used to be a doubles machine but he’s not driving the ball anymore. He’s of little value as a singles hitter.
* Collectively, the offense has packed it in the last four games and they face three good arms in Fenway. This is not the weekend that screams breakout.
* The defense has been spotty, something you can’t afford with spotty starting pitching and a comatose offense.