Three weeks from today the Mets will either be cleaning out their lockers at Shea or working out in preparation for the Division Series. I’m still thinking it will be the latter.
But, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t think there wasn’t anything to worry about with this team. It was imperative they win last night and they did, with Johan Santana pitching one of his most important games as a Met. Maybe themost important.
Here’s what I see as the most important issues down the stretch.
1. Coping with last season. Last night was a start, but don’t forget the collapse including stretches of bad ball against teams with losing records. They can’t afford to let up against teams with losing records, such as Washington and Atlanta. I’m not convinced they have the killer instinct. This week should tell a lot.
2. The starting pitching is three deep with Santana, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez. Pedro Martinez can’t be relied on for more than five innings, and lately they haven’t been a good five innings.
3. The bullpen has been suspect all season. Having something definitive on Billy Wagner might help Jerry Manuel define roles, but how can they be better off without their best reliever?
4. Hitting with runners in scoring position has also been an issue. Last night was tougher than it needed to be. With pitching issues, more runs are always needed. David Wright, in particular, has been in a funk.