The exhibition schedule begins this week and with it the questions of the importance of winning these games. Pennants aren’t won in March, but sometimes the mentality needed to win can be developed.
While going 20-10 during spring training guarantees nothing, I can’t help but think going 10-20 isn’t a good thing. The Mets need to develop the attitude that playing well is important and they just can’t assume things will be better.
The Mets are a team with flaws, but also a team that played reckless with the fundamentals and more than a few times mailed in their effort. Playing aggressive and crisp baseball now is important because bad habits can develop by playing otherwise.
It is a long summer, but considering last season and how the two previous years ended I believe it is imperative to get off to a good start and get into good habits right away. The Mets’ psyche is delicate after the last three seasons, and despite the bold talk from David Wright and Johan Santana about the World Series and winning, this is a team that hasn’t always played with confidence.
The Mets need to develop a positive mentality and that begins with these games.
What the Mets got last night from Johan Santana they’ll need tonight from Oliver Perez.
Perez hasn’t faced the Cubs since April 2005, and is 0-3 with a 5.74 ERA in his last five starts against Chicago.
Perez’s career has been one of hot-and-cold, and currently he’s been cool after a strong stretch. Perez (10-7, 4.10 ERA) has one win in his last seven starts. Over his last three starts, Perez has given up 12 earned runs on 18 hits and eight walks spanning 16 1/3 innings.
That said, do you want Perez back next year? I don’t know if he’ll be worth the money he’ll get, but is he worth the angst?