Don't you just love April? Between unnecessary off-days and the proverbial rain out, it seams as if getting to watch an actual Met game is like Christmas morning. I've always had a bit of a problem with the amount of off-days that baseball teams get in April (the 20 games in 20 days Yankees excluded, of course). Would those off-days not be better served late in the season when players are worn down and trying to conserve every ounce of energy in the blazing heat of summer? That brings us to the first five games of the 2008 Mets season.
I think the overwhelming theme of these first five games has been a lack of rhythm. That makes sense too. They had two consecutive off days after scoring 13 runs on Thursday night. I'm a firm believer in offensive momentum and if their anything worse for a baseball team then two consecutive off days in April, I haven't found it yet. Of course, five games in not nearly large enough a sample size to intelligently analyze a baseball team, but I think there are a few points from the first week that are worth looking at.
- Johan Santana has looked good: The best part about that statement is that he hasn't come close to settling into a prolonged groove yet. I kind of liked that he struggled today against the Braves a bit. It showed that even when he doesn't have his best stuff working, he can still give you a solid outing. How scary is it that he can "struggle" and still only give up one run? Santana did give up seven hits, but they were scattered enough to not prove damaging. One thing that has quickly become fairly obvious is that we are not going to see Santana pitch into the eighth inning a lot. Now, this can be said about a lot of starters these days but consider this: Santana left after seven innings after throwing only 91 pitches. Even though he had struggled a little bit, it was still only a 1-0 game. If there is one negative thing you can say about Santana, its that. I would have liked to see him out their for the eighth.
- I'm not sure what to make of this Met bullpen. Aside from today, Aaron Heilman has been effective. Before today, Heilman had not given up a hit in his first two appearances. I was all ready to write a column about how good Heilman has been in the early going and then today happened. I can't get too wrapped up in it because, after all, it is only one game but it still it in perfect symmetry with the way Heilman has pitched for years. He's great when you don't need him to be and awful when you do. Every time Heilman seams to be improving, he shoots right back to his old mediocre self.
Matt Wise has been awful. Just though I'd throw that out their. He went back to New York to have an injury looked at today. He may go on the DL. I am not upset.
- Jordan Lauterbach