Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

The Rotation After One Turn

Posted by JD on April 11, 2010

Opening Day

Johan Santana on the mound

The Mets are 2-3 and we’ve had the opportunity to see each member of the rotation pitch once. It’s far too early to make definitive judgments as to who has “earned” their spots and who hasn’t, but it’s not too early to start analyzing the pitchers’ performances. Keeping in mind that one appearance does not a fair sample size make, let’s take a cursory look at how they acquitted themselves:

The Untouchable: Johan Santana. I almost feel silly posting his line here, but fair is fair. In his first start, Johan threw 103 pitches (69 for strikes – 67%) over six innings, striking out five while allowing four hits and two walks. By no means dominating, Santana nonetheless turned in a solid quality start. His spot as the number one starter is unquestioned.

Positive Vibes: Speaking of quality starts, Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey each had one (with differing end results). Niese allowed three runs (on eight hits and two walks) over six innings in a game the Mets would go to lose 3-1, while Pelfrey allowed two runs (on four hits and four walks) over six innings in a game the Mets would go on to win 8-2. Neither start was worthy of big publicity, but both deserve credit for giving the Mets’ hitters a chance to win the game. That’s more than the next two guys can say.

Negative Energy: Oliver Perez was Oliver Perez and John Maine was John Maine. I like to look at the positives, so there’s this: Ollie struck out six in five and 2/3 innings and Maine threw 58% of his pitches for strikes. Really. That’s about it. They have a lot of work to do before they can move up into the next category, but the fact that the Mets lack clear-cut replacements means that they’ll have some time to improve.

What’s Next: Keep in mind that anything can happen, but this is how I see the second turn through the rotation: Santana vs. the Nats (today), Maine, Niese, and Pelfrey vs. the Rockies in Colorado (Tuesday thru Thursday), and Perez vs. the Cardinals in St. Louis on Friday. In other words, this week is going to be a great litmus test for the 2-5 starters. Bring it on, and Let’s Go Mets!

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