Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Sweep Me in St. Louis

Posted by JD on April 24, 2009

Well, this series was certainly disappointing.  Not only did Albert Pujols proudly display his MVP credentials, the Mets failed to take advantage of a Pittsburgh sweep of the division-leading Marlins.  Now they return home to face a Washington Nationals squad that has to be gaining confidence after winning their first two games of the season.

This certainly wasn’t the start that the team was hoping for, and fans and pundits have been searching for an answer. The starting pitching, hitting with runners in scoring position, David Wright’s curious quasi-slump, and others have all been nominated as the leading cause.  The truth is that all of these factors have contributed to the slow start, which leads me to believe that the slow start might also be related to something “intangible”.

I’m very much a member of the school that says that production trumps everything. “Chemistry” and “grit” are overrated (see: Eckstein, David). Give me one clubhouse cancer that OPS’ .900 or more and I’ll let you have as many Ecksteins as you want.  But even I have to relent when considering the 2009 Mets.

The talent on the team is indisputable. Centerfield, third base, and shortstop are all manned by all-stars.  There’s a legitimate Cy Young candidate leading the rotation and the single-season save leader backstopping the bullpen.  The talent is definitely there.

So what’s lacking? “Fire”? “Desire”? “Desperation”? “Swagger”? “Grit”? Go ahead, pick whatever adjective you prefer. I can’t argue with it.  Mine would be “Confidence”.  My inexpert eyes see a team that desperately needs to get a fluke win, followed quickly by a blowout. My initial hope was to see them win two in St. Louis and come home to blow-out the Nats. The Cards foiled part one of that plan and the Nationals may very well foil part two.  Joker’s wild after Santana’s start tomorrow night, but I’d love to see them score a bunch of runs for Big Pelf on Saturday.  Anything to get the ball rolling.

The moral of the story is that I think that the team can right it’s troubles just by winning a few games in a row and building up the “Confidence” that it’s missing.  That’s easier said than done, but in my opinion that’s what it will take.  Let’s hope they can take advantage of the Nationals’ visit to Citi Field.

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