June 08, 2007

The Starters

Ed Ryan at Mets Fever, writes about the Mets Pitching Rotation:

Who could have imagined during the winter meetings when the club and us fans were talking about pitchers like Barry Zito, Vincente Padilla, Ted Lilly and Gil Meche (to name a few) that the team wouldn't acquire any of them but the rotation would be the strength of the team.

The Mets are struggling through their first slump of the year (it won't be the last and all teams go through them) but it's not the result of porous starting pitching as we thought would be the cause of any slumps. It's the mighty, vaunted Mets offense that's hurting the team; yes, there's injuries but still with Reyes, Beltran, Delgado and Wright in the line-up this team should be able to score more then two runs. The regulars are struggling during critical at bats and the the replacement aren't stepping up as their needed. Last year the Mets established a lead in the division on a 9-1 road trip, during most of that trip the outfield consisted of Woodward ( Floyd ankle), Millegde ( Nady appendix) and Chavez ( Beltran Knees/quads) all of whom stepped up and produced.

In addition to the offense the pen which has been the strength of the team has also struggled. They have been unable to hold leads and have given away several close games as of late. As I wrote this post it appeared that the Mets were on their way to their first win of the Phillies series. The Mets were ahead by a run with Wagner on the mound facing the bottom of the order and suddenly Pat Burrell (BA .219 ) hits a solo home run.

But the starters have been absolutely incredible. Tonight John Maine went seven innings in which he allowed two runs on six hits and no walks while striking out two. Despite his ERA there were concerns with how many hits and walks Maine was giving up, well no walks in seven innings he's answering those concerns.

The rotation as a whole has an ERA of 2.86; Glavine 3.36, Hernandez 1.94, Maine 2.81, Perez 2.80 and Sosa 3.22. The staff has combined record of 25-12. The standard for a quality start is six innings pitched with three or less earned runs. The five current starters have pitched in 49 games and have provided 37 quality starts ( 12 non-quality ), the last sub par start was on May 27 by Fifth starter Jorge Sosa; 2 ER in 5.2 innings of work. If Sosa had earned that last out then the last non-quality start would have been on May 20 by John Maine who 5 innings and gave up five runs against the Yankees.

The team is really wasting some great starts by their rotation. The team is reminding me of the Astros when Clemens, Pettitte and Oswalt all had ERAs under 3 and still couldn't get wins.

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