Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's not enough for Mets to show some fight

So the Mets rallied from a 6-1 deficit to tie the Marlins and send the game into extra innings before losing, 7-6. It was an exciting game, even if it was pretty sloppy, and made me feel better about the Mets than I usually do after the dreary second-game loss that always seems to follow the Opening Day win.

But while it is too early to trot out all the negativity of the offseason, let's not get carried away. The Mets only came back because the Marlins walked two men with the bases loaded and allowed the tying run to score on a balk that probably wasn't a balk.

John Maine got the non-Johan Santana part of the rotation off to a bad start with another mediocre start - five innings, 4 ER, 8 hits, 2 homers. Maine threw 93 pitches in those five innings, only 53 for strikes.

Aside from dependable Francisco Rodriguez and Pedro Feliciano, three of the other four Met relievers allowed runs. Jenrry Mejia and Hisanori Takahashi were shaky in their debuts. Sean Green failed to show why he should be on the team and not in the minors. Only Fernando Nieve did well - his second straight good game.

It's only one game, but it validated all the fears people have about Met pitching after the stars.

But worst of all was Fernando Tatis trying to score from third when the ball got away from Marlins catcher John Baker, who recovered the ball and threw Tatis out at home. The bases were loaded with two out and David Wright was up with the Marlins winning, 6-3. While the Mets did tie the game the following inning, Tatis' baserunning blunder was all too reminiscent of last year's baserunning follies.

The Mets have a new third base coach this year in Chip Hale, but Razor "Wave 'em in" Shines is somehow still on the basepaths over at first. Perhaps he managed to catch Tatis' eye to get him to run.

So far, the Mets seem to be more fundamentally sound than they were last year, but Tatis' blunder shows they still have a way to go.

The blunders continued off the field as well with Nelson Figueroa somehow not good enough for the Mets' shaky staff but getting claimed by the Phillies. Figueroa now has a chance to become this year's Darren O'Day, who was lost by the Mets last April in a roster snafu and went on to a strong season in Texas.

And speaking of management blunders, David Wright walked twice tonight after a walk on Monday. In the seventh, Tatis took the bat out of Wright's hands. By batting Mike Jacobs cleanup, Jerry Manuel is helping to do the same thing.

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