I didn't think Met fans would start wearing bags over their heads until at least the summer, but I didn't think the Mets would be 4-9 and lacking in fundamentals under the new regime either. And I didn't think the home ERA would be 5.95. That's the second-worst in the National League. Pretty terrible for a team that plays in a pitchers' park.
The Mets are almost a full run behind the next-worst team, the Dodgers at 5.00. The teams above the Dodgers are the Braves and Cubs at 4.17, almost two runs better than the Mets.
Why is the pitching so bad? The defense certainly has something to do with it. So does the cheapness in putting together the staff. The best acquisition so far, Chris Young, was available on the cheap because of his injury history. And he's already hurt.
But Dan Warthen needs to explain how a team trying to cut down on walks is last in MLB in walks allowed. And by a big margin. The Mets have allowed 38 walks. The Padres are next-worst at 28. 17 teams have allowed 19 or fewer walks. That means the Mets have allowed at least twice as many walks as more than half the teams in MLB.
And despite allowing all those walks, the Mets still didn't walk Troy Tulowitzki when they should have.
Last year, the Mets started 4-8, but there was Ike Davis' callup to bring excitement. And Jose Reyes getting healthy. We were also supposed to be excited about Carlos Beltran's return, but that faded as it kept getting pushed back.
But what are the things to look forward to in 2011? Rationalizing the value of the prospects obtained when the Mets start dumping salary? Seeing Fernando Martinez go on the DL? (Oh, wait, that's already happened.)
This year's delayed injury return belongs to Jason Bay. Except he's not just coming back from his rib injury, but from last year's concussion. And he was not very good as a Met before the concussion, so he still needs to show that he can hit more than six homers in New York.
As for Johan Santana, at least the new regime is not getting hopes up that we will see the Johan of old anytime soon, if ever.
By the way, both Willie Harris and Scott Hairston hit more homers (10) in fewer at bats than Bay did in 2010. If Bay returning to the lineup results in less power, then I'll really be ready to put a bag over my head.