Thursday, April 19, 2012

Braves Series Shows How Key Pitching is for 2012 Mets

If you want a synopsis of how the Mets will fare this year, you just need to look at the Braves series. The Mets averaged 5 runs per game in the three games series, but only won 1. On the flip side the Mets gave up an average of 6 runs per game and thus lost 2 out of 3.

The Mets will be an offensive team. Wright is back. Murphy is what we hoped. Ike is getting back into the swing of things. And Duda looks promising. Even Thole is starting the season off well.

But the Mets will only be as good as their pitching. I tend to put more emphasis on the starting rotation. If Santana only goes 1 inning, that's a guaranteed loss. Dickey can't find his knuckleball, pack it in because that game is over. Pelfrey is already a known basket case. And if Gee & Niese can't keep opponents to 3 runs or less the Mets will have issues.

The bullpen has had its moments this year, but I honestly think it's in decent shape outside of Collins' infatuation with Miguel Batista who probably doesn't deserve to be on a major league roster. I like what I've seen so far from Rauch, Francisco and Parnell. That threesome, if consistent, can be a solid pen if the Mets' starters can go 6 innings.

The Mets will live and die this year with their pitching. The starters need to overachieve this year to remain competitive because while the Mets have done well against the NL East so far, this is a division that is stocked with great arms. And the Mets are the weakest of the bunch in that category.

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