Friday, September 22, 2006

Klap Says Pedro Key To Mets' October / Perry of Agrees

On, Bob Klapisch posted his latest column, entitled "Pedro Remains Key To Mets Hopes In October." Granted, this column title and message shouldn't come as a surprise to any Mets fan, but we often overlook the fact that Pedro hasn't been the star on the field that we'd hoped for this season due to a series of injuries as the rest of the team has done such a great job in picking up the slack for the heart of our team all season. Pedro's calf injury still seems to be less then 100%, and that's the leg he pushes off of. Admittedly, approaching 34, he's not the power pitcher he was, but Pedro, when he's on, is still capable of beating anyone on any given night.

The question is, with a mere 2 tune-up games left in the season, one coming this Thursday versus the Marlins, can he get back to play-off ready shape in time for the first play-off game?

Klapisch quotes Omar, who seems to think so:

"Pedro's a warrior," said general manager Omar Minaya. "He's not going to be 100 percent, but even when he's not 100 percent he finds a way to win. At least he's going to be competitive."

We are going with what got us here, as the saying goes, and win or lose, Pedro deserves the opportunity to take that ball and display the same cockiness that took the Sox to the Series 2 years ago. We still believe that he'll find a way to get the job done. To read Klapisch's article, click here.

Over at, Dayn Perry's latest column, "It's not all smooth sailing for Mets, Yanks," agrees with Klapisch.

Indeed, there's a strong chance the Mets and Yankees will meet in the Fall Classic, but both teams, despite having 182 wins between them, have weaknesses. Those weaknesses aren't easily dismissed, and they could be exposed in the nip-and-tuck environs of October.

He adds:

For the Mets, there are pitching anguishes of a different sort — namely, the rotation. Their top two starters, Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine, both have injury and performance issues heading into the playoffs. In Martinez's case, he's back from the DL (injured calf), but he was roughed up by the lowly Pirates in his first start since rejoining the rotation. Martinez, particularly at this stage of his career, will always have injury concerns, but the question is whether he'll rediscover his effectiveness in time for playoffs. After all, the Mets will use a six-man rotation for the rest of the regular season, and that likely means only two more starts for Martinez to find his bearings.

Perry also brings up a great point regarding the play-off rotation and the inclusion of John Maine:

In a vacuum, John Maine should probably be at the front of the Mets' playoff rotation, but the danger is that Willie Randolph will — numbers be damned — play the veteran hand at all spots. Martinez and Glavine will of course be there, but Randolph should resist the temptation to slot in the ineffective Steve Trachsel (4.96 ERA) and Orlando Hernandez (4.85 ERA) ahead of Maine (3.42 ERA). That would be a serious mistake. If Martinez and Glavine are their old selves, then that will paper over any number of managerial errors, but recent history says that's not a safe assumption.

We agree about Maine, hoping that he and O-Hern will round out the rotation in the next few rounds of short-season baseball.All of the nay-sayers will continue to harp on the problems the Mets' rotation faces, forgetting the heart that carried this team all season long. All columnists are looking for things to write about, hoping to look good when their predictions turn out to come true. However, this season, when a Pedro went down, a Valentin got hot at the plate to carry them. When it looked like Glavine's career was done, he comes back better then he was while a new force developed in John Maine. Somehow, teams of destiny find a way to win, regardless of the challenges that face them- and this team certainly seems destined to win it all!

To read Perry's article, click here.


No comments: