Thursday, May 05, 2005

The More Things Change . . .

Games 27 & 28 - Mets

Phillies 10, Mets 3
Mets 3, Phillies 2
Record: 14-14

And so goes the even-Steven, up and down season of the Mets thus far. A bad loss followed by a strong win. Worsening problems and pleasant surprises interspersed among each other. Tom Glavine worsens, Jae Seo surprises. Victor Diaz surprises, Braden Looper worsens. This team is having a great deal of trouble putting it all together, as they say, but this season does seem to have more bright spots than its thoroughly overcast predecessors.

Tom Glavine . . . as Jerry commented, he's getting harder and harder to watch. He pitches like he has no confidence, like he's terrified of throwing a strike. The John Franco parallel is spot-on; he isn't throwing anything over the plate, and more and more hitters are detecting that fact. This situation could get very, very ugly before it's over.

Jae Seo . . . nobody seemed more surprised than Rob as we glanced at the Mets game amid a sea of televisions after a highly enjoyable night out at the softball park. Seo has had a Heilman-esque progression, wedging a dud of a start in between two solid outings. Last night he was far more than solid, permitting one hit, two walks, and no runs through seven while fanning eight. Wow. And what did it net him? A demotion, thanks to the untimely but nonetheless welcome return of Kris Benson to the active roster. Seo "Long" is headed to Norfolk, but if/when the subject of the previous paragraph continues eroding more quickly than beaches in SE Virginia (where Jae Seo can now frolic on off-days), perhaps a spot will open up for him. That's without mentioning the increasingly distinct possibility that Victor "I Stinct" Zambrano's spot in the rotation may be up for grabs by the Break.

Cliff Floyd . . . man, are there a lot of us who need to fess up to some winter ignorance. So many of us called for the Mets to ditch the fragile guy other Metbloggers labeled "Mr. Glass" in the off-season. I know I did, though I begged for it not to be in any deal for Sammy So-So. The obvious question is not whether he can keep up this torrid pace, but whether he can simply remain on the field in relative working condition. If Cameron comes back at anything close to his full potential, theirs will be the toughest outfield in the division by far.

Braden Looper . . . well, he did manage to strike out the final two batters and get the save. On the other hand, if it had been a one-run-lead, like it will be on plenty of save opportunities, it'd be another (probable) loss for Looper. Back-to-back jacks from Chase Utley and Bobby Abreu brought Met-murderer Pat Burrell to the plate down a run, with momentum evaporating quickly. Luckily, he wasn't the Burrell I've(s) come to dread over the last few years, and he struck out looking. We should not have had to dodge such a bullet after the splendid game Jae Seo and company offered.

Sneaking suspicions: It's foolhardy to throw support behind or abuse upon players for a month's worth of work (or less), but changes may have to be afoot to shake off this .500 affliction. One or more of the following alterations to the rotation and lineup may be seen within a month or two:




14-14 is not panic time, but we've seen enough thus far to know there's room for adjustment. Willie Randolph's predecessor would ride things out until they got out of hand; it will be interesting to see how much tweaking the new manager thinks is necessary.

I'm off to Chicago this afternoon with a ticket to tomorrow's Cubs/Phils afternoon game in hand. I'm on a bit of Phillies overload at this point, but that only makes me want to root against them harder. The Mets, meanwhile, are headed to Milwaukee. I'm not even going to say what they should do.

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