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April 2010 Report Card

by Jim McNierney

The April report card for this year’s NY Mets squad looked surprisingly positive. There were several key areas that were big question marks within the squad as they were progressing through spring training.

Starting pitching:

The starting pitching staff didn’t change much from the disappointing seasons in the past two campaigns. As the team emerged from spring training last year this pitching staff looked like one of their strengths. Partly due to injury, mostly due to the ineffective performance that they gave when not on the injured reserve list, the starting pitching became riddled with question marks.

Mike Pelfrey’s performance during the first month of this 2010 season was nothing short of stellar. He leads all starting pitchers in ERA in the national league. Johan Santana’s pitching was predictably effective. This was important due to the surgery he underwent in the later months of the 2009 season. The remainder of the staff has been very consistent. They have pitched into the sixth inning and have kept the club in most games during this first month of the year.

The Offense:

Especially because of the loss of Carlos Beltran due to off-season surgery, the offense was definitely the other huge question mark. It was predicted that there might be a platoon of centerfielders using both Gary Mathews Jr. and Angel Pagan. In the first 10–14 games of the season, it certainly seemed that the Mets were going to have issues in this area. Despite not being league leaders, the offense has been adequate and certainly one of the reasons that the Mets ended the month on such a high note.


While there are still detractors out there amongst the fan base, the bullpen has peformed quite well so far this season. The closer and setup men have been a steady strength. The biggest question marks were the middle relief folks. Almost improbably they too have been very consistent so far this season.

The biggest and most promising aspect of the clubs performance so far this season is the sense of teamwork. It truly seems that this club has banded together. They appear to be enjoying themselves (of course winning probably helps this out immensely) and there doesn’t appear to be any games that they truly feel that they are out of. They are battling for the full 9 innings every day of the week.

In all, the club has shown (thus far) a resiliency and competitiveness that the squads over the last few years appeared to lack.

I’m still unsure whether Manual’s handling of the bullpen is going to hold up over the course of a tough 162 game season. The starting pitching is going to have to start to eat up more innings or the middle relief squad of the bullpen will likely start to show some signs of tiring by late July or August and this could become the primary reasons that this club ultimately falls short. If they are able to stretch the starting pitching just a little bit and maintain the sense of competitiveness, this might actual be a very successful campaign.

True Met fans will continue to hold out hope.

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