In his latest column for the NY Daily News, Bill Madden makes a valid point on how the starters are actually pitching well but the bullpen is what's really faltering. Says Madden:
In fact, you could make the case the Mets' starting pitchers have been their biggest asset, as evidenced by their ERA, which is second-best in the NL.
For now, even Minaya would have to admit the best-laid bullpen plans of last winter have not exactly panned out. The Met brain trust believes that relievers tend to follow good years with bad ones, and for more money - and therefore are interchangeable. For that reason, they chose not to re-sign Chad Bradford and Darren Oliver, despite the considerable contributions each made toward last year's division title. Turns out they were right in that assessment as neither is faring well with his new club. Unfortunately, Scott Schoeneweis, in whom the Mets invested $10.8 million over three years despite a less-than-glittering '06 season with Toronto and Cincinnati, and Aaron Sele (signed to a one-year deal off the free agent scrap heap) have been even worse.
I think I'm going to have to agree with Bill on this one. I think that the Mets starting pitching is fine. Ollie P. and John Maine have been better than anyone could have imagined, Glavine has looked better recently, Sosa has been a wonderful surprise and El Duque, when healthy, has been, well, El Duque. Plus Pedro should be back sometime in August which should solidify the staff even more.
The biggest problem with the Mets right now is their inability to get the clutch hits and the lapses by the bullpen. Scott "Show Me The Door" Schoeneweis has been god awful, Heilman has been terribly inconsistent for a setup man and while Darren Oliver had the ability to not let games get too far out of hand, Sele shows no such ability. Therefore, if Sele comes into the game in long relief it's pretty much like signaling the white flag to the other team.
So the bullpen and lack of timely hits (*cough *cough Delgado) is what's bringing this team down. Do you agree? Holla back.