Well, its that time of the season. Johan Santana has once again, for the third season in a row, been shut down and will need surgery during the off season, this time on his left shoulder. A suitable punctuation to a season highlighted by lackluster play, managerial blunders, and an overall lack of organizational accountability. Of course, this type of grim reality for the ace of a pitching staff can only exist within one franchise, the New York Mets.
Along with agony and disappointment, news of Santana’s most recent injury raises a lot of questions:
Why does the Mets’ medical staff continue to be inept?
Since being acquired prior to the ’08 season, Santana has had some kind of injury/surgery every year. First it was his knee issue, last year he had bone chips in his elbow. What other star player in the league has experienced this type of string? I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I’m no doctor, but I would have to imagine that part of correcting an injury is identifying the measures to prevent future problems. By now, I would have expected that the medical and training staffs have come up with a plan for protecting Santana’s arm. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. This apparent ineptitude has affected other players on the team as well. You have to figure that free agents around the league are probably wary of exploring opportunities with the Mets because of their seemingly shabby and, for lack of a better word, mysterious medical staff. Continue reading →
The Mets endured one of the dreaded road days off yesterday in Cincinnati. If you’ve ever been there you know that its not one of the most exciting cities in the United States. The reports were that the most entertaining thing that the Mets could find to do yesterday was go to the movies. Apparently, the city is so boring that they decided to do a double feature and kill the whole day at the movies. If that’s not an indictment of a boring city, I don’t know what is. The Mets chance to enjoy the entertaining city of Cincinnati comes to an end today when they go back to work against the Reds.
Onto today’s top stories:
The Sporting News is reporting that Bronson Arroyo will start for the Reds against the Mets tomorrow. He’s been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome but he had a cortisone shot and is feeling good enough to pitch. Micah Owings was going to take his place in the Reds rotation.
Ben Shipgel of The New York Times recounts the whole Ryan Church concussion saga from last season. He talks about how the Gary Sheffield signing will impact Church’s playing time. Shipgel says he can’t understand why the Mets are pushing Church so hard this season. It’s simple… They expect more from him than what they’re getting. The Mets think Church is capable of doing more than he’s shown.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post talks about the Mets bullpen and how Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church both played well on Monday. The Sheffield signing could push both of them to step up their games or lose playing time.
Saturday’s game against the Marlins won’t be televised for the first hour of the game. It’s scheduled to start at 6:10 pm because there’s a concert by rap star Flo Rida after the game. SNY is scheduled to broadcast the game but Fox has exclusive rights on Saturday’s until 7:05 pm.
Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated writes another column about how Mike Pelfrey and other young pitchers are at risk of injury or regression in performance because of their increased innings pitched at a young age. At this point, Verducci is pretty much making a living off of this theory of his that most major league teams don’t subscribe to. I’m not saying that Verducci is wrong about this. But he needs to find another topic to write about. He’s beating a dead horse now. We all know about his grand theory about young pitchers. Move on now Tom.
As usual, the double header was split between the Mets and Reds today. That’s exactly the reason that the Mets tried to get the game in despite the rain last night. Double headers are almost always split.
The good news in this game is that Mike Pelfrey pitched really well and kept the Mets in the game through six innings giving up only two runs. That’s something for Pelfrey to build upon.
The bad news was that the Mets only got four hits in the game. Bronson Arroyo was on tonight even though he’s had a terrible season. He’s had a few starts that were fair this season, but this was by far his best game yet. There’s not much that you can do when a pitcher is on like that.
Duaner Sanchez and Billy Wagner didn’t have it tonight. Wagner was hurt by some poor fielding though.
The Mets absolutely must win the rubber game tomorrow. They cannot lose a home series to the Reds. That would be a terrible sign if they did.
What to watch: Last nights rain out forced a dual admission double header today. Santana is keeping the day game and Pelfrey is moving to the night game. Ken Griffey was scratched from last nights lineup because he was sick. We’ll see if he can play today, he’s coming up on 600 home runs. The Reds are really bad this season so the Mets need to take advantage of that in this home series.