Those prognosticating that the Mets would go into Philadelphia and win just one game in the series were right, but they probably didn’t think it would happen the way it did: Jon Niese pitched a gem on Friday while Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey got obliterated in their outings.
Pelfrey’s scoreless inning streak was bound to come to an end soon, but the way it happened was a little startling. He was cruising through three innings in Saturday’s prime matchup with Phillies ace Roy Halladay when it all started to unravel after a couple of almost catches. Had Jose Reyes and Alex Cora made them, the game’s outcome might have turned out differently. Instead, Pelfrey was tagged for six earned runs, three coming off a home run by Shane Victorino.
Santana, on the other hand, has had some rough outings so far this season. However, 10 earned runs and Johan Santana do not usually go together. Hopefully, we’ll never hear or see it again. The Phillies shelled him. Victorino was the Mets’ achilles hell this weekend as he hit a grand slam off Santana, in addition to the homer against Pelfrey the day before. Santana couldn’t even get Jamie Moyer out, walking him and a run home.
He surely hasn’t looked like himself before he had his off-season surgery. Even in his wins, he doesn’t seem to have the same presence and command.
Again, it’s early, so these two poor outings by the best two pitchers on the staff hopefully are anomalies. The weekend wasn’t all bad as Niese’s performance was very encouraging.
Tonight Oliver Perez will try to play the stopper, though it’s asking a lot, even against the Reds. He will face rookie Mike Leake, who is 2-0. The Mets haven’t hit rookies well in the past, but hopefully the new members to this season’s lineup will get the job done. The Mets need to forget about the weekend, lest they fall into a pit of despair that translates into a long losing streak. They need to take care of business with the supposedly inferior teams, something they had trouble doing last season.