Second-Half Glass

glass_half.jpgWill the Mets continue their roll and start out the second half with a bang? Or will the momentum be broken and they return to their .500 ways?

There are two ways to look at the last 95 games, and the next 67: with the glass half-full, or half-empty.

Let’s look at the second half from both perspectives.

Half Full

– Johan Santana has a sparkling ERA, and is famous for strong second halves. Oliver Perez has found himself and Mike Pelfrey has turned the corner; both look like aces. John Maine is bound to pitch better and Pedro Martinez is the #5. The Mets have the best starting rotation in MLB, and those horses will carry them to the postseason.

– In contrast, the awful starting rotation of the Phillies has finally caused that team to falter. With no help in sight, the Phils will continue to sink in the standings.

– Backing up the Mets’ spectacular starting rotation is a bona fide bullpen. Now that Aaron Heilman has been “fixed”, all of the Mets relievers are pitching well. Good pitching beats good hitting.

– Carlos Delgado is back. With his dangerous bat, the Mets lineup is suddenly fearsome, especially once Ryan Church returns.

– Jose Reyes and David Wright have been on fire for the last month and a half. Both are poised to make MVP runs in the second half — with a warming Carlos Beltran ready to contend as well.

Half Empty

– What is up with Maine? Can Pedro stay healthy? How long before Perez is replaced by Mr. Hyde? Can Pelfrey keep it up? Under the surface, this starting staff is more questionable than people think.

– The Phillies’ pitching was even worse last year, and they won the division.

– Will the Mets bullpen be worn out by late August, and thus repeat the breakdown of last season? How many more saves is Billy Wagner going to blow? And do the Mets really have a setup man?

– Is Delgado really back, or really lucky? Many of his hits have come off awful pitchers, and in laugher games. His bat speed is still slow, so he may just be guessing right lately. And Church’s return could be more a matter of “if” rather than “when”.

– Reyes had a similarly strong first half last year, then messed the bed in the last two months of the season, when the Mets needed him most. We can probably count on Wright to continue his pace, but his MVP-like performance last year wasn’t enough to carry the team. Can Beltran be a cleanup hitter with a .260 average?

How do YOU see the glass? Comment below.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. sincekindergarten July 16, 2008 at 1:31 pm
    Half-full, and filling up. Even though the Phillthies get back a “fixed” Brett Myers on July 23rd, really, now–how “fixed” is he? Probably not as much as Cholly would want him to be. Kyle Kendrick is in the midst of his first full season in the majors–that should catch up to him right around the middle of August. And, even though their bullpen has been stellar, all those innings they’ve had to pitch are going to catch up to them around the same time, if not sooner. I expect Wright and Reyes to go tearing through opponents’ pitching soon.
  2. David W. July 16, 2008 at 7:31 pm
    Marty Noble has a scathing review of the Mets offense on the website. I agree with much of what he says, but he concludes that the Mets cannot win if they only average four runs per game. The problem, in other words, is the offense. But that’s not quite right. The Mets are actually averaging 4.84 runs per game, good for fourth in the National League, with only Chicago and Philadelphia scoring significantly more runs per game. If they continue at that pace and the pitching goes back to its pre-Manuel form, then we will return to winning half our games and end up with about 85 wins. But if the pitching does not revert back to mediocrity, then 90-93 wins appears possible with the current line-up.

    If seems to me that the offense also shoulders the blame for the collapse of last season. But that is not correct: it was the bullpen that imploded and lost the majority of the games.

    Moral of the story–maybe the best move would be to get one more live arm for the bullpen and not worry about left field.