Archive: May 8th, 2006

It’s NOT Lima Time

If Sunday’s massacre is any indication, it is clearly NOT Lima Time, nor should it ever be.

However, the issue was not Lima’s performance, but rather, the Mets’ brass believing that Lima would perform at a higher level.

Last year, Lima set a Major League record for pitchers who started at least 30 games by attaining an ERA of 6.99. For those of you who have difficulty with math, this number means that Lima gave up an average of seven runs for every nine innings he pitched. He was the worst pitcher on the worst team in baseball. So was it remarkable that Lima was available as a free-agent in the offseason?

No, what was remarkable was the Mets taking a flyer on him. More remarkable, was the amount of innings they gave him in spring training, taking away innings from promising youngsters such as Heath Bell, Royce Ring, Jason Scobie, Blake McGinley, Anderson Garcia, and Henry Owens. As it turned out, his spring training ERA was 8.59, which of course earned him a roster spot at AAA Norfolk (though he was surprised he did not make the Big League team).

At Norfolk this year, Lima pitched in six games, managed only 30 innings, gave up five homers, and had an ERA of 5.05. If you’ve been following along thus far, then you won’t be surprised that these numbers earned him not only a promotion to the Mets, but a start against the Atlanta Braves. (Meantime, Jeremi Gonzalez, whose 3.03 ERA and 30 Ks lead all Norfolk pitchers, continues to toil in AAA.)

After looking at what Lima has accomplished in the last 14 months, and considering his career ERA (5.21), just what are Omar Minaya and Co. thinking? How could these professional evaluators of baseball talent think that Lima would somehow outperform those numbers at the Major League level?

It’s quite clear that the only thing Lima brings to the table is a stunning wife, and we have yet to see her in a sundress. Someone needs to slap Omar in the face, or throw a bucket of cold water over his head, or something, to get him to see the reality of the situation. Otherwise, we’ll be seeing a guaranteed loss every fifth day, until Brian Bannister returns from the DL.


Game 31: Loss

Braves 13 Mets 3

This game was over before it started. Their two previous wins notwithstanding, there couldn’t be anyone in the Mets’ dugout who thought there was a chance of beating John Smoltz — three days’ rest or not — with Jose Lima on the mount.

Even if Smoltz showed up at the game with his right arm in a sling, I’d think the Mets would have a tough time expecting a win with Lima as their starter.

Lima performed exactly as expected: five innings, seven hits, four walks, five runs. Bartolome Fortunato came in to wave flames on the fire, and added some gasoline to insure detonation. His line: one and one-third innings, two walks, six hits, eight runs, all earned. The amazing part is that he managed to give up all that on only 43 pitches. Quite efficient, eh?

Hmm … were there ANY bright spots? Well, Carlos Beltran hit another homer, and went 2-4. Hopefully his hot hitting will stay after the day off on Monday.

And thank goodness for that off day, and the off-day next Monday; they should help keep Lima from the mound for an extra turn or two.