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Mets Can Compete With Phils But Need Santana

By Mike Silva ~ May 3rd, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

The weekend series in Philadelphia ended with the Phils retaking first place in the National League East. For all the praise heaped on the Phillies, they aren’t the powerhouse team everyone is making them out to be. Yes, the Phillies are a tough out, and very good, but I heard some say this could be the best NL team we have seen in a while. The Mets still have some work to do, mainly cleaning out that bench and hopefully getting Carlos Beltran back full strength in the next 6-8 weeks, but most important is Johan Santana regaining his form.

Yes, Santana had been good before last night’s game sporting a 2.08 ERA. He shut down Florida, St. Louis, and the Dodgers, all decent offense teams, prior to yesterday’s disastrous 4th inning. Despite that, you haven’t gotten the feeling we are seeing the Johan Santana of old…yet. Now, I am not about to get alarmed, as NY Post columnist Mike Vaccaro did this morning, but if the Mets are going to exceed expectations they need Santana’s starts to be automatic, especially when he faces a pedestrian opponent in Jamie Moyer.

Across the field the Phils have a near automatic win every five days, but their rotation after Halladay is equally as questionable. In many cases I can argue that Pelfrey and Niese are better than Hamels/Happ. This is moot if Johan Santana has regressed due to injury or age.

The Phils showed the propensity to score in bunches. This was snuffed out by good defense on Friday, allowed to fester with poor glove work on Saturday, and accentuated on Sunday by Santana’s lousy command. Vintage Santana would taken an early lead and set the Phillies down quietly. Part of me suspects his start wouldn’t have looked quite as bad if the game wasn’t played at the softball field known as Citizen’s Bank, but to be fair Santana didn’t help his cause by walking the 8 and 9 hitters. If he gets out of that fourth inning with a lead who knows what could have happened.

The Phillies are a very good team, but outside of Halladay, are not exponentially better than the Mets. The Mets have their core players, the Phillies have theirs, and the bullpens and rotations are pretty equal except for Doc. Vintage Santana closes the gap even more, maybe makes it disappear, and that is what the Mets will need if they are to compete with the Phillies in 2010.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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4 Responses to Mets Can Compete With Phils But Need Santana

  1. blaa blaa

    yadda yadda yadda

    Go Phils!

  2. NQADuth

    I am now officially dumber for having read this “article”? “op-ed”? whatever the hell you call bald opinion about nothing with no facts to back it up…
    Softball Stadium? Did you even watch the game? Each homerun was COMFORTABLY out of any ballpark except in that moronic Grand Canyon, that only the Mets could possibly stupid enough to build so large.

    If ignorance is indeed bliss, I recommend that one read and re-read this article- as true Enlightenmen must surely await.

  3. Steve M

    So, blaa blaa, you’re a Phillies phan…whoopee damn doo for you!

  4. Stu Baron

    The “phestering Phillies” – I like that!

    But why don’t we just panic and give up because Santana didn’t have it Sunday night? Even the mighty Halladay gave up 5 runs and 10 hits to the Giants in his previous outing, and in this game, back on June 24, 1972 – http://www.ultimatemets.com/gamedetail.php?gameno=1690 – a 27-year-old Tom Seaver gave up 7 runs and 10 hits to the Cardinals at Shea. Funny, but I don’t think Dick Young, Maury Allen, or any of the other writers of the time expressed the opinion that Seaver was through…in fact, he went on to finish 21-12 with 2.92 that year…

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