By Ricky Santana
April 16, 2009
The New York Mets kicked off the season with a new stadium and the pressure to perform well has already begun. The Mets addressed their problem in terms of relief pitching by picking up two of the top closers in recent years in J.J. Putz -- who when healthy can convert over 40 saves per season -- and Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez. Had Billy Wagner remained healthy and not on the disabled list last season, chances are the Mets would have made the postseason, as a large portion of games lost were by a few runs, which would have avoided with a solid closer.
This year the Amazins are counting on K-Rod to be lights out and earn them those saves, and if there are nights where he can’t go out there they also have J.J. Putz who was not bad himself last year earning over 50 saves.
Offensively, the Mets have one of the best hitting squads in the league. Across the board they can match up with the offense of any other top hitting team. The Mets’ weakness though, is their pitching. Because of this, chances are they will have to outhit and outslug opponents if they have aspirations of making it to the postseason and de-crown the defending champion, Philadelphia Phillies, who overtook them in the division the last 2 years. The Mets stand a chance so long as everything comes together for them throughout the season. With the aura of their new stadium one is certain they do not want to be on the outside looking in during the postseason.
One thing is certain, if the Amazins miss the postseason for a 3rd straight year, chances are there will be an even greater overhaul than last year, and those familiar faces we are used to seeing will be there no more.