Twelve games into the season, the Mets' record sits at an even .500. This despite the fact that they have outscored their opponents 64-47. Some things have not gone as planned, as evidenced by the fact that Scott Schoeneweis has thrown more innings than Pedro Martinez. But there have also been some pleasant surprises, and I'm not just talking about Angel Pagan's ridiculous .381/.462/.500 start.
Coming out of Spring Training, the Mets' starting rotation didn't seem to have much depth behind the top four starters. When Pedro went down and Orlando Hernandez's foot continued to keep him out of action, the situation seemed dire. But the Mets' fifth and sixth starters, Mike Pelfrey and Nelson Figueroa, have held their own. After Pelfrey's terrific seven shutout innings on Tuesday, they have combined for a 2.70 ERA in 20 innings with 14 strikeouts and 7 walks. Figueroa (nickname suggestion: Nellie Figs) may not be anything more than a decent spot starter, but he did give the Mets eight innings in his debut and if he can keep his ERA around its current level of 4.50, he will have some value at the back of the rotation. Pelfrey's hot start is more intriguing. He had a solid debut, allowing two runs in five innings, and followed it up with the best start of his young major league career. If he can begin to make good on the potential he showed in the minors and in college, the Mets' rotation would be all the more formidable.
Some other notable things happened at Shea on Tuesday. Lastings Milledge made his return to Shea and smacked a double in his first at bat. He was thrown out trying to steal third, but replays showed him to be safe. He later drew a walk. Ryan Church and Brian Schneider combined for just a single and a walk while defensive wizard Schneider allowed his third passed ball of the season. Luckily the Mets still have Jose Reyes and David Wright, who combined for seven hits including for extra bases. And Duaner Sanchez made his long-awaited return to the majors, pitching a scoreless ninth with one hit and one strikeout.
The Mets (6-6) will finish up this series with John Maine (0-1, 4.50, 6:8 K:BB) and Figueroa (1-0, 4.50, 7:3 K:BB) on the hill the next two nights. Lefties Matt Chico (0-2, 3.72 12:4 K:BB) and John Lannan (0-2, 6.75 6:7 K:BB) will take the ball for the Nationals.