Posted: Monday April 24, 2006 1:17PM; Updated: Monday April 24, 2006 1:32PM
Victor Zambrano has struggled mightily, sporting a 1-2 record and a 9.64 ERA.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Basically, the division is theirs to win.
That's right, as great as the Mets have been thus far, five things jump out at me:
1. If teams really do take on the persona of their leader, these fiery Mets had better calm down and adopt Willie Randolph's stone face. The most expression I've seen him show in two years is when he chomped into a Caribbean Lime Chicken sandwich in his Subway ads with Joe Torre.
2. They have issues defensively. The left side of their infield, David Wright and Jose Reyes, is on pace to commit 63 errors this season. Overall, second base remains a weak spot.
3. Jorge Julio and Zambrano have been nothing short of disastrous on the mound.
4. Will Pedro's notoriously fickle body hold up throughout the season?
One thing I've learned from studying the Braves for the last 15 years is that individual games don't matter as much as the bigger picture. Winning series is what matters, and before hosting the Braves last week, the Mets had won every series. Since then, they've gone 3-4, and their next six games are on the road.
While the Mets have a tough road ahead, the Braves haven't been looking so hot. Quality starts are few and far between, Chipper's hurt again, and the team is relying on rookies for major production for the second straight year.
Meanwhile, the Mets have shown thus far that they're the team to beat, the team in the catbird seat, the kid with all the marbles. The only team that can beat the Mets is the Mets. Congrats, all you rabid Mets fans. It's finally your year. The National League East is all yours.
(And is the goal of this column to jinx the Mets? You'd better believe it.)
We're supposed to watch hockey for the passing, skating and scoring, but to be honest, we like the fights. The people at hockeyfights.com have put together their poll for the best fight of the year, with video clips available of each brawl (if you join their message board).