I come not to praise Pedro, but to bury him
Well, I was going to write something about the NL MVP, and reasons why Ryan Howard doesn’t deserve it, but that all changed when the Mets announced that Pedro is out until next spring. Apparently he’s got a tear in his left calf – not the right calf that put him on the DL for a month in August and September. Awesome.
No matter how you slice it, this is not good news for the Mets. On the other hand, it might not be a disaster, either. Healthy, Pedro is a dominant starter with playoff experience who, even with reduced velocity in 2006, still strikes out more than a batter an inning. But we haven’t seen Healthy Pedro for a long time – not since his terrible start against Boston in late June, in fact. It was after giving up 8 runs (6 earned) in only three innings against the Red Sox that Pedro went on the DL for a month, for his hip.
Since coming back from his hip injury, Pedro’s had seven starts – interrupted by another month on the DL for his right calf – going 2-4 with a 7.84 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Only two of those seven were “quality” starts, and they account for his two victories. The other five have all been, to one degree or another, crappy.
The point is, Pedro hasn’t really been an ace for almost half the season, and if memory serves, the Mets have played pretty well during that time: 47-35 since Pedro first went on the DL for his hip on June 29th. That’s a .573 winning percentage, pretty close to the season’s .591, and still better than anybody else in the National League. All the Mets need to do to win in the playoffs, is keep on doing what they’ve been doing since the All-Star break. Yes, the increased reliance on Steve Trachsel and John Maine makes me nervous, but combined with the best bullpen in baseball, not too nervous.
All pitching data in this post is courtesy of David Pinto's awesome day-by-day database at Baseball Musings.