There will be no Game 1 for Pedro.
There will be no Game 3 for Pedro.
There will be no NLCS for Pedro.
There will be no more 2006 for Pedro.
Pedro Martinez was signed by the Mets to help get them to the playoffs. Now, everyone else has to get the Mets through the playoffs, as Pedro's left calf (after all the worrying about the right calf) has a torn muscle. So five months after the Mets were looking for a special shoe for Pedro, now they'll need a dolly instead.
Make no mistake, this blows.
But it's important to remember some facts. Not the kind of facts that are designed to make you feel better, but irrefutable facts:
- This is not a one man team. Omar Minaya made plenty of other acquisitions in addition to Pedro Martinez that are designed to play some winning baseball. These aren't the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, where the loss of one of their two big starting pitchers would have been disastrous.
- The Mets, throughout 2006, have always depended a little bit more on their lineup and their bullpen than their starting rotation. Martinez being out will mean another reliever makes the roster. And in my estimation, bullpens win and lose championships.
Unfortunately, the reliever replacing Pedro will most likely be Roberto Hernandez, who I trust about as much as I trust the baseball media not to gush over the Yankees. Allow me to be the first to advocate Dave Williams for the post-season roster over Hernandez, who is the first pitcher I've ever seen warm up in the bullpen after he's pitched in a regular season game. Why does trying to stretch out a 41-year-old into a long man scare me?
So does this mean the Mets are done in the postseason? Absolutely not. Does it bring them back to the pack? A little bit on paper...a little bit more mentally. But the Mets responded like a team that has plenty of new go-to guys ready to step up to the challenge, such as Orlando Hernandez, who pitched as if the calendar read "October"...or Carlos Delgado, who hit tonight like he can't wait for the calendar to read "October", for the first time for him...or Carlos Beltran, who can shake hands with Todd Hundley after tying his record for dingers in a season.
Tomorrow starts the last series of the season in Washington...that is, if they don't have to wait around for the Nats to play the Phillies since the teams are still waiting to play through some raindrops...after a rain delay of over four hours! (Can ESPN pick up this game if it starts at 2AM?) Over this weekend, let's see what our Mets are mentally made of.
Then again, with the hijinks that go on in that room, do we really want to know?