Help Wanted: Rotation in Need of a Boost

by Kris Venezia
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ShellyS

Metropolitans have had their ups and downs all season, but when things seemed to look bleakest, the club turned it around

When the New York Yankees cleaned their plate with a sweep earlier this season, the New York Mets turned it right around, sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays in stunning fashion. How about the last week of June? The Mets won four straight to close out the month, bringing them two and a half games back.

Fast forward to after the All-Star break and the Mets have won just one of their last ten games.
 
On the bump, the squad has relied on RA Dickey and Johan Santana to provide quality start after quality start. In fact, the Citi Field residents are second in the Majors when it comes to quality starts. Now Santana is on the disabled list with an ankle injury, and RA has shown a few chinks in the armor with a few less than stellar appearances. He’s given up ten earned in just over thirteen innings since the break.
 
Behind them it’s been inconsistent all season long in the rotation. Chris Young has provided some good outings, but his health is always a question. Dillon Gee is out for possibly the rest of the year, after finding himself in the hospital with a damaged artery in his right shoulder. Meanwhile, Jonathan Niese seems to have the stuff to be a prolific starter, but continues to be inconsistent. What about the bullpen? Let’s not go there.  
 
Currently, the club sits in third place, 8.5 games back of a Nationals team that boasts a great rotation and a healthy young lineup. The Atlanta Braves, who are second in the National League East, just acquired Ryan Dempster.
 
With all the pitching woes surrounding the Mets, it’s difficult to imagine them contending down the stretch. But hey, maybe Linsanity can make the leap from the hardwood to the diamond in the form of Matt Harvey or Harv…sanity? We’ll work on the nickname later. The 23 year old was drafted in the first round, seventh overall, back in 2010. He’s got a terrific fastball, 3.68 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo, and will get the ball Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  
 
The only other option for the Mets rotation is to throw RA Dickey every other day. Since that’s not going to happen, the fate of this New York team may rest on Harvey’s young shoulders.