The Mets went 8-14 to close the final segment, ending 8 under @ 77-85. It was a disappointing end to a year which saw this team battle and at times overachieve, despite not having it's ace all year, it's closer for close to half the year and it's corner infielders for months at a time. There were 2 games worse than 2010, but played better ball and much harder despite that.
The Mets bullpen imploded. Parnell was ineffective and Collins never verbally or even in terms of usage, was behind him. First he gave Izzy the job, then Parnell. Instead of riding him to end the year, he gave opportunities to Acosta a journeyman who has no future as a closer or even a valuable reliever. He's a pedestrian middle reliever and that's it. Beato tired after showing talent most of the year. Byrdak got an extension and was the most consistent reliever all year. That is sad, yet true. Izzy gave his all, but his age showed. Igarashi is rubbish and Carrasco was a huge flop. Josh Stinson showed promise, but also that he's far from ready. The pen needs to be blown up, real good. It's a reconstruction project. Sandy stated the closer will come from outside the organization. I'd love to deal for Soria, but an incentive-based deal with Brad Lidge may be the way they go. Anyway, the pen was the worst in MLB.
The Mets rotation was also a joke. Dickey pitched well, didn't get support, but often shot himself in the foot by misplaying a ball, not getting down a bunt or letting a weak-hitter beat him. Gee hit the rookie wall after a great start. 13-6 is solid and I'd take that every year from him. He's at best a back-end guy. He's gutty and battles, but he's no ace or #2. Niese got hurt, but was fading. Jon has to come to spring training in top shape and step up his game or his value will drop and he could be dealt after the season. Next year is a huge one dictating the direction of his career. He has talent, now he has to back it up with performance. Pelfrey simply was horrible. John Lackey horrible. He showed no guts, brains or any intention he plans on getting better. Abandoning his sinker was pure idiocy. He doesn't have the stuff nor pitching smarts to put batters away. That's why he has high pitch counts and barely makes it through 6. Collins explanation that foul balls were good was pure bunk. Incredibly Capuano was the Mets most consistent starter. He gave up the long ball, but also struck batters out and kept them in games. He also pitched the best game by a Mets pitcher all year. Overall, the rotation was what we knew they were, mediocre. Next year Santana's return is huge and the possibility Harvey may be ready by late spring, early summer is comforting. Capuano may return if Pelfrey in non-tendered. I hope that's so. Mike should only return if he's dealt for a CF or closer. The Mets need to add depth that can pitch @ AAA just in case.
The Mets offense did a nice job despite losing Reyes twice(1 month), Wright for 2 months and Davis for 4 months. Pluggers like Turner, Evans and even Pridie chipped in. Lucas Duda showed the most growth earning the RF job in 2012. Tejada came back from the minors and showed he can hit and do so in the clutch as well. Reyes' second half was pedestrian worrying about his contract and his hammy which in turn hampered his ability to steal and run the bases. Jose's first half was MVP worthy. The Mets OF was a joke with Bay hurt or ineffective, Pagan ineffective and a liability defensively. RF was the only productive position with both Beltran, then Duda producing. They combined for 25 HRs-106 RBI. The Mets catchers did little, both offensively and defensively, with only Nickeas standing out on the defensive side. Paulino despite looking like a monster, hit all of 2 HRS knocking in 19 runs. Thole was up-and-down hitting the same as Paulino(.268) with 3 HRS- 40 RBI. I'd be happy with a Thole-Nickeas tandem. Let that fat PED-using Paulino go. Wright had his poorest season by far, though he had only 389 at bats, which were his least since 2004, his rookie year. He started fast, got hurt, slowed down, missed 2 months, returned hot, cooled down, had an incredible week, then cooled off again. 14 HRS-61 RBI was bad enough, but the 254 average was his worst by 29 points. David is a life-time .300 hitter. Hopefully, being healthy and having a real hitter behind him(Davis) instead of a 4th OF(Pagan) will help as well. Wright looked drained the last 2 weeks. Turner hit only .260, but was the Mets best clutch hitter knocking in 50 runs. The Mets will have Davis returning and a new CF. Whether Reyes' is back or not we won't know until November at the earliest. The Mets could see Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jordanny Valdespin battling for spots in CF and 2B/SS. The latter depends on Reyes' situation. Overall, the Mets scored enough runs, to have a winning record if the pitching would have responded. That's a good sign. Bringing in the fences should help the offense in 2012 as well.
The Mets coaching staff kept the team prepared and up beat. Collins earned his extension doing a solid job. Hudgens got the Mets to be patient and be one of the best teams in MLB @ getting on base. Hale is a terrific 3rd base coach and Mookie is a Mets icon. All should return. The Mets are bringing back Dan Warthen according to reports and that's a mistake IMO. Dan is a good coach, but I feel is better suited as a roving instructor, rather than the teams pitching voice. When your staff underachieves year-after-year, you don't deserve a return engagement. He did little to help Pelfrey, Parnell, Niese, Beato and Gee among others. Sandy didn't endorse the training staff and hopefully that means the conditioning coach and Dr.Nick Riviera(aka Ray Ramirez) will be replaced. Year-after-year the Mets injuries mount and someone has to be held accountable. They've had enough passes. It's time to pass out the pink slips.
So the 2011 year is over. The bottom line says 77-85, 4th place. Those are the facts. However, the Mets have also pared 55-65 million of payroll, added a potential ace in Zach Wheeler, found a manager with guts & heart and got a GM who is an adult with a plan which he communicates to the media and fans. Things aren't rosy, but there is some sunlight among the black clouds.