Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 5/22/12

The Mets were not expected to be much of a factor in the NL East this season. Too many question marks. How were they going to replace Jose Reyes? How was Johan Santana going to perform after missing all of last year? Were they really going to rely on Frank Francisco to close games?

But New York Mets has surprised many MLB odds makers by keeping its head above .500 almost all season, thanks in large part to the efforts of the starting rotation.

A Pretty Good Top 3

For a guy coming off a season lost to injury the Mets couldn’t ask much more of Santana so far this year. His ERA sits at 3.24, he’s allowed fewer hits than innings pitched and he owns a 53/16 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. Unfortunately for him, he’s only got one win to his credit.

New York also can’t ask for much more out of their No. 2 man in the rotation, knuckleballer RA Dickey. The right-hander flopped around for the first eight years of his ML career, but since coming to the Mets and joining their rotation he’s 24-23. This year he also has given up fewer hits than IP, and owns a 40/16 K/BB ratio.

Three-man Jonathon Niese owns an ERA at 4.85, but that’s a little deceptive, because it jumped from 3.40 after his last start, an eight-run shelling at the hands of the Blue Jays.

The Rest of the Story

Things get a little trickier for the Mets after the top three spots in the rotation. Dillon Gee started well this season but has been less than great his last three outings. Mike Pelfrey was supposed to be the two-man, but he went down-and-out for the season two weeks in with an elbow injury. And 41-year-old Miguel Batista, who was making some starts at the end of the rotation (with middling results), is now on the DL himself after pulling a groin.

Youngsters Jeremy Hefner and Chris Schwinden are candidates to now make starts at the five spot.

The Mets may have one trick up their sleeve; right-hander Chris Young, the injury-prone former San Diego Padre, is making some minor-league rehab starts and could begin making some starts for New York within the next couple weeks.

On the Back End

Down in the Mets bullpen Francisco has had his problems, with three losses, two blown saves and a 7.56 ERA. But it looks like New York will stick with him, at least for the time being.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker