Image courtesy of Mets360.com

Lucas Duda, David Wright and Ike Davis provide the power for the Mets 2012 season

In an offseason to forget, the New York Mets slashed payroll, begged people to come to Citi Field, lost Gary Carter to cancer, lost their best player to a division rival in free agency and settled a massive lawsuit.  Other than that, the Mets 2012 offseason was pretty boring.

So the only thing left for the “experts” and bloggers out there to decide was, how many games will the New York Mets win in 2012?  The most optimistic Mets fans that I had come across topped out at between 82-84 wins.  And almost all of them followed up that number with  “if everything goes right”.  Most “realistic” Mets fans gave a number in the 72-77 range.  That was basically where I was.  I figured with Johan Santana looking healthy in Spring Training and a re-tooled bullpen, there was no reason to think that they couldn’t be basically where they were last year.

Then came Michael Kay.  The most notorious Mets hater out there.  For those who don’t know who he is, Kay is the lead play-by-play guy for the Yankees “YES” Network and 1050 ESPN Radio NY’s afternoon drive show.  If you thought that Mike Francesa liked to tweak the Mets fans, you should (or not) listen Kay.  Francesa likes to tease the Mets faithful here and there, but he generally isn’t too condescending about it.  Kay on the other hand is a blowhard Yankee lover (just like Francesa) who isn’t even the best guy on his own show.  That goes to his co-host, Don Lagreca.

So when Kay first tried his hand at Twitter, he quickly learned that the Mets twitter following is probably unmatched in the twitter universe.  As soon as he started making dumb comments about Mets, it was like chum being dropped in the water near a school of sharks.  In reply to a comment by @danXtanna, Kay penned this beauty:

“I mean, what do you want me to say? They will win anywhere from 55 to 60 games. I understand the situation but that’s reality”

55-60 games?  What is the logic behind that?  Kay even went on to defend the comment on the air for the next week.  Totally pathetic.

So with all those predictions, it’s been so far, so good for the Amazin’s.  Johan Santana started the season opener for the Mets and has only allowed one earned run in his first two starts (he on the hill tonight), with 13 k’s.  David Wright has started out on fire, going 13 for his first 24 with 2 HR and 5 RBI.  He even missed 3 games with a broken pinky, but it hasn’t stopped his hot bat.

But the real story has been the Mets starting pitching.  In their 10 starts this year, the starters have allowed only 15 earned runs.  That’s how you get off to a 7-3 record.  Santana (0.90 ERA), R.A. Dickey (2.08), Jonathon Niese (2.13), Dillon Gee (2.92) and Mike Pelfrey (3.09) have not only been keeping runners off base, but they have been striking them out.  The starting rotation has stuck out 56 batters in their 60 innings of work.

If the Mets can continue to get production from Ruben Tejada, who now occupies shortstop, and if Daniel Murphy can figure out how to catch the ball, there’s no reason why the Mets can’t be a .500 ball club.  (And Santana can’t get out of the 2nd inning tonight vs the Braves.  There you go Mets fans, I’ve jinxed the season already).

Keep thinking positive Mets fans, this team won’t be nearly as bad as some people think.