No need to panic. But wipe that smile off your face, Met fans. We've got trouble.
In any other situation, Jose Lima would now be James Baldwin: An old starter who comes apart like a cheap suit above 70 pitches is useless to a major-league-baseball team with any aspirations to play extra games. Lima may be charming, but he's also done. (And he didn't help our collective cause by muttering about umpire conspiracies after the game.) Yet he's not necessarily out of the rotation, because we have no idea what Jeremi Gonzalez (a flyball pitcher facing the grunt-and-uppercut Brewers, oh boy) will do tonight. And have you seen the way Steve Trachsel's pitching recently?
It also doesn't help matters that we've developed an aggravating habit of putting our foot on teams' throats, then letting them get up and winding up surprised when they knock us upside the head. Two nights ago the clubhouse boy had the shower on for Gavin Floyd, who was in not-if-but-when territory as we hit fastball after fastball on the screws. Between resilience and Rowand and rain, he wound up with the crappiest shutout in the history of baseball. Dave Bush's location was wretched and his vaunted control was nonexistent, but we let him hang around and get comfortable and when Lima's extra-small tank hit E, he wound up with a W. (And I wound up PO'ed.)
This is a very good team. The bats will come around — heck, we did score six runs last night, even if some of those should go on Rickie Weeks' ledger. The back end of the rotation will heal and get replaced through acquisition or promotion. The Phillies aren't this good. The Braves are still back there a ways. But we're heading into the toughest six weeks of the schedule while a bit of a mess.
And if something whizzes by in the left lane, well, remind yourself it's May.