You've waited all offseason for this: Nelson Figueroa making his first big league start since 2004. Yup, $150 million in player payroll and Nelson Figueroa is starting a game for us. In 181 career innings as a starter Figueroa has a 5.17 ERA and a 107-to-74 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Needless to say, my expectations are modest: fewer runs allowed than innings pitched. Unfortunately, what the Mets could use today are innings from their starter. Their bullpen has been run through, and Jorge Sosa, mop-up reliever extraordinaire, has appeared in three straight games. If Figueroa gets lit up early he may have to take one for the team and power through six innings even if his ERA will soar skyward in the process.
Ultimately, the Mets have to see what Figueroa has, if anything. Pedro Martinez is out of action for at least another six weeks, and if Figueroa falls on his face then the Mets will have to resort to Plan C: Claudio Vargas, or Plan D: Tony Armas. Or Plan E: Jebus only knows.
No pressure, Figgy. Just relax and have a good time. We're all behind you, some of us pushing harder than other.