New York's key to victory in '09: make it to the eighth

With the Mets basically carrying two closers, both of which could contribute as a set-up man, and both of which could act as the team’s closer, the Mets’ pitching staff needs to simply focus on finding a way to hold games through the seventh inning.

With shaky middle-relief, coupled with a cloud of uncertainty floating over the back-end of the rotation, we’re not too sure what to expect in the middle innings in 2009.

With that said, if the Mets can make their goal to keep up and hold their opponents for the first seven innings of each game, there shouldn’t be much difficulty slamming the door in the final two innings with the dangerous combination of J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez.

Unlike last season with Luis Ayala being forced to fill in for the injured Billy Wagner at the end of the season, the Mets would be able to work with an injury like that, if needed, much easier. Two closers, along with Billy Wagner, who is ahead of schedule with his injury progress and is expected back with at least a month to go in the season.

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