The Mets ended the first half with a sputter, but with optimism as they prepared to welcome Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes back to their lineup.
They started this 11-game road trip to start the second half as definite contenders in the NL East, but are ending it on a slide that could spell the end to their season.
They are 7 ½ games behind Atlanta and 1 ½ games behind Philadelphia. In fact, they are just as close to the Phillies as they are the Marlins.
In losing eight of 10 – and it should be nine of 10 – the Mets have batted .194 and averaged less than three runs a game.
“I’m not sure if it’s a matter of what they are doing to us or what we’re not doing,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “We have to find a way to score some runs.’’
Here’s today’s lineup:
Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Josh Thole, C
RA Dickey, RP