There probably have been worse weekends, and uglier stretches in Mets’ history. Perhaps, during the collapse of 2007. However, their current freefall is gathering momentum in its brutality.
Three games against the Dodgers; three comebacks that fell short. Today’s took them 12 innings before the Dodgers stopped fooling around and hit the Mets’ pen with a five spot.
The Mets have lost nine of ten games with the Nationals coming into Citi Field for a three-game series tomorrow. Then, they are off to the West Coast to continue a stretch of 20 straight games without a day off.
Evidently, MLB uses the same schedulers as the NBA.
The Mets face this stretch with Johan Santana on the DL – not that it matters – and a stop-gap starter for Wednesday. David Wright is starting to cool, and Jason Bay has never thawed. Ike Davis and Lucas Duda are also struggling.
The Mets are hitting the icy patch in their schedule as expected. For three months they more than held serve. Actually, they might have played over their heads, although that’s something they’ll vehemently deny.
What they can’t deny, after dipping below .500 for the first time this season, is things are slipping away and it won’t be soon before adding help will become a moot point.
It doesn’t matter if Johan Santana misses two starts. What matters is the temptation to overthrow in a game is removed for at least two weeks. Let’s face it, he’s a competitor and will be tempted. Hopefully, it won’t be more than that.
Of course, Santana said he could pitch. What else would you expect him to say?
Personally, I thought they would have to rest him before this. Was pushing him in the no-hitter the wrong thing to do? I don’t know. Fact is, it wasn’t just the 134 pitches, but all the ones before and since.
It was also the right thing to do and DFA Miguel Batista. He was giving the Mets nothing.
And, finally, Jordany Valdespin is in the starting lineup today. About time.
Ruben Tejada, ss
Jordany Valdespin, lf
David Wright, 3b
Ike Davis, 1b
Daniel Murphy, 2b
Lucas Duda, rf
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf
Josh Thole, c
Jon Niese, lhp
After another horrid start by Johan Santana – at least six runs in last three starts – the Mets are clearly worried about his arm. They insist he’s not injured of this related to his high pitch count in his no-hitter.
Maybe they are correct. Maybe it’s denial. But, something isn’t right with Santana and you don’t have to be a pitching coach to see it. His fastball last night clocked at two, three mph., slower than it had been. He’s also not challenging hitters as he used to. In previous seasons, and maybe earlier this year, he would have challenged Matt Kemp instead of having Josh Thole set up in the left-handed batters box.
The Mets are considering pushing him back a start, skipping him in the rotation altogether and putting him on the DL to “get some energy back in his arm,” said Terry Collins.
Over his last three starts, Santana has given up 19 earned runs over 12.2 innings for a lofty 13.50 ERA. ), and became just the third pitcher in franchise history to give up six or more earned runs in three consecutive starts.
Santana insists his health is fine, but that the problem is not commanding his fastball. If something were wrong, the competitor in him wouldn’t allow him to admit it, just gut it out. Even so his ERA is 3.98 ERA, over a run higher than at the time of the no-hitter (2.75).
Santana’s next scheduled start is Wednesday afternoon against the Nationals. We’ll see. I’ll take the DL option just to shut it all down and start over.
It’s time for the Mets to be concerned about Johan Santana. Since his no-hitter, Santana has made seven starts, giving up at least four runs in four of them.
Santana has given up 13 runs on 21 his in his past two starts, including four homers. He has lost three of his past four starts, with the common thread being an inability to stop a big inning.
Is this all related to making 134 pitches in the no-hitter? I don’t know. What I do know is Santana is on pace to finish 11-11.
The Mets babied Santana earlier this season, and maybe it is time to do so again. The only problem being when he leaves the game it is turned over to the bullpen.
Of the 30 major league teams, only six after at least 10 games behind in the wild-card standings. The Mets are only 3.5 games behind, a position which should have them as prime buyers.
The problem of shopping in the bullpen aisle, say the Mets, is the cost. That translates into not expecting too much. Huston Street and Jonathan Broxton, while manageable in salary, extract a big prospect price the Mets aren’t willing to pay.
In weighing the present and future, the scales a tipping toward the latter, said assistant GM John Ricco: “We’re watching every day the same thing people are. But you also can’t fool yourself into thinking that there’s one guy that is going to be the be-all and end-all solution to all of our problems. You can fall into that trap and make some big mistakes.”
The problem for Sandy Alderson is his team isn’t one of the six 10 games out, which is what the expectations of them were – probably even from Mets management. Alderson never thought he’d be a buyer.
Although their contracts are Jeremy Lin Ridiculous, Alderson was thinking maybe somebody would be desperate enough to take the Johan Santana and Jason Bay off his hands.
Despite their skid, the Mets are in it now. There’s no guarantee in the future Alderson is trying to protect that they’ll be close again anytime soon. That defines the pressure he is under.