Jul 20

Mets In Huge Buyers Market

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.

Jul 19

Mets Halt Fall; R.A. Dickey And David Wright Come Up Big

You figured the losing streak might end with a bang.

DICKEY: Was Dickey again. (AP)

It looked that way at first when the Mets took a 9-1 lead with R.A. Dickey cruising again and David Wright clubbing two homers. At the time I was thinking this was a lead even the Mets’ bullpen couldn’t blow. However, it sure looked as if they were trying.

This isn’t about the bullpen. It is  about the Mets getting up from the mat. Look, I don’t know if this will jump start them and they’ll make up the ground they’ve recently lost.

The most important thing I took from today’s game is what Ike Davis said when it was over. When asked if it was important the Mets go into their upcoming homestand with a win, he said the losing streak was behind them and the thing to do is focus on the future and he only spoke of the Dodgers.

There is a lot of season remaining, and as the Mets showed us in 2007 leads can disappear quickly. Maybe it can again.

 

Jul 19

Mets, July 19 line-up at Washington

Only seven times in their not-always glorious history have the Mets had a winless trip of six or more games. They’ll try to avoid that this afternoon in Washington behind R.A. Dickey.

They’ll try with this line-up:

Ruben Tejada, ss
Andres Torres, cf
David Wright, 3b
Scott Hairston, rf
Jason Bay, lf
Ike Davis, 1b
Justin Turner, 2b
Josh Thole, c
R.A. Dickey, rhp

Jul 19

Mets Can’t Wait Any Longer

The losing streak is now six and the Mets clearly are in a freefall now. You know things are getting desperate when the manager calls a meeting to try to pump up his team’s confidence.

The Mets need something to jumpstart their belief October is still possible, and I don’t think two ninth-inning homers is the alarm they are looking for.

No, the bullpen didn’t cost the Mets the game last night, although it did put it out of reach. The bullpen, far and away, is the tourniquet the Mets need most and they can’t wait the 12 days until the deadline. Hell, Frank Francisco won’t even be back by then.

The Mets need to do something now. Whether it be Huston Street or Jonathan Broxton, or Frankie Rodriguez or Grant Balfour, the need an immediate lift. The season could be lost in two weeks; it could already be lost.

GM Sandy Alderson failed miserably in patching up the bullpen during the winter, but he always said the Mets had the resources to make an addition if they were in the race. They’ve been in the race all season, so let’s see something.

The last thing I want to hear is come the deadline and Alderson intimating the team didn’t think it could win. If management doesn’t do it immediately it is sending that very message to the players and the fan base it teased in the first half.

Do it now!

Jul 18

Mets Fall To Nats; Chris Young Has Late Inning Trouble Again

There it was, the sixth inning and Chris Young was cruising. We have been here before. It is the third time around the order when Young loses it. Trouble is, it happens so quickly. An infield hit and a couple of batters later, Adam LaRoche homered with two strikes.

You’d take two runs over six innings every time from Young, but it would help if the offense scored. Home runs in the ninth from David Wright and Jason Bay were cosmetic more than anything.

There are two ways to avoid the late-inning Young woes. The first is to pull him out after five regardless. The second is to pull him once a runner gets on. Trouble is, with what the Mets have in the pen, you’re talking rock and hard place.

And, all this came after a team meeting in which Terry Collins wanted to salve the Mets’ growing wounds, which is now in the form of a six-game losing streak, their longest of the season.

The Mets aren’t pitching well, at least not in the pen and recently from R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana. They aren’t hitting. I wrote yesterday how the Mets were on the edge and their season was on the verge of slipping away. Nothing has changed and there aren’t any signs of things getting better.

One thing Collins told his players that if change was to come it was to be from within. There’s no promises of adding relief pitching or a right-handed bat. It could happen, but Collins said not to count on it.

In saying so, he said count on this summer slipping away.