Things can always get worse. The question is: Will they ever get better? I mean, this year.
The weak-hitting Mets – who were shut out four time on their disastrous West Coast trip – open a three-game series tonight at Citi Field against St. Louis and Adam Wainwright, who is 4-0 with a 0.25 ERA over his last five starts and hasn’t allowed a run in 25 straight innings.
That’s whom the Mets will try to get better against.
The Mets went 2-9 on the trip, hit .196 and scored just 23 runs. One of the games they won was a gift from a bad umpire’s call.
“There’s no question that everybody’s frustrated,’’ said David Wright. “I think it adds to the frustration that our starters have been throwing the ball extremely well and our bullpen’s been solid. We just can’t get any runs for them. But now is not the time to hang your head or mope around.’’
Needing to pitch a shutout tonight – or at least it seems that way – will be Jonathon Niese, the beneficiary of all of four runs over his last three starts. He is 0-2 with a 3.20 ERA in that span.
The Mets return home with their coaching staff intact. There was speculation Howard Johnson would take the fall for the offense, but they decided that since their offense clicked in June that it would again.
The trade deadline is four days away and the Mets aren’t linked to anybody. Not anybody good enough to turn things around. They have even passed on the opportunity to make a symbolic splash by shaking up their coaching staff. And, of course, they’ve passed on several chances to make what would have been an impact decision by cutting Oliver Perez.
The Mets have done nothing to help their team, and did nothing last offseason to address their biggest need, which is pitching. Instead, the Mets have remained stagnant and they are what they are, which is barely a .500 team.
They are reduced to hoping things will jump start for the same tired cast of mediocre characters. They are hoping players who have shown little ability to sustain over time will sudden do so and perform at an All-Star level. That’s Beltran, Bay, Wright and Reyes – the core four.
They are hoping for the offense to kick it in gear. They are hoping Mike Pelfrey will regain his form from the first two months. They are hoping the bullpen can get outs and they won’t have to use Perez. They are hoping to win with 24 players.
They are hoping what hasn’t worked will suddenly work. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
The Mets are hoping for a miracle … and won’t get one.