If there is such a thing as flipping a switch for a team, the Mets will have to do it now. After starting their second half collapse by losing 12 of 17 since the All-Star break, they’ll have to turn it around now.
Out of 162 games, the season will boil down to six games for the Mets. Three in Atlanta starting tonight, then three in Philadelphia over the weekend against the Phillies. For a team that has been horrid all season on the road, they pretty much have to run the table to make any kind of dent.
If they win two of three, they’ll only pick up one game, so what good is that?
Whatever pride this team has left, they’d better find it now if they have any hope of playing meaningful baseball in September.
The confidence level in this team has to be high tonight because of Johan Santana, but overall, considering how they mailed it in yesterday in being mauled by Arizona it’s low. With all that is on the line for the Mets, to come up with such a showing is shameful.
How does a team that says it is a contender only win one of six games against a team like the Diamondbacks? Shameful. It inspires no confidence for this week.
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.
* Oliver Perez is en route to Arizona but might not be activated immediately. Jerry Manuel said when Perez returns it would be as a situational lefty with Hisanori Takahashi remaining in the rotation.
The Mets would like to unload Perez’s contract in a trade for a pitcher. With the asking price for Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren too high for GM Omar Minaya’s liking, the Mets are concentrating on a middle-tier arm such as Ted Lilly, Brett Myers, Ben Sheets or Jake Westbrook.
For some reason, they won’t give Pat Misch a chance. Misch pitched well for them last year and represented Triple-A Buffalo in that league’s All-Star game.
* We are expected to see Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes in the lineup tonight at Arizona. It will be the first time in over a year they’ve been on the field together.
* It is anticipated Luis Castillo will be activated for tonight’s game. Ruben Tejada, who played well in the field, but had his problems at the plate, is expected to be optioned to Triple-A Buffalo where he’ll get regular at-bats.
We might know more about one of the Mets’ key second-half questions tonight, which is: Who is the real Mike Pelfrey?
At one time, Pelfrey was 9-1 and cruising toward the All-Star Game. All was right in his world and the Mets were making up ground on Atlanta. However, he has hit a rough five-game stretch since in which he’s gone 1-3 with a 7.52 ERA.
That’s just the beginning of the bad numbers.
In that span Pelfrey (10-4, 3.58 ERA) failed to make it out of the fifth inning in his last three starts, including going four while giving up four runs on 12 hits in his last start against the Braves.
Better late than never, but the Mets say they are now shutting down Jose Reyes until he’s able to swing pain free from both sides of the plate. The decision came as the outcome of last night’s pre-game circus that first had Reyes in the lineup, and then scratched with the news he’ll be put on the shelf.
The ringmaster of the circus, of course, is Jerry Manuel, who has irresponsibly bungled this from the outset.