Had the Mets won six out of every ten games all year, this might have turned out to be an enjoyable, if not a memorable season. It remains to be seen – although it is unlikely – if going 6-4 on this homestand will be enough to change GM Sandy Alderson’s definition of “exceedingly well.’’
That’s the rate Alderson said the Mets had to play at in their homestand coming out of the All-Star break to shift out of sell mode.
Manager Terry Collins believes Alderson has already made up his mind.
“I can tell you that’s the belief in the clubhouse, but I don’t know if that’s the feeling from the outside,’’ Collins said, while not naming Alderson. “Going 6-4 might not be good enough. Eight and two would be good enough.’’
Once again, the Mets failed to complete a sweep on a home Sunday, losing 3-2 today, as Oakland won on the strength of three solo homers. The Mets remain the major’s only team not to win a three-game home series. They begin a 10-game trip tomorrow to San Diego, Seattle and Colorado that will take them through the non-waiver trade deadline.
The Mets regrouped in each of the last two seasons to reach the playoffs. Their odds are longer this year.
“Next week will be hard,’’ Collins said. “Again, I will do the best I can to keep their mind on the game. …
“I’ve pushed and pushed and pushed to let them know, you gotta go play. If you’re building up your hopes that maybe you’re gonna get traded to a first-place club or something, they’ve got to realize that stuff’s completely out of their control, and a lot of things can change at the last minute.’’
Jay Bruce knows what Collins is talking about. He lived through it last year before Cincinnati traded him to the Mets.
“Obviously, the fact that this could be the last home game for a lot of us here is something that’s a bit odd, but nothing happens until it happens and we don’t know for sure and we’ll just see how it goes,’’ Bruce said. “We don’t need to be reminded [about what Alderson said]. We know what situation we are in.’’
MONTERO PITCHES WELL: The Mets would take three runs in seven innings every time from Rafael Montero.
“He did a nice job again today,’’ Collins said. “We didn’t have many opportunities, but he gave us every chance to get back and win the game.’’
The only trouble is Montero gave up three of his five homers this year today. Two came on hanging sliders.
“I think I need to keep the ball a little bit lower,’’ Montero said. “That’s really where I got into some trouble and there was damage done against me. Those home runs, when they occurred, that’s because I kept the ball too high.’’
Montero has worked into the sixth inning or later in his last four starts. The Mets might not reach the playoffs this year, but they might have found another starter.
CESPEDES’ WOES CONTINUE: Yoenis Cespedes, who went 0-for-5 Saturday, did not start, but flied out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.
Since June 24, Cespedes has two doubles, no homers and just three RBI.
He hasn’t homered in 80 at-bats.