Terry Collins has been around the block more than a few times. He can see things others can’t and yesterday sensed a lack of energy from the Mets. Getting into Chicago at 4 a.m., after their adrenalin-sapping series with the Yankees can do that to a team.
WOOD: Mows down Mets (AP)
Offensively, Ike Davis’ two-out homer in the ninth averted a shutout. They couldn’t touch Travis Wood. Defensively, David Wright committed a crucial error that opened the door to a four-run Cubs seventh.
There was nothing good about the night.
“We were a little flat,” Collins said. “They’re human beings and the adrenaline knock out for a while, and the fact that they got about probably five or six hours of sleep didn’t help either.”
It was only one game, but how the Mets respond the rest of the series will be important. Contending teams, which the Mets now consider themselves, must be able to beat up on losing teams and the Cubs are MLB’s worst, now 23 games under .500.
ON DECK: Parnell gets closer job … again.
Greetings. One of the things I’d like to try on a regular, if not daily basis, is a Mets’ oriented notebook. There’s so much going on that I don’t want to get by the boards.
* Frank Francisco has a tight left oblique, and Mets fans know what a puzzling and aggravating injury that can be. A player thinks he’s better, then makes a move and is on the DL. Francisco will likely be held out of tonight’s game. Francisco was injured Friday night and it kind of makes me wonder if he hurt himself trying to muscle up on his pitches. Francisco did get into some trouble in the end and I’m betting he did it by trying to overthrow.
* Tonight’s lineup hasn’t been posted, but I hope Daniel Murphy is in it. He’s struggled, especially against lefties, but I have a feeling about him.
* Ike Davis suffered from food poisoning the other day. Maybe that damn chicken gave him something. He should be available tonight against lefty CC Sabathia.
ON DECK: Bullpen issues.
Yes, I know, Frank Francisco got the save last night and backed up his boast, but not before getting into trouble. Fact is, he’ll blow a key save opportunity soon enough.
The biggest thing that came out of last night was Ike Davis’ homer in the first against lefty Andy Pettitte. I wrote earlier how that match up would be key in this series.
Davis delivered last night and that was the difference and supported Jon Niese. You have to give credit to Terry Collins for sticking with him when Davis was struggling.
There are several things I’d like to see happen for the Mets this weekend. If recent history is any indicator, they will be swept by the Yankees. Trading sweeps is not a way to make the kind of progress Terry Collins needs.
We’ve seen it before with the Mets. They’d come into the Yankees’ series on a roll and get dumped on. And, at home, too. That needs to stop, and here’s what we need to see.
* With the Yankees throwing left handers Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda (tight hammy) need to have a good series. Raking would be nice, but don’t get stuffed. It is easy to envision them getting shut down, but their development requires standing in against tough lefties.
* The bullpen bridge to Frank Francisco must produce. And, the sometimes shaky closer needs to show his mettle. Of course, the best thing would be to get quality innings from the starters.
* The RA Dickey success is no fluke, but the Yankees have a way of cutting down hot pitchers a notch. A strong game on national TV Sunday night against Sabathia would be a great way to start a long road trip.
There are other things I’d like to see, but if the Mets produce the above three, it should be a successful weekend.
ON DECK: Interleague play.
The Mets, losers of six of seven before their sweep of Tampa Bay, will attempt to stay on their roll tonight against Cincinnati at Citi Field. Here’s tonight’s lineup against the Reds:
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF
Daniel Murphy – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Lucas Duda – RF
Ike Davis – 1B
Jason Bay – LF
Josh Thole – C
Omar Quintanilla – SS
Dillon Gee – RHP
LINEUP COMMENTS: Glad to see Terry Collins sticking with Kirk Neiuwenhuis instead of sending him to the bench. Collins must stay with Jason Bay for now since he had a few hits the other day. If Bay get hot, it might be a good idea to slot him between Lucas Duda and Ike Davis.