The Mets have always been a streaky bunch. Hot, then cold. You knew the winning streak would end eventually, but didn’t think it would come in a game started by Johan Santana.
It’s not surprising he lost, but what is disturbing is the manner in which the Mets lost. They won by playing aggressive, crisp baseball, but last night were sloppy. Five unearned runs is inexcusable.
It’s easy to say it was only one game, but games like that can lead into bad habits. The Mets need a good start tonight from Mike Pelfrey, because, quite frankly, I don’t know if Jon Niese has two in a row. Then they have a murderous trip with four games against the Giants, three at the Dodgers and three at Fenway.
Winning is tough enough as it is and if the Mets start playing sloppy ball then this could be a very difficult stretch.
Johan Santana is pitching tonight for the Mets against Atlanta, and if the trend continues he’ll get two runs and win. The Mets, going for their eighth straight victory, just can’t score for Santana, giving him a dozen runs in his six starts.
Why can’t the Mets score for Santana? It’s as if they think “all we need is a couple because they won’t score against him.” Not a good mindset to have.
The Mets are on a good roll, but they have to maintain. They can’t afford to let up, especially against the Braves, who have a way of putting the Mets in their place.
No, not for a minute do I believe the Mets’ winning streak is tied to GM Omar Minaya’s comments about some of his players lacking a certain “edge” to them.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last game the Mets lost was one started by Oliver Perez that Saturday afternoon in Philly. The Mets came back to make a game of it before losing on a bases loaded walk from Sean Green.
From then on, they’ve played the way they said all along they were capable of.
The Mets are 12-3 when they get a quality start, which by definition – three runs in six innings – is kind of mediocre when you stop to think about it. Mets starters are 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA in their last seven starts.
When a team pitches well, and that should continue tonight with Johan Santana, then everything else falls into place. There’s less pressure on the offense and less strain on the bullpen. Games are crisper, smoother and played with a certain – what’s the word I’m searching for? – edge if you will.
The Mets are playing aggressive, alert baseball, and there are no worries about heart or calls for leadership.
Once the pitching goes in the tank again, and there will be a stretch when things don’t click again, we’ll hear about “edge” and grit and leadership.
The best pitcher in the sport will try to extend the Mets’ winning streak to three games tonight against the Phillies. Johan Santana could easily be 5-0 with a little more support.
Interesting changes in the line-up, beginning with Daniel Murphy batting sixth behind David Wright because Alex Cora gets the start at second. Ryan Church, who is in a dreadful slump and hitting .143 with RISP in on the bench.
Here’s the line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Jeremy Reed, RF
Omir Santos, C
Johan Santana, P
OLIVER PEREZ: The minors could help.
After all but agreeing to take a minor league assignment following Saturday’s loss, Oliver Perez’s right knee was conveniently wrapped in ice yesterday afternoon. He said it has been bothering him all year, which begs the question: Why didn’t the Mets say something earlier?
Perez might take a face-saving trip to the DL or might be used in relief sometime this week. As of now, he won’t make Friday’s start against Pittsburgh at Citi Field.
Perez can veto any demotion to the minor leagues because of his service time, which would make him incredibly selfish. If he does it would be interesting to see how many “leaders” in the Mets’ clubhouse would tell him that’s the thing for him to do.
I’d say none. Not even Johan Santana would suggest to him the minors is the way to go to fix his mechanics and attitude. The players will say it is beyond their responsibilities to tell a teammate to go to the minor leagues even if staying is the best interest of the team.
There’s something incredibly wrong with Perez that has nothing to do with his knee. And, the Mets can’t waste any more major league innings trying to figure it out.