May 05

Even against the best, the Mets had chances.

We saw what the Mets could do a week ago.  They were proficient in tacking on runs, scoring late and getting hits with two outs, and – surprise – with runners in scoring position.

CAPUANO: Strong effort wasted.


However, they were also doing that against Houston, Arizona and Washington. Teams not much better than them.

Now we are seeing what they can, or should I say, can’t do against the National League’s elite arms.

They were taken down last night by Tim Lincecum. Before that it was Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Those games also featured wasted pitching outings by Jon Niese, Chris Young and Chris Capuano.

Maybe it will get better when Jason Bay and Angel Pagan return, but their absence is really no excuse. Major league hitters must find away to manufacture runs. Even against the best, the Mets must play better than their current pace, which would net them 65 victories.

That’s good enough for last place, not much more.

As dominating as Lincecum was last night, the Mets left nine runners on base and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. They had their chances.

This isn’t a team without opportunities. This is a team not good enough to convert them.

ON DECK: Even though he is playing well, Beltran will be tough to deal.


Apr 20

Where’s the light for the Mets?

The Mets didn’t exactly win one for Brad Emaus last night, but in his honor played crappy baseball as they were stuffed by the Houston Astros, a team they should handle.

Guess not.

“Our team has not played well in any aspect,’’ GM Sandy Alderson said last night, narrowing it down. The Mets were supposed to be under talented on the field, but they were supposed to hustle and play sound fundamentally. That was going to keep them competitive.

The foundation is pitching, but the Mets have cracks all over. Jon Niese was behind in the count all evening and it is somewhat of a surprise he only gave up two runs through six innings.

RA Dickey goes tonight. He kept the ball around the plate for the most part last season, but that’s past tense. His control, like that of Mike Pelfrey, is also off. Dickey is no longer a surprise, he no longer sneaks up on teams. Teams are waiting for him.

The bullpen has been a disaster, and now we learn Bobby Parnell has numbness in his middle finger and can’t properly grip the ball. His velocity has been down. So much for him being the eighth-inning set-up reliever and future closer. There are just too many issues for him. Should the numbness persist, the disabled list can’t be far away.

Numbers wise, the Mets are averaging giving up roughly three runs a game after the fifth inning, a clear indictment of their bullpen. On the bright side, Francisco Rodriguez in on a pace to not reach 55 competed games.

But, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Jason Bay is back tomorrow.


Apr 13

Niese tries to right Mets tonight.

It is one thing to lose, but another to give the game away as they did Monday night against the Rockies. The Mets are playing with little margin for error these days, especially against superior teams such as Colorado and Atlanta later this week.

On Monday, Mike Pelfrey threw 113 pitches in 5.1 innings, and the bullpen imploded, highlighted by poor throws from relievers Ryota Igarashi and Bobby Parnell to the plate that kept innings alive.

“The fight is still there, but we’ve got to stop making mistakes,’’ said manager Terry Collins, singing the same refrain heard from most losing teams.

Jon Niese will start tonight and must give the Mets innings as to take them away from the bullpen, which during the current slide of five losses in six games is 0-3 with a 6.57 ERA.

Niese is coming off a rocky start, giving up six runs on eight hits in four innings in an 11-0 loss at Philadelphia.

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