Sep 22

It’s over, finally.

The inevitable became official last night when the Florida Marlins eliminated the Mets from playoff contention for the third time in four years. The Marlins might have administered the killing blow, but last night, as in the other two years, the Mets killed themselves.

Last night was a microcosm of this season in many ways, beginning with an offense that squandered numerous opportunities to eventually waste a strong starting performance, this time from Mike Pelfrey. The Mets’ inability t0 produce, much less in the clutch, has been a critical weakness all summer.

We’ve been over this before, but most of the starting position players will return next season so the Mets don’t figure to add a big bat. They need to hope for healthy players and improvement. Hoping makes for a very bad plan.

For his part, Pelfrey continues to pitch well enough to win most games, but last night was betrayed by his defense and later the bullpen.

After Pedro Feliciano retired the first two batters in the eighth, Jerry Manuel went to Elmer Dessens, who gave up four straight hits, including a mammoth three-run homer to Gaby Sanchez. Why Feliciano wasn’t allowed to continue is beyond me. He’s certainly more reliable than Dessens.

Another poor bullpen decision, but there have been so many I’ve lost track.

It’s easy to blame injuries, and for the Mets they could wonder what might have been had they not lost significant time from Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Jose Reyes and Johan Santana. Still, the Mets’ losses weren’t as severe as those of the Phillies, but they managed to overcome and have won 21 of their last 25, the kind of hot streak Manuel kept waiting for, but never came.

Championship caliber teams must find a way to overcome from injuries and the Mets did not. There were simply too many times this season when they beat themselves, whether it be an error in the field, giving away an at-bat, or throwing a lazy pitch.

You are what your record says you are, and for the Mets they are a losing team for the second straight season, and out of the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

On an interesting note, Manuel responded to Joe Torre’s comments about being curious about the Mets’ job, and Torre responded by apologizing to Manuel and saying he was closing the door on managing the Mets. Torre should have danced around the question better and apologized for violating an unwritten protocol.

Still, people change their minds so I wouldn’t write off the Mets and Torre talking after the season. It’s not as if Torre backing off now will save Manuel’s job. The Mets have not been shy in the past for going after media outlets for stories they didn’t like, or weren’t correct. The Mets have not told one media outlet to back off on Manuel, nor have they made any comment about his returning.

They have left Manuel alone to twist in the wind because they know he’s not returning. They are studying their options. Speaking of which, they appear to have lost out on Kevin Towers, who appears to be headed for Arizona. He would have been intriguing.

So, it is officially over, but we’ve known for awhile now that it wasn’t going to happen for the Mets. For me, I thought the series just prior to the break when they lost to Atlanta was a determining moment. From there, came the disastrous West Coast slide that coincided with the return of Carlos Beltran.

From there, the rest of the season was a formality.

Sep 29

About Yesterday ….

Perez: No better than a No. 5?

Perez: No better than a No. 5?

Instead of packing to head to Wrigley Field, the Mets will be in today to clean out their lockers. They will drift in throughout the afternoon. The Mets are telling us 11:30 until 3:30. Why 11:30?

Let’s figure it out …

I’m guessing a lot of guys will be in before that and leave before answering questions about another late season fade.

“We failed,” David Wright said yesterday. “We failed as a team.”

That they did. Yesterday, was a microcosm of all that went wrong.

Starting pitching: Oliver Perez showed he’s not an ace. Or even close to it. Perez finished the season at 10-8 with 17 no-decisions. Out of 34 starts, he came away with a no-decision half the time. Terrible. He can’t close the deal. In his biggest game of the season he gave the Mets 5 1/3 innings. Thanks for showing up.

Bullpen: No blown save yesterday, but does it matter? Back-to-back jacks were the difference. For the record, 29 blown saves overall. That is the stat of the season.

Offense: The Mets have an offense? Not yesterday. Two runs on four hits won’t get it done.

The Mets will pack to go home. Many of them never to return to this clubhouse. Who should go and who should stay? More on that today.

Please stay tuned throughout the day.