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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It is premature to panic over Mike Pelfrey after two horrific starts that have given him an unsightly 15.63 ERA.
PELFREY: Seeking first win tonight.
Pelfrey said he’ll return to square one for tonight’s game against Colorado, and will rely more on his fastball and splitter something he didn’t do against Florida Opening Day and last week in Philadelphia when he gave up seven runs in two innings.
“I know I need to be better,’’ Pelfrey said in a classic understatement. “I just have to rely on my fastball and splitter, which I didn’t to the first two times out. … If I get beat, I have no problem walking off the field if I can say they beat my best stuff.’’
Against the Phillies, Pelfrey threw first-pitch fastballs to six of the 18 batters he faced. He didn’t say why he went away from his bread-and-butter.
This is what happened to Pelfrey last July when he was winless.
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We’re nine games into the season and a few things are quickly coming into focus, few of them good.
PELFREY: Seeking first win tonight.
The team is hustling, always a positive, but how long will the attitude last if the pitching falters and the losing continues?
If you could have handicapped the first three series, you would’ve figured losses at Florida and Philadelphia, and beating Washington. A 4-5 record wouldn’t have been an unreasonable projection.
The bullpen has been terrible, the rotation spotty and the clutch hitting poor. Seventeen strikeouts yesterday against the Nationals is inexcusable. That being said, the Mets are lucky to be where they are.
It’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusions on the season, but to avoid a slide they need to show something against Colorado and Atlanta, seven games against superior competition, with four at home against the Rockies. If they lose the Colorado series, then go into Atlanta, who can’t see the basement by the time they come home again?
Winning teams focus one series at a time, and the Mets have played poorly in losing of their first three. Progress is made in little steps, and they need Mike Pelfrey to take one tonight.
Once again, it is up to Johan Santana to pick up the pieces following another Mets’ loss. This one a crushing defeat when the bullpen and offense conspired to take a win away from Jonathan Niese.
With a little run support, Santana could have 13, 14 wins by now, but the Mets simply don’t score for him. They don’t score for anybody these days. Maybe this afternoon against Colorado it will be different, but there were no such signs coming out of last night’s loss which featured seven straight Mets striking out.
David Wright is in the midst of a 2-for-33 slide and the strikeouts are mounting again. He could get the afternoon off. Jerry Manuel also hinted at giving Jose Reyes a day off, too. Reyes recently admitted his concentration wanders at time and he loses focus.
Reyes’ game, especially defensively, has been spotty lately.
NOTE: I have another work assignment today and won’t be in the chat room until later in the game.