Sep 16

Team meeting in DC

Jerry Manuel held a team meeting to rally the troops. Really, what can he say? With less than two weeks remaining, if the boys don’t know what is at stake now then they never will.

The bullpen has been a mess all season and they’ve been spotty hitting with runners in scoring position, and that’s still the case.

Actually, I’m tired of hearing “we’re better than this.” Well prove it.

Sep 08

Three weeks from today ….

Three weeks from today the Mets will either be cleaning out their lockers at Shea or working out in preparation for the Division Series. I’m still thinking it will be the latter.

But, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t think there wasn’t anything to worry about with this team. It was imperative they win last night and they did, with Johan Santana pitching one of his most important games as a Met. Maybe themost important.

Here’s what I see as the most important issues down the stretch.

1. Coping with last season. Last night was a start, but don’t forget the collapse including stretches of bad ball against teams with losing records. They can’t afford to let up against teams with losing records, such as Washington and Atlanta. I’m not convinced they have the killer instinct. This week should tell a lot.

2. The starting pitching is three deep with Santana, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez. Pedro Martinez can’t be relied on for more than five innings, and lately they haven’t been a good five innings.

3. The bullpen has been suspect all season. Having something definitive on Billy Wagner might help Jerry Manuel define roles, but how can they be better off without their best reliever?

4. Hitting with runners in scoring position has also been an issue. Last night was tougher than it needed to be. With pitching issues, more runs are always needed. David Wright, in particular, has been in a funk.

Sep 05

Sept. 5.08: Time to prove something.

Do you remember, their lead last year that disappeared in two weeks?

Of course, you do. Let’s hope the Mets remember, too. Willie Randolph said in spring training that the collapse was behind them, but when he took over Jerry Manuel said if he were manager he would have hammered the collapse home as a motivator.

If nothing else, the Mets should have learned about fragility. And, that’s not just in the late innings when the bullpen has the game. It is advancing runners and hitting with runners in scoring position from the first inning on. They’ve played well lately, but this remains a concern.

What the Mets should have learned from last year is the development of the killer instinct. No matter what happens this weekend, the Mets will not win or lose the NL East. But, winning two of three, at least, gives them the hammer.

Let’s hope this time, they don’t drop it on their foot.

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