Rudy responded the other day and suggested .500 was a pipe dream. Well, is it?
There have been times this season when I thought so. During spring training and after their last horrid home stand. Not a week ago I ripped Terry Collins for saying things would turn around. I saw no indication of it at the time, but this is a good trip.
I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon – cable car – just because the Mets had a fun time in San Francisco. Afterall, they’ve had good stretches before. But, all you have to do is go back to last year and St. Louis and Tampa to see teams get hot late.
I wouldn’t suggest playoffs, but .500 is not out of the question. There are several things outside of making the playoffs that would define this as a successful season, and .500 is one of them.
The Mets are 8.5 games behind in the wild card stretch, but after dismantling the Giants they are only two games under .500. You take these things in small steps and two games isn’t much to make up considering all the games remaining.
Five-hundred? It isn’t the ultimate goal of this team, but it is possible and represents significant progress.
Yes, there are holes in their game, notably the pen. But, Bobby Parnell had a strong outing in the SF series and the pen hasn’t done badly on this trip. Let’s see if they can maintain. It’s not a pennant race, but it is a small step and that’s what rebuilding teams are about.
Jason Bay is a good guy. He plays sound defense and hustles. All admirable qualities. He just isn’t hitting and that’s what the Mets are paying him $66 million to do. It’s also something he hasn’t done in just under three years here.
BAY: No more smiles.
Two months remain in likely the Mets’ sixth straight season without seeing the playoffs. With hours remaining before the trade deadline, he’s impossible to deal. Nobody wants his contract, and heading into tonight’s game at San Francisco on an 0-for-22 slide, there’s no indication he’s about to snap out of his funk.
Bay is hitting .159 with five homers and eight RBI. When he’s not hitting, he’s been hurt.
Terry Collins said Bay is concerned with losing the respect of his teammates, which sounds commendable, but in reality is totally within his capabilities if he’d just hit the ball – even occasionally.
The Mets have been exceedingly patient with Bay, but it hasn’t worked for either party. It is getting clearer the Mets aren’t going anywhere this season, and Bay isn’t about to turn it around.
The Mets cut their losses with Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, and it’s time they did the same with Bay. The Mets decided they were better off without those distractions, but Bay has become one himself. Bay is more team oriented in attitude than Perez or Castillo, but has done nothing to help them on the field.
It is time they cut ties with him.
I must admit, that following their rough stretch against Atlanta and San Francisco, I thought the Mets were heading into a tailspin. However, strong pitching performances from Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey – following up stinkers – appear to have stabilized.
COLLINS: Happy so far.
I’m not saying all is well as it is way to early for that, but I have seen the Mets respond to a weekend like the one they had against the Giants in the opposite fashion. And, today their best pitcher, Jon Niese, will go for the sweep.
Playing well early against a tough schedule is a good sign, Terry Collins said: “It’s important. One of the things that makes it important, is that our guys know they can compete. We have a long hot summer ahead, we are very aware of that. They have to understand that they can compete with the teams we’re playing. Right now they’re seeing it.”
I suppose it could have been uglier.
That’s what I took from yesterday’s doubleheader loss to the San Francisco Giants. Sure, they could have lost a marathon game as they once did in a nightcap with the Giants, or get no-hit, as they did another time against San Francisco. However, yesterday was exasperating in its own right.
DAVIS: Tosses bat after another strikeout. (AP)
After a 4-0 start, the Mets lost eight of their next 12 to fall to .500. I’ve been saying .500 would be great for the Mets this season, but it also matters how you get there, and they are now reeling. Big time.
Ike Davis continues to flounder and yesterday stranded 11 runners. And, he didn’t even start the second game. That’s almost hard to do. Davis’ swing is a mess and the most action his bat got was when he threw it after getting rung up late in the second game.
Also on the negative side of the ledger was Jason Bay injuring his ribs when he dove for a ball near the warning track. Bay was in the midst of a hot stretch, so you figured he had to get hurt soon. Don’t count on him tonight.
And, once again the Mets’ starting pitching was torched. The Mets traded for Johan Santana to be a stopper. They need him to come up big tonight against the Marlins. They need him to prevent this from turning into a free fall.
ON DECK: Wright shows real leadership.
The Mets are now paying Jon Niese stopper money. Tonight he needs to earn it against San Francisco’s Barry Zito as the Mets seek to stabilize after losing three of their last four games.
After a surprisingly fast start, the Mets limp home with their rotation crushed, giving up 31 runs in the four games.
“We need Jon to give us a game,’’ manager Terry Collins said. So far, Niese has given the Mets two, winning both behind a nifty 2.13 ERA.
Niese will attempt to pick up the mess left by Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey in the last two games, and the bullpen’s meltdown Sunday at Philadelphia.
The Mets have always liked the physical aspects of Niese’s game; his location, velocity and movement on his pitches. However, the more they see him the more they appreciate his poise and composure. He ‘s not afraid to challenge hitters, including when behind in the count. That’s how one becomes a stopper.