Jul 23

Mets Chat Room; season sliding away.

The Mets have given up most of the ground they gained in June. They are 5-13 for July, including losers of four straight and seven of eight on this road trip. They have lost 6 ½ games in the standings to be 7 ½ games behind the Braves.

Game #97 at Dodgers

There’s still time, but it is amazing how it slips away.

Things are even more pressing considering the Mets have three games with the Dodgers, and three each with St. Louis, Atlanta and Philadelphia. They also have three with Arizona, but all they need to do is look at the beginning of the week to know that’s not a slam dunk.

For all the talk about needing another starter, which is still true considering Mike Pelfrey’s slide and the erratic performances of Hisanori Takahashi, it is the offense that has collapsed, scoring four runs or fewer in their last 13 games.

Going tonight is Johan Santana, who knows something about non-support as he has watched the Mets give him three runs or less in 12 of his 20 starts.

“This is a team effort, and it’s part of the game,” Santana said. “We’re going to struggle sometimes, we’re going to do good sometimes. All I got to do is go out there and do my job and try to help to get a win. That’s the way I approach the game.’’

Santana has done his part, with the Mets winning his last three starts. He is 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA in that span.

“We’ve got to eventually turn this thing around,” said manager Jerry Manuel. “Somebody’s got to find a way to get hot and carry us for a minute.’’

Well, a little bit more than a minute would be nice.

Jul 22

Mets Chat Room; patchwork lineup and Takahashi tonight.

Backed by a patchwork lineup, the Mets’ Hisanori Takahashi is being asked not only to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, but stop a free fall.

Game #96 at Dodgers

The Mets have lost six of seven since the break – and should’ve lost the game they won – and eight of ten. Once 11 games over .500, tonight they are only three.

They are hitting .192 with 15 runs in the seven games since the break, prompting tonight’s sitting of Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran and Rod Barajas. Enter Jeff Francoeur and Chris Carter in the outfield and Josh Thole behind the plate.

Francoeur, acknowledged as a team leader, has been in a long funk even before losing his job with Beltran’s return from the DL. His public image is one of happy-go-lucky, but in the end it’s all about playing time and Francoeur said he’d welcome a trade. Perhaps even requested.

Against that backdrop is Takahashi, who didn’t make it out of the third in his last start, Saturday at San Francisco.

Impressive when he first entered the rotation as a fill-in, Takahashi has struggled, going 1-2 with a 10.90 ERA in his last four starts. In that span he’s given up seven homers.

This stretch is why the Mets believe he’s better suited for the bullpen, which is why it is surprising he’s getting the ball despite other options.

The Mets won’t give Pat Misch a start and the Mets refuse to start Oliver Perez, despite giving him medical clearance. Jerry Manuel said Perez will work out of the bullpen, something he proved last night he’s not equipped to do.

Jul 22

Tonight’s lineup at Dodgers

As promised, Jerry Manuel is sitting his Killer B’s: Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran and Rod Barajas are all on the bench for tonight’s game at Los Angeles.

No real surprises. I thought Barajas might play because he homered last night and tends to hit them in bunches. But, Manuel did go to bat to keep Josh Thole so he might as well play.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, CF

David Wright, 3B

Ike Davis, 1B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Chris Carter, LF

Josh Thole, C

Luis Castillo, 2B

Hisanori Takahashi, LP

Jul 21

Roster move: Perez activated.

PEREZ: He's back.

Oliver Perez was activated following yesterday’s game. To make room for him Justin Turner was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, leaving Josh Thole around to catch another day.

Jerry Manuel lobbied hard to keep Thole, his third catcher, and got his way. Manuel said as long as Thole is on the roster he’ll play. This does leave a void as David Wright’s back-up. Henry Blanco?

But, what to do with Perez? Manuel said he’ll be the first lefty out of the bullpen. Despite Hisanori Takahashi’s recent problems, he’s still on to start Thursday at Los Angeles. There are no thoughts as of now of starting Perez.

And, falling under the category of: Let’s not hope that’s all there  is.

The Mets signed free-agent reliever Chad Cordero, who missed all of last season following labrum surgery. Cordero briefly pitched for Seattle last month but opted to become a free agent rather than take a minor league assignment.

Jul 20

Tonight’s lineup at Arizona

Tonight’s lineup at Arizona

Jose Reyes, SS

Angel Pagan, RF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Ike Davis, 1B

Jason Bay, LF

Josh Thole, C

Luis Castillo, 2B

RA Dickey, RP

Notes: Expect Oliver Perez to be activated soon. Most likely Josh Thole or Justin Turner will be optioned to make room for him. Manuel would like to keep Thole on the roster. Manuel said Perez would initially work out of the bullpen. … Hisanori Takahashi is still on to start Thursday’s game at Los Angeles. As of now there are no plans to bring up Pat Misch.