When you keep losing series, you’ll never get on track and that’s where the Mets find themselves today against Tampa Bay. The Mets began the month trying to avoid a June Swoon. It has turned out that way, but lucky for them nobody else in the division has been able to run away.
It’s still winnable, but not if this continues.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier in the coming weeks with St. Louis, the Yankees and Phillies again, and Atlanta.
Especially discouraging is how the Mets have lost this year. There have been a lot of tough losses: the Murphy dropped fly in Florida that beat Santana; the Castillo dropped pop against the Yankees; the blown five-run lead against the Pirates; the Church game in LA where he failed to touch third base; yesterday’s loss to the Rays; and several others, including a couple of games in which they blew a three-run lead.
Championship caliber teams find a way to win these games and that’s something the Mets haven’t done with any consistency.
Just taking your temperature on your concern level with the Mets as they head into the roughest part of their schedule. Upcoming over the next few weeks are the Phillies twice, Yankees twice, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles.
And, they’ll be playing with questions in their rotation, notably Mike Pelfrey and John Maine being erratic; a strained bullpen; and numerous offensive issues. Is Gary Sheffield out of gas? Will Daniel Murphy hit like he did in the beginning of the season? And, will David Wright and Carlos Beltran start hitting with some power?
With the exception of Johan Santana starting tomorrow night, the pitching match-ups in the Philadelphia series favor the Phillies. Against superior pitching, the Mets aren’t hitting enough to compensate for their pitching deficiencies.
When you look at the Mets overall, they are closer to being the team that was swept at Los Angeles than the team that won two of three at Fenway Park.
The Mets need to hang close until late July to see where they are at the trade deadline. Given their upcoming schedule, a losing streak is definitely possible. More possible than a lengthy winning roll. This isn’t a team built to where they can climb out of a 10-game hole.
If you cheer for the Mets, your concern level should be high.
Every World Series has its storyline, but when was the last time we had a really compelling Classic? Probably Angels-Giants in 2002. Yankees and D-Backs in 2001, for sure.
This one has that capability as it pits two gritty teams, clubs with resiliency to match their talent. Tampa Bay has that karma thing going for it, but let’s not overlook the Phillies, no matter how much you hate them.
They also can make a destiny argument.
Both teams can mash, but the Phillies have Ryan Howard, capable of controlling a Series. The Rays have a young, talented staff, but Philadelphia probably has the best pitcher in Cole Hamels and the dominant closer in Brad Lidge.
I believe the Rays shook the jitters when they blew Game 5 at Boston and hung on to win. They won’t be rattled. I think they’ll prevail in seven.
And if they don’t? Well, I’m happy if it goes seven.