After being swept by the Yankees the Mets are in Milwaukee tonight to begin a series against the Brewers. It won’t get any easier.
And, it is going to stay rough for a long time because Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado aren’t back any time soon, and Carlos Beltran could be out a little longer. They simply don’t have any chips to deal.
It’s up to the people here now, and they aren’t getting it done.
The Mets follow up their first series win in weeks with a three-game series against the Yankees at Citi Field, with Mike Pelfrey going against CC Sabathia.
Pelfrey (5–2, 4.74 ERA) pitched five innings against the Yankees last season and allowed eight hits and four runs. The key with Pelfrey is to get ahead in the count. With a first-pitch strike opponents are batting just .193 against him; they are .387 when he falls behind.
Another thing with Pelfrey is to avoid the big inning. He has a tendency to give up runs in bunches and unravel. He has been unable to minimize the damage.
Sabathia (6–4, 3.71 ERA) left his last start in the second inning with a sore left bicep. He has gone 5-1 over his last nine starts.
An interesting line-up change has Ryan Church in center and Fernando Tatis in right. Gary Sheffield is back and in left.
Here’s the batting order:
Luis Castillo, 2B
Alex Cora, SS
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Fernando Tatis, RF
Ryan Church, CF
Nick Evans, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Mike Pelfrey, RP
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.
It has to change.
With the Subway Series beginning tonight it is an appropriate time to ask this question: Why do you hate the Yankees?
Is it because of their 26 World Series rings and the subsequent sense of entitlement? Is it their obnoxious fans? There’s got to be a reason why you show rage and scorn at the pinstripes.
What is it?
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.