So the Mets are back home in their friendly familiar settings. Citi Field will no doubt feel like home sweet home. After a disastrous west coast road trip in which the Mets went 2-9 against the San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Mets are tail-spinning out of control.
Maybe being back home will be the respite the Mets need to get out of their funk.
Looking at the results of the games, it seems the Mets did not pack their bats with them on this trip. In the 11-game road trip to start off the second half of baseball, the Mets were shut out in four games and scored a total of 13 in the other five losses. Adding more to the pain was the fact that two losses came via the walk-off variety, which gives the Mets 13 for the year and leads the all of the majors.
Surprisingly, the Mets got some great pitching on the road, with only Hisanori Takahashi’s start against the Giants and Mike Pelfrey’s start against the Diamondbacks being the only really bad blemishes. The Mets also got excellent relief pitching, in which the bullpen conceded 15 runs in 37 innings.
The Mets welcomed back the return of both Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo on this trip and had their full compliment of hitters in over a year, but their return to the lineup could not spark any offense. In what was supposed to be a strength of the team, the bats of David Wright, Jason Bay and Ike Davis have simply gone cold in a listless malaise that has the Mets season at a crossroads.
On the road trip the Mets have had a 24- and 17-inning scoreless streak plus a 16-game scoreless streak, which is currently still intact. In the 11 games on the road, the Mets batted an anemic.196.
The Mets are losing out in the playoff hunt with each passing day and are just hovering over the .500 mark at 50-49. They are seven and a half games back of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves and six games back out of the wild card, with four teams ahead of them in that race.
While the Mets should find comfort in the fact that their next seven games are at home, they get no breaks as one of the hottest teams in baseball comes to town in the St. Louis Cardinals. In the first two games, the Cardinals will throw out to the mound impressive rookie Jaime Garcia (9-4, 2.20 ERA) and Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright (14-5, 1.94 ERA). No easy task in trying to break out of a hitting slump with those two slated to pitch.
With Monday’s off day, are changes on the horizon? Will Mets brass say enough is enough and pull the plug on either Jerry Manuel or perhaps hitting coach Howard Johnson?
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Omar Minaya said that Manuel’s job was safe prior to the Dodger series, but hinted that other coaches, namely Johnson, may be on the chopping block.
“I don’t want to talk about that,” Minaya said in the report. “I feel everybody here is trying hard. I could tell you the staff is trying hard. If you ask me [about] the overall performance that has happened, of course I’m not happy. Nobody is happy. Guys are doing the best they can. But we’re going to continue to sit down with Jerry and continue to evaluate how we can get better.”
With the deadline days away, and to use poker terminology, Mets officials must declare if they are “All in,” or if they are “folding.’ One report has the Mets interested in the Royals Jose Guillen and Gill Meche with the Mets saying goodbye once and for all to Oliver Perez, while also shipping out Jeff Francoeur and Luis Castilo.
The Mets have to make their stand now or their playoff chances will crumble quicker than a New York minute.
Will the bats wake up? Will the Mets make a move a move to bolster their team? Will the pitching hold up?
These are questions that will define the fate of the New York Mets season.
And quite frankly, these are questions Mets fans are getting tired of asking.