The Mets did not play well this weekend, certainly not at the caliber that we've been expecting them to play. It didn't help that this poor play came against the Atlanta Braves, in Turner Field, House of Horrors that it is.
The situation remains the same as it was last year. Poor situational hitting, bad breaks, inopportune longballs by the opposition. This weekend, this manifested itself in the form of David Wright's inability to get a hit with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs on 2 separate occasions on Saturday, followed by Kelly Johnson's Grand Slam off Sosa, and Teixeria's HR on Sunday off of Heilman. Santana certainly did everything necessary for him to win, but the Mets as a whole seemed rather impotent offensively against Smoltz, after not looking all that much better against Tim Hudson on Saturday.
I can only imagine the rant my lunatic co-worker will have for me tomorrow morning. Perhaps he'll suggest the Mets bring in Brian Daubach or Mark Johnson to play 1B.
Listening to WFAN tonight, there's about 95% panic among the Mets callers. People are apoplectic. It's disheartening to see them play this way, given that there's a general fear around Mets Nation caused by last year's finish, and the fact that this is a team built to win now. There's no time or means to rebuilding. The team is what it is. Mets fans as a whole have an innate inferiority complex, as if we're just waiting for that other shoe to drop. I'm like that myself, and I picked the team to finish first. But combine all of these factors together, and it's easy to see that this is how this year is going to be. Every victory will be met with guarded optimism. Every loss, especially a loss or two to Philly or Atlanta, will be met with Alarm Bells and Panic. We can look forward to it all season long, especially if the Mets go through an extended stretch of inconsistency as they did for the better part of 4 months last season.
While it's true that the Mets have yet to play with any sort of consistency so far, and they haven't given any of us a reason to think that this would change, it's as though Mets fans have forgotten that the season is only 5 games old. The Mets won 2 out of 3 in Florida, and asserted their offensive prowess twice against a team they should beat. In Atlanta, they struggled against the Braves' two best pitchers. When Philly comes to Shea this week, they'll be throwing the back end of their rotation (Moyer and Kyle Kendrick scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, not sure who's up on Thursday). It's certainly possible that the Mets could catch fire against Philly. Certainly, coming home, with a packed house ready to energize the team on Tuesday, the Mets ought to be able to rebound from the weekend and assert themselves against their primary competitor.
They have to, if nothing else, for the sanity of 80% of Mets fans.