Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fell On Black Days

The Mets managed to follow up Monday's embarrassing performance with a pair of performances that weren't embarrassing, just uninspiring.

It's getting a little disturbing. I know teams run hot and cold and the Mets have seemed to do this sort of thing already this season, but now, it's coming with a mounting rash of injuries to major players. You could scoot by in San Francisco with some bad defense and middling pitching performances because you can outhit them no matter who's in your lineup. The Dodgers are a different story. Before the season, I wrote that the Dodgers would hit and not pitch. Well, I got it backwards. They pitch, but they can't hit. Basically, the Mets got swept by a lineup that, without Manny Ramirez to hit HRs, is basically a bunch of singles hitters that will occasionally burn you with a longball. The Mets beat themselves on Monday, got beat by that odd longball on Tuesday and just couldn't scratch out a second run on Wednesday. Three games that they could have very easily won, and the Mets lost all three of them.

It's eerily reminiscent of this road trip the Mets took two years ago, back when they were that First-Place team going through a minor rough patch. The difference, I suppose, is that when the Mets got swept then, they looked kind of like they weren't really trying. They're trying now, I suppose. But they're woefully outmanned. This isn't a team that's going to be able to get by without Reyes in the lineup. They were barely getting by without Delgado. They can skate by a lousy team, but the Red Sox are going to feed them their lunch this weekend unless someone proves themselves capable of getting a hit with men on base. Ramon Martinez was a stopgap filler who happened to catch lightning in a bottle for a couple of days at the very end of last season. Right now, he's what, 0 for 10 since being recalled? He's a smart, heady ballplayer, but he's not, nor will he ever be a suitable replacement for anyone in this lineup on a consistent basis. But Manuel backed himself into a corner last night and had to use him lest the Mets tie the game and end up having to use Gary Sheffield at Shortstop.

So, basically, the Mets can't hit, they can barely field, two of their major lineup cogs are injured, their key bench player is also injured, and they're starting actual journeymen at two positions. There's only two guys hitting consistently in the lineup and they stick out so badly that you could conceivably intentionally walk both of them 4 times a game and then let whoever hits 5th ground into a double play.

Again, who knows? Reyes could be back on Friday. The Mets pitching could hold the line. Maybe Tatis has a hot streak in him? Maybe this Murphy at 1B experiment will work out (looked promising last night, at least). But the Mets happen to have the poor fortune of playing the two best Home teams in their ballparks, back to back. They're already 0-3, and they appear to be dangerously close to falling into the abyss of 0-6.

Johan needs to save our hide on Friday.

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