causing me to have a nervous breakdown in September of 2008, I deemed the final two weeks of the season "Idiot Time." Idiot time is what happens when the Mets lose a game to a team they should be stomping and then the Manager and the players give interviews after the game where they're making uncomfortable jokes and trying to act as though everything's great. They play like idiots and then they act like idiots. Idiots idiots idiots.
For as much as I thought the Mets were beyond this sort of stuff now, because it's a new regime and a totally different roster, they did a really good job of making it seem like it was 2008 on Tuesday night. Logan Verrett got bombed out of the building, the hitters couldn't solve Matt Wisler, the Mets lost and Terry Collins gave a jovial postgame conference where he did everything short of referring to himself as Charlie the Tuna.
I'm trying to not let these things bother me too much because this is a different era, and the team that's in pursuit of them still has a hard time getting out of their own way and is running out of time to catch up, but the Mets aren't doing a particularly good job of putting this thing away. Nor are they doing a good job of inspiring confidence if and when they do wrap this up.
Right now, Tyler Clippard is taking a lot of heat because he gave up two key runs in the 9th inning, but I don't think this is really about Clippard. Clippard shouldn't have been in the game altogether. Clippard still needs to be resting that "sore back" or "sore neck" that he has for another week or so and let the other guys negotiate this stretch. But he's a very convenient scapegoat here. Really, the issue is that the Mets offense, which was carrying the team for weeks, stopped hitting. Granted, they were generating runs at an unsustainable pace and they were guaranteed to come back to Earth, but it doesn't help that basically everyone has gone cold at once. It can make a team look rather pedestrian when that happens.
I wouldn't go so far as to say the Mets are playing tight because for the most part they don't look tight. They're making the same dopey mistakes they usually make; it only causes more concern because, as I said, it's idiot time.