If you remember, the Mets ended May in the midst of an eleven game home stand. They took three of four from San Diego, but then dropped two of three to the Phillies. That series against Philadelphia in particular, marked the official start of this most difficult portion of the Mets’ schedule.
Then Carlos Beltran and the Cardinals came to town. Terry’s Kids took three out of four games from St. Louis, and the team basked in the glory of the franchise’s first ever no-hitter. The Mets finished their home stand with a 7-4 record, and improved to 31-24 on the season.
Back during their last road trip in May which ended in Pittsburgh, the Mets won the final two games of the swing to get their road record back at .500, with a 12-12 record. Last Tuesday, the Mets embarked on this current road trip, and promptly lost two games to the first place Nationals. My prevailing thought was the Mets failed to seize a moment, based upon the recent momentum they seemingly built up. But R.A. Dickey stepped in to salvage Game Three of the series with his ninth win of the season.
That served as your lead-in for the Bronx portion of this season’s Subway Series. And after Johan got pummelled in the opener, the Mets’ happy no-hitter fever officially broke as well. Friday’s was a rude reminder that it was time for us Mets fans to rejoin the matters of our previously precarious season, that was already in progress.
Beating the Cardinals, Johan’s back-to-back complete game shut-outs and no-hitter, complimented by R.A. Dickey’s eighth and ninth wins of the season, had greater METropoliS feeling down right stupid with delight, and distracted many from the Mets’ actual plight. So getting swept by the Yankees was perhaps a good thing. It’s best not to get too high when dealing with this team. That’s only my opinion though. But I look at this last weekend as a correction; just like a Wall Street correction if you will. This setback puts things back into proper perspective for us. Because as of Sunday night, we aren’t even as good as our 4-0 start that began the season. That well is threatening to go dry.
The Mets are 4-6 in June and on the verge of fading fast. They are losers of five out of their last six games, and eight of their last thirteen dating back to the Phillies. And since balancing their road record at 12-12, they have since dropped to 13-17 on the road upon getting swept in the Bronx. For the season, they’ve now been reduced to a 32-29 record.
If anything, getting swept by the Yankees only punctuated what has, and what still ails this team, which is a lack of power, poor defense, and an unreliable bullpen.
If the Yankees seemed like they hit a preponderance of home runs against the Mets, it’s because they did. The Amazins hit two in the three game series, while the Yankees hit eight. The Mets aren’t second to last in the National League in home runs anymore, but they still only rank 13th with forty-seven. The New York Yankees on the other hand, lead the Major Leagues with ninety-two.
Defensively, the Mets are second to the Giants in the National League in errors with forty-nine. A whopping thirty-four of those errors have come on the road. Two of their most recent errors cost the Mets dearly Sunday afternoon. In fact, the Mets have committed the fourth most errors in Baseball. Our next opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays, unbelievably, rank third.
And what more can we say about the bullpen that hasn’t been said already? The Yankees’ depleted bullpen was able to out-pitch the Mets’ beleaguered bullpen. Flushing’s pen pitched to a 12.60 ERA against the Yankees. Only Frank Francisco went unscathed this weekend because the Mets never put him in a save situation.
Poor Elvin Ramirez is getting absolutely hammered since being called up from Buffalo. His hazing into the bigs continued Friday night in Game One. He is pitching nowhere near what his minor stats in Binghampton and Buffalo might have indicated. Actually, the bullpen wasn’t too bad over the first two games against the Yankees. But in Game Three, Bobby Parnell and Jon Rauch were brutal; or should I say served up a brutal loss?
On the brighter side of Roosevelt Avenue, the Mets still have their four solid starting pitchers, and in spite of getting swept, they still showed their season-long comeback ability hasn’t deserted them.
All I’m saying is, after a weekend like this, don’t get all hyped up to blow Sandy Alderson’s budget over the Summer just yet. We are what our record says we are, until our record says otherwise.