Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Mets' 10-Game Report: Volume 8

Howdy, Mets fans, and welcome to the latest disaster.  

Previous results:

And the latest:
Volume 8:
Games 71-80
Record: 3-7

vs STL W 3-2
vs NYY L 9-1
vs NYY L 5-0
vs NYY L 4-2
@ MIL L 10-6
@ MIL L 6-3
@ MIL W 1-0 
@ PIT W 9-8
@ PHI L 7-2
@ PHI L 4-1

Runs Scored: 28 (This is a season-low.  Just under 3 runs per game for 10 games.  Wow.)

Runs Allowed: 55

Team BA: 70/331 = .211 (As we shall see, while they could somewhat deal with the losses of Delgado and Reyes, Beltran's absence is the straw that has broken the camel's back.)

Team BA w/RISP: 20/81 = .246

Team BA w/ RISP & 2 outs: 6/38 = .157 (What a joke.  This team really has become a joke.)

HRs: 5 (That's a half of a homerun per game!)

Team ERA: 87IP, 50ER = 5.17 (How did they even win 3 games?  I mean really... 2.8 runs per game, 5.17 ERA...)

Starter ERA: 52.1IP, 35ER = 6.04

Bullpen ERA: 34IP, 16ER = 4.23

Team BAA: 102/339 = .300 (ouch)

HRs Allowed: 10

Errors: 9 (The Mets' defense has been comically and disturbingly bad this season.  Lately there has just always been a gaffe of some kind.)

GIDP: 6 (Really?  Only 6?  Didn't Fernando Tatis ground into about 160 double plays just last week?)

Fielding DP: 11

SB: 8

Volume 8 MVP's:
Starter: I guess this can go to Big Pelf, who threw a great game in Milwaukee the other day.
Reliever: Sean Green got some big outs in Milwaukee and has looked a lot better lately.  
Hitter: Alex Cora seems to be making contact a lot.  Actually, you know what... the only guy who seems to be having good at-bats lately is Luis Castillo.

Volume 8 I'd Like a Tall Glass of Whiskey With No Ice Now!:
Starter: Sorry, Livan, but you can't go into Philadelphia and give up 7 earned runs in 3 innings.
Reliever: Elmer Dessens?  You're still in baseball?
Hitter: David, I'd like to know why you have been such a ridiculously streaky hitter for the last 2 seasons.  You'll hit .500 for a good 12 games, and then you'll hit .100 for the next 12.  wtf?

Analysis: When it became a reality that the Mets would be without Delgado and Reyes, which was sometime around the Boston series (actually Reyes became an official casualty just a bit later), I thought that the team was still capable of playing .500 ball, perhaps even just above .500 ball.  And they did sustain a .500 level of play for a decent period of time.  But then Carlos Beltran went down right before this volume got under way.  One player really, really can make a difference.  And now this team is just in an offensive free-fall.  Simply put: they can't hit.  Hardly anyone in this lineup can hit, and the only ones who can are seriously hurt by the fact that there is ZERO protection in the lineup for them.  Look at the numbers, folks.  28 runs over 10 games.  2.8 runs per game.  They just can't hit.  Like any bad offensive team, they will on certain occasions score a bunch of runs.  But most of the time they are not going to hit and score.  

Now, add onto these offensive woes the fact that the starting pitching is now just starting to get exposed for what it is: a mediocre rotation.  That happens when you lose 2/5 of it to the DL.  Oliver Perez comes back this wednesday.  It cannot be stressed enough just how well we need Ollie to come through.  And then we need Maine back as well.  But for now, Ollie has to make Tim Redding the mop-up man in the bullpen (because, let's face it, TIM REDDING STINKS.  Let me say that again:  TIM REDDING STINKS).  

I really don't want to talk about the appalling defense this team has played.  It really has been appalling.  I can deal with the fact that we are getting beat due to injuries.  But please, Mets, don't add insult to injury.  Please, stop that.  

Where do the Mets go from here?  We keep hearing, "Just make it to the all-star break; just make it to the all-star break..."  But, look: Delgado, Reyes, and Beltran aren't coming back until, at the earliest, the last week of July.  We are probably looking at early August for all of them.  So, it's another month of this ugliness... Another month of 3 runs per game.  

It's not even like they have to play like all-stars to win.  They just have to pitch a little bit better, and hit a little bit better.  They just have to play .500 ball.  They have to stay within 5-7 losses of first place.  They also have to hope that the NL East continues to stink.  Because, wow, does this division stink right now.  

But there is a real concern that this team could be way too far out of the race by the time they get the "cavalry" back.  And again - as a diehard fan of this team, as someone who bleeds blue and orange - I can deal with losing tough games due to the fact that we are depleted.  I cannot deal with dropped pop-ups and mental gaffes.  Stop it, Mets.  Stop adding insult to injury.  

But aside from the sloppy defense, I cannot direct my ire towards the players as I could last year and the year before.  My ire is directed at Omar Minaya, the Wilpons, all of the coaches, and the trainers.  My ire is directed at the Mets organization who put this disaster together.  

Mets fans, listen up: We and our team are, quite simply, the joke of baseball right now.  2007, 2008, the dropped pop-up, the injuries, the double plays, the errant throws, not touching third-base, Jimmy Rollins and being owned by the Phillies, the Yankees sweeping us at CitiField in brutal fashion, Mariano Rivera with his first RBI, the Yankees being the only team playing winning baseball in New York, all this in the inaugural year of a new and VERY EXPENSIVE ballpark... need I go on???  We are the joke of baseball.  And it sucks.  It really, really sucks.  

The good news is that it is only July 6th.  There is half of a season left to go.  The Mets have 81 games left to play.  And this is baseball, after all.  Not another sport in the world is more fickle and unpredictable than this one.  With all that has happened, the Phillies could lose 4 in a row starting tomorrow and the Mets could win 4 in a row.  Would that shock you?  Would ANYTHING shock you, at this point?  

Around the NL East:

Phillies4-6, 7-3, 5-5, 7-3, 7-3, 5-5, 2-8, 5-4

Braves5-5, 5-5, 4-6, 6-4, 5-5, 5-5, 4-6, 5-5

Marlins: 9-1, 3-7, 4-6, 3-7, 4-6, 6-4, 5-5, 7-3, 2-1

Have the Phillies snapped out of their funk?  Tomorrow will determine that.  If they turn their Volume 8 into a 6-4, they'll have snapped out of it.  If it turns into 5-5, then just take a look at their last 30 games.  Not pretty.  I'm not convinced they are ready to take off any time soon.  Their starting pitching stinks, and before the depleted Mets came into that joke of a ballpark they call Citizens Bank, they had just completed a 4-14 skid.  As the Mets showed in 2007, a team that is capable of going on a 4-14 skid in June is capable of doing some pretty amazingly awful things.  The Braves? - still a .500 team.  That's all they are.  Now, that being said, I still don't relish the thought of the Mets going into Turner Field right after the All-Star Break.  

And those pesky fish... I was ready to write them off, and now all of the sudden they are back!  20-13 over their last 33.  Still, unless they are 15 or so games over .500 come September, the only team I see as capable of winning this division right now, and thus the only true threat to the Mets, is the Phillies.  And the Mets have no shot at winning anything until they get their regulars back.  And, hopefully when that time comes, they won't be too far out of it.  

Meanwhile, in the other league, the Yankees continue to battle with their schizophrenia.  Are they good?  Are they bad?  Well, they look pretty damn good right now.  But they are still 0-8 against the Sox.  

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