As much as it pains me to say, yesterday’s loss meant more than just an “L” in the loss column. It pretty much signified the end of the Mets playing somewhat meaningful baseball in 2011.
The loss dropped the Mets back below .500 and nine back in the wild card. Couple that with the loss of their hottest hitter over the past month and a half in Daniel Murphy (torn MCL), plus shortstop Jose Reyes (hamstring), and it’s pretty easy to see the writing on the wall. This team does not have the talent nor the magic they once had to make this season any sort of success.
However it’s not just that. This team has been playing well below the standards it somewhat had before the all-star break. Half the team looks plain lost in the field and the offense goes through lulls even more frequently. Expect those lulls to escalate for the rest of the season without Murphy, because say what you want about his defense and baseball IQ, the man could flat out hit. Also this team has completely forgotten how to win at home, which boggles my mind more than anything else seeing as this team was “built” to succeed at Citi Field.
There is, as they say, always some good in everything. The Mets for the rest of the season will have the chance to play some of their younger players in Triple A and such. Expect Ruben Tejeda to get the reps at short while Reyes recovers from his latest injury, one that ESPNNY’s Adam Rubin stated doesn’t seem to be serious (so in Met land that means his season is done). Also, Fernando Martinez may come up to fill an empty roster spot, something that could be beneficial seeing as he may very well be looked at as this team’s starting right fielder next season.
Hopefully I am wrong. Maybe seeing it’s two best players go down in one day will spark this team. Maybe Jason Bay will remember what the team is paying him to do. Maybe Lucas Duda will continue making strides to becoming a serviceable major league ballplayer. Who knows, Mike Pelfrey may even become the ace of the staff that some expected him to be. These all, save for Duda, are remote but as John Sterling always says, That’s Baseball, Susan.
Perhaps the biggest silver lining in all this is with Reyes. Another hamstring concern means maybe it will take less money for the Mets to sign him and keep enough teams out of the hunt. But that’s something we won’t know for sure until after the season, which after yesterday isn’t too far down the road.