The Mets had a great chance to capitalize on a struggling San Diego squad coming out of the All-Star break, but fell short, losing 2 out of 3. The Padres were tied for the third worst record in MLB coming into the series and only had a .375 win percentage at their home field, Petco Park. Yet somehow, the Mets bats fell asleep, while the Padres managed to outscore their opponent 12-7 overall throughout the series. Maybe there was a little bit of rust following the rest, but the Mets have little ground to squander in the NL East if they wish to remain relevant heading into August.
The upcoming series against Seattle is crucial, but the Mariners are a squad the Mets can take advantage of if they’re able to put runs on the board. In the month of July, Seattle is batting .259 as a team with an OPS of .651 and they are limping into tonight’s opener.
The Mariners just closed out a tough series with the Angels in which they also lost 2 out of the 3 games, going 16 innings in a loss Friday night and 12 innings in a victory Saturday night. Robinson Cano sat out during a 6-5 series finale loss o Sunday due to soreness in his hamstrings and left fielder Dustin Ackley and reliever Danny Farquhar are fighting through nagging injuries of their own.
Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon also appears to be taking his chances with the Mets, aiming to push Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, the 1-2 punch at the top of his rotation, to the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. This will position rookie southpaw Roenis Elias (7-8 with a 4.54 ERA) against Jon Neise with the remaining two slots TBD. MLB probables points to Erasmo Ramirez as getting the nod Tuesday night for Seattle, which would give the Mets two good chances to beat up on some sub-par starting pitching backed by an already struggling offense. Ramirez last pitched for the big league club on June 24th against the Boston Red Sox, but he only went 4.1 innings giving up 5 hits and 2 earned runs. Over the course of this season in the majors, he has started 11 games, going only 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA. Most notably, he’s 0-2 at Seattle’s home park, Safeco Field. My assumption is that if the Mets take the first two games against Elias and Ramirez, Iwakuma will not get the extra days rest, but at that point the Mets will have taken the series and that is the ultimate goal heading into Seattle anyhow.
This is an important time for Amazins, they don’t need to sweep every team they play, but they need to win almost every series. The 8-2 home stand going into the All-Star break gave the organization a new charge of life, but the most recent one series against the Padres did nothing to build on the momentum and only built a steeper grade on the hill they have to climb. Sure, San Diego got stellar pitching performances from Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne, but excuses are no longer valid when the season is on the line, a season that in a lot of ways, must count for this organizations future to remain intact. Revenue and attendance are down compared to previous seasons and there’s no more loans to add to existing list of debt being paid down. The sits need to get filled to bolster the cash-flow and the cash-flow is need to bolster the lineup, in the present and immediate future.
The jury is still out on whether Sandy Alderson will go out and add another piece to the lineup to help in the second half, but in order to put the ball in the court of the Front Office, this current Mets roster must prove that they’re worthy of the club spending the money- if said money even exists at all. Tonight’s game will speak volumes on whether or not this squad can rise to the occasion and look like the team of the future we’ve been waiting for. The only way the organization turns around is if they find a way to win within.