Another great game by Johan Santana was wasted today. He went seven shutout innings giving up three hits and three walks with ten strikeouts. Joe Smith was terrible in the eighth inning giving up two walks and two hits in .2 innings. Two runs scored on him.
Billy Wagner blew the save in the ninth inning allowing two runs to score on two hits and two walks. Then Aaron Heilman threw gas on the fire in the tenth inning. Justin Upton doubled off him, moved to third on a sacrifice, then scored on a sacrifice fly.
The Mets offense came on a solo homer by Ramon Castro in the second inning off Dan Haren. David Wright doubled in Endy Chavez in the third inning but was thrown out going for third base. Fernando Tatis hit a two run single in the seventh inning.
The Mets lose the home series to the struggling D-Backs and have the Texas Rangers coming to town for a weekend series.
The Philadelphia Phillies are starting to pull away from the pack in the National League East. They’re now 6.5 games ahead of the fourth place Mets. Actually, the Mets record is closer to the last place Washington Nationals than it is the first place Phillies.
Despite the Mets early season problems, I’ve been telling myself “It’s still early in the season” and “We’re still within striking distance of first place”. But neither of those statements is true anymore. It’s not early in the season anymore, and we’re not within striking distance of first place.
The Phillies are 8-2 in their last ten games and the Mets are 5-5, a microcosm of their season. Just wading along waiting for some player to catch fire but it doesn’t happen. The Mets have scored 54 fewer runs than the Phillies this season, and the Mets dismal 13-20 road record is the mark of a team going nowhere.
Two weeks ago the Wilpons met with Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya to discuss the state of the team. There was a brief surge and blast of energy by the team, mostly by bench players including Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez.
But the bench players have been exposed as who they are. Good bench players that are better off seen in small doses. The Mets regulars just can’t get anything going on a consistent basis offensively.
Without changes made, this team will continue to scuffle along at or near .500. It’s time for Minaya to make a move, whether it be letting hitting coach Howard Johnson go or bring in an offensive player like a Kevin Millar. Or maybe it’s time to get more drastic and let Randolph go… Before the season is completely lost.
New York Mets oft-injured outfielder Moises Alou is with the team in San Francisco this week. He’s been telling reporters that he’ll be ready to come off the disabled list on Friday in San Diego. That’s the first day he’s eligible from the strained calf that’s been bothering him.
I love Alou’s bat in the lineup. Even at 41years old, he may be the Mets most consistent hitter. If he was only consistently off the disabled list, the Mets would be in better shape offensively.
Going forward the Mets need to work him in and out of the lineup more frequently. When Angel Pagan gets back he’ll provide a nice reprieve in left field for Alou. Until then, the light-hitting Endy Chavez needs to frequently take over in the outfield for Alou to preserve his presence on this team.
Multiple media sources are reporting that Moises Alou will be back in New York tomorrow. An MRI in Florida revealed that he may have a small fracture in his ankle. Although Angel Pagan and Endy Chavez are playing well in left field, it would be great to have Alou’s power right-handed bat back in the lineup.
Brian Schneider is still hospitalized for an infection in his thumb. He’s expected to be back with the team Monday and may be ready to play on Tuesday or Wednesday.