Same old, same old for the New York Mets

Rich Mancuso

So the New York Mets lost their fifth straight Saturday night to the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. David Wright, had three hits and made the final out with the tying run on base in their 5-4 loss.  The offense was nowhere to be found, the bullpen again once again showed a deficiency, and Dillon Gee the starter did not go past six innings with 81 pitches thrown.

Yes, it’s almost mid-May, and plenty of baseball left to play, but the Mets are sitting in last place in the tight NL East. What looked like a promising start has once again turned out to be the same- old, same-old losing story in Flushing.  And the revolving door of players coming and going may have just started.

About 10- days ago, that 90-win story that circulated before the season started, well that seemed realistic. But, as has been so often the case, the Mets bats went silent and it did not help that part of this was attributed to a road trip in Colorado and Miami, two teams with the best home records in baseball.

The remedy was home cooking again, Citi Field, where the Mets seemed to have early season success. Oh, and then there were the Phillies, a team that has their share of issues. The Phillies, a team that shows no resemblance of just a few years ago that dominated the National League east division.

But, these are the Mets, a team that by all means is not structured to win 90-games. And the Phillies are well aware they are a team that can play better.

“Just frustrating,” said Wright in a quiet Mets clubhouse that had more enthusiasm prior to that 2-6 road trip. “Losing sucks. You just miss a pitch to tie a game up, that sucks.”

Yes, those were the words from the most enthusiastic player on the Mets roster. Wright is the one who tells the media how the mood is. He sets the tone and provides the right answers. But, this time, he was the one who took the blame and it was an honest answer despite his four RBI in the last two games. He also hit his first home run since opening day that snapped a 136- game at bat since the last one.

However, there are no answers as to how the Mets can get back on the winning track. And with a four-game inter-league series starting Monday with the Yankees, there is not much time to get it right.

The manager Terry Collins once again tried to give the right answer: "You look at what's happened the last 10 days, we haven't been able to execute on the offensive side the way we want. We are where we are because we haven't hit.  We'll start hitting."

Friday night, Wilmer Flores was unofficially made the new starter at shortstop. Ruben Tejada sits by his locker after this latest loss, and has no answers. With this beginning of a revolving door of players from here to Triple-A Las Vegas, and Vegas to New York, Tejada has to wonder if his .181 average will send him packing or traded way before the July 31 deadline.

There are no answers, except what can be detected from the pre and post game comments coming from the manager. There is frustration, and there will be more before the mid- point of the season, and the fan base at Citi Field is also frustrated.

At times Saturday night, when the Phillies produced a run, there were more cheers for the visiting team. When the Mets bullpen imploded again, the main culprit, Kyle Farnsworth, he was booed off the mound after letting the Phillies regain a lead in the ninth on a Ryan Howard single to center.

Farnsworth was not available to comment. Scott Rice, in for Gee, who worked a record number of games out of that pen last year, and gave up a run and three hits commented, “We need to tighten up as a pitching staff and win these games.” New York is 6-9 in one-run games.

The bullpen this month is 0-5, with an ERA of 4.39, and that counts the usual efficient and overworked Carlos Torres, who got `consecutive losses during this current slide. But, there is no help on the way with rumors circulating that the highly touted prospect, Rafael Montero will be called up and pitch one of the games against the Yankees.

That would bring some hope, and Mets fans are looking for that move. However, you wonder if GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets’ hierarchy were observing what happened in Milwaukee Saturday night? Frankie Rodriguez appears to have solved his issues, and the former Mets closer recorded his Major League baseball leading 15th save in a win against the Yankees.

Yes, the same “K-Rod” that was available during the off-season. Alderson had no interest in bringing back the reliever who had a turbulent period during his time with the Mets. So, one-run games are bringing wins for the Brewers, a team with the best record in baseball.

And the Mets struggles continue with the off-season signings of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, two players that were supposed to make this offense a threat along with Wright in the heart of their lineup.

Did someone say, Granderson, who sometimes looks like he has found the swing, is the new Jason Bay in Flushing, a huge contract that is making Alderson look bad again? 

Yes, this resembles so much of what has been constant for the New York Mets. Problem is, how much more will the fans tolerate if things don’t get better before or after four games with the Yankees?

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