Sunday, July 03, 2005


Today's 3-0 loss to the Florida Marlins was sobering. It was sobering because the Marlins excelled at every aspect of the game while the Mets showed all of their flaws. The Marlins showed today why, even though they are only three games ahead of the Mets, they are miles and miles ahead of the Mets when it comes to execution, and why they are just one win streak away from getting back in the division race while the Mets are forever stuck at the .500 mark.

The first inning told the whole story. Juan Pierre gets on with a swinging bunt past David Wright, then steals second, and finally scores on an error by Cairo. A run without getting the ball past the infield.

Then in the bottom of the frame, the Mets get their lone chance against Dontrelle Willis, loading the bases with one out, with David Wright and the hot Chris Woodward coming up. What happens? Dontrelle strikes both of them out. After that, of course, Dontrelle is virtually untouchable as he goes all the way on a three hit shutout.

Dontrelle's counterpart, Victor Zambrano, did a great job eating up innings, but he was outclassed. He gives up a second run on a passed ball by Piazza in the third, then helps a third run to the plate by giving up a wild pitch and walking the pitcher Willis to set up a sacrifice fly.

Sprinkle in some other lapses such as Jose Offerman allowing Luis Castillo to go from first to third on an infield single because he stopped paying attention after a bad throw, and you have more proof that the Mets need a jump in weight class. They're just not there. The new Mets are 40-41 now at the exact halfway point of their season with supposedly better talent than last season, not to mention a better manager (if only by default). Not to mention the Nationals, who are running away with the division, are next for four games where it could really get a special kind of ugly. Meanwhile the Braves and Marlins are lurking, both with a higher gear they can kick to (the Braves after some injured players get back, the Marlins after Juan Pierre and Mike Lowell start hitting).

I'm not sure the Mets have that extra gear. Cliff Floyd and David Wright are having great seasons so they may have nothing left to kick to. Same with Mike Cameron. Jose Reyes hasn't proven yet that he can reach that next level. Mike Piazza is aging. Maybe Carlos Beltran is the only player that you can expect to be better than what he has been, because after that, you have role players galore. Martinez, Benson, and Zambrano are at the top of their game right now, which leaves Glavine and Ishii. Glavine is aging so can he reach back to the mid 90's? Ishii has seen better days but do you really expect him to have another gear?

If the Mets decide to prove me wrong and show they have that extra gear, the time is right now to get there, against the Nationals. If not, then get ready for another long and fruitless summer.


Shari said...

Once again- I couldn't agree with you more. What the hell was Offerman doing out there at first again today? And why the hell did Cliff Floyd sit out today-if memory serves me correctly he is hitting left handers very well this season.

Metstradamus said...

I agree. The two moves were tied in together too. Offerman plays because Woodward is in left to spell Floyd. Floyd has played against Randy Johnson this season, and hasn't been benched against the best lefties. If Floyd really can't hit Willis, then at the very least he puts some fear in Dontrelle and perhaps ripples the whole lineup. As it was today, Dontrelle cut through the lineup like a hot knife through butter.

mr. met said...

Good take on the day. It was a very sobering day for me. The fact that offerman was out there and Ice was a pinch hitter told me no legitimate team has those guys on the roster injury or not.

I was at the game and it sucked. Boring day and it sucks to know your team is done after a 2-0 hole.

Metstradamus said...

Mr. Met you are absolutely right. I had that strange feeling as well after the first inning that the Mets missed their only chance of the day. Terrible.

Shari said...

Thats funny guys, I started off my blog by saying when you see Dontrelle Willis on the mound and Jose Offerman out there at first again that you know exactly where this game is going.