- Baseball in the Garden of Eden, A Book ReviewPosted 777 days ago
The “Mess” Which Transpired in Queens
- Updated: August 14, 2009
Do we ever hear enough “Meet the Mess,” jokes? The line does become overplayed like the latest Mets, they have not done much to have us believe otherwise. track and unfortunately for the I mean, let’s face it. It has been more than a disappointing season for the team with the second highest payroll in the bigs at nearly $136 million. But the question is, “Can we really blame them?” Or can we just heap the blame on the injury bug? Names like Pagan, Murphy, and Cora are regularly on the field instead of the big names like Degaldo, Beltran, and Reyes. Add that to the Sunday finale against the rival Philadelphia Phillies when both third baseman David Wright and catcher Omir Santos failed to catch pop ups in foul territory.
Yes, it has been THAT type of season for those Metropolitans as they have now fallen 10 full games behind the Phillies in the . Mets fans have to wonder if their team will even have a chance at reaching the postseason this year. And who could blame them for their mindset? When your perennial all-star at third base hits less than ten home runs by mid-August after putting up four consecutive years of 25-plus homers and over 100 RBIs, it must make one think that their team is jinxed. Wright is the one Met that has been without ailment this season and has played all but one of the team’s games this season. Much has been made of Wright’s lack of power this season but there have not been many answers to the surrounding questions. However, it would be entirely unfair to place the struggles if the Mets this season entirely on his shoulders.
July was not exactly the most encouraging month for the Mets as they finished up with a record of 11-13, but they did end the month on an encouraging note with 6 wins in their final 8 games. In that stretch, they completed a 4-game sweep of the resurgent Colorado Rockies and held them to just 5 runs during the series. As the old mantra goes, “Good pitching beats good pitching,” the Mets were able to string together some good starts from their otherwise disappointing starting staff. Not having lefty Oliver Perez for much of the first half certainly did not help matters but nevertheless, aside from ace Johan Santana, (13-8, 3.00 ERA), the Metropolitans could never muster up enough quality starts to keep them in contention.
John Maine, the other projected big arm of the Mets staff, has been out since June 12 with shoulder weakness in his right shoulder. Being as how Maine was not scheduled to return until September at the earliest, Mets officials are pondering keeping Maine out for the rest of the season as the team looks more than likely to miss the postseason for the third consecutive year. On top of that, the Mets also lost young prospect Jonathan Niese to a torn hamstring for the rest of the year. Livan Hernandez, (7-6, 5.08 ERA), has continually displayed a most frustrating inconsistency all season. Coming off a 3-game streak of quality starts, and after a 4-game losing streak which stretch back from late-June, Hernandez gave up 7 earned runs and 8 hits in his last outing which took place in Petco Park.
Gary Sheffield, who at one point was considered to be the saving grace of the Mets’ season, missed the entire second half of July with right hamstring issues and now can not even be expected to start on a regular basis. Manager Jerry Manuel has said that he would like to get Sheffield into at least 5 games a week, but with Sheffield’s right hamstring ready to act up at any instant, it is more than likely to appreciate even single appearances per week from Sheff. The former Florida Marlin does lead the team in slugging percentage (.478) and home runs (10) so taking his bat out of the lineup certainly takes the bite out of a lineup which currently sits at 12th in the National League in runs per game (4.31). Compare that to division leaders Philadelphia (5.22) and you have almost a full run difference per game.
This year’s race for the NL East was supposed to be hotter than ever between the Mets and the Phillies as the Mets boasted a bolstered bullpen, a lineup only improved with the addition of Sheffield, the Mets were poised to finally take back the division crown. Six months later and many Mets faithful might have to come to the realization that the all-desired NL East crown will have to wait until at least next year. Blame whatever you would like, the lack of team chemistry, the injuries, any of it. It all still equates to a disappointing season for the boys from Queens.
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