09.27.07

4 Days Left For Redemption In Flushing

Posted in Baseball at 11:07 am by

While Sam Frank has offered his congratulations on CSTB receiving recognition from The Paper Of Record, I can’t say I wasn’t tempted to register the domain billywagnerbeatentodeathbyangrymob.org late last night. With last night’s 9-6 defeat to the lowly Nats (who’ve managed to take 5 of 6 from the Mets in September), Willie Randolph’s sinking ship has no remaining margin for error. It might require nothing less than running the table over the next 4 days to ensure a postseason spot, never mind the division crown, as Philadelphia’s 5-2 defeat of Atlanta closed the gap to its closest since May.

The old line about Casey’s Mets finding new ways to lose every day doesn’t really apply to this September swoon. These Mets generally have two ways of capitulating — either fall far behind early, or watch any combination of relievers let the game slip away.

For all of Mike Geffner’s protests of there being no leaders in the Mets clubhouse besides Paulie Large Nuts, for all of the WFAN howlers last night who insisted that David Wright “is the only one facing the press”, I’ll submit that Carlos Beltran and Moises Alou have made an admirable effort — both playing hurt, mind you — to rouse the club from its slumber. Neither, however, can pitch. At present, the entire bullpen has to be held accountable for their inability to do much besides pour kerosene on a blaze.

Just how large a lead should the offense be expected to mount? 5-0 wasn’t enough on Wednesday, and for the 2nd week in a row, Mets pitching was abused by the weakest hitting team in the National League — to the tune of 32 runs in 3 nights, no less. And with that recent history hanging over their heads, Wilpon Inc. hands the ball to Pedro Martinez tonight against the drunken most recent World Champs, for what arguably is Pedro’s biggest start since Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS. And much like that ill-fated evening, expecting more than 95-100 pitches out of Martinez might be foolish — isn’t there some way Randolph can start Jim Bunning twice between now and Monday?

What else can be said about a team with this much talent, whose fan base has been reduced to rooting for the Braves during the final week of the season. A club with such an immense payroll, desperate enough to throw a pair of rookie pitchers to the wolves on successive nights (and if you were to say, “anything’s better than Dave Williams”, you’d be right, too)? At what point do we have to admit the piss poor baseball the Mets have played over much of the last two months is no longer an aberration, but is in fact, a real reflection of their quality if not their character?

9 Responses to “4 Days Left For Redemption In Flushing”

  1. David Roth says:

    I can’t argue with this, and I’m frankly too exhausted by the grinding, miserable ineptitude the Mets have displayed over the last few weeks to even try. But the thing I try to bear in mind is this: the Cardinals last year and the White Sox the year before that both limped into the playoffs behind an effort that either approached or (in the White Sox’s case) actually surpassed the current Mets swoon for sheer suckitude. Both teams were better than they looked, and luckier. I can only hope the Mets are better than they’ve looked, and will be luckier than they probably deserve. Everything starts again in the playoffs, and if the Mets cohere even a bit I still think they’ll be formidable. But first, I guess, they have to make it. I can barely even think about this, honestly.

  2. Ward York says:

    Do it for Duaner!

  3. matt says:

    the mets are now the 2nd most likely team to make the playoffs according to the bp playoff odds…85.8% down 10% from yesterday. AMAZIN!

  4. matt says:

    also, if the mets should succeed at failing this year it’d be the second worst collapse in the history of baseball…behind the 1995 california angels.

    AMAZIN?

  5. Chuck Meehan says:

    Wait a minute… Where does the 1964 Phillies rank? I always thought that was the universally acknowledged benchmark as far as collapses?

  6. Mike Stuto says:

    The biggest collapse in baseball history, in my opinion, belongs to the 2004 Yankees. I guess you could say that a collapse in the post-season is different, but as a NYC resident, I’d like to have this fact in my back pocket when the bronx fans start their yapping…

    What I’d like to know is: What does pitching “guru” Rick Peterson have to say for his staff? If he is to get credit for turn-arounds of Tom Glavine and Oliver Perez, doesn’t he deserve some blame for this bullpen’s complete collapse?

    I had almost forgiven him for the Kazmir/Zambrano fiasco (which I know CTSB blames on Al Leiter, but I’m sure RP had a lot to do with that trade) as well as relievers that he gave up on like Dan Wheeler, Health Bell, etc. But if Mets fans are looking for a scapegoat, it might as well be a man with a mullet….

  7. Chuck Meehan says:

    Matt,

    Thanks for the link. I consider this a matter of how one defines “collapse”. I would consider the 10 teams on this list who lost their leads over a 1-4 month period as “pissing away of a seemingly insurmountable lead” as differentiated from “collapse” and that the Mauchmen of ’64 will continue to stand as the worst regular season “collapse” even if the Mets do not make the playoffs this season.

  8. matt says:

    mike,
    you can have dan wheeler back.

    thanks,
    concerned astros fans mothers assoc.

    and chuck, wouldn’t it be better to just let the mets collapse be the (2nd) worst so we can move onto the cstb nhl season preview? ie. waiting for scott gomez and whoever else the rangers signed to break their hips in a freak zamboni accident?

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