Mets Hope O’ Meter Hits New Low
The Hope O’ Meter has seen better days. After losing blowing another series to the cross town Yanks, the Mets headed out to Chicago and dropped two of three to the worst team in the Bigs. Errors are up, power is down, and the Hope O’ Meter is at a season low 5.56. Let’s break down the pros and cons, starting with the abundant cons:
The Bullpen sucks. When losing Frank Francisco and his 4.97 ERA is considered crippling, you know your ‘pen is bad. In his brief stint with the team, Elvin Ramirez looked more nervous then those 12 year old boys at the Spelling Bee talking to Erin Andrews. Oh geez, she’s so hot. Calm down Ernie, deep breaths... Miguel Batista is older than sin and Bobby Parnell manages to do less with more than virtually any pitcher in the game. If the Mets are going to right their slightly sinking ship, their going to need to figure out how to get more productive innings out of their bullpen. Unfortunately, John Franco ain’t walking through that door- its John Rauch.
The Mets can’t field. Terry Collins had this ball club playing very smart, efficient baseball for the better part of this season, which was one of the major reasons they were over-achieving. Suddenly however, it seems that that has changed. The club made four errors in the first two games of this Cubs series, including two three-base errors in one inning. I’ve never seen that in my life, which is saying something because I’m a Mets fan; I’ve seen a lot of bad baseball. The poor play has gotten so contagious that the third base coach even made an error last night. The terrible fielding is leading to extended innings and easy runs for the opposition, as well as forcing Collins to go to his inept bullpen earlier in games. What’s more, the sub par fielding by the rest of the team is keeping Daniel Murphy on the pine and prolonging his slump. When the rest of the infield was playing solid D, they could over compensate for Murph’s sporadic play, keeping his bat in the line-up. Now, the team’s sloppy fielding has made Murph more of a liability at the 2-bag, making it difficult to justify his playing time, especially while he’s mired in such a slump (he’s hitting .189 in June coming into today). The only way to break out of a hitting slump is by playing through it, and that’s tough to do when you’re regulated to situational appearances.
And now the pros…
Ike Davis is starting to hit (kind of). The Mets best power bat is starting to look like his old self, or at least what the organization has said his old self was supposed to have looked like. If he can get red hot he’d provide a much needed deep threat and some better protection behind David Wright. In an offense that is predicated on stringing together rallies and hitting with 2 outs, a guy who can provide instant offense would relieve a lot of stress on the other eight players in the line-up.
The Dodgers and the Phillies aren’t playing great baseball. The Mets two remaining series before the All-Star break are against reeling squads. If the Mets can capitalize on the Dodgers’ recent struggles (2-8 in their last 10), and the Phillies battered ball club then they can roll into the All-Star break comfortably over .500 and feeling confident about the way they’re playing. Its obviously a major “if,” but the table is set for them to put an exclamation point on a surprisingly strong first half.