What a disappointing Saturday and Sunday. This game was almost identical game to last Sunday's 7-4 loss/collapse vs. the Braves. Both featured a disastrous bullpen performance, coupled with an offense that stopped scoring runs after the early innings. I'd love to say I'm not extremely nervous about the next 7 days, but I am. Here are your game thoughts:
- Recipe for disaster: Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy went 0-18 with 5 K's in the past 2 games. It's actually amazing the Mets scored 6 runs today despite this kind of production from the 1 and 2 hitters.
- Braves starter James Parr pitched rather poorly, (8 baserunners in 1.2 IP). In his defense, the home plate umpire was hitter-friendly today. The Braves bullpen was solid, and somehow gave up no runs in the 6th and 7th after the Mets had runners on 1st and 2nd, none out in both innings.
- Mike Pelfrey's failure to get a sac bunt down in the 6th turned out to be a crucial moment. My perception is that the Mets starters have been pretty poor at completing sacrifice bunts this season - I'll investigate another time.
- Jerry Manuel did not take my advice, and started Ryan Church again. He struggled again, grounding into an inning ending double play in the 7th that I think every Met fan saw coming. A serviceable Church would be useful over the next 7 games, so I hope he can get it going.
- The bullpen stunk, but I'm not putting this all on them like most fans will. The offense just didn't come through against a weak Braves pitching staff the last 2 games.
Reasons I am nervous about the next week:
1. The Phillies have a combined record of 22-8 vs. their remaining opponents (Nationals, Braves)
2. The best pitchers the Phils will face are Jair Jurrjens, Mike Hampton, and John Lannan.
3. The Brewers face the lowly Pirates this week, and the Cubs on the final weekend. The Cubs are unlikely to pitch Carlos Zambrano or Rich Harden in order to set up their postseason rotation.
4. The Mets will likely face the following pitchers: Zambrano, Harden, Ted Lilly, Ricky Nolasco. Yikes.
5. The Bullpen Horror Show.
Reasons I am not nervous about the next week:
1. Johan Santana will be pitching twice in the last 7 games.
2. All remaining games are at home, where the Mets have excelled this year. (.608 Win %)
1.5 back in the NL East, 1.5 up in the Wild Card. Let's Go Mets.