Time to Drop Your Socks and Grab Your… Bats

Time to Drop Your Socks and Grab Your… Bats

by Pat Nestor

Ok, the horrible 2-9 road trip is over. The trip where the Mets showed an insane inability to score runs is done.

The question is… are the Mets done as well?

Well here is where we’ll find out. The next three weeks will basically give us a fairly well indication of what to expect with this team for the rest of the season.

They will wrap up a three game set with St. Louis and look to avenge a pathetic sweep by the Arizona Diamondbacks this upcoming weekend. Then it’s gut check time. Six in a row on the road with the Braves and Phillies where the Mets can either pick up some needed ground or basically allow themselves to be pushed back out of reach of the NL East (and maybe even the Wildcard) contention.

After that it’s a three game set against the Rockies and then three games at home against the Phils.

After that the schedule gets much easier with ten out of the next thirteen against the Astros and Pirates… who are just about the two worst teams in the NL. By then, however, it may be too late.

While this six game series at home is quite important (anything less than a 4-2 homestand is going to be seen as a disaster) it’s those six games on the road in atlanta and Philadelphia that are going to loom large in everyone’s eyes.

A 3-3 trip will be considered a success. A 2-4 trip is what is going to be expected by the media and the fans. a 1-5 or 0-6 trip will likely kill this teams’ chances of playing meaningful games in September.

The question comes down to… can this team hit? The Pitching is NOT the question right now. R.A. Dickey, Johan Santana and Jon Neise all pitched great on the road trip. Mike Pelfrey’s last start was very good as well. The starting pitching hasn’t been an issue in this losing streak. It’s been the hitting. The Mets were shut out five times in a thirteen game span, scored only one run in another two games and two runs in another two games during that span. That means they scored two runs or less in nine out of thirteen games. That’s not a power outage… that’s a blackout of near fatal extremes.

Last night’s explosion against one of the best pitchers in the Majors was a nice sight, but what use is an 8-2 win last night if they lose 2-1 tonight? This team needs to stop swinging at everything and have a smart approach to the plate. More than anything else, Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay need to start living up to their contracts and superstar expectations.

It’s now or never. If they go 10 – 3 in the thirteen games they have in August against the Astros, Pirates and Marlins it won’t mean much if they go 4 – 8 against the Braves, Phillies and Rockies at the beginning of the month. It’s time to stand up and be counted gentlemen.