Three games, three losses, four runs of scoring differential. A few more fortunate bounces, maybe a few less lineup-related gaffes, and the Mets could've taken a game or three against the Dodgers. They weren't horribly outplayed, but they were probably outmanaged by virtue of Joe Torre doing his usual nothing and Jerry Manuel doing his now customary madcap manager routine.
What's still astonishing is how the Mets are scoring so few runs with two players -- Carlos Beltran and David Wright -- each reaching base at a 45% clip. They should be accidentally scoring more runs than this. It's no help that everyone around them is either injured or a useless CHUD. Gary Sheffield needs to be out there almost every day. He has been very good of late (.317/.440/.463 in May), and should be given lots of playing time until he cools off. There just isn't enough of anything in this lineup to keep running Daniel Murphy, Ryan Church, Angel Pagan and Ramon Martinez (pending Jose Reyes's injury) out there every day. Once the lineup gets past Wright there's just bupkis to be excited about.
The Mets haven't won since Johan Santana started on Saturday, though his outing might have been the worst of any of the Mets' starters this turn through the rotation. They've dropped the last four games by an aggregate score of 12-6; when your pitchers allow just three runs a game then your offense is doing something very, very wrong. Livan Hernandez was shaky in the first but otherwise kept the Dodgers' hitter guessing over seven solid innings. J.J Putz was crummy again, but he also had zero margin for error.
Daniel Murphy actually looked pretty smooth at first base, his twinkle toes screwup in the first inning notwithstanding. But even if he can manage a credible defensive first base, his bat doesn't really play well there for any reasonable length of time unless he reverts to the Murphy of April.
Carlos Delgado is gone for ten weeks and Reyes will probably miss a bit of time. The Mets don't really have reasonable contingency plans for them, so the burden of responsibility for that falls on Omar Minaya. The reality is that if the Phillies lost Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins for a stretch of time they'd be in a tough spot, too. The Mets really just need to make the most of what they have, and that begins with Jerry Manuel filling out a decent lineup card five or six days a week. It should look something like this.
Yea, I've got Tatis at shortstop. He hasn't been hitting much of late and his defense at short is probably subpar, but he has to be a better option right now than Ramon Martinez. This lineup isn't spectacular, but it isn't really craptacular, and it probably gives the Mets their best chance of winning ballgames if we accept their active roster for what it is.
That's it. Day off on Thursday before starting a three-game series at Fenway on Friday.
Big winners: Livan Hernandez, +34.4% WPA, Carlos Beltran, +21.2% WPA
Big losers: Daniel Murphy, -35.2% WPA, J.J. Putz, -22.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Beltran RBI double in third, +12.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Martin RBI single in eighth, -21.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +12.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: -62.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Russell Martin
Nice job by Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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