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The Aftermath: Game 138

The Mets lost again tonight, this loss pushing them four game behind the Wild Card-leading Astros. For the second time in two games the Mets lost out on the field instead of in the dugout, where Willie Randolph's learn-as-he-goes parade took a respite from its daily thrashing of the Mets' playoff hopes

The Mets have now lost six of their last seven games and continue to struggle with runners in scoring position. Here is what they've done in those situations:

8/31 vs Phillies: 1-7 (Loss)
9/1 vs Phillies: 0-4 (Loss)
9/2 vs Marlins: 2-8 (Loss)
9/3 vs Marlins: 2-7 (Loss)
9/4 vs Marlins: 3-14 (Win)
9/5 vs Braves: 1-10 (Loss)
9/6 vs Braves: 0-9 (Loss)

Those are just putrid, putrid numbers. It's no wonder that the Mets are getting smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror of whomever is leading the Wild Card at any moment.

A player's ability to hit with runners in scoring position tends to echo his overall hitting ability. In other words, players tend not to be "clutch" or "not clutch" in general; if you look at a large enough sample size a player will hit roughly the same in most situations, though year-to-year numbers in certain situations can fluctuate.

At this rate, the Mets are going to have to sweep the Cardinals in St. Louis to stand any chance of returning to Shea within spitting distance of a playoff spot. It's not looking good from where I'm standing.

I realize this is a baseball blog, but I just want to take a moment to go off-topic a bit. In addition to being a die-hard Mets fan I am also a huge hockey fan and the Devils are my team. I've been a fan for as long as I can remember, and in those early years the teams the Devils sent out on the ice were not very good. I used to go to Continental Arena (at the time it was still called Byrne Arena) with my Dad and we would be right up next to the glass, yelling at opposing players and fighting for pucks that left the playing surface.

On September 3, 1991, Scott Stevens was awarded to the Devils as compensation for the Blues signing Brendan Shanahan. In 1995 the Devils won their first ever Stanley Cup, and would go on to win Cups in 2000 and 2003. Stevens was as fierce a competitor as there came, and the hit he laid on Eric Lindros in the 2000 playoffs will never leave me.

Stevens was the best player the Devils have ever had, and one of the best defencemen the league has seen in the past 25 years. He was named to fifteen All-Star teams, the All-Rookie team, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs in 2000. Stevens hung up his skates today after twenty-two seasons in the NHL, and I will miss him very much, though I'm guessing that opposing forwards might not.

Thanks, Scott.