In watching the Mets over the past week, it was hard not to think of the Bad News Bears. In getting swept by the Yankees (something the Bears could relate to), the Mets were humiliated in every way imaginable. Facing their Subway Series rivals for the first time at Citi Field, the Mets lost the series opener 9-1, committing 3 errors in the 2nd inning to take them out of the game almost immediately. The next night, they didn’t commit any errors, but managed just one hit in getting shutout 5-0. Finally, in the ESPN Sunday night game, the Mets were stymied by Chien-Ming Wang, who hadn’t won a game in about a year and had an ERA in the double digits. To cap off the weekend, Francisco Rodriguez walked Mariano Rivera with the bases loaded, giving the greatest reliever in major league history his first major league RBI and helping to seal his 500th career save.
It would get worse. After giving up 10 runs in the series opener to Milwaukee, the Mets turned to Johan Santana to stop the bleeding. When David Wright homered in the first inning (yes, David Wright hit a home run!), you figured this had to be the Mets night. Right? Not quite. After allowing a run in the 3rd inning, the Bears took the field in the 4th inning. After walking the opposing pitcher, Santana gave up a fly ball to center field. Rookie Fernando Martinez ran over in plenty of time, but tried to stop short to avoid overrunning the ball. He slipped and fell face first, allowing the ball to drop for a double. After another walk, Santana got ahead of Ryan Braun 0-2 before Braun launched a change up over Gary Sheffield’s head in LF. 2 runs scored easily. The Mets had a chance to gun down JJ Hardy at the plate, but the throw skipped past Omir Santos. Braun rounded 3rd base a bit too aggressively, and Santana, backing up the plate, fired towards third. “Towards third” was actually about 20 feet over David Wright’s head, and Braun scored easily as the ball bounced into left field.
5 losses in a row – 5 UGLY losses in a row. Amazingly, after winning the next 2 games to get back to .500, the Mets find themselves only a game out of first place. They have a big series coming up with the Phillies, and a good showing in Philly could find them heading home in first. Let’s just hope the Mets don’t resummon memories of Tanner, Lupus, and the rest of the Bears gang again.