By Rich Coutinho
>> More Columns
New York, NY (WFAN) – It was not an easy weekend for any Met fan to digest. They came to the Bronx with such hope because they had overacheived this season. And they got swept by their cross-town rivals–coughing up leads late in the game on both Saturday and Sunday. When asked by reporters what is the mood of his team right now, Terry Collins simply said, “Angry.”
They should be angry because they made critical errors in this series which opened the door for a Yankee team that loves hitting the long ball at Yankee Stadium–where lazy fly balls to right field become home runs in a New York minute. It also put the exclamation point on a 1-5 week which could have easily been 4-2 if the Mets just made the routine plays defensively. And for this Met team–they must make those plays because they do not have the offensive firepower to overcome misplays.
The thing most fans do after a series like this is point to it as the “beginning of the end” but with 101 games left in the season, that is pure nonsense. This Met team has shown tremendous resilience this year and I do not think that will change. The silver lining in the clouds is that despite Santana’s performance on Friday night, the other 2 starters–Gee and Niese–pitched well enough to beat a high-octane team like the Yankees.
The Mets need to clean up their defense and a bullpen which has sprung leaks everywhere in the past 20 games. The defensive issues are very correctable especially when Ruben Tejada returns but the bullpen is a stickier issue. I would expect Mejia to surface in Flushing at some point in the next 3-4 weeks but until then someone has to step up and that has been an issue all year.
The next 12 games for the Mets will tell a lot about their season with 3 in Tampa followed by a 9 game homestand with the Reds, Orioles, and Yankees. A 7-5 record in those 12 games would push the Mets to 5 games over .500 before they hit a stretch of 13 games against the Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies, and Cubs again leading up to the All-Star break.
Getting swept by the Yankees this weekend stings for Met fans but don’t give up on this team because they plan on fighting through these tough times. It is called the ups and downs of a baseball season.
Do you think the Mets will bounce back against the Rays?