By Ed Coleman
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Terry Collins probably said it best: “S— happens.”
The beleaguered Mets manager had just seen his hitting coach, Dave Hudgens, fired, and the losing reliever, Jose Valverde, released after yet another crushing defeat at home. He was asked if he viewed the firing and release as a warning shot across the bow to him, that if things didn’t improve he could be next, and Collins replied thusly:
Collins didn’t mince words. And general manager Sandy Alderson didn’t waste time. You could sense almost immediately after Valverde failed to adequately back up home plate — in addition to giving up four hits and four runs in just 2/3 of an inning of relief — that Alderson was peeved enough to send him packing. He also threw in longtime confidante Hudgens — something which had to bother him greatly — because of the continuing ineptitude of the offense, particularly at Citi Field.
It ruined another brilliant performance by youngster Jacob deGrom — the long-haired Jeff Samardzija lookalike — who left with a 2-0 lead and saw it disappear. DeGrom has made three starts, pitched to a 1.83 ERA and has zero wins. It’s ironic as well that Samardzija finally picked up his first win on Monday in his 11th start despite having a 1.68 ERA.
But then a lot of #*!@ happens to these New York Mets. Like the following:
— The Mets have lost nine of their last 12 and are 7-17 for the month of May. After 50 games — a good first benchmark — they are six games under .500.
— As a team, they are batting .237 this season with a .309 OBP.
— With the bases loaded, they are 6-44 (.136) this year. They have not driven in a run in their last nine at-bats with the sacks full.
— They grounded into five double plays — and two more Monday — in the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday.
— They went 1-8 with RISP on Monday, and are hitting .197 (13-66) in those situations on the homestand.
— The Mets are averaging 3 runs per game at home, and have not scored more than five runs in a nine-inning home game since April 5 against Cincinnati. That was the 5th game of the season!
Ike Davis is in town with the Pirates — thus the inevitable comparisons to Lucas Duda. Duda homered on Monday, a relatively meaningless solo shot in the ninth inning after the game had been decided. Davis and Duda have similiar power numbers since the trade, but Ike is batting about 100 points higher during that time. And OBP, the Holy Grail of this regime? Duda is at .310. Davis is at .388.
And finally, on Tuesday, Noah Syndergaard, the next link in the Harvey-Wheeler chain, will arrive in New York for an MRI. The Mets say he has a mild flexor-pronator strain. Nothing to worry about, he’s here for precautionary reasons. Flexor-pronator strains can be precursors to Tommy John surgery. Is this such a case? We’ll see.
As they say, #*!@ happens.
You want something positive to leave on? OK. The Mets are 22-28. Last year after 50 games, they were 21-29. Improvement. You never know. #*!@ happens.
C U soon.
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