So here are the bright sides, followed by the down sides of the road trip.
Jon Niese pitched very well in his two games, practically dominating the Phillies in his 9-1 win last Friday and pitching well-enough to win against the Reds yesterday. Of course, he still delivered a game Ron Darling-style, and got a no-decision, leading to an overall Mets loss in their businessman special game.
Pitching overall was a bright spot. However, the pitchers who normally deliver (Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey) certainly did NOT deliver their goods.
John Maine and Oliver Perez performed well, however the Mets only won one of their starts.
The bullpen is still producing fewer heart attacks on behalf of their fans this year; however, the most reliable cog in the bullpen ("Perpetual Pedro" Feliciano) got the loss in a walk-off fashion yesterday.
Dan Warthen still deserves accolades for his pitching staff's performance in general; however I will predict that Howard Johnson is on the hot seat in a few weeks for how poorly his offense has been.
As a fan, I can almost take losing a series to the Phillies. However, I can't take a series loss when nearly all of their best players are not playing to their competition...until of course the Mets show up.
As a fan, and I acknowledge that the Reds are an up-and-coming team, simply cannot take a series loss to the Reds. That is just inexcusable.
David Wright's bat is showing up again, thank goodness. I saw a stat during yesterday's game that just so far into the season, his road HRs have surpassed his total road HRs for all of 2009. To counteract, Jason Bay has turned his streakiness into slumpiness, and it doesn't seem to ever come at a time where it's okay.
Just when you think that Jerry Manuel knew what he was doing when he shakes up the batting order by putting Jose Reyes third, he screws that whole thing up by putting both Gary Matthews Jr, Fernando Tatis AND Alex Cora in the same game. Yes, I do realize that Luis Castillo has some sort of special dispensation from the Pope to not play day games after night games. However, as a friend of mine said to me in passing a few weeks back, Luis needs to do what's best for the team. Furthermore, if Jose Reyes is going to be batting third, at least until Carlos Beltran returns (and who the hell knows when that is going to be), he needs to be taught the approach to batting right before the clean up hitter. Who will ever know if their performance was just dumb luck or simply just dumb.
I guess a bright spot is that Carlos Beltran is planning to start running exercises this week in Port St. Lucie. However, since I saw his t-shirts at the Mets Clubhouse store yesterday selling 50% off, I still will put money on him being as good as gone either by trade deadline or after end of this season.
The Mets came close to winning at the very least two-out-of-three games against the Reds and still came out with their tail between their legs winning one game out of three. With some other luck on their side, they could have also won all three games. This is not bad luck or okay luck or any luck at all. It's just dumb. The Mets are still playing to their competition without any fire or spark and are still losing the games they need to be winning now. Will there be a margin of error in 2010? Of course not, the little margin of error in previous series is what has exactly bit them in the ass.
The only player right now who is showing any kind of spark is David Wright, and it's about time. However, his supporting cast of Jose Reyes, the so-called "catalyst," and Jason Bay are not supportive at all.
And where the hell has Ike Davis' bat been? Does The Coop have a SI-like curse over at MMO?
I will be at this Saturday's game once again, trying to organize a meet-and-greet, although this time at McFadden's. Please note that if you enter the stadium by scanning your ticket you cannot enter the establishment via the inside of the stadium. However, you can enter the bar and enter the stadium with your ticket through the bar. If that made sense. Anyway, we'll be there again.