So Much for the New York Mets Ending on a Good Note

Joe FiorelloCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23:  Mike Pelfrey #34 of the New York Mets pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the game on September 23, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Top of the eighth inning, tied at three. Bases loaded, none out.

Brian Schneider—who I'm not sure why gets any at-bats at this point, as his Mets career comes to an end—pops out to third base. Then Jeremy Reed breaks his bat on a soft line drive to second base that results in a double play to end the inning and the threat.

It's a disappointing result considering how promisingly the inning started.

Apparently not disappointing enough.

The bottom half of the inning was a lesson in bad fundamentals, as the middle of the Mets infield, Anderson Hernandez and Luis Castillo, committed a pair of errors that led to Washington's go-ahead run and the Mets' second loss in a row to the last place Nationals.

The game started off in the right direction, as the Mets scored three runs in the first two innings, but starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey gave up yet another lead as he fell apart in the fifth inning, allowing the Nats to score three runs to tie the game.

It was another episode in a series of consistently shaky starts by Pelfrey, and it will be his last start of the season. Jerry Manuel said yesterday after the game that Pelfrey would miss his start on Sunday, which was scheduled to be his last of the season.

Manuel said he hopes Pelfrey will take the time during the offseason to reflect on his season. I'm not sure why you'd want to reflect on a season where you went 10–12 with a 5.03 ERA. I'd prefer to forget it.

Pelfrey has a lot to prove to the Mets organization next season. He needs to improve to help strengthen the starting pitching staff overall, even if he's lost his No. 2 tag. He's certainly performed like a No. 2 at times, but more consistently shows the stuff of a No. 4 or No. 5 starter.

I hope the Mets are willing to spend some money to pick up a legitimate starter to follow Johan Santana next season.

John Lackey is at the top of my list, but he might be the most expensive arm out there, and all signs point to the Mets being frugal in the free agent market. You can't spend all your money on one player when there are so many holes to fill.

It's almost over...