Sunday Morning Coming Down: New York Mets at Breaking Point in Tough Season

Sports Radio NY AM1240-WGBBContributor IMay 16, 2010

NEW YORK - MAY 09:  Oliver Perez #46 of the New York Mets pitches against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on May 9, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

“Well, I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt. And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had one more for dessert.”—Johnny Cash/Kris Kristofferson, "Sunday Morning Coming Down"

That’s how I felt when I woke up Sunday morning after watching John Maine throw 12 straight balls to start Saturday night’s disaster of a game. Which, of course, followed Oliver Perez pitching himself out of the rotation in Friday’s disaster of a game.

Jon Niese took over from there and tweaked his hamstring and had to leave Sunday’s disaster of a game in the third inning. Oh, that’s why the Mets’ starting rotation was seen as a weakness coming into the season.

It doesn’t help matters that the whole team is turning back the clock to 2009, with baserunning mistakes, fielders dropping balls, and Luis Castillo standing like a statue watching a ground ball bounce right by him while he took a quick little nap late in Saturday’s game. Who does he think he is, Joe Foy?

The 2010 Mets are going to turn their fanbase into alcoholics if things keep spiraling out of control like this. Drinking beer for breakfast will be the only thing keeping us sane.

Okay, Jerry Manuel finally put Jose Reyes back into the leadoff spot where he belongs. Reyes may have the skills to hit third, but he’s just way too mentally fragile for the team to be messing around with him and taking him out of his comfort zone. And they finally kicked Perez out of the rotation. And they finally called up Chris Carter. But it doesn’t seem to matter, as everything is going wrong for them these days.

Did this team really win 10 out of 11 once? That seems like a fluke now. They preceded that winning streak by starting the season at 4-8, and they’re now 4-11 in their last 15 games, so maybe that was an aberration.

It’s too early to give up on them, but it’s not too early be throwing things at the TV and taking your aggressions out by shooting a few squirrels in the backyard. All right, I don’t have a gun—so I just yelled at them to get off my lawn.

Perez was finally yanked from the rotation, not only for the good of the team but also for his own well-being, but he refused a minor league assignment (thanks a lot, Ollie) and so will be buried in the bullpen. With Niese’s injury too, the Mets now need two starters.

Hisanori Takahashi was one of the strengths of the team with the way he was performing in the bullpen, but now he will most likely be inserted into the rotation, and somebody (R.A. Dickey? Pat Misch?) will have to be called up to fill out the other spot.

It’s just too bad Jenrry Mejia didn’t start the season in the minors as a starter. He would have about seven starts under his belt by now and could have been put in the rotation, but the Mets blew that one.

What are some other things going wrong? How about Jeff Francoeur? He’s about as bad a player as could be imagined right now. If he’s going to swing at every pitch thrown to him and make out after out, he can’t be throwing the ball all over the field the way he did on Saturday to add to his hitting struggles.

The whole “we’re playing well, we just can’t get the big hit” days seem to be over. Sure, they keep fighting back to prevent blowouts, but they keep making too many mistakes in the first place.

But something positive happened on Sunday, though. Who had May 16 in the pool to predict when Gary Matthews Jr. would collect his first RBI of the season?

We saw how the team reacted after finally having their winning streak snapped two weeks ago—by completely falling apart. Now we’ll get to see how the Mets fare after falling off the face of the earth their last 15 games. If they have character, grit, and toughness (oh yeah, and talent), now’s the time to show it.