The Mets are officially on life support.
After a gut-wrenching 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros last night at Citi Field, the Mets are 5-13 and have just two wins in their last 14 games.
It really can't get any worse.
Even a 4-for-5 night from Jose Reyes couldn't save them. And despite his excellent performance, it was Reyes who was doubled off first base after Jose Thole popped up trying to bunt in the bottom of the ninth with the Mets down 4-3.
David Wright extended his hitless streak to 18 at-bats, dropping his average to .229.
After eight decent innings from R.A. Dickey and another scoreless inning of work from Jason Isringhausen, the Mets still find ways to lose.
Jason Bay will make his triumphant return to Citi Field tonight after starting the season on the DL with an oblique injury, but does anyone actually think that's going to change anything?
Bay showed no signs the he's found his power stroke in spring training and with Reyes the only Met batting over .300, it's going to take a lot more than that to turn things around.
General manager Sandy Alderson has also shown he's not going to waste time waiting for his players to wake up. Blaine Boyer only made it five games, and Brad Emaus got 14 before Alderson have them both the axe.
And with every loss, every baserunning blunder and every wasted opportunity, the Mets inch closer and closer to oblivion, I mean, the trade deadline.
Reyes and Carlos Beltran sit atop the list of Mets players who will be available, but the Mets' struggles may also force Alderson to explore trades involving Wright, Mike Pelfrey and Francisco Rodriguez.
The problem is that teams in need aren't yet ready to start making phone calls. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox could use a closer of Rodriguez's caliber, but after just two weeks, they're not desperate enough to ask the Mets what it would take.
The eventual fire sale will mercifully signal the end of the Mets season, but it's not going to come in April.
So here are the Mets, embarrassing themselves on a nightly basis with no end to their suffering in sight.
Alderson would love to keep Reyes in Queens for the foreseeable future, but the better he plays, the more he's going to cost to re-sign. Reyes is currently batting .329 with one home run and six RBI. He's 8-for-8 in stolen base opportunities.
Reyes is rumored to be seeking Carl Crawford-like money (seven years, $142 million), which would be far beyond anything the Mets could afford. Their only option is to trust Reyes is finally one-hundred percent healthy (he certainly seems to be) and offer him the best contract they can.
Alderson needs to do that as soon as possible because if Reyes turns it down, all bets are off, and any team looking to trade for Reyes' services will want to have him for as long as possible.
Three months of Reyes isn't worth as much as five months would be.
Does that mean the Mets would pull the trigger as soon as mid-May? For that, there would have to be teams willing to make a trade that early, but the Mets certainly shouldn't hesitate if the opportunity presents itself.
The Mets are woefully bad.
They're off to the third-worst start in franchise history, and there doesn't appear to be any hope on the horizon. Dillon Gee, called up to replace the injured Chris Young in the rotation, gave the Mets five strong innings in a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, but the Mets haven't won since.
There's simply nothing Alderson or Collins can do to turn this team around. There's no one who thought that would be a truth in mid-April, but it is.
The Mets simply don't have the prospects to effectively fill spots on the roster after a trade, so once the fire sale begins, it will signal the end of the Mets season.
How long will Alderson wait?
The Mets get a lead in every game against the Colorado Rockies, and still get swept in the four-game series. They finally get that big hit they've been searching for last night, and still can't find a way to win.
And of course, it was Wright who made the last out of the game. And of course it would be a fly ball to right field, the part of the stadium that simply doesn't favor any one but the opposition.
After Wright made the out, SNY cameras focused into the dugout onto the stunned face of R.A. Dickey. Staring blankly out onto the field, Dickey must have been thinking what every Mets fan was thinking.
"When is this going to end?"
Well, it will end when Alderson decides he's seen enough and tears down the entire team. There can be no "untouchables" when dealing with a reclamation project of this size. Reyes, Beltran, Pelfrey and Wright should all be up for grabs to the highest bidder.
Though Alderson admitted he took fan opinion to heart when he decided to release Luis Castillo during spring training, he can't do it again. Not when this team is playing this way.
Reyes and Wright are the longest tenured Mets on the team, but that shouldn't save them. A lack of suitable replacements shouldn't save them either; it shouldn't save anyone.
The Mets will continue to play every day. They'll try to avoid the sweep tonight against the Astros, but even a win won't change anything.
The Mets could go out tonight and win 10-0 and get the first no-hitter in Mets history from Chris Capuano, and it would only delay the inevitable.
Alderson knows it. The fans need to know it too.
The only thing in doubt is exactly how long it will take before Alderson throws his hands up and finally starts doing the job he was hired to do, fix the Mets.