After a game like Saturday's, in which the Mets fell behind and settled in comfortably from there, it felt fair to wonder if they ever planned to mount a comeback again. Then I remembered it was barely 48 hours ago that they indeed came from five runs behind to eventually win a ballgame. They do apparently maintain a pulse for occasional use no matter how intently they try to hide it.
Was the gut-check win in Pittsburgh really only two days ago? Was it really that recently when we were on a two-game winning streak of one-run victories? Because at this point, a certain numbness has set where the Mets are concerned. They win a couple, they lose a couple, you can't quite get a handle on what they're going to be over the next nine innings. That will happen when your team is 39-41, regardless of how sticky every team in the division outside of Washington seems to be to each other. We're certainly helping the Phillies find unstickiness where their juxtaposition to us is concerned.
On the day our country turned 233, Middle-Aged Man looked as spry as he did when he began his career 23 years ago facing off against Steve Carlton — yes, Jamie Moyer's that ancient. He may have played high school ball with John Dickinson. Moyer entered Saturday's game with an ERA over 6. Suffice to say it has dipped significantly toward 5. Phillies fans say long live Jamie Moyer. Jamie Moyer will live long if he faces this lineup regularly.
The Mets did nothing offensively and less defensively. Paul Bako walked in the sixth after David Wright didn't catch a foul pop. Paul Bako came around to score after Omir Santos didn't catch a foul pop. Two runners moved up because Ryan Church made a lousy throw, Omir Santos didn't cut it down and, just to emphasize what a bush league outfit this is, Pat Misch attempted to back up the play by stopping it with his foot.
It didn't work.
This is what the Mets do in 2009. This part has zero to do with injuries or travel. This is their rampant, unchecked unprofessionalism come home to roost yet again. The Mets are three games out with just over a half-season on tap. Keep telling yourself that as if that and Johan taking the ball Sunday are the balm that will soothe otherwise ineffectual pitching, nonexistent batting and fielding you'd blanch at if it were coming from your kindergartener.
They look tepid when they win. They look dreadful when they lose. They don't compete nearly enough so you can immediately detect a difference. Apparently the Mets take the concept of a holiday weekend seriously as death.
Bad Mets teams somehow seem charming in Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.