It’s two games. 1/81 of the schedule. Calm down already. I’m speaking to myself as much as I am to you.
But man oh man, this isn’t going well.
The bullpen’s terrible — and while I’m no scout, something tells me wheeling the embalmed corpse of Kyle Farnsworth onto the mound isn’t going to help things.
Ruben Tejada still makes you wonder what, if anything, is going through his head. Tejada tiptoed into home in the fifth, giving Jose Lobaton minimal trouble in getting tagged out standing. If he’d scored, it would have been 3-2 Nats with the tying run on second; instead it was inning over. I was walking back home from an errand, and on WOR Howie Rose and Josh Lewin needed a substantial part of the top of the sixth to inventory all the things Tejada had done wrong: He’d gotten a lousy jump, failed to pick up Tim Teufel at third, taken too wide a turn between third and home and then, of course, approached home plate like his mission was to put a daisy in a rifle muzzle. After the game, Terry Collins showed not the slightest hesitation in throwing Tejada under the bus, which might be his best position: Tejada, he said, didn’t understand the new rule about plays at the plate. If you immediately thought “potential failure of coaching,” I was with you — but Terry then noted, without changing expression, that they’d covered this at length in spring training.
Normally, one would inch a teensy way out on a limb and predict Tejada’s days are numbered, but the Mets want no part of Stephen Drew (not that I blame them, given Drew’s price tag and the fact that the team would still be lousy with him) and have so far refused to do business with the Mariners. So Tejada, rather amazingly, seems to have a sinecure. And the only thing that’s more galling than thinking of further head-in-behindery by Ruben is remembering that this year’s Mets actually gave a roster spot to the spectacularly useless Omar Quintanilla. As for Wilmer Flores at short, I think we’re in enough pain as it is, thanks.
Overlooked in all this: Ruben would have scored from second (OK, presumably) if Bartolo Colon had been able to get a bunt down. Colon is charming and entertaining to watch with his collection of finely calibrated fastballs and pinpoint control, but his debut wasn’t exactly the stuff of a Mets classic — I have no “nowstalgia” for it, to use a horrible catch phrase the Mets unveiled on Opening Day. If starting pitching becomes a problem for this team as well, forget September — it’ll be a long way to May.
It’s two games. But what I can’t get out of my head is that so far the 2014 Mets look appallingly similar to the 2013 Mets — not just a bad team, but a lethargic and unwatchable one. Last year’s team nearly broke me by summer; this one is trying my patience before there are buds on the trees. I don’t want to think about what that means.