While we in the rest of the country dutifully flipped our calendars, got the kids ready for the last day of school and started making summer plans, the New York Mets never made it into June.
In one month, they have gone from sure-thing winners of the NL East to life support and, worse, they're playing as if they don't care. Heading into another Subway Series in Yankee Stadium beginning Friday, the Mets are in complete free-fall, having lost nine of their past 10 and so far going 2-10 in June.
|Jorge Sosa is the only Mets starter to pick up a win since May 31. (Getty Images)|
The Mets' pitching is out of whack -- no starter other than Jorge Sosa has recorded a win since May 31.
Their situational hitting has been abysmal -- when first baseman Carlos Delgado finally drove home a run in Dodger Stadium the other night, it snapped an 0-for-16 spell with runners in scoring position.
Injuries have sabotaged them, especially those of outfielders Moises Alou and Endy Chavez. Alou's strained quad is cause for worry: It's worse than originally feared and, according to sources close to the team, is likely to sideline him for several more weeks.
Meantime, though it hasn't received nearly the publicity as that of Alou, the absence of Chavez (strained hamstring) has left the Mets without their sparkplug.
It is rare that a team dominates wire-to-wire, and championship teams take the valleys with the peaks. But the Mets' road trip finale in Los Angeles on Wednesday night was flat-out embarrassing, the kind of sloppy loss that usually leads to team meetings. Shortstop Jose Reyes dropped an easy throw to ruin a force at second. Delgado dropped a double-play relay throw at first. Center fielder Carlos Beltran looked anything but a Gold Glover when he was too lazy to cut off Tony Abreu's base hit into the left-center gap and allowed it to roll past him for a double.
"I don't think it's anything to do with confidence," closer Billy Wagner said. "I think it's focus and desire. You've got to want it. Right now, it's hard. You've got to want it more than everybody else wants it."
"This is testing our resiliency, testing our character," third baseman David Wright said. "We have to turn it around, and we have to do it fast."
Indeed, in addition to their other woes, the Mets are in a backbreaking part of their schedule as the first team ever to play six consecutive clubs that played in the postseason the year before.
"It's not stunning, it's reality," manager Willie Randolph says. "It's the reality of the game."