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Offensive Doldrums

Mike SteffanosThursday, August 17, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Phillies 3 - Mets 0

I think tonight's game was the culmination of something we've been seeing for a while. I thought that Xavier Nady brought a lot to the bottom of the batting order, and they would miss him. What's happening now, however, goes way beyond the loss of one guy, and speaks more to the approach of this team. They've been living and dying with home runs for a while, and seemingly have the lost the small-ball skills to scratch and claw for some runs when things aren't going all their way. As a result, I find them almost unwatchable over the past week.

The one positive from this game was Glavine's performance. He was good tonight, and was doing a good job of getting ahead of hitters. After throwing 120+ pitches last time out, he gave the club another 114 today, and seven key innings to save the beleaguered bullpen.

Other than Glavine, and Chad Bradford who contributed a perfect inning, no Met covered himself in any glory tonight. You can single out one or another Met to place the blame on if it makes you feel better. To me, this was an ugly all-around team effort. They need to get back to the style of play that made them a fun watch early in the year.

This game is being discussed in the MetsMerized Mets Talk Forum.

Box Score

Comments (14)

Mike...this is a rough stretch....Teams are a microsystem, if the liver is ailing, then the spleen is affected, and in turn the kidneys suffer. Additionally, the spirit and the body are also interconnected, when the psyche is disturbed then the body is weakened.

When you've been playing at the level that comes naturally, then when things get difficult its possible that a team does not have the skill set already developed fro do what does not come naturally. Its like life. Its easy to do what is simple for you, and likely you will excel at what comes naturally. The true litmus test comes when adversity strikes.

What we need is a remedy. Either energetic or physical. If Randolph is a players kind of leader, then he must capitalize on his relationships andinspire his players with measures of discipline and understanding. He's their spiritual father.
Now we will see what this team is really composed of. Do they have the internal fortitude to push back the enemy and repel the decay or do the allow the leakage of life force to downward spiral them. This is a crisis. And a body in crisis craves the very thing that is weakening to the body itself. Like sugar for a hypoglycemic it tests kiniseiologically strong but in reality is detremental. Its easier fotr the physical body to fall deeper into malaise then to throw off the offender, consequently the signal distortion. The Mets thinktank must realize that what the team may crave, like the long ball that got them there and came easily may be the solution, but it might be like the sugar example. It takes a clever diagnostician to see thru the deception and rightly target the appropriate remedy. And it msight be energetic or it might be mass. For instannce, the homeopathic, (energy), remedy for over indulging in dramatic long ball baseball is subtle small ball

WHAT????on the comment.

Hi MIke- I still feel the Nady trade upset the balance of the team, aside form his bat inthe bottom of the order I think he had alot to do with the team dynamic in the club house. I know he was a quiet guy on the field but I have a feeling he had alot more to do with the chemistry behind the scenes. Now without Floyd we are left with nothing but light hitting outfielders in the corners.

I also think all of this nonsense with LoDuca's personal woes are affecting his influenece on the team behind the scenes too.

Ultimate Mets Database, shows the 1986 Mets lost 4 to the Cards at the same time of the season as now..Thanks to N.J.COM,Talk about Mets,weblog. Interesting the 1986 and 2006 Mets have a lot in common,good and bad. The outcome of 1986 was good. Lets keep the faith in 2006. The old battle cry "you gotta believe" should be ressurected.

Taking a more prosaic approach than the above post: the Mets traded Nady away, and soon after lost Floyd too. That really changed the lineup, and greatly reduced the chances of a slumping batter getting picked up by his mates.

Unless Milledge relaxes, or whatever, and starts hitting like he can, the Mets are a weaker team than they were before the trading deadline. But Floyd will be back, and Beltran isn't going to stay in a slump forever, unless that knee is worse than we've been told. Wright, too, is going to be heard from again. So maybe this isn't a perfect time to panic, Woody.

I agree with you that a little small ball might be just the ticket to turning thinks around. And a few hitters simplifying their approach, trying to hit the ball back through the box, that might work too.

A side thought: if one looks through the seasonal records, it becomes apparent that many of the division winners over the years are simply the teams that managed to stay healthy relative to their competition. I think that was largely true of the Mets early on -- the main injury, to Victor Zambrano, was probably a benefit -- but it sure hasn't been true lately. The Mets without Floyd, Nady, and Castro too; this team doesn't hit like the team that burned it up on that western road trip back in June. Not to mention the blows to the pitching staff, of course.

The Mets are being tested, folks.

No need to panic. Slumps happen. Interesting fact: in the past ten games, the Phils and Mets have the same record. The losses are frustrating, but Philadelphia isn't really making up any ground overall.

Floyd will be back, and the Mets are smart to DL him so he'll be ready in October. Once he's back, the offense will improve.

"dd" brings me to remember Castro. I kind of had him off on the side lines. He was a big part of this mix. Giving them more p/h depth and very good fill in and rest for Lo Duca. Thanks dd, I needed that. It's not one big thing it's those little things that just add up, that make a team sink or swim.

To all -- sorry, no time for individual answers this morning. I think the team's offensive approach has been bad for a while, even when they were winning. I really do think they've fallen way too much into waiting for Beltran to hit a 3-run homer. Despite who they've lost, they're still a better offensive team than last year, but they need to play that style again. I'm not panicking, and I'm not down on them.

i think the losing streak is a good thing as it exposes flaws early.

we gave up hitting for pitching. Again X-would have been traded this off season regardless, and Milledge is getting an up front eval/trial by fire. If green/Preston is imported it offsets the Nady trade. Shawn hits rH/LH equally well. Both would be positives in terms of Chemistry.

i'd be willing to take a flier on G. mota too. In importing Mota and Green/Preston, the subtractions are Diaz and Ledee....that tells me how much we are hurting.

The Mets are a team of speed and Power. Right now the speed part is missing, (power too), but when we win we put ALOT of pressure on opposing defenses.

Maine and Traxx have solidified the back end, but we still need one or two arms...

Ed -- Sorry, having a god-awful day at work. No time to post an intelligent answer, not that this has ever stopped me before.

when i'm having a bad day i post often...

OK So let me help;

1. Does Maine still have a scoreless streak...at shea. I have lauded him and the press is on the bandwagon (so is Mike Cerrone), He is a Rick peterson disciple...and he was THE stopper. his 2Runs allowed to howard on a pitch moving away...

2. VALENTIN INJURED: Willie wasnt kidding about 'resting' his (older) starters. Valentin again hasnt played much in yrs, so he has already made up for the last 2 yrs. I look for Gotay or Ahearn to get a look. Gotay has ML experience and is in the mix for the 2B job next yr. Ahern should be up but to spell reyes.

3Bosox got Hinske. Yes they are desperate but still the Mets need an OFer to replace X. Tucker lastings and Ledee are not the answer.

I'm surprised they haven't taken a flyer on Preston Wilson. Ledee especially looks like he's hurt and ineffective.

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