« Playoff Roster Revisited | Main | It Takes a While, but the Offense Finally Wakes »

Mets Drop Third Straight As Offense Slumbers

Mike SteffanosSaturday, September 23, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Nationals 3 - Mets 2

I understand the Mets have already clinched the playoffs and are resting players, but this streak of hideous offense is becoming ridiculous. When Pedro Astacio shuts you down at this stage of his career, and your only real offensive highlight is provided by Ricky Ledee, that's a poor performance indeed. Multiplied by the fact that this has been the rule rather than the exception in September, and it's time to wake up. There's no need to panic, but the team doesn't want to head into the playoffs in this kind of doldrums. It's getting silly. Even with Beltran out and other guys getting rest days, there still should be enough professional hitters left in this lineup to give a good account of themselves in almost any game. That hasn't been the case.

Speaking of professional hitters, I keep waiting for Shawn Green to become "reenergized" by playing for a contender. He's batting .238 for the Mets in 84 ABs, and if you take away that 3 game mini-hot streak from earlier in the month, it drops to an Anderson Hernandez-esque .164. I figure at age 47 I have about a 70 mph fastball left in my tired old arm. I'd still like my chances in a confrontation with Shawn Green. His declining defense will not off-set this kind of hitting. I'm not trying to jump on the guy, and he has time to turn this around, but if the playoffs started tomorrow I'd much rather see Endy Chavez in right as things stand right now.

What I would hope from this team over the last week of the season is a return to some semblance of the type of offense that it will take to sustain a playoff run. You just can't turn it on and off at will. Frankly, I've found quite a few games this month downright tedious to watch.

The bright spot last night was Orlando Hernandez. A shaky third inning and a bad pitch to Austin Kearns -- combined with a pathetic offense -- cost him a loss, but he looked good giving them seven solid innings. Let's update the chart.

Orlando Hernandez
TOTAL (8 Games)49.1252443491854.381.243-5
TOTAL (5 Games)32.18722331021.950.992-3

I've highlighted his last 5 games in blue, which include the game before and five games after his break from a tired arm. Would you take that kind of pitching in the playoffs from El Duque? I know I would. He's averaging a strikeout per inning, and after shaking off the rust in Houston is barely walking anyone. The shame is that he has a losing record in these games, but this is due to the Mets employing their "retro 2004" offense for most of the last month.

Guillermo Mota struggled with his control in one inning of work last night, the first time we've seen that since he's come over. He was lucky to escape without giving up any runs. Heilman was solid in the ninth.

Ledee's pinch hit homer was quite a shot. Cliff Floyd had a couple of hits, but Endy was the offensive star with a 3-5 night. Julio Franco grounded out in the ninth. He hasn't had a pinch hit since the end of August.

It really is time for the Mets to wake up over this final week. I'm going on vacation with Lisa from tomorrow through Thursday. We'll be in New York City, and I was thinking of going to Monday's final home game. I'm not sure that I want to put Lisa through watching another snoozer of an effort, not am I sure that I want to pay top dollar to see that. In any case, if the Mets aren't going to care at all about these games, maybe I'm glad I won't be watching them.

Box Score

Comments (7)

I have no problem with Chavez over Green playing now and in the playoffs. Lets get our hottest(thats a joke) hitters primed and ready NOW. Where are those meaningful games in Sept,these are meaningless, it seems,to them. I thought they would finish with a 100 wins, now I don't know if they would finish with 95 wins. Mike enjoy your vac. I'll be on vac. and in Lancaster and Brandywine River Pa.next week untill the 6th. I pray we will have a joyfull chat at that time and a good Met report...Willie, don't make me come down there, get your A team on the field and ready...Mike and Lisa enjoy your vacation, see you Oct.6th.

I'm exhausted and making my way to Shea, because i have season tickets,and because I still love baseball - and I have to tolerate the likes of Ricky Ledee pinch hitting.

I'm not going tomorrow. TBF is going, because he's TBF and can't not go if he has a ticket, but if it rained out neither of us would be sad. To spend the time to go and sit there only to watch nothing happen and when something happens it's crap is infuriating.

TBF wanted 100 wins and now we're not going to get it.

I dealt with this last week. Reality is that the Mets ALREADY ...with 10 games to play clinched homefield...so whats to play for......?

The more we win the more the bookies get. But the mets get nothing. Meanwhile the Dodgers and SD (+ philli) slug it out to the last day. Meanwhile our pitchers are getting in rhythm, and the 6-7 man rotation is showing its effectiveness. Meanwhile Anderson is potentially that utlity infielder. remember he was at AA last yr. Maybe he needed extra time in the minors.

EL-Duque is my Met pitcher of the yr.

Rev - Have a terrific trip, too.
mets grrl - I've given up on 100 wins, and now I'm just hoping they play better the last week of the season and go into the playoffs with some momentum. As least the offense woke up finally in the 5th. Hope they stay awake for TBF tomorrow.
Ed - They haven't hit all month, and they need to kick it into gear. Agreed on El Duque.

I never believed that Shawn Green would recover his stroke, to be frank.

I don't know all the details of his shoulder problems, so I wouldn't care to point to his lack of production and draw any conclusions on Green's character. All's we know is, he hurt himself a couple of times and now the power is gone, along with the footspeed.

What I do wonder is why the Mets felt differently than the rest of baseball about Shawn Green's prospects for the future, willing to commit all that money when nobody else would. Maybe for no good reason; but of course the list of players that the Mets saw differently also includes Oliver Perez, Jose Valentin, and Orlando Hernandez; so in fairness we Mets fans have no reason to complain.

Mike, enjoy your vacation. Watching these games in September has been excruciating; poor hitting overall(especially with men on base), sloppy fielding and poor execution along with less than so-so starting pitching, has resulted in a very uninspired-looking team. I'm not of the belief that the Mets are simply coasting into the playoffs(why would anyone think that's a good idea anyway?), they were not playing sharp before clinching. I've always thought Willie should have rested the starting players more often and not waited till now; with such a big lead, he had a golden opportunity to let Lo Duca heal more, and give Beltran more of a chance to tend to those leg aches and pains he has. I never understood the rationale of getting Green; overpaid, old, well past his best offensive years, and left-handed....what's to like about him? Omar gets a pass on him though, considering his excellent work otherwise. I'm not afraid to say that I'm concerned, because I am, especially with Pedro throwing like he is right now. Good to see David Wright show up today, we need him to start mashing again. Enjoy NYC.

dd - If his power is gone, so be it. But at least he was hitting for average for the first half of the year. Give us that the rest of the way and I'll be happy. Next year will be a different story. I wish they didn't waste $6 million next year on him. It probably could have bought something better. Ah well, he had better swings today, maybe I'll get lucky and he'll make me eat my words.
George - I'll disagree with you on players being tired. In any case, they're getting plenty of rest now and not hitting, at least before today. Thanks for the good wishes on the trip. I just hope they play better this week and head into the playoffs on a positive note.

About Mike's Mets

Please support Mike's Mets:

Disclaimer: Mike's Mets is an independent, unofficial fan site, and is not affiliated in any way with the New York Mets or Major League Baseball.

Other Links

General Baseball Links
Internet Radio Shows
Video Blogs
Other Team Links
Other Sports Links
Non-Sports Links
Video Direct

Looking for great deals on MLB Baseball Tickets? Visit JustgreatTickets.com for Cubs Tickets, NY Mets Tickets and a huge selection of Red Sox Tickets, Yankees Tickets and plenty of great concert Tickets for Dave Matthews Band Tickets and Buffett Tickets

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 4.1