By Adam Warner
On May 17th, the Mets put out a Spring training-ish lineup vs. the Cubs. Jason Vargas started and gave up 7 runs in 5 innings, but a dramatic 9th inning comeback from a 5-1 deficit gave the Mets the win.
That was the last time the Mets won a game without the benefit of a team "Quality Start" which I will loosely define here as 6 innings and 3 runs or less, with the starter at least getting into the 6th, and no more than one reliever getting called on.
In other words, not once has a shaky starter been bailed out by a decent offensive performance in the last 52 games.
Big innings? Forget about it. The Mets have scored more than 3 runs in any one inning exactly twice in that 52 game stretch. Once was turning a 4-1 lead into an 8-1 lead vs. the Twins. In the 8th inning. The other was 4 days later vs. the A's.
The 3 run homer? Not too common. A total of 6 of them over this time period.
Comebacks? The Mets have overcome a 3 run deficit to win exactly once (vs. Houston on July 7th). They surmounted 1st inning 2-0 deficits twice vs. the Giants, and fought all the way back from trailing early 1-0 vs. the D-Backs and Marlins. I barely remember any instances even in losses where they at least came back at some point, if only to ultimately blow the lead (that Saturday game vs. the Yankees rings a bell, can't think of any others offhand).
The Mets are 25-27 overall in this stretch and have stayed in 1st throughout. It's really a testament to generally good starting pitching, and particularly great Billy Wagner.
It's getting scary. This is not a formula that's going to sustain itself much longer. And it seems beyond simply adding a good bat or jigging the order around. The guys here have to figure out a way to string some hits together.