Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Boats Against the Current

Someone had better
start bailing
I'm heading into the hospital for surgery tomorrow, so you probably won't be hearing from me for a few days. But, I won't be going silent by myself. The New York Mets bats have preceded me into quietude. It seems only fair. In 4 of their last 8 games, I have driven in exactly as many runs as the Mets hitters being paid to perform that important task. What's even more irksome about the Mets' four shutout losses is that merely scoring 11 well-timed runs combined in those games could have secured four victories for the club. It's one thing to come up against a great pitcher and lose a tough one here and there. It's quite another to see your club slumber through one winnable game after another.

The bottom line is that, for the first 16 days of June, the Mets were able to perform quite admirably and win more than their share of games. For a minute there, surviving the month seemed more than just possible; it looked likely.

Then they stopped scoring runs again, and their pitching staff couldn't come up with the miracles needed to pull out most of the games. This dismal 2-6 stretch since they won game 3 of the Cubs series has once again made me wonder if — once again — June is the month where the clock strikes midnight for my beloved Mets.

Despite all of the recent bad news for the pitching staff, that certainly doesn't have to be how this all turns out. It's not going to be easy. It will almost undoubtedly require the Mets offense to shake off their season-long doldrums and start pulling their weight. Now that the injured Mets starters are returning to the club, the time for excuses is coming to an end. Sure, you have to give the players a chance to get their timing back, but the Mets will have to start scoring more or think about being sellers at the trade deadline. It's just not going to work if the hitting remains near this pathetic level.

I'm not really down on this club. I honestly believe there is enough pitching left here to win this division as long as the offense comes around. From the beginning of the year, I always felt that this would happen. I still do, but I have to admit that I'm starting to have a few doubts. Every time it seems to be turning around, it seems we get another stretch like this one.

Last night I found myself getting kind of angry watching pathetic at-bat follow pathetic at-bat. I've rarely seen a game where the Mets were down by 3 runs look so absolutely helpless, and I've been watching Mets games for more than 50 years. Those early-70s Mets clubs were offensively challenged, but even they could scrape together a few hits and at least make it interesting. Finally, my frustration just rose to a level where I didn't want to watch the game any longer. And I honestly don't like the fact that I felt that way.

So here we are, trying to win games with guys making their Major League debut and other guys whose MLB career is essentially behind them, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Okay, anyone who has ever taken an American Lit class knows I lifted the second half of that sentence from a far better writer than myself. The Mets' season-long offensive woes are starting to take me into the dark place that Nick Carraway found himself in by the end of Fitzgerald's masterpiece. If the club hopes for things to turn out better for them than it did for James Gatz in that novel, they need to find their offensive mojo. I recommend they do it soon.

That will do it for me today. I'll see you when the anesthesia wears off. In the meantime, please stay well and take care.

 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos.


  1. best of luck with your surgery. be careful writing too soon after the anesthesia wears off. I had bilateral hip replacement surgery 7 years ago; that night, about 8 hours after the surgery ended, I sent out a few texts and emails to let people know I was ok. I thought I was perfectly lucid, but they were pure gibberish.

  2. Probably too late to offer best wishes before the surgery, but I'll do it anyway. I hope everything was seamless and successful and your recovery will be quick.

    Good Luck with everything!


The Defense Doesn't Rest

A renewed emphasis on defense would be a good thing for the New York Mets. Mike Vaccaro had an interesting column in the New York Post  abou...