|Josh Thole broke up a double play in the seventh inning. (NYTimes.com)|
Jon Niese was hit early and often and the Mets offense went cold for 8 innings, paving the way for a 7-3 Angels victory that dropped New York back two games under .500.
The Bad Stuff:
- Coming into this game, Jon Niese had an ERA of 1.58 over the past month. All you can say is that maybe he was due for a bad outing. And oh boy, was it bad: 4+ innings, 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits. It was as if the Angels took what the Mets did to Dan Haren yesterday and slammed it right back in Niese's face.
- The New York bats must have been dipped in ice before the game, because they were just plain stone cold. Take away the 9th, and the Mets were shut out and limited to 4 hits. There was nothing they could do against Tyler Chatwood, who baffled the Mets for 7 of those 8 innings.
- Even when they could get something going, they couldn't capitalize. RISP is ugly, once again. 2-10. Yeeeesh...
- Then in the 9th, the offense finally woke up. After Josh Thole flew out, Ruben Tejada and Jason Pridie singled, and Jose Reyes brought Tejada home on another single. Justin Turner's groundout scored Pridie, and Carlos Beltran's single brought home Reyes, making the final score a much less horrid-looking 7-3.
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus is condemned to an eternity of rolling a large boulder up a hill, watching it roll back down the hill, and doing it all over again. The Mets are in a sisyphean rut right now: their boulder their record, their hill the .500 mark. It must be wearing, to get so close day after day and end up having to do the same thing the next day. Believe me, it's certainly better than where they were at the beginning of the season, but to actually get the boulder to stay at the top of the hill would mean everything in the world.
Luckily, the Mets will have the chance to keep that boulder at the top of .500 hill. After an off day tomorrow, New York hosts the Oakland Athletics, one of the worst teams in the American League. A 3-game sweep would be just what the doctor ordered, and it would put the Mets one game over .500. The Amazin's then take a weekend trip down to Arlington to face the Texas Rangers, who lead the AL West but are just a handful of games better than us. A .500 record by this time next week seems like a reasonable goal to reach. And I think it's possible.