The Mets began the second half of the season with two huge tests — a series with the Phillies and one with the Cardinals — to determine if they are truly contenders for the Wild Card. Well, they failed the first test, dropping the rubber game of their series with the Phils on Sunday.
The Mets lost 8-5, but the game really wasn’t that close. Mike Pelfrey was cruising along until his inevitable collapse, allowing a three-run homer in the fifth to someone named Michael Martinez — the first major league homer for the rookie. The Phillies added three more runs in the eighth thanks to a costly error by Jason Bay (below), building an 8-1 lead before the Mets teased us with eighth and ninth inning threats that plated four runs.
The Mets are now 47-47, eight and a half games behind the Braves for the Wild Card — a lead that seems more and more insurmountable as the days go by. Following a make-up game against the Marlins on Monday, the Cardinals come to town for their three-game set. We should know by the end of that series if the Mets are able to compete with the top teams in the league.
After that is a ten-game road trip after that against the Marlins, Reds and Nationals leading up to the trade deadline. If the Mets can’t beat those teams — especially with Jose Reyes and David Wright expected back — they are truly toast.
Morgan Freeman dropped by the booth why, exactly? If you missed it, you missed one of the most awkward half innings in Mets history. After promoting “Mandela Day,” on which people are supposed to do nice things (yeah, good luck convincing Mets fans to do that!), our intrepid Mets announcers ignored the game to struggle to come up with questions to ask him, which he answered with little enthusiasm. None of those questions was related to baseball, by the way. I couldn’t wait for the inning to end. I don’t mind celebrities in the booth as long as it is for a charity event or if it is baseball related. This was neither. It was just painful.