It was a truly awful weekend, one to forget for the Mets these past three days. There were some good things, like the game Pedro Martinez pitched on Saturday against the Phillies. He struck out nine in six sharp innings, allowing just one run. But once again, the bullpen let one get away. Tom Glavine was very good on Friday, allowing just a Chase Utley home run. But it went extra innings, and mistakes in extra innings cost the Mets the game.
It's been an Achilles heel for the Mets this season. Billy Wagner has been terrific for most of the year, but hit a bit of a down slide in August. Aaron Heilman is hot and cold, Pedro Feliciano shows signs of true brillance at times, but not often enough. And Guillermo Mota? I just thank God he never threw a pitch in a Red Sox uniform. He's an abject disaster who shouldn't get to pitch in any game that's even close.
Sunday was just one of those "garbage can" games, as I like to call them. It was simply an awful day, as the Mets committed 6 errors (2 by Jose Reyes) in a brutal 10-6 loss to the Phillies. Oliver Perez was in trouble for the entire time he was out there, and the bullpen was again lousy, especially Mota.
But the Mets are still 3 1/2 games up on the Phillies. They are still in a great position to win the division, and the Wild Card for sure. No reason to panic. But they have to play better than the effort on Sunday, though. And you have to respect what the Phillies have done. They have had a roster list of injuries, from losing guys like Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Brett Myers and Ryan Howard for extended periods during the year. Charlie Mauel has done a fine job keeping the Phillies together, and I bet around mid-season, most Phillies fans probably figured it was time to look towards 2008.
The Mets have a favorable schedule to end the year, and I expect them to win the East. But it will be interesting to see if the Phillies can parlay a successful weekend at Shea into a postseason berth. Stay tuned.