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Russ’s Rants – – The Mets Are a Dead Team

When you’re at a Mets Father’s Day Game the horrific thought of a no-hitter being tossed by the opposition creeps into your mind.  The Jim Bunning 1964 “perfect game” predates most of us yet we know of the horror. Well yesterday I felt like that was possible. Braves starter, Julio Teheran pitched a gem against the Mets last year and he did it again. Same time, different year.

A few starting things occurred in this very forgettable game. Teheran pitched a complete game. Something Terry Collins and the Mets brass are diametrically opposed to. He threw 120 pitches. Won’t that end his career?

Somehow Jacob deGrom is 3-4 on the season. When you pitch six innings, because that’s all the manager will allow you, and you give up 3 earned runs, you’ve done your job. The Mets hitters haven’t done theirs.

The Mets hitters have no idea how to grind out at-bats or play small ball. The coaching staff and the manager wait for the long ball and when that doesn’t happen the Mets lose. They don’t move runners along. They never try and bunt for a base hit when the infielders are playing far back. Curtis Granderson, as a leadoff hitter, needs to bunt and occasionally bunt for a base-hit. If he can’t, then he should be dropped down. When Juan Lagares returns from a thumb injury he should be the everyday leadoff hitter. If that means Granderson and Conforto play a little less, so be it. Granderson should be replaced in late innings for defense because the world runs on him. There’s not stat that I know of for taking the extra base but teams do it regularly.

Brandon Nimmo could inject some life into a stale team. He won’t steal bases but he can take an extra base when they need it. He has earned some spot playing time. Alejandro De Aza has been a $5.75 million dollar disappointment. I’d trade him for a player to be named later.

Antonio Bastardo has a good season last year but his larger body of work wasn’t good and yet the Mets have given him a two-year deal. So far he has a 4.66 ERA, a bad balk yesterday and a WHIP of 1.52. He’s been so bad that I wouldn’t use him for anything but mop up until further notice.

Terry Collins promised changes after the game yesterday. The Mets are six games out, in third place and they just got swept by the Braves. Last year we saw similar low points but the difference is the Nationals and Marlins are better than they were last year. If the Mets think they can get similar results to last year they’re mistaken. A trade or two will help this team but something else is needed – – a change in philosophy. They need to grind it out like the Kansas City Royals did to them in the World Series.

GM Sandy Alderson has to make these changes while he has his own personal challenges. None of this will be easy. Fans were mad. They were whispering the Mets were “lacking energy”. They were booing. They were right. Now the players have to look at themselves in the mirror and get better and the manager has to change the way he’s been going about it or they will never get back to the World Series this season.

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