Tuesday night was not the first time that Squawker Lisa and I attended a Met game in which an error by the Met second baseman turned a one-run lead into a one-run loss. It wasn't the Subway Series and it wasn't the over-the-hill, payroll-clogging Luis Castillo, but it was excruciating all the same.
I've bought into trading Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez. I'm content for this year to root for the Mets to finish over .500 and finish ahead of the Marlins and Nationals.
But what I'm not content with is losing four in a row to the Marlins and Nationals.
Sure, the Mets were a better team with Beltran and K-Rod. But they're not making the playoffs with an infield that seems to make a critical error each night. They may be fourth in the league in runs scored, but their offense seems to alternate between powerhouse and puny. Last week, the Mets scored 38 runs while winning five in a row. They've followed up with scoring eight runs in a four-game losing streak. Sometimes the Mets look great, sometimes they look awful. It averages out to mediocre.
Perhaps the quintessential 2011 Met is Daniel Murphy. He's fifth in the NL in batting at .319. And yet, on a team with few consistent hitters, Murphy's defensive woes make him far from a lock for the lineup down the road.
Justin Turner is no Castillo. He's a promising rookie who made a rookie mistake. But as with Murphy, it's unclear whether he is part of the future or the bridge to that future.
I know the Mets are a ways from being a contender. I just don't like to be reminded of it in the way I was Tuesday night.
By the way, according to Mets Merized Online:
The last time the Mets lost three consecutive games in their last at-bat was June 10-12, 2009 (two extra-inning losses vs. Philadelphia and a loss at Yankee Stadium).
Yes, the last time the Mets lost their third straight game in their last at-bat was the Castillo game. I've got to stop going to Met games with Squawker Lisa!