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200 Miles From the Citi


July 17, 2010 1:01 AM

Giant Disappointment

Zito_V_Mets.jpg

The Giants are a team that has trouble manufacturing runs.

So it's really no surprise that the Mets were able to hold them to a total of 3 runs in the first two games of their series in San Francisco.

What's shocking is that the Mets lost both games.

Their total: 0 runs.

You want to talk about trouble manufacturing runs?


Now, there's two ways to look at this.  One is, the Mets hitters are doing terribly right now.  Another is that they're up against a Giants pitching staff that is among the best in the majors.

I say it's both, with a dab of dubious managing thrown in for good measure.

Tim Lincecum baffled the Mets Thursday night.  Barry Zito made them look even sillier on Friday, because each one of his pitches looked like it should have been hit (in typical Zito fashion).

But Zito was also facing a weaker lineup than Lincecum...thanks, Jerry Manuel.  The return of Carlos Beltran means one outfielder must sit each day.  Manuel had said that Angel Pagan would hit against Lincecum, and Jeff Francoeur would play against the lefty Zito.  With Jose Reyes still out, that left Ruben Tejada in the leadoff spot (and Jason Bay hitting second).

Every time the SNY cameras showed Angel Pagan and Jose Reyes sitting together on the bench it was like a slap in the face.  And then every time Jason Bay looked like he had no idea what Barry Zito was throwing (and when he hit the ball an inch in front of the plate in the 9th inning, then stepped on the ball so he was out a step out of the box), it was like a punch in the face.  Right now, Angel Pagan on the bench and Jason Bay in left field is not in the best interests of the Mets' lineup.

Wasted in the second straight Giants shutout was another excellent start by a Mets starter.  Jonathan Niese was pegged with a loss for going seven strong innings, giving up just one run on six hits in seven innings.

Zito and Brian Wilson combined to give up just three Mets hits.

It's easy to sit here and second-guess and say things like Pagan needs to be in the lineup.  But when you're having trouble scoring runs, you need someone making plays at the top of the lineup.  Not Ruben Tejada.

The Mets might be seeing their season slip away here.  It's not going to get any easier when they face Matt Cain on Saturday.  It'll be the first time since Cain beaned David Wright that Wright faces Cain, so there is a psychological element to the game as well.

Perhaps that'll at least take the attention away from the other elephant in the dugout: That the Mets just can't buy a win right now.  These are the games you remember when you miss the playoffs by a game.

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