Chicago Really Brings Out the Worst in the Mets

More sloppiness, more runners left on base in 5-3 loss to Cubs

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Mets need to get back to the future.

    Terry Collins might want to commission Dr. Emmett Brown to look into the flight the Mets took from New York to Chicago on Sunday night.

    It was stormy and there was a lot of electricity in the air, so Collins might want to make sure that a bolt of lightning didn't hit the plane and send 1.21 gigawatts through it as it went hurtling back in time. Brown might be more of a DeLorean man, but he could help them figure out if the plane wound up going back in time instead of to Illinois.

    You might think it sounds far-fetched, but how else could you explain the appearance of the 2009-2011 Mets at Wrigley Field this week? The Mets might have lost two of three to the Yankees over the weekend, but they at least looked like their resilient, hardworking selves when they were on the field.

    The team that's lost the last two nights in Chicago hasn't looked anything like the one that we saw on Sunday night. The Mets of the last two nights have done everything poorly and they haven't shown even a little bit of the fire that Collins seemed to instill in the team for most of the season.

    The Mets left 12 runners on base Tuesday night, Lucas Duda made a boneheaded mistake running the bases and Dillon Gee pitched poorly over five innings to help set the stage for a 5-3 loss. Ruben Tejada was credited with the team's only error of the night, although that's only because baseball rules are pretty forgiving when it comes to handing out errors in the face of uniformly awful defensive performances.

    On Monday night, you could accept some of the Mets' performance because they had a tough travel night leading into a road game. They were sluggish and sloppy, but that will happen under such circumstances.

    What's the excuse for Tuesday night? Unless the Mets spent the day reliving the plot of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," there's no excuse good enough to explain why the team looked even flatter a day removed from its unpleasant trip into Chicago.

    Well, there is one other explanation. The Mets could just be revealing their true colors after playing the first three months in a way that has exhausted the Thesaurus' suggestions for improbable.

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    It's too soon to make that kind of diagnosis, but the symptoms certainly look familiar to those of us who have seen this movie before.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.