It really felt like it would be the Mets' night.
Rod Barajas hit his first home run since May 31st to tie the game in the sixth inning. Oliver Perez loaded the bases in his first major league appearance since the same day but escaped the 12th inning without giving up any runs. Carlos Beltran drove in his first run of the season and Jason Bay managed to strand just two runners on base while going 0-for-6 with four strikeouts.
With all that positivity, how could they not leave Arizona with a face-saving win? Pretty simple, really. Facing the worst bullpen in decades, the Mets "offense" managed one hit and no runs over eight innings. The Diamondbacks put a couple of runners on in the 14th against Fernando Nieve, Chris Snyder singled and the Mets were on their way to Los Angeles as victims of a three-game sweep.
The 4-3 loss is the 11th straight game where the Mets failed to score four runs, a state of affairs that says just about everything you need to know about why this team is in a death spiral. You can't win when you don't score runs and the Mets are failing to produce them at an alarming rate.
Jerry Manuel is trying whatever he can think of to turn things around. He's sitting Bay and Beltran on Thursday and coddling the whole team in pregame meetings designed to boost their confidence.
"We felt coming on this trip that the one good thing about this trip was that it’s early enough in the second-half schedule that if it’s what it is, we still feel we have a good enough team and enough time to overcome that. You don’t want to necessarily see that manifested, because that puts some pressure and a sense of urgency on the club. That’s kind of the thinking."
That thinking's not working, Jerry. Talk all you want about the mediocrity that reigns in the National League, but urgency has arrived in Flushing. Just check out the Post, which has Mets sources saying that your job isn't safe for the rest of the season. You're the same manager you've always been and it will almost certainly be too late to turn things around if the Mets do make a move, but you might want to step up the urgency all the same.
It won't help Jason Bay but it just might get a few of the other bats to start working again.