How Long Can the Mets Keep Floating?

Feliciano loses battle, Mets lose game 6-4

Jerry Manuel has been talking a lot about treading water of late. It usually sounds like a realistic approach to getting through a time with half your roster on the disabled list, but it took on a different feeling Wednesday night. It became more like a man in the open sea, hoping and wishing for a rescue that probably isn't going to come.

You can only tread water for so long before a big wave comes along and saps you of your energy to keep fighting. A big wave hit Pedro Feliciano last night. The lefty appears with the frequency of a Vegas entertainer, nightly but not before 9 p.m., and usually delivers a solid performance. On Wednesday, though, he didn't have his best stuff and gave up hits to two straight lefties, including Aubrey Huff's game-winning, two-run home run.

A lamentable way to lose a game, but you can only go to the same well so many times before it comes up dry. It says something about the state of affairs around the Mets that winning and losing so often hinges on the performance of Feliciano.

It comes down to Perpetual Pedro so often becaus there's almost always some part of their game missing. On Wednesday, they got all you could expect from Tim Redding, a rare good game from Daniel Murphy and a homer from Gary Sheffield. What they didn't get was anything from Carlos Beltran and David Wright, who went 1-for-10. That meant it was 4-4 in the seventh and this time the waters rose too high too fast.

Treading water. It's tiring, it's a move of last resort and it isn't a sustainable way of staying alive. It's also the Mets' only hope unless someone (like Omar Minaya) throws them a life preserver.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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