When Raul Ibanez's home run ended what had been an entertaining three days of baseball in Queens, the Mets had to feel punched in the gut. It was the second straight night that saw them hand back a lead to the Phillies, two games that served as a microcosm of the last two seasons and offered a reminder that the Phils resemble a horror movie villain. They aren't dead when you think they are.
That punch to the gut was followed by a kick to the groin after the game when the Mets announced that John Maine was heading to the disabled list with shoulder weakness. Another one bites the dust. You couldn't fault the Mets for asking their players to just take daily MRIs at this point.
There have been a lot of people doing yeoman's work for the Amazins of late, but the team right now boils down to Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Francisco Rodriguez and the starting rotation. To lose a member of that rotation at the front end of a long, hard stretch of games is fairly devastating, because this team has already exhausted a goodly portion of the money set aside for duct tape.
They've managed to stay afloat thus far, but bailing water is tiring work. Watching them lose battles of attrition to the Phillies the last two nights wasn't only because of the Phillies' resiliency, it was also because the Mets just ran out of bullets. You're not going to get a key hit from Alex Cora or Omir Santos every night, you don't have a deep pool of relievers to get you through on nights you don't use K-Rod and, at some point, you just can't keep bailing out the water.
Barring a trade, though, bailing and bailing is the only chance they have until the disabled list empties out a little bit. If they can do it, Remember the Maine (injury) may be the rallying cry for when this team found reserves they didn't know they had. Or it may be the rallying cry for when the tide became too strong for them to continue swimming against.