Maybe a meeting Thursday with manager Terry Collins and his team after being swept in three games by the last place Arizona Diamondbacks sent the message. Terry Collins said he saw more energy from his team Friday night against the San Diego Padres.
But it’s those same Padres the Mets have on their schedule, a team the Mets are supposed to beat to keep their wild card hopes alive and well. Instead, a come from behind rally came up short and the Mets lost their fourth straight, and it’s the wrong time of year to be losing against two teams that should be beatable.
“The hole was too deep, but i will tell you I was very impressed,” Collins said. It was a different tone from the tirade that was exhibited Thursday afternoon when he stormed off the podium and met with his team about having that lack of energy.
Collins added: “You saw a lot of energy tonight, a lot more passion. There were some very very good at bats.”
As the attention was focused more across town with the Yankees’ finale for Alex Rodriguez, there seemed to be some more life with this Mets team that dropped to a game below .500, 57-58 for the first time since April 17th. The problem was, as Collins said, the Mets dug a hole early and had to fight back.
It wasn’t like last year at this time when the Mets would come from behind, and they won at a record pace. But, this could be a start even with a loss to show they may have one final run.
“We’re certainly not a .500 team by any means,” said Neil Walker who had a season high nine game winning streak stopped. “Given the circumstances, I don’t think anybody in here would think we are where we are. This is about tomorrow now.”
Yes, there are 48 games to play, and at some point the injured will return. And the Mets are 3.0 games away from that second wild card, so there is plenty of more baseball to make up ground and to possibly have one more run in them.
This time it was the starting pitcher that failed, Logan Verrett put the Mets in an early hole in the first inning as the Padres had a five-run first inning, and in the process probably lost his spot in the rotation to Jonathon Niese. But the bullpen kept the game close as Seth Lugo tossed 2.1 scoreless innings, Erik Goeddel, one inning and no runs, Hansel Robles got three scoreless innings and struck out three.
That was a positive for the pen, retiring 19 straight with eight strikeouts.
“We feel like the turning around is on its way,” Walker said. “We hit some balls really hard tonight and did some pretty good things when we got traffic on the basepaths. And after the first innings we did a good job keeping them off the board.”
Collins had that different tone, At times even during a loss, and as desperate as the Mets need to get wins and score more runs, there are some positives.
“Great energy from the pen,” he said. “Lugo did a nice job coming in, gave us a chance to get back in the game.”
Travis d’Arnaud, one of the struggling Mets, 10-17 since the all-star break hit a two-run homer in the second inning for his fourth home run. The home run started that energy to get back in the game, and it was a good sign for the Mets catcher who had three hits. He is that key component in a lineup that has been struggling, and his energy was a factor that Collins wanted to see.
“It definitely made us realize we’re not out of it,” d’Arnaud said. “Anything can happen at this point in the season. No matter how much we’re down or how much we’re up, we have to keep fighting.”
Verrett may have not got the message from what the manager had to say regarding that passion and not having the energy. He worked 2.3 innings and allowed a career high eight runs, including the first career grand slam given up to Ryan Schimpp in the first inning.
But the Mets got back in it. Yes, the energy was there and Saturday evening, like a fighter going for the early KO, they will try to turn the table and put the Padres in a hole.