Julio Teheran may want to change uniforms next season because of his success at Citi Field. Tuesday night, the Atlanta Braves righthander once again took care of business against the New York Mets on the mound.
But it should not be this way in the September stretch run to the postseason.The Braves hurt the Mets again and they resemble a team fighting for the division title. Instead, manager Terry Collins and his Mets wake up Wednesday morning with knowledge that there is now a three-way tie with the Giants and Cardinals for the two wild card spots in the National League.
And it is very simple. The Mets have to avoid getting swept Wednesday night with Bartolo Colon on the mound who leads the staff with 14 wins. But when you don’t hit, and again the Mets are in that syndrome, it can be Teheran or any other other pitcher on the mound at Citi Field that will resemble Cy Young
These stretch of games can be won against the Braves and Phillies who are fighting for nothing but pride. The Marlins, a team all of a sudden are sneaking in the race with 11 games remaining because the Mets, Cardinals and Giants are finding different ways to lose.
The Mets, the past two nights at Citi Field have found ways to lose. Giving up a run because of miscommunication in the outfield, a blunder with Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson. And speaking of Bruce, there are no answers how a player of his run production ability has made hitting look complicated.
There is no viable explanation about the failures of Jay Bruce. Leave that for another baseball doctor to examine. The baseball experts say it is mental and that Bruce is not happy in New York. He sat down a few games, similar to what Collins did earlier this summer with Neil Walker.
However, Walker recovered and Bruce continues to be a flop in the trade annals of the New York Mets. Bruce took a seat and Eric Campbell came off the bench and delivered a clutch pinch hit as the Mets attempted a comeback that failed with a Yoenis Cespedes strikeout to end the game.
So these games that can be won, have been lost. And as a result, the Mets the past few games have reverted to their contagious streak of not hitting, and that has come at the wrong time.
Granderson said about Teheran, who allowed one run on five hits, and in 7.0 innings, “He’s good. He’s an All-star. It’s not just us.” True to a certain extent because in four starts against the Mets this season, the righthander is 2-0 with 0.90 ERA.
Not true, because it is about these Mets. September to remember is not the past two games against the Braves, and though they handled the Twins in three games this past weekend, who are the worst team in baseball, these two losses to the Braves would already have the Giants and Cardinals surpassing the Mets in this wild of wild card races.
Cespedes has gone cold. If Asdrubal Cabrera, Granderson and Jose Reyes did not combine for five of their eight hits, the Braves would have ran away Tuesday night.
Collins has that added depth with the expanded roster. He utilized the bench Tuesday night, but it was not enough and that magic of last September was not to be. And in this final stretch of games, this is not like last September when the manager had that rich and prosperous pitching staff that could do no wrong.
So Wednesday night, as is every remaining game, a win is crucial. They can’t win them all but the Mets have to take care of their own business and avoid the sweep. Then taking two of three from the Phillies this weekend that concludes the home season is a must.
Adding to all of this is a start for Steven Matz, probably opening the Phillies series Friday night, and with his track record of shoulder tightness who knows what to expect. The cold bats have to get hot again, and it can start without a Julio Teheran on the mound
If not, this wild card race can quickly slip away for the New York Mets.
Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Twitter @Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso