It’s April and the Mets Are In Peril

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Terry Collins the manager is aware and so are the Mets that April is nearing an end. The Mets postgame clubhouse Thursday afternoon and after their sixth straight loss did not sense any urgency to losing Yoenis Cespedes and a bad hamstring for a month or more. They were not concerned that their ace Noah Syndergaard was scratched from his start.

Matt Harvey got the start and was not in tune. The Mets woes continued with the Atlanta Braves 7-5 win that concluded a 1-7 homestand and now losing 10 of their last 11 games, the Mets head to Washington and face the first place Nationals as the last place team.

Enough said. Even if it’s April and last place the Mets believe, and have every reason to  say so, that the season is far from over. Of course with 141 games remaining the season is far from done but that was a losing clubhouse in the bowels of Citi Field.

Collins said there were seven all-stars in the clubhouse. “It’s now time to grind it out. They have to care, come out, play with some energy and get this thing going and I do believe they can do it.”  The manager was not offering excuses about the weather as Cespedes headed to the hospital for further evaluation regarding the sprain left pull to the hamstring.

And without Cespedes, who is the Mets offense, the Mets have to find options.  Lucas Duda is still disabled with a hyper extended left elbow and Wilmer Flores is not ready for a return with a right knee infection.  Collins in his postgame sounded again like the manager who was there last season trying to inject some life into a team that rebounded from the struggles.

But face the facts.This is not last year and it’s the end of April with a team 1-10 in their last 11 games, batting .184 overall and averaging three runs per game during that span. Yes, you don’t win many games that way no matter if it’s April, May, June, July, August or September.

And there are no indications that the Mets are ready to call up the youngsters. Amed Rosario the shortstop and Dominic Smith who are tearing up the ball in Triple-A are an immediate remedy to the situation but they would need to play everyday or their reinforcement call ups would be useless.

Collins said that last year there were the injuries and his team responded, Cespedes, Duda, Travis d’Arnaud, and of course the young stars of this pitching rotation that are supposed to take the Mets to the promised land and for a long time. Again this is April, but the injuries are becoming so common and Collins with some frustration said he was tired of taking trips to the training room.

“They have to care and play with some energy,” Collins said.  That was a message apparently sent to a team that is showing no energy. Though, and again, by all means that energy will return at some point when the injured return and when Cespedes is at full health.

Said Jose Reyes who hit his first home run of the season in the fifth inning, a solo shot that made no difference, “We have to change the attitude when we are down 2-0. This is baseball and it all depends on how you bounce back.” He had his best game at the plate with three hits and drove in two runs.

As for Syndergaard, who has quickly and quietly become a leader in the clubhouse? The ace who may be hurting because of the sudden start that was scratched was packing his bags and not to the disabled list. But “Thor” was in mid season form and did not take questions.

Instead, Syndergaard sent a message to Mets Media Relations head Jay Horwitz. “Jay will you tell your minions to go away.” Yes, we left and let Syndergaard contemplate and there is no definite answer if he will miss his next start.

The question is where will the Mets be after the next three games? Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg await the Mets as they take their turn on the mound for the Nationals.  Syndergaard is a question mark.

It’s April. Yes we know. But in a few days this could be a done season for the Mets. But there are many more games to be played and there is still time to get that energy back.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso


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