The Mets were swept at home this past weekend, losing all three games to the Braves in what was Chipper Jones’s final road series against the Mets before retiring at the end of this season. He was 0-7.
The Mets are now just 2.5 games away from last place in the NL East.
They have lost five of their last six games, all to the Braves and Cardinals, who lead the National League Wild Card race.
There are 22 games left in the season, during which the Mets must go 16-6 to finish .500.
In case you missed on Saturday, Terry Collins said Matt Harvey’s final start of the season will be on September 18 against the Nationals. Meanwhile, Jenrry Mejia is tentatively scheduled to make his first start on September 19. In addition, while Dan Warthen wants Jeurys Familia to make a start at some point, it’s less certain he will be slotted into the rotation.
In other words, as Newsday reported this past weekend, the Mets will use the remainder of this season to audition players for next season as they look to evaluate as many pitchers as possible down the stretch.
Speaking of next season, Mets RHP prospect Zack Wheeler told reporters at Citi Field, though he knows it’s a long shot, he plans to push himself with hope of making the big-league rotation to start next season.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
Sept. 10, 7:15 am: It was a boring, brutal three-game series, which continued to reinforce the notion that Sandy Alderson has GOT TO do something with this team’s offense before the start of next year. Again, I don’t know if it gets solved with less-exciting placeholders from free agency – or if it’s done by moving a valuable pitcher, like a Jon Niese, for a young, meaningful bat, (as I said last Friday). However, once David Wright and RA Dickey are signed to contract extensions, Sandy best focus on acquiring some new hitters… you know, who can actually hit.
Sept. 10, 9:08 am: That said, I am looking forward to the ‘audition,’ specifically watching Mejia and Familia, who I’m still not sold on as big-league pitchers. In the case of Familia, it’s his command; for Mejia, it’s simply innings. Mejia has the ‘stuff,’ he just doesn’t have experience pitching yet, at least enough to command an inning and have a plan on the mound. He will, though, I think. He just needs the work. Because, if – say – Mejia and Familia prove to be most effective in the bullpen, between them, Josh Edgin and Robert Carson, the team has four, strong, specific, making-very-little-money relief pitchers to build a bullpen around, and that’s huge (especially considering this team’s issues earlier in the season).
The Mets will open a three-game series with the first place Nationals tonight, when Colin McHugh (0-1, 3.27 ERA) heads to the mound against Gio Gonzalez (18-7, 2.98 ERA) at 7:10 PM.
Stephen Strasburg was told Friday that he will be shut down the remainder of the season. Instead, John Lannan will start against the Mets on Wednesday.