Jerry Manuel has got to be ready to pull his hair out.
We talked about the failures of Oliver Perez and John Maine several times this summer. But it’s really been the Mets top two guns, Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey, who haven’t been pulling their load.
In Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Braves, Santana got tagged for four runs over seven innings. Three of those runs came in the bottom of the first. Under normal circumstances four runs in seven innings isn’t that bad. But the Mets have struggled so much on the road their starters need to be lights out to wins games.
Pelfrey wasn’t much better on Wednesday as he gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings in an 8-3 loss to the Braves. Only three of the runs were earned, but Pelfrey, whose lost his last three decisions couldn’t get out of the fifth.
Santana, who was great for much of July, has been brutal his last two starts. He got hit for seven runs in 5 2/3 innings in an 8-7 loss to the Cardinals last week.
All of this has made the return of Carlos Beltran an afterthought for the Mets, who through Wednesday had lost 14 of 20 games since the All-Star break.
“I think the pieces are a little different,” Manuel said. “Maybe not quite as right as they should be at this point…right now it’s just not working.”
Santana was his usual laid back self after Monday’s loss, but expressed some concern over his team’s woes. “We gotta win. There’s no question,” Santana told reporters. “That what we have to do.”
Making matters worse for the Mets is that they didn’t make any significant moves at the trade deadline. They couldn’t add a bat or a starter.
The Mets could still make a move for an impact player before the waiver trade deadline, but when a team does that they usually have to take on a big salary or another team’s headache.
Whatever the Mets plan to do needs to happen fast, because they travel to Philadelphia face the Phillies in a three-game set beginning Friday.