Playoff teams win games like these. I've been taking shots here for the last 48 hours by making one simple declaration - the New York Mets do not deserve to make the playoffs this season. After another embarrassing loss tonight and after having lost 7 of their last 11 games, who could possibly argue otherwise?
Baseball Prospectus has a sortable Run Expectancy Matrix on their site, which highlights just how profoundly the Mets failed tonight once Oliver Perez left the game in the fifth inning. The Mets got the leadoff runner on base on five straight occasions, between the fifth and the ninth innings. The REM shows that the average team in 2008 can expect to score 6.83 runs in those situations. The Mets scored one run. Tell me again why this team deserves to be in the postseason?
As for Ollie, he was just awful. I haven't even addressed the looming specter of Omar Minaya's undeserved four-year extension yet, but if it's true and the Mets are stuck with Minaya until 2012, my first request is that he lets Perez walk in the off-season. No one was asking for a repeat of Johan Santana's wonderful performance last night, but I don't think a quality start is too much to ask from a guy who thinks he deserves a multi-year deal averaging at least $10 million a season.
Four games to go and the Mets are still trailing the Phillies by 1.5 games. The Brewers have pulled even in the race for the Loser's Prize. What fresh horrors await Met fans this weekend? I don't even want to think about it.