As injuries pile up, Mets look to shake skid
New York drops sixth straight game in series opener against Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- Prior to the start of Tuesday's series opener in Milwaukee, Miller Park's public address announcer offered fans his daily injury report, listing the players from both teams on the disabled list. He lingered on the Mets, running down the page, enunciating name after name after name after name.
"'Frustrating' is probably a good word for it," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said before his team proceeded to lose its sixth straight, 3-2 to the Brewers, in part because of a ball that went through Michael Cuddyer's legs. "But we have some guys here we have some confidence in. They have to step up."
The Mets on Tuesday did the opposite, resulting in their longest losing streak of the season. On the day they placed starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud back on the disabled list with a sprained left elbow, adding to a list of injured regulars that already included infielders David Wright and Daniel Murphy, the Mets mustered two runs on four hits -- none of them after the third inning.
They have averaged 1.3 runs per night over the first six games of their eight-game road trip, losing every one of them. Tuesday's defeat dropped the Mets to 36-36, dipping them to .500 for the first time since they were 3-3.
Only adding to that indignity is defensive play that, at times, has been indefensible. Such was the case in the sixth inning Tuesday, when Adam Lind rapped a double down the left-field line with a man on first and one out. The ball caromed off the wall where it begins jutting toward fair territory, scooting under Cuddyer's legs to allow the go-ahead run to score.
"You hope for a good hop," Cuddyer said. "Unfortunately, off the brick or off the cement, it took a bad hop."
So the Mets threw up their hands for another night. Aside from Murphy, who is due back this weekend from a left quad strain, little help is on the way. The Mets will be without d'Arnaud for at least the next two weeks. With each passing day, it seems less and less likely that Wright will return at the All-Star break, which was a best-case scenario from the start. Add in the fact that the Nationals are finally starting to play consistently, and the Mets are suddenly tumbling away from the top of the division.
"I think collectively, we can get together and just talk about how we're being tested right now," Cuddyer said. "We're going to see what we're made of as a team."
Trades may be a quick-fix option, with the Mets on Tuesday receiving a first-hand look at potential targets Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura. But mostly, Alderson believes his club must play better with the roster in place. To that end, manager Terry Collins plans to hold a team meeting on Wednesday, though even he is not exactly sure what he can say.
"Who am I going to yell at?" Collins said. "The nine rookies? The veterans that play as hard as any veteran in this league, play the game the right way? There's nobody to yell at. It's about going out there and getting the job done."