- Last Updated: 6:36 AM, July 25, 2012
- Posted: 12:49 AM, July 25, 2012
At least Jordany Valdespin keeps hitting pinch-hit home runs.
That’s about the only thing going right for the Mets these days.
“Right now we’re not a bad team, but we’re playing bad,” the manager said. “We’re not pitching when we need to make pitches. We’re not hitting when we need to get a hit. We’re not making a play when we need to make a play. We’re not coaching. We’re not managing. We’re not doing anything right right now.”
Those issues have resulted in the Mets losing 11 of 12 and falling three games under .500.
Last night, they couldn’t even rely on R.A. Dickey, who had been nearly unhittable for most of the first half, but has been mortal of late.
He had his 11-game winning streak snapped and has given up four or more runs in each of his last four starts.
With Johan Santana on the DL, untested Jeremy Hefner starting today and Matt Harvey set to make his major league debut tomorrow in Arizona, this is not the ideal time for Dickey’s first slump of 2012, but it’s coinciding with what appears to be yet another Mets collapse.
Now they are trying to figure out how to avoid it.
“The resiliency has been fantastic in here all year long and we’re not going to allow this stretch to define us,” David Wright said. “We’re not going to shy away and go through the motions for the rest of the year.”
Dickey agreed that the team’s attitude will be key as the Mets attempt to turn the season around.
“It starts with the psychology of it,” Dickey (13-2) said. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
And the turnaround can begin simply enough.
“It’s gotta start with a win at some point,” Dickey said.
Dickey kept the Mets in the game last night against Gio Gonzalez until a four-run sixth, which included five straight hits by the Nationals — the biggest a two-run homer by Adam LaRoche.
“I’ve got to make a pitch somewhere during that stretch,” said Dickey, who allowed five runs in six innings. “I should have pitched into the eighth inning.”
He wasn’t helped by some shoddy defense in the outfield and an offense that disappeared for most of the night against Gonzalez (13-5).
“It’s tough when things are going on what seems to be a downward spiral,” Dickey said. “The tendency is to [say] ‘Woe is me; nothing goes right.’ In order to change it, we have to stand up and own what’s ours to own.”
Valdespin continues to be virtually the team’s lone bright spot. He hit his franchise-record fifth pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning, but by then the Mets trailed by four runs and never threatened.
“We’ve got to reach down inside and find out what we’re made of,” a frustrated Collins said. “We had an easy run in the first half. Now we’ll find out who’s willing to grind it out.”
It doesn’t help that no one has been able to fill Wright’s spot when the third baseman can’t carry the load.
“We rode David for so long, when he’s not getting two or three hits a game, [we’re not winning],” Collins said. “We’ve got to find someone else who can get two or three hits a game and do some damage.”
They need other help, as well.
“It’s surprising, it’s disappointing, it’s sad,” Dickey said of the slide. “Nobody in here to a man wants to perform like this, wants to have a record like this. We’ve lost a lot of close games, but you’ve gotta win some of them, too.”