Armando Benitez blew his third save in a week, and Mike Stanton gave up a home run in extra innings as the Mets lost to the Expos for the third consectutive day in San Juan. The Mets have played 12 games (4-8), and have dropped 5 straight. Art Howe called the second team meeting in a week. Cause for alarm? Just ask the Mets. According to Adam Rubin in The Daily News:
Roberto Alomar: "It can't got on any longer. If this goes longer, then we're going to go nowhere."
Al Leiter: "I think we're being tested right now. Certainly we're a lot better than what we've shown."
Mike Stanton: "This is gut-check time."
Art Howe: "These are the guys that are going to to take us to where we want to go. It's not like you have a ton of alternatives. This is our ballclub."
When it's "gut-check time" after two weeks, you can't help but smell smoke. Think it's going to be another long, hot summer out at Shea? I wouldn't bet against it, man.
Here is a message my friend Joey La P left on my answering machine over the weekend. Joey is a die-hard Mets fan, with a hardcore Long Island accent:
"You know, I don't care what you say about the stats on Benitez, he's got to go. He already need a lot of therapy. Come on man, and fucking Cedeno? I don't care how much money we're paying that fat bastid, sit him on the goddamn bench and fucking platoon Shinjio and Timo; they are so much better than him. Man, I'm just a ball of frustration. It ain't easy being a Met fan. I tell you, it ain't easy."
Meanwhile in the Bronx, the Yankees lost 2-1 to the D-Rays. Clemens wasn't sharp, but he was efficient. According to Harold Reynolds of Baseball Tonight, J. Giambi started to swing the bat better over the weekend, though it didn't result in a lot of hits. The Red Sox beat the O's 2-0, the Giants beat the Dodgers in extra innings last night to improve to 11-1, and the Royals finally lost a game.