Sunday, September 14, 2014

Breaking The Four-Games-Under-.500 Wall

At any age, Matthew Broderick has no problem breaking the fourth wall, so why can't his team break four games under .500?

In television, movies and comic books, there is a term called "breaking the fourth wall".  This term refers to fictional characters speaking directly to their viewers/readers, in essence finding their way through the imaginary wall that separates their scripted world from our reality-based universe.  A talented writer can make this wall-breaking quite entertaining (see Ferris Bueller's Day Off for an example).  However, the Mets don't have a talented writer.  And they're not exactly breaking any fourth walls.  In fact, they're having a tough time just breaking the four-games-under-.500 wall.

On June 4, the Mets lost the middle game of a three-game series in Chicago to drop their record to 28-31.  The next day, after the last place Cubs completed the sweep, the Mets found themselves four games under .500.  The Mets went on to lose their next game as well, this time in San Francisco, and failed to move back to three games under the break even point.  That game at AT&T Park began an alarming trend that is still active to this day.

Let's take a quick look at how the Mets have fared each time they've taken the field when the morning paper has reported that they're four games under .500 (since early June). 

  • June 6:  The 28-32 Mets lose to the San Francisco Giants, 4-2.
  • Jul. 19:  The 46-50 Mets lose to the San Diego Padres, 6-0.
  • Jul. 29:  The 51-55 Mets lose to the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-0.
  • Aug. 1:  The 52-56 Mets lose to the San Francisco Giants, 5-1.
  • Aug. 3:  The 53-57 Mets lose to the San Francisco Giants, 9-0.
  • Sep. 11:  The 71-75 Mets lose to the Washington Nationals, 6-2.
  • Sep. 13:  The 72-76 Mets lose to the Washington Nationals, 10-3.

That's seven straight losses in games the Mets have "tried" to pull back to within three games of the ever-elusive .500 mark.  And I have the word "tried" in quotation marks because the Mets haven't really competed in those seven affairs.  They've lost the heptad of games by a combined score of 46-8.  That's like the Seahawks defeating the Broncos in the Super Bowl and then adding a late field goal just in case.

To make matters worse, in the seven losses the Mets have held the lead for a grand total of one half inning.  That brief flash of hope came on a two-run homer by Daniel Murphy in the seventh inning of the Mets' game against the Giants on June 6.  San Francisco tied the contest in the bottom of the frame and scored the go-ahead runs an inning later on a two-run blast by Buster Posey.

As incredible as it may seem, that Murphy homer is as close as the Mets have come to sniffing the three-games-under-.500 mark since June 4.  For all you kids out there, that was almost 100 games ago.

The wise prophet Ferris Bueller once told us directly to our popcorn-stuffed faces, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you can miss it."  In the case of the 2014 Mets, the baseball season has moved pretty fast.  But if they don't find a way to break that four-games-under-.500 wall, they could miss ending their streak of five consecutive losing seasons.  And that, my friends, is nothing to twist and shout about.

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