The Mets now depart for a 14-day, four-city road trip that takes them to Montreal, Atlanta, Milwaukee and St. Louis, and if the bullpen doesn't find their groove, there could be a very rude and sparse welcoming party waiting at Shea Stadium on August 10.
In fact, the paying crowd already has the rude part down cold: you'd have needed earplugs the size of mattresses to miss the responses toward veterans John Franco and Mike Stanton this week, as both turned in performances that did absolutely nothing to change the overwhelmingly negative attitudes toward each.
Franco surrendered a deciding two-run home run to Montreal's Tony Batista on Wednesday and Stanton – who allowed a homer earlier in the week to light-hitting Expos outfielder Endy Chavez – faced two batters Saturday, retired neither, and went home with a loss as a 2-1 Mets lead degenerated into a 6-2 loss.
"These are getting hard to swallow," said Stanton, who is sporting a bloated 6.30 ERA in July.
GM Jim Duquette said this week that the Mets have been searching for bullpen help since June, and even with the addition of Mike DeJean – who threw four scoreless innings in the Braves series – things still aren't right.
On that note, the Mets are reportedly looking into trading for Tampa Bay Devil Rays reliever Danys Baez (as well as starter Victor Zambrano and catcher Toby Hall, according to the New York Daily News), and Duquette sang the praises of several Triple-A hurlers this week, including Pedro Feliciano and Vic Darensbourg.