Originally posted on Metstradamus  |  Last updated 7/20/12

Here we are again, Mets fans. This team has not played decent baseball since well before the All-Star Break and things are beginning to fall apart. After a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night, the Mets have fallen to 4.5 GB in the Wild Card race. New York still trails the Washington Nationals in the National League East by seven games.

The Mets fell behind early in this one, trailing by a score of 3-0 before having a chance to bat. New York rallied back with two runs in the bottom of the first; however, a not-so-sharp Johan Santana allowed one run in the second inning and two more in the third. Santana only lasted those three innings, giving up six runs, seven hits, three walks, and striking out three. This was Santana's shortest outing since June 14, 2009 against the New York Yankees.

Los Angeles added their seventh and game-winning run in the top of the seventh inning after an Andre Ethier walk, a stolen base, and a Juan Rivera RBI single. The Mets tacked on a run in the fifth and sixth inning. Jordany Valdespin's sixth home run of the season cut the Dodger lead to one in the bottom of the seventh, but New York could push no farther.



Clearly, Johan Santana has not been the same since his no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals just 49 days ago. For Johan, this might mean a trip to the disabled list.

"I'm okay. I'm just not able to execute the pitches the way I'm supposed to," Santana said. "I don't feel my best right now, but at the same time, I'm not trying to find any excuses or anything. I'm not executing my pitches. I'm not commanding my fastball, and I get behind in the count. When I try to throw strikes, I'm getting hurt. That's not the way I pitch."

It is unclear whether the Mets will skip Santana's next start or send him to the DL, but one thing is for certain: RHP Jeremy Hefner from Triple-A Buffalo will be joining the Mets as early as today.

Hefner, 26, is 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA in the minors this season and 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA in the big leagues.

Another thing is for sure: in order to make a serious playoff run, the Mets will HAVE to go on some sort of winning streak. I understand that there is still plenty of baseball to be played, but standings can become disproportionate in a matter of days. It already seems as though the Mets are out of the division race, let's hope they don't fall too far back in the Wild Card.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Make sure you follow Metstradamus on twitter, and while you're at it, follow me on twitter, too.

Keep the faith, Mets fans. YA GOTTA BELIEVE...

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