The New York Mets hired a new manager and spent a lot of money in the offseason, trying to turn around the fortunes of a stumbling franchise. Four games into the new year, the team has nothing to show for its investment.
New York will try to snap its season-opening four-game losing streak as it continues a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
The Mets, who have the NL’s highest payroll at $105 million, have lost their first four games for the first time since 1964, when the franchise was only in its third year and the Braves were based in Milwaukee.
After getting swept in Cincinnati, the Mets opened this series with a 3-1 loss to the perennial NL East champions.
“We are where we are,” first-year manager Willie Randolph said. “Stay positive, man, that’s what I’ve got to be. I’m not a gloom and doom guy.”
Things won’t get any easier for New York on Saturday. The Mets had to call up Aaron Heilman to make the start in place of injured right-hander Kris Benson, who is on the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle.
Heilman, a 26-year old righty, hasn’t fared well against the Braves during his career, going 1-2 with a 7.63 ERA in three starts. He is 0-2 with an 8.68 ERA in two starts at Turner Field.
The Braves are hitting just .213 through four games, and have managed only nine runs, but are 3-0 since an opening day loss in Florida.
“We’re getting good pitching, good defense, and the hitting will come,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox.