Quietly — because series in Cincinnati seem to be quiet — the Mets have lost four of five and dropped two games behind Philadelphia in the NL East. That's worrisome, but not nearly as worrisome as the attendance figures at Citi Field: They're way down.
Through 16 games, the Mets' paid attendance compared with last season at this point has declined by a greater average than any other team in baseball. That figure is 8,930, according to a daily tally maintained by Baseball-Reference.com. But that number is based on 16 home games, including a single-admission doubleheader against the Dodgers. After 15 home dates, the decline is a more modest 6,874 to an average of 31,246 — about 75 percent of capacity. That still is the highest such figure in the majors, worse than the Blue Jays ' 6,211 decline.
To be fair, the Mets are still in the top half of baseball ... but it's worth keeping an eye on, especially considering the Mets have played a little better to this point than some might have suspected.
The Giants are in town, which means a healthy dose of serious pitching. Fortunately for the Mets, they're not facing Matt Cain or a reinvigorated Barry Zito: They get Jonathan Sanchez (against Mike Pelfrey) tonight and the very hittable Todd Wellemeyer (against Johan Santana), before Sunday's lopsided Tim Lincecum–Oliver Perez "battle." A split in the next two days does not situate the Mets well for Sunday. With the two best starters going Friday and Saturday, the Mets are in their best spot. They could really stand to win both.