Mets disappointed after falling below .500

July, 22, 2012
7/22/12
8:54
PM ET
In the 95th game, the Mets finally found themselves on the wrong side of .500.

Entering a season in which many pegged them to be among the worst teams in baseball, the Mets had enjoyed 94 straight games with a record of at least .500. Sunday, by falling 8-3 to the Dodgers in 12 innings, the Mets dropped to 47-48, the first time they've had a losing record since the end of the 2011 season.

"It's very disappointing. We're not happy with the way things have gone the last 10 days and we got to buckle down, get after it and get back over," Mets manager Terry Collins said after his team lost for the ninth time in 10 games. "We got a tough three games coming up, we got to pick ourselves up and get ready for them."

After the Mets emerged as one of the pleasant surprises in baseball in the first half, entering the All-Star break with a 46-40 record, the second half has been brutal for them. They were swept by Atlanta, lost two of three to the Nationals and were swept at home by the Dodgers, dropping them to 1-8 since the break.

"Seeing where we were at the break, it's definitely frustrating to see us below .500," said Sunday's starter, Jon Niese, who gave up three runs in a no-decision. "I still don't think we are out of it. I think we have a good chance to go on a run and get back in it."

As the Mets look to turn it around amid this deep slide, Collins' experience with these losing streaks has taught him that pitching is the key to righting the ship. The staff was excellent in the first half but has struggled since the break, allowing 58 runs in the nine games. It hasn't helped that injuries have sent two starts to the disabled list recently.

"You got to give your guys a shot to win baseball games and our pitching has done that. That's why we were where we were," Collins said. "Right now, and recently, we've had some issues where we haven't gotten the parts of the game where the matchups are what we want to have late."

While there hasn't been much to be upbeat about lately, the players aren't letting their slide get them down, remaining confident the team will start playing well again soon. Next up is Washington, who they face Monday -- for the first time this year with a losing record.

"We knew going into the season it was going to be a difficult challenge and we know there were going to be times like this when things weren't going our way," third baseman David Wright said. "All teams go through this and now it's just a matter of how quickly we can bounce back and start playing more crisp baseball."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
9 4.03 100 134
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .293
HRL. Duda 18
RBIL. Duda 56
RD. Murphy 59
OPSL. Duda .856
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 121