Mets 1, Dodgers 2

Incredibly, it is possible to suffer the most devestating loss of the season without Braden Looper making an appearance.

Would Carlos Beltran have caught Antonio Perez’s liner off the fence? Possibly, but the Mets’ inability to provide Pedro Martinez with a larger margin of error entering the fateful 8th inning is what really sticks out in this latest gut-wrencher.

Enough breath has already been spent on the clutch contributions of role players like Marlon Anderson, Victor Diaz, Chris Woodward, even the pinch-hitting of Jose Offerman. None of ’em, however, constitute the foundation of a $100 million team. The absence of Beltran and Mike Cameron are merely the most prominent losses for a club that has struggled to keep the lineup they imagined last February on the field.