Once again, the Mets are in danger of backsliding toward the bottom of the standings. Before it's too late, baseball columnist Ken Davidoff says the Mets should be proactive. Here is his list of realistic improvements that can be made now.

Things started badly for the Mets when David Wright recorded his ninth straight strikeout in the first inning with the bases loaded, and that pretty much set the tone for a 3-2 loss to Washington last night. Arthur Staple says John Maine pitched a decent game but didn't get the run support he needed for the win.

The Mets' frustration at the plate began to show when Jose Reyes was ejected in the seventh inning for throwing a fit and his equipment after looking at a called third strike he thought was low. Reporter Kimberley Martin caught up with callup Josh Thole, who showed last season he can hit and now is working to prove himself as a big-league catcher in the absence of backup Henry Blanco, who is on bereavement leave.