Don’t look now but the Mets are only one game up on the Braves in the NL East race. Long gone are the days of being 10.5 games up in the division. So, how did we get here and what needs to be done for the Mets to keep their spot atop the NL East?
Yesterday the (not so) Amazins lost their three-game series against the Nationals—yes, the now 47-87 team from Washington. The series was a glaring wake-up call after the Mets took game one 7-3 then lost the next two 7-1 at Citi Field.
Max Scherzer was on the bump for the Metsies on Saturday for the second game of the series. He threw a solid five innings allowing just three hits and one earned run. But as history tells us, the starters need to go longer because the bullpen is weak and has so many holes in it that no lead is ever safe. He exited the game early due to fatigue in his left side. The game was tied 1-1. Scherzer has since said it was just a precaution and did not want to push it, but he claims he will be available to make his next start. Alarming, yes. But that’s how this season has been with the Mets’ pitching staff, especially the starting rotation.
The Mets maintained the tie until the eighth inning when Lane Thomas ripped a home run to left off Adam Ottavino, who has been one of the most reliable relievers for the Mets this season.
New York failed to produce after having two men on in the bottom of the eighth. Then, down one in the top of the ninth, Adonis Medina imploded, allowing four earned runs and one unearned run courtesy of an error by Jeff McNeil.
Sunday afternoon’s game was more of the same—Carrasco conceded one earned run and four unearned runs. Trevor Williams came on in relief and gave up two more runs. Pete Alonso’s hitting slump continued. Mets lose 7-1.
Losing two of three against the last place Nationals after winning a series against one of the World Series betting favorites in the Dodgers is not what Mets fans anticipated at the start of the weekend. The Mets have one of the easiest remaining schedules across the league. And it just so happens that the Braves win virtually every game on days Mets lose. So, they are right on the Mets’ tail now, sitting just a game back in what will sure to be a crazy September.
I can’t help but look back on the lack of moves the Mets made at the trade deadline. Sure, they acquired Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin, and Darin Ruf, but both are streaky at best. And the bullpen needed to be bolstered with a strong and reliable arm. Alas, that did not happen. Help is on the way though, as Tylor Megill is expected to be back soon. Reinforcements are a must now.
Mets fans, hold on tight. It’s going to be tumultuous over the next few weeks. But as I have said earlier this season, I truly believe in this team and feel they will stay on top. I could just be an optimist, but if you really know me, you know that’s not often the case regarding this team. It’s time to buckle up and get ready. Let’s ride, Mets fans.
(Photo: NY Daily News)
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