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A rare clunker from the Mets proved costly as their lead in the NL East is down to 2 games
The Mets were sloppy in the field while the bullpen sprung a late leak in an ugly loss to the Nationals
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets got torched late by the Nationals, dropping the second game of their three-game series by a score of 7-1 (Box)
Max Scherzer started for the Mets and allowed one run over five innings before leaving due to injury
The Mets scattered just four hits on the night against a suddenly resurgent Patrick Corbin, one of which was a solo home run by Eduardo Escobar
Adam Ottavino allowed a go-ahead, solo home run to Lane Thomas in the eighth inning, and Adonis Medina - who entered the game in the ninth inning with the score still 2-1 - allowed five runs alongside some poor Mets defense
Bryce Montes De Oca threw 0.2 IP of scoreless relief in his Mets debut
Injury Updates 🏥
Max Scherzer (fatigue on his left side) left after throwing only five innings and 67 pitches as a precautionary move
Joey Lucchesi (recovery from Tommy John Surgery) threw two hitless innings with one strikeout for Single-A St. Lucie in his rehab assignment
Roster Moves 📰
Trevor May placed on the injured list with an unspecified condition
Mets select the contract of Bryan Montes de Oca from Triple-A Syracuse
The Pennant Race 🏁
Magic Number to win the NL East: 2️⃣7️⃣
NL East lead: 2️⃣ games
On-pace: 1️⃣0️⃣2️⃣ wins
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 78.8 percent ⬇️
Clinch a first round bye: 78.6 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 16.9 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (85-49) vs. Nationals (46-87)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Carlos Carrasco (13-5, 3.92 ERA) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (5-9, 5.29 ERA)
When: 1:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
A rare and ugly clunker, and a thought on Buck’s late-game bullpen usage…📝
Well, we haven’t seen that very often from the Mets, have we?
The Mets were more or less a no-show on Saturday night in their game against the Nationals, scattering just four hits with a complete misfire from the bullpen late in more ways than one.
Max Scherzer started for the Mets and he was clearly struggling with both comfort and command early in this game. But he seemed to figure it out by the fourth inning and appeared to be on cruise control before suddenly leaving the game after just five innings and 67 pitches.
In the end, it would seem as though he pulled himself from the game for precautionary reasons - he has some muscle fatigue in his left side and so this was the obvious smart play given the time of year and the need to ensure he is 100 percent ready to roll in the playoffs.
But first, the Mets need to get there and Saturday’s game against the Nationals was not exactly a performance worthy of a seat at the table in October.
As I always say, these kinds of games happen, even for the best teams in the league. The Dodgers flew cross country overnight Thursday into Friday and got blown out by the Padres at home that same day. The Mets have 49 losses on September 4 - the end-result of one game is not the cause for concern.
The concerning takeaways though are more of the same, however. The offense continues to drag itself along with inconsistency. They’ve scored just 81 runs over their last 22 games, hitting just .235/.303/.384 during that span. Indeed, they’ve faced elite pitching staffs during that span although they scored just 13 runs in their four games against the Rockies last night, and only eight runs in the first two games of this series against the Nationals, a team that possesses one of the worst pitching staffs in the game.
So, the Mets need to figure this piece out and fast as the clock is ticking towards game 162 and the Mets saw their lead in the division shrink by a game on Saturday thanks to that ugly performance all-around.
It was also rather perplexing Buck Showalter chose to go with Adonis Medina in a 2-1 game in the ninth inning on Saturday. If this were May, June or even July, it might have made sense. But it is September and they’re in a tight pennant race - it just didn’t seem like a spot to go with someone so green.
Look - the Mets might’ve lost anyway, and they’re not winning every game during this easy stretch on the calendar. Its that simple. The blind squirrel occasionally falls over a nut and that’s what happened for Washington last night. But I am of the belief that if a team is going to lose, they should lose with their best possible options on the field at any given point and with all due respect to Medina, he probably wasn’t the best option to pitch the ninth inning in a 2-1 game that carried significant import.
My guess is the strategy employed had to to with Carlos Carrasco’s expected short leash today and the need to lean on the bullpen for at least 12 outs, but it still isn’t sitting right in my corner of the galaxy.
Anyway, the Mets have a rubber game this afternoon against the Nationals, and it’s a game they simply have to get. Atlanta slipped but didn’t fall last night against Miami and are only two games behind the Mets once again. So, the Mets simply have to take care of business, win the series and continue to control their own destiny in the National League East.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Nick Meyer (C, Triple-A): 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Zack Ashford (OF, Double-A): 2-for-3, RBI
JT Schwartz (1B, Single-A): 2-for-4, RBI
Omar De Los Santos (OF, Low-A): 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Around the League 🚩
Kenley Jansen blew a save chance for the Braves in the ninth inning against the Marlins on Saturday, but they prevailed anyway in the bottom half on a walk-off walk to close the gap in the NL East to two games
The Phillies lost again to the Giants in San Francisco - Noah Syndergaard allowed four runs (three earned) over 4.1 IP but Brad Hand allowed the decisive run to score as the Giants prevailed 5-4
The Yankee offense was shutdown again by the Rays in a 2-1 loss at Tropicana Field - the Yankees lead in the AL East is down to four games
Dylan Cease’s no-hit bid against the Twins ended after 8.2 IP as the White Sox routed Minnesota 13-0 in Chicago
Bobby Witt Jr. became the fifth player in MLB history to join the 20-20 club in his first year as the Royals blew out the Tigers 12-2 at Comerica Park
Shohei Ohtani allowed just a run on six hits over eight innings as the Angels edged the Astros 2-1 in Anaheim
The Brewers took a step in the right direction with an 8-6 win over the D-Backs thanks to a three-RBI night from Tyrone Taylor - they pulled back to within 2.5 games of the Phillies for the third wild card spot