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Another night of missed opportunities for the Mets increasingly troublesome offense
The Mets lose a frustrating one-run game against the Dodgers. Plus, how the club wasted far too many opportunities to beat baseball's best team.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets lost to the Dodgers on Tuesday night by a score of 4-3 (box)
RHP Taijuan Walker had an up-and-down performance, allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts over 5.1 innings
1B Pete Alonso had a lost night at the plate, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and seven swings-and-misses
LF Mark Canha continued his red hot stretch with his 11th home run of the season
SS Francisco Lindor broke his 0-for-20 skid and reached base safely twice on the night
LHP Joely Rodríguez came into a tie game and allowed the go-ahead run to score for the second time in a week
Former Mets RHP Jake Reed recorded his first ever major league save against his old club
New York’s offense is 9-for-their-last-51 (.176) with runners in scoring position over their last seven games
The Braves lost their third consecutive game, keeping the Mets’ lead in the NL East at three games
Injury Updates 🏥
LHP Joey Lucchesi (rehab appearance, Low-A): IP, H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K
Who’s Hot 🔥
Mark Canha is hitting .400/.475/.943 with four home runs, seven doubles, 12 RBI, eight runs scored and a 1.418 OPS over his last 11 games
Seth Lugo has allowed just one earned run over his last 10 innings pitched dating back to August 9th
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 82-48 and lead the Braves by three games in the National League East with 32 games to go. They are on-pace for 102 wins which would be their best mark since the 1986 season (108)
The Mets have the easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.437 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 83.4 percent ⬆️
Clinch a first round bye: 83.1 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 17.1 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (82-48) vs. Dodgers (90-38)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Jacob deGrom (3-1, 2.15 ERA) vs. LHP Tyler Anderson (13-2, 2.69 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Missed opportunities doom the Mets against baseball’s top team 📝
If you want to beat a team as good as the Dodgers, you’re going to have to play a lot better than the Mets did last night.
Tuesday night was a masterclass on what not to do when playing baseball’s best team, and even with that New York managed to keep themselves in it up until the game’s final breathe. When you’re facing a team that talented, a team that is now 45-10 over their last 55 games, you have to play crisp baseball and capitalize on every opportunity you come across.
The Mets didn’t exactly do that.
It started right off the bat in the first inning when the Mets took a quick 1-0 lead thanks to a throwing error by Andrew Heaney and looked like they were poised to pile-on. Following the run scoring misfire by the Dodgers, the New York offense had first and third with nobody out and their best hitter in Pete Alonso at the plate. But the club was not able to put anything more on the scoreboard as Alonso couldn’t put the ball in play (the club now only has five sacrifice flies over their last 59 games) on what would be his first of three strikeouts on the night, Francisco Lindor ran his way into an out on the base paths on what was likely a missed double-steal sign, and Darin Ruf struck out to end the inning.
Right there, you wondered if that would be a missed chance for this team that you’d be thinking about later in the evening. Once the Dodgers took the lead in the third, it was certainly on my mind.
The Mets did manage to rally to tie the game at three apiece on a pair of homers by Starling Marte and one of the few hot-hitters on their team in Mark Canha, but quickly squandered further run-scoring chances when Alonso struck out with two runners on to end the 5th and Buck Showalter opted to not pinch-hit for James McCann with two on and two out in a tie game in the sixth inning, which predictably ended in a feeble strikeout.
If that sequence didn’t shine enough light on the team’s lack of trade deadline activity earlier this month, the manager followed it up by going to Joely Rodríguez in a tie game in the 7th inning and, well, you can probably guess how that transpired. Rodríguez ultimately retired just one of the four batters he faced, and allowed the go-ahead run to score on a scorching hit off the bat of one the left-handed batters (Gavin Lux) he was in the game to set down.
Still, somehow after all of these missed chances, the Mets were still in this game and were lucky enough to be facing the Dodgers’ D-level bullpen arms thanks to a long weekend full of extra inning games in Miami.
Even with this luck, the increasingly struggling Mets offense — now averaging 3.6 runs per game over their last 18 — was unable to reach base against Heath Hembree, who wasn’t even on the Dodgers roster two days ago. In the 9th, they had another huge chance against their former reliever Jake Reed, who they DFA’d earlier this season after he’d posted an 11.37 ERA.
After a leadoff knock by Eduardo Escobar, the Mets sent up Daniel Vogelbach to pinch-hit for McCann and the crowd rose to its feet, believing that finally this was the time the club would take advantage. After running the count full, with the rain slowly picking up at Citi Field, it just felt as if the Mets were just one magical swing away from another glorious come-from-behind victory. On this night, however, that was not to be as that next swing resulted in a ground ball that everyone knew off the bat would result in a pair of outs.
The Mets were officially out of chances after that, as Brandon Nimmo grounded out on a comebacker to give Reed his first career save and New York another frustrating loss.
In a vacuum, a one-run loss to the mighty Dodgers is nothing to be ashamed of, but this night was a microcosm of the issues that could still plague the Mets come playoff time.
The offense is in a mighty drought right now, the bullpen has been incredibly shaky, and this team continues to get absolutely nothing out of the catchers position. If they don’t play a near-perfect game, it’s going to be difficult to beat a team of the Dodgers’ caliber. And on Tuesday night, they were far from perfect.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 prospect, Single-A): 1-for-3, BB
Junior Santos (RHP, No. 15 prospect, Single-A): 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), BB, 7 K (win)
Kevin Parada (C, No. 3 prospect, Low-A): 1-for-3, RBI, BB
Around the League 🚩
The Braves lost their third consecutive game, this time to the Rockies by a score of 3-2
Yankees OF Aaron Judge connected on his 51st home run of the season in the club’s victory over the Angels
The Phillies continued to get pummeled by the Dbacks, losing their second consecutive game in Arizona
Astros LHP Framber Valdez recorded his 22nd consecutive quality start in Houston’s 4-2 win over the Rangers