Despite a gem from Scherzer, the Mets offense gets offensive in loss to Seattle
The Mets mustered just five hits against the Mariners on Friday
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets lost to the Mariners on Friday by a score of 2-1 at Citi Field (Box)
Max Scherzer allowed just a run in seven innings and lowered his ERA to 2.66 for the year, but took a no-decision
Drew Smith allowed the go-ahead run to score in the eighth inning after allowing the first two to reach in the inning on walks - it was the first run Smith has allowed all year
The Mets 3-6 hitters (Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha) combined to go 0-for-13 at the plate, the team went 0-for-5 with RISP and left seven runners on-base
Brandon Nimmo did extend his hitting streak to a career-high nine games and has reached base in 24 straight games
Roster Moves 📰
C James McCann placed on the ten-day IL with a fractured hamate bone in his left hand - he will have surgery and the expected recovery time is six weeks
C Patrick Mazeika recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
RHP Max Scherzer has thrown at least six innings in six of his seven starts this season, tied with Corbin Burnes and Joe Musgrove for the most in the majors
Despite allowing a run in the eighth inning on Friday night, RHP Drew Smith has been unscored upon in 12 of his 13 appearances this season - he has an 0.63 ERA over 14.1 IP
The Mets pitching staff has allowed two runs or less in 15 of the club’s 34 games played, having won all 14 of those contests until last night
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (22-12) vs Mariners (15-18)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, NY
Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (4-2, 2.45 ERA) vs. RHP George Kirby (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
The worst kept secret about the Mets scuffling offense 📝
No offense, Mets, but there’s just not a whole lot of offense these days.
The Mets mustered just five hits and three walks against LHP Marco Gonzales and the Mariners bullpen on Friday night. They sprayed four singles around one sixth inning Starling Marte double, didn’t do a thing (literally) with runners in scoring position and stranded most any other opportunity on-base (seven, to be exact).
The lone run for the Mets came in the first inning on a sac fly by Francisco Lindor, who himself is contributing to this concerning malaise by the offense.
It’s not as if the Mets didn’t have their chances to not waste a beauty of a gem thrown by Max Scherzer, who tantalized the Mariners with a bevy of breaking balls and off-speed pitches from end-to-end in this contest. The Mets generated a run against Gonzales in the first inning but were unable to generate anything else despite Gonzales working hard over the first three innings just to survive and keep his pitch count down.
The Mets offense overall has looked a little bit more like a league average offense over their last ten games (don’t get your hopes up, because league average these days isn’t pretty). Despite a 6-4 record during that span, the club is hitting just .236 and averaging just 3.9 runs per game, the latter of which is a sub-optimal formula for this team considering 77 percent of their wins to-date have come when they’ve scored four or more runs.
But here’s the worst kept secret about the Mets offense.
No, it’s not Lindor’s ice cold bat, nor is it Eduardo Escobar’s ice cold bat. It’s not the combined .504 OPS from their catchers, or .592 OPS from their third basemen, either.
It’s their severe struggles against left-handed pitching this season.
The Mets entered play Friday night hitting just .215 against left-handed pitching, and that figure worsened when they went just 5-for-25 against Gonzales over 6.2 IP. The league average against left-handed pitching is .236.
In contrast, the Mets entered play last night hitting .266 against right-handed pitching (although, they didn’t do a whole lot against old friend Paul Sewald or Drew Steckenrider last night), which is pretty good despite the lack of consistent hard contact as the league average against right-handed pitching is .235.
And to be fair, the Mets have hit some laser beams lately (one each by Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso, both of which would unquestionably be home runs in any other season) which have found gloves in the outfield.
But still, it’s about the results and not the expected batting average in the end, and the good results seem to be fading as of late and have been really hard to come by against southpaws in particular.
It’s hard to really pinpoint what the problem has been against lefties. It’s still a generally small sample to examine at this point in the season but there’s unquestionably a contrast in certain areas. For instance, they are striking out at a higher rate against southpaws for sure, which contributed to their inability to hit with runners in scoring position last night in particular. Individually, it’s unquestionably an ugly sight - JD Davis is now hitting just .143 against southpaws, Alonso just .160, Mark Canha .179, Starling Marte .212 - those are four key right-handed hitters who have been largely ineffective against left-handed pitchers to-date, and that doesn’t even mention the switch-hitting Escobar who is hitting just .226 from the right side (which is actually quite a bit better than that from the left side).
Again, this isn’t exactly a secret weakness for the Mets, so unless this begins to trend upward, more and more teams will exploit this vulnerability on a daily basis, which will make it hard for the Mets to tack on runs, expand upon leads and come from behind late.
The good news for the Mets at least is they’re facing a right-handed starting pitcher on Saturday night. Of course, their competence against left-handed pitching will be put to the test again on Sunday when they face Robbie Ray, who has struggled so far this season but is the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, something that cannot be discounted.
In the end, the pitching can only take them so far. The Mets can’t waste too many elite efforts like the one Scherzer gave them last night. Drew Smith was bound to have a bad night too. The margin for error needs to be greater.
This is an all too familiar tune for the Mets, and it sounds pretty flat to the ears.
Down on the Farm 🌾
David Peterson (LHP, AAA Syracuse): 6 IP, 2 BB, 6 K, W
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, AA Bing): 2-for-4, 2B, R
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 Prospect, AA Bing): 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Carson Seymour (RHP, A St. Lucie): 5 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K
Around the League 🚩
Despite a torn UCL in his elbow, OF Bryce Harper went 3-for-4 with two doubles in the Phillies 12-10 win at Dodger Stadium
LHP Josh Hader recorded his record-setting 13th straight save to open a season on Friday night in Miami
The Astros scored five runs in the first inning on Friday, en route to their 11th straight win
OF George Springer hurt his ankle during the Blue Jays 5-2 loss to the Rays