Lights out for the Mets offense as the injuries continue to pile up
Taijuan Walker becomes the second starting pitcher in as many days to leave a game injured vs the Braves. Plus, how the Mets offense is struggling at the worst possible time.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets were outplayed once again and lost to the Braves 5-0 (box)
RHP Taijuan Walker exited the game after two scoreless innings with back spasms
This was the second straight night that a Mets starter has exited the game early due to injury
RHP R.J. Alvarez relieved Walker and struggled, allowing three earned runs and two home runs in 2.1 innings pitched
The Mets reached base safely just five times all night vs Charlie Morton and the Braves bullpen
New York’s offense uncharacteristically struck out 14 times in the loss
The Mets are expected to promote and activate No. 2 prospect 3B/OF Brett Baty prior to Wednesday night’s game
New York’s lead in the NL East is down to 3.5 games after the loss
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Taijuan Walker will undergo an MRI on his back today
Roster Moves 📰
RHP Adonis Medina optioned to Triple-A Syracuse
RHP Steven Nogosek recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
RHP Carlos Carrasco placed on the 15-day injured list (low grade left oblique strain)
RHP R.J. Alvarez called up from Triple-A Syracuse
OF Nick Plummer designated for assignment
RHP Tommy Hunter sent to High-A Brooklyn for rehab assignment
OF Travis Jankowski signed to minor league contract
Who’s Hot 🔥
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 75-42 and lead the Braves by 3.5 games in the National League East with 45 games to go. They are on-pace for 104 wins, which would be the second-highest mark in franchise history (108 in 1986)
The Mets have the fourth-easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.471 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 81.3 percent ⬇️
Clinch a first round bye: 81.2 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 16.8 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (75-42) at Braves (72-46)
Where: Truist Park — Atlanta, Georgia
Starters: RHP Max Scherzer (8-2, 1.93 ERA) vs RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-4, 3.80 ERA)
When: 7:20 PM EST
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets offense has gone lights out at the worst time 📝
We’re not panicking — not yet — but these have not exactly been an inspiring couple days in Atlanta and the offense, in particular, has been alarming.
The Mets haven’t exactly been put in a tremendous position to succeed with their starting pitchers leaving due to injuries in back-to-back games (this is actually the third time in less than two weeks a starting pitcher left a game vs the Braves with an injury), and you chalk a lot of these two losses up to that, but there are still some pretty stark warning signs coming from this offense lately.
Two games into their four-game set with Atlanta the Mets have been outscored 18-1, hit just three extra-base hits (zero home runs) and have only had six total at-bats with runners in scoring position. What’s even more alarming is that this offense, even at its worst, is constantly working long counts and putting the ball in play, but is now coming off of an extremely uncharacteristic game in which they struck out 14 times.
This offensive malaise didn’t just start after they got off the plane in Georgia, though. In the prior series vs the Phillies, New York scored just two runs in their first two games before breaking out for six in Sunday’s finale — and you’d probably have some people in Philadelphia saying most of those six runs were a bit serendipitous.
Making matters worse, New York’s best hitters are all suddenly slumping at the worst possible moment.
Brandon Nimmo has a .333 on-base percentage over his last 50 games. Starling Marte has a .551 OPS in August. Francisco Lindor is 4-for-his-last-17. Even Pete Alonso, who has been a constant all season long to the point where he’s entered MVP discussions, is 5-for-his-last-23 with no home runs, two RBI and eight strikeouts.
And to make matters worse, while the stars of this offense have been struggling, no one else at the bottom of the order has picked up the slack. Mark Canha has been relegated to a platoon role that he isn’t particularly thriving in (he has a .677 OPS since the club acquired Tyler Naquin) and they’re still getting absolutely nothing from their catchers offensively.
Now, thanks to a rash of injuries to their club, they’ll be calling on the 22-year-old rookie third baseman Brett Baty to potentially provide this lineup with a Michael Conforto-esque spark.
When you have an offense built like the Mets do where there isn’t a particular prowess for power, the struggles stand out a lot more when they happen. They can’t often overcome a bad offensive night by popping a three-run homer like some other teams can, and so their string-hits-together offense can stall out from time-to-time. The way their lineup is built also doesn’t afford Alonso the chance to struggle at all, because he is so incredibly relied upon to be their middle-of-the-lineup thumper.
So that leaves us with where we are today. An offense that is sputtering in the first five games of their final tough stretch of the regular season. So far, the club is 2-3 to begin their run of 13 games in 12 days vs the Phillies, Braves and Yankees. With eight games remaining, there is no immediate relief in sight.
Somehow, the Mets are going to have to find a way to scratch out some runs and win a few ballgames here, and even if they just go .500 over this stretch you’d feel good about that. I suppose it’s times like this where you’re real glad you’re paying guys like Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, who are there to stop losing streaks and step-up in the biggest moments.
Now they’ll just have to score them a few runs.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Mark Vientos (3B, No. 5 Prospect, Triple-A): 2-for-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-5, HR, RBI, 2 R
Fernando Villalobos (C, Low-A): 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
Around the League 🚩
The Yankees continued their slide with a 3-1 loss to the Rays at Yankee Stadium
Rhys Hoskins netted five RBI in the Phillies 11-4 rout of the Reds at Great American Ballpark
The Brewers scored two runs in the 11th inning to edge the Dodgers 5-4 in Milwaukee
The Braves signed rookie OF Michael Harris II to an eight-year contract extension on Tuesday night
The White Sox edged the Astros 4-3, closing to within one game of the Guardians for first place In the American League Central