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Max Scherzer's brilliance not enough, and the "maybes" and "if's" are back for the Mets
The Mets failed to complete a sweep of Colorado with a poor offensive performance on Sunday
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
One day after shutting out the Rockies the Mets were shut out by a score of 1-0 to close the series against Colorado (Box)
This was the seventh time the Mets have been shut out this season and only their second 1-0 loss
Max Scherzer deserved better than the loss. He tossed seven solid innings allowing just the one run while striking out eleven - he started both games in which the Mets lost 1-0 this season
It wasn’t easy but the bullpen combination of Joely Rodríguez and Mychal Givens kept the Rockies off the board after Scherzer left the game
Francisco Lindor’s struggles continued as he went 0-for-4 at the plate — he is now hitless in his last 19 at-bats
New York’s five-game home winning streak is now over, They are 43-20 at home, 18-10 in August, 18-14 in one-run games, 5-40 when trailing after eight innings, 17-13 against the National League West, 55-13 when allowing three or fewer runs, and 24-12 since the All-Star Game
The Mets and Braves both lost on the same day for the first time since July 17th — 42 days ago
Who’s Hot 🔥
Jeff McNeil was one of the few who picked up a hit in the series finale. He is batting .407/.435/.542 over his last fifteen games
Pete Alonso went 1-for-3 with a hit and a walk. He is seemingly out of his slump and hitting .321/.367/.429 in the past seven games
Max Scherzer looked every bit of an ace once again. He lowered his ERA to 2.27 despite picking up the loss
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 82-47 and lead the Braves by three games in the National League East with 33 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 second-easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.447 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 82.5 percent ⬇️
Clinch a first round bye: 82.3 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 17.3 percent ⬆️
Mad Max… 🔵⚫️
Max Scherzer passed Justin Verlander for 13th on the all time strikeouts list with 3,168 punch outs
With 110 career double-digit strikeout games, Scherzer is now tied with Roger Clemens for third in major league history
Scherzer has 71 strikeouts at Citi Field so far this season and owns a 1.66 ERA at home. Only Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey have had better ERAs through their first nine home starts with the team
His 1.66 ERA at home is the third-best mark among all starting pitchers this season
Today’s Game 🗓
The Mets get a much-needed off day ahead of welcoming the Dodgers to Citi Field.
The misfire at the trade deadline is coming back to haunt the Mets… 📝
Heading into the trade deadline the Mets biggest needs were another bat and two relievers in the bullpen.
And now nearly a month after the deadline the Mets’ glaring weaknesses are, well, another bat and two relievers in the bullpen.
Outside of Daniel Vogelbach, who has quickly become a fan favorite, none of the other additions have added much to the team as of late, and in the case of Mychal Givens, is actively a detriment instead. Givens held the Rockies off the board in the finale, but it was still an adventure in the ninth inning and he got lucky after he managed to pick off a runner on second base that would have otherwise scored on the base hit he gave up to the next batter.
Givens has an unsightly 9.58 ERA since joining the Mets in 9.1 innings. It can be argued that the Mets would have been better off doing nothing than trading for an ineffective reliever at this point. In fact, his roster spot should be a part of any conversation about the bullpen going forward, to be perfectly honest.
The Mets gave up four players to acquire OF Darin Ruf and his most memorable appearance with his new team was as a reliever in a blow out. He is at -0.7 bWAR for the year and is batting just .194/.257/.290 with a .547 OPS since being acquired from the Giants. In 35 at bats he has 0 home runs and six RBIs.
Tyler Naquin initially showed promise hitting two home runs in one game but he has done very little since. Over his last fifteen games he is hitting a paltry .129/.182/.258 with one home run and and one RBI in 31 at-bats. On August 19 against the Phillies he picked up the very rare platinum sombrero where he struck out in all five of his at bats in Philadelphia. He has struck out in 17 of his last 33 plate appearances overall.
Until recently, Pete Alonso had been slumping although he picked it up nicely in this last series against the Rockies. But both Brandon Nimmo (who did carry the offense on Saturday, to be fair) and Francisco Lindor have both been struggling at the plate. James McCann and Tomás Nido both offer very little offensively out of the catching position (although Nido’s elite defense cannot be ignored), the jury is still out on whether Brett Baty can handle major league pitching, and Eduardo Escobar has struggled all season.
Yes, offense goes in ebbs and flows but outside of Starling Marte, Jeff McNeil, and Mark Canha offense is very hard to find right now and the Mets have nobody on the bench they can rely on to give those struggling a breather.
Would the Mets have been better off keeping JD Davis and calling up Mark Vientos instead?
Then they could have used that energy in finding more reliable relievers at the trade deadline instead of focusing on below replacement level players who have offered very little to the team.
At this point, Givens isn’t even a wash and cannot be counted upon in any crucial situations. Trevor May, Seth Lugo, and Joely Rodriguez are all volatile and are a box of chocolates every time they get called upon by Buck Showalter.
You never know what you are gonna get.
Adam Ottavino and Edwin Díaz are the only two reliable arms in the bullpen right now.
Maybe David Peterson helps?
Or Tylor Megill?
Or Joey Lucchesi?
Or Drew Smith?
Maybe all four?
In the end, Billy Eppler’s job was to get rid of the maybes and now as the season winds down and the playoffs are on the horizon, maybe is all the Mets have.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Khalil Lee (OF, No. 15 Prospect, Triple-A): 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB
William Lugo (3B, Single-A): 4-for-6, HR, 4 RBI, 4R
Around the League 🚩
Tyler O’Neill hit a three-run home run off A.J. Minter in the eighth to help the Cardinals take down the Braves
The minor leagues are pushing to unionize with a vote being held on whether or not to join the MLBPA
Honolulu won the 2022 Little League World Series Championship, blasting Curacao 13-3 with a mercy rule win and taking their fourth crown in 17 years
Astros ace Justin Verlander exited his start early and will undergo a MRI after experiencing calf discomfort
Noah Syndergaard struggled is his start for the Phillies giving up five earned runs in their 5-0 loss against the Pirates