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Mets fall flat against a bottom-dwelling team once again as they continue to miss opportunities
The Mets drop another lackluster game to a bottom-dwelling team in the Cubs. Plus, how New York is wasting the "easy" part of their schedule.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets had yet another lackluster performance against a second-division club, falling to the Cubs 5-2 (box)
RHP Chris Bassitt had one of his worst starts of the season, allowing five earned runs over 3.2 innings pitched
1B Pete Alonso is now hitting .221/.283/.339 with four home runs and 14 RBI over his last 32 games
3B Eduardo Escobar and C James McCann were the only Mets to stay hot at the plate, combining to go 3-for-7 at the plate with a triple and an RBI
RHP Mychal Givens struck out five batters over two scoreless innings in relief
The Mets are now just 5-5 to start the “easy” portion of their schedule
New York scored three runs or less for the 18th time in their last 30 games
The Braves did lost their third consecutive game, keeping the Mets lead in the NL East at 1.5 games
Roster Moves 📰
INF Luis Guillorme activated from the 10-day injured list
RHP Trevor May activated from the 15-day injured list
3B Deven Marrero designated for assignment
RHP Bryce Montes De Oca placed on 15-day injured list
Injury Updates 🏥
Bryce Montes De Oca was placed on the 15-day injured list with left hamstring tightness
Who’s Hot 🔥
Since returning from the injured list, Eduardo Escobar is hitting .420/.455/.800 with five home runs, two doubles, a triple, nine RBI, eight runs scored and a 1.255 OPS
James McCann is batting .314/.385/.400 with three extra-base hits and a .785 OPS over his last 12 games
The Pennant Race 🏁
NL East lead: 1️⃣.5️⃣ games
Magic Number to win NL East: 2️⃣0️⃣
Playoff odds (Fangraphs):
Win the National League East: 74.2 percent ⬆️
Clinch a first round bye: 74.0 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 16.4 percent ↔️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (89-53) vs Cubs (58-83)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Jacob deGrom (5-1, 1.66 ERA) vs. RHP Adrian Sampson (1-5, 3.76 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets continue to waste the easy portion of their schedule 📝
Alright, this is officially getting annoying.
For the fifth time in their last 10 games, a lot of Mets fans probably turned off their TVs in an act of frustrating defiance. You wouldn’t expect that for a team that is well over 30 games over .500 and leading the National League East, but here we are.
Since beginning the easy portion of their schedule the Mets have gone just 5-5, all against teams that are over 20 games under the .500 mark.
Those five losses have mostly followed a similar script: the starting pitcher struggled vs a mediocre lineup, the offense was lethargic and there was a baffling decision by the manager that came back to burn them.
All three of these traits were on display in full last night. Chris Bassitt suffered his worst start in months, allowing home runs to a pair of players that had combined for a total of eight long balls all season coming into the night, and was unable to get out of the fourth inning. And the Mets offense, for the umpteenth time over the last month, simply didn’t show up against an incredibly low caliber pitching staff. This was the most evident when in the 8th inning, the Mets had the bases loaded and nobody out, down 5-1, and didn’t even come close to scoring. What made matters worse was each Mets hitter either whiffed, fouled off or made meek contact on a number of fat pitches right down the middle of the plate. Once again, this lineup was completely incapable of coming through with a big hit.
Perhaps most egregiously, Buck Showalter opted to pinch-hit Darin Ruf, who was 1-for-his-last-32 at the plate, with two outs in the inning over Mark Vientos or quite literally any other player on their entire roster. It was one of many head-scratching moves that Showalter — who also chose to forfeit the DH and send pitcher Mychal Givens up to pinch-run earlier in the inning — has made over the last month.
Last night now marks the 18th time in the last 30 games that the Mets failed to score over three runs in a game (they’re 4-15 in such contests). And while unlikely pieces in their lineup like Eduardo Escobar and James McCann have actually been hot over the 10 days or so, the stalwarts of this lineup in Pete Alonso (.641 OPS over his last 32 games) and Francisco Lindor (slugging .390 over his last 24 games) have struggled over the last several weeks.
And after a short respite, this team is once against getting absolutely nothing out of the DH position as Daniel Vogelbach is hitting well under .164/.320/.262 over his last 23 games and the aforementioned Darin Ruf has an OPS+ of nine since being acquired (league average is 100).
I don’t know if this team is tired, if they’re taking things for granted or if they’re simply just playing poorly at the wrong time, but it is well past the time for them to get things back into gear. While they’ve won each of their last two series, the Mets simply cannot be getting their doors blown off by second division teams every two days.
This team has a golden opportunity here to get fat on a bevy of bad baseball teams and potentially win this division, and thus far they have thoroughly wasted this chance.
I’m not sure what the answer is here, but at the end of the day this team just needs to play better baseball. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard vs. this schedule, but so far they’ve managed to make things a lot more difficult on themselves.
Down on the Farm 🌾
All Mets minor league affiliates were off on Monday.
Mets Top 30 Prospects (MLB.com)
Around the League 🚩
The Braves lost their third straight game, falling 3-2 in San Francisco
Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette stayed red hot, delivering the go-ahead home run that helped Toronto tie the Rays in the AL Wild Card standings
Angels CF Mike Trout homered for the seventh consecutive game, but the club lost to the Guardians anyways
Astros LHP Framber Valdez made his 24th straight quality start as he threw a complete game, six-hit shutout over Detroit
Dodgers RF Mookie Betts clubbed a three-run homer as the team reduced their magic number in the NL West to two