Mets hapless again against the Cubs as they're challenged with finishing the schedule
The Mets have scored just three runs in 18 innings in this series against the ninth-worst pitching staff in baseball
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets were hapless again on Tuesday night, dropping another game to the Cubs this time by a score of 4-1 at Citi Field (Box)
The Mets managed just three singles before Pete Alonso hit a monster home run in the ninth inning which helped the Mets avoid being shutout by the 22nd-ranked pitching staff in the league
Jacob deGrom started and allowed three runs, two of which were tough-luck runs in the fourth inning thanks to a poor call on would-be interference by Michael Hermosillo while running up the first base line
The Mets are 5-6 during this supposedly soft part of their schedule against the Nationals, Pirates, Marlins and Cubs. They’ve lost two home series in a row, each to Washington and Chicago
The Mets have scored three runs or less in 11 of their last 18 games
Injury Updates 🏥
Max Scherzer (oblique) will make a rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse tonight with hopes he can return from the injured list when eligible on September 19
Tylor Megill (shoulder strain) allowed five runs in only 0.2 IP for Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday night as he continues his rehab assignment
Drew Smith (strained lat) threw a scoreless inning of relief for Triple-A Syracuse in his second rehab appearance
Who’s Hot 🔥
Jeff McNeil is 8-for-16 during his current four-game hitting streak. He has a .968 OPS over his last 43 games dating back to July 29
The Pennant Race 🏁
NL East lead: 0️⃣.5️⃣ games
Magic Number to win NL East: 2️⃣0️⃣
Playoff odds (Fangraphs):
Win the National League East: 63.6 percent ⬇️
Clinch a first round bye: 63.5 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 16.4 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (89-54) vs Cubs (59-83)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: LHP David Peterson (7-4, 3.47 ERA) vs. LHP Drew Smyly (6-8, 3.57 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The challenge for the Mets to finish the schedule… 📝
The last time I checked, the regular season schedule was 162 games. Somebody should tell these Mets the season didn’t end after 130 games.
Tuesday night was a rinse and repeat of Monday as the Mets inexplicably lost this series against the Cubs with a quiet 4-1 loss.
Sandwiched in between was a solid albeit unlucky start from Jacob deGrom who struck out ten batters but allowed three runs over six innings. Two of those runs came in the fourth inning as a result of two things - a poor, tailing throw from James McCann on a bunt in front of the plate from Michael Hermosillo, and a poor call from the umpiring crew to not call Hermosillo out for running on the grass rather than the runners lane. But if McCann had made a throw to Alonso’s arm side rather than glove side, the poor call is never made to begin with.
And of course, there was absolutely no offense to be found. The Mets sprinkled three singles - two of which came from Jeff McNeil - over eight innings before Pete Alonso provided what proved to be a meaningless home run in the ninth inning (not meaningless for him - he absolutely needed that).
The thing is, while the lack of or at least all-or-nothing offense has been a recurring theme since the Dodgers left town two weeks ago, it’s been a little bit of everything which has contributed to this 5-6 rut the Mets are in. They’ve made mistakes behind their pitchers, McCann’s throw being the latest example, and their pitching has been a little up and down as well.
Except, the Mets didn’t hit anyway last night so who knows if that non-interference call mattered.
After the game, Buck Showalter discussed the challenge for clubs to finish off a regular season schedule, especially those for successful teams as they sometimes forget or are unable to do what has made them a successful team.
That speaks to my point when I wrote before and tweeted yesterday that the Mets need to remember the schedule is 162 games. It’s not meant to be a knock on the club, or me just being pissed off they’re not playing well. It’s Buck’s message merely posted on social media and not in the clubhouse.
Nobody is saying it’s easy, nobody is saying people aren’t hurt and playing through injuries. 162 games is a mental and physical grind for all, and quite honestly the wear and tear is visible on a lot of their faces, in their swings and their general quality of play.
Look no further than Pete Alonso. How many bats has he broken over his knee over the last month?
But it’s this kind of malaise and their ability to get out of it and reboot for October which defines the story of a great team. The great ones are able to rise from the dirt, dust off and get to the end having achieved their goals, and separates the great ones from the champion.
The first goal for the Mets should be (and I still hope it is) to win this division, get to the break, recharge, get healthy, align their rotation and then set off for their next goal which is to win a world championship.
But if they don’t get off the mat, their stay in October will be a very, very short one.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, Triple-A): 2-for-5, HR, RBI
Dominic Smith (Triple-A): 3-for-4, BB, HR, 3 RBI
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 Prospect, Single-A): 3-for-5, 3 R
José Peroza (3B, Single-A): 3-for-5, BB, HR, 3 RBI
Blake Tidwell (RHP, No. 8 Prospect, Low-A): 4.2 IP, 2 H, 6 K
Around the League 🚩
The Braves scored a run in the second and three in the fourth to defeat the Giants 5-1 in San Francisco - they are now back to 1/2 game of the Mets for the lead in the NL East
Aaron Judge smashed home runs 56 and 57 as the Yankees edged the Red Sox 7-6 in extra innings at Fenway Park
The Brewers extended their winning streak to three games with an 8-4 win over the Cardinals - they’re two games behind the Padres for the third wild card spot in the National League although they’re seven games behind St. Louis for the lead in the National League Central
The Dodgers clinched the National League West with their 4-0 win over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night
The resurgent White Sox defeated the Rockies 4-2 on the south side on Tuesday while the Guardians held off the Angels 3-1 in Cleveland - Chicago trails Cleveland by three games in the American League Central