Mets lose three straight for first time after a winning June that felt a lot worse
The Mets get swept by the Astros for the second time in a week. Plus, how the "June swoon" reared its head despite a winning record this month.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets lost to the Astros by a score a 2-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field (box)
New York recorded just two hits as they were dominated by Astros RHP Justin Verlander who posted eight shutout innings
RHP Drew Smith served up a game-winning home run to Jason Castro (who was batting .095 with zero home runs entering the at-bat) with two outs in the 9th inning
RHP Taijuan Walker pitched his best game of the season, going 7.1 innings with just four hits and no runs allowed while striking out three
The Mets completed the season 0-4 vs the Astros and never held a lead against them in at any point in the four games
New York lost yet another game in their NL East lead after an Atlanta victory on Wednesday night
The Mets finished the month of June with a 13-12 record
Injury Updates 🏥
RHP Max Scherzer (strained oblique) pitched well in his latest — and likely final — rehab start in Binghamton: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), BB, 8 K, 80 pitches.
RHP Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in right scapula) threw 29 pitches in his third live BP session
Who’s Hot 🔥
Over his last four starts, Taijuan Walker has gone 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA and has allowed just five earned runs with 27 strikeouts during that span
Edwin Díaz finished the month of June going 5-for-5 in save opportunities while allowing just one run in 10 appearances (9.2 innings) with 21 strikeouts
Today’s Game 🗓
The Mets are off on Thursday - they open a three-game series with the Rangers at Citi Field on Friday
The Mets finally had a winning month of June, but it felt a lot worse 📝
Find yourself someone who loves you as much as the month of June loves to torture the Mets.
Around these parts, the “June swoon” has become a phenomenon that everyone is well-versed in. Last season the club went .500 in June but prior to that, it was known as an incredibly chaotic month for this franchise. In 2019, the Mets went a paltry 10-18 in the month of June. The year prior, they went a franchise-worst 5-21. Even in 2015, one of the most magical seasons this team has had over the last 30 years, the team went 12-15 and looked as if they were headed to another ho-hum kind of season.
Coming into this year, the Mets had been 75-115 (.394 winning percentage) overall in June since the 2013 season and with both Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer on the shelf and a daunting West Coast trip staring them in the face when the month began, there’s no question as to why many Mets fans were starting to feel uncomfortable as the calendar rolled over.
Despite all of their trials and tribulations (plus a bevy of injuries), though, the Mets did something rather amazing… they had a winning June this year. With a 13-12 record, in fact, New York had their first winning record in the month of June in a decade (2012).
So why does it feel so much worse?
Well, the Mets still haven’t seen the returns of deGrom or Scherzer — though the latter will likely come back early next week — there’s been injury scares with Jeff McNeil and Starling Marte, they ended it by getting absolutely walloped four times by the Astros — New York did not hold a lead in any of their 36 innings vs Houston this season — and, of course, the Atlanta Braves decided to never lose again, ripping of 14 straight wins as part of a 20-5 month of June (with one more game remaining tonight).
All in all, the Mets lost 7.5 games off of their NL East lead over the last month despite having a winning record. And now, largely due to things completely out of their own control, this team is looking at a much tighter race as July is upon us, making some fans beginning to have flashbacks to last year. One year ago today, in fact, the Mets had a six-game lead on the Braves — though you’d be hard-pressed to find a single person that doesn’t believe the 2022 version of this team is marketably better from last year.
Still, this is a club that ended the month on a sour note losing their final three games, two of which were decided on game-winning home runs with two outs in the 9th inning. Their flaws have been brought to light lately, specifically on their pitching staff as the absence of their two aces has finally caught up to them, leading to shaky starts from everyone not named Taijuan Walker, and an extra reliance on a bullpen that is league average at-best.
So here we are. Entering July, the slate is essentially wiped clean. The largest divisional lead in baseball is down to just three games, and the Braves have yet to cool off in any way. And while this was the club’s most successful month of June in terms of winning games in 10 years, it certainly hasn’t felt that way.
With their reinforcements hopefully soon on the way and the trade deadline rapidly approaching, there’s no reason to think that the Mets won’t be able to pick themselves back up, fortify their roster and see even more success. If not, they’re likely going to find themselves in an NL East dog fight for the remainder of the summer.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Mark Vientos (3B/OF, No. 5 prospect, Triple-A): 1-for-4, HR (12), 3 RBI, BB, 2 runs scored
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 prospect, Double-A): 1-for-4, HR (18), 2 RBI
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 prospect, Low-A): 2-for-3
Around the League 🚩
Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 hitters to extend his scoreless streak to 21.2 innings in the club’s 4-1 win
The Red Sox and Blue Jays had a benches clearing brawl following Nick Pivetta drilling Alejandro Kirk with a pitch
Guardians 1B Josh Naylor clubbed a walk-off home run as part of a four-run bottom of the 10th inning vs the Twins