Mets offense dead again as NL East lead shrinks to 1/2 game
The Mets have scored just ten runs in their last five games
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets lost their third game in a row on Saturday, this time by a score of 2-1 to the Padres at Citi Field (Box)
Chris Bassitt gave the Mets a strong start, allowing two runs over seven innings, but allowed a decisive two-run home run to Manny Machado in the sixth inning, proving too much to overcome for New York - Bassitt has a 2.43 ERA over his last six starts
The Mets went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on-base
The Mets have scored just ten runs in their last five games - over their last 12 games, the Mets are hitting just .202/.289/.331, averaging just 3.1 runs per game during that span
The Mets are among several teams with offers out to the Nationals for Josh Bell - the trade would involve the Mets also getting a reliever (SI and Fantrax)
Gil Hodges to be inducted into HOF today 🏆
Former Mets manager and beloved New Yorker Gil Hodges will get the long overdue honor of being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York this afternoon.
For more on Hodges, read this story here.
Who’s Hot 🔥
Mets starting pitchers have a 1.67 ERA in their last 13 games - the starters have dropped their ERA from 4.06 to 3.69 during that span dating back to July 7
Mets starters have gone 13 straight games with two or fewer runs allowed, a new franchise record
Adam Ottavino has allowed just three earned runs over his last 27 games, pitching to a 1.00 ERA during that span
Injury Updates 🏥
Trevor May (stress reaction in humerus) will make a rehab appearance for Double-A Binghamton today
Roster Moves 📰
Acquired C Michael Pérez from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations
Designated INF Travis Blankenhorn for assignment
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets lead the Braves by 1/2 game in the National League East with 67 games to go. They are on-pace for 98 wins in 2022, which would be their highest mark since the 1988 season (100)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 99.4 percent ⬇️
Win the National League East: 53.2 percent ⬇️
Clinch first round bye: 51.5 percent ⬇️
Win the World Series: 12.5 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (58-37) vs Padres (54-42)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Carlos Carrasco (10-4, 4.27 ERA) vs RHP Joe Musgrove (8-2, 2.42 ERA)
When: 7:08 PM EDT
Where to Watch: ESPN
The Mets offense is now a four alarm fire 📝
The situation with the Mets offense is beyond concerning now. When two runs is too much for a club to overcome on a daily basis, changes simply have to be made.
For good teams and good offenses, games shouldn’t come in the form of a blown strike call followed by a two-run home run.
Unfortunately for the Mets on Saturday, that’s what happened in the sixth inning when Chris Bassitt threw a high strike to Manny Machado which unquestionably should’ve resulted in strike three, inning over.
Instead, the pitch was called a ball and that bad call extended the at-bat and afforded the opportunity for Machado to hit what ended up being a home run too overwhelming for an offense - which was once the highest scoring offense in the league with the same personnel, mind you - to overcome.
It’s not as if the Mets haven’t had opportunities to score. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left eight runners on-base.
No, the game didn’t really come down to Machado’s home run. It came down to their incompetence with runners in scoring position.
Since June 12, the Mets have hit .226/.300/.373, producing a 96 wRC+ (22nd in MLB) and have a 37.5 percent hard hit rate (19th best in MLB).
They’re hitting .208 with runners in scoring position during that 34 game span, which is the third worst in the sport. Contrast that with the .290 they were hitting with runners in scoring position through June 11, which was the second best mark in the game.
Now, much of that .290 with runners in scoring position over the first two months was their ability to hit with two outs. Through June 11, they were hitting .277 with two outs and runners in scoring position. But since then, they’ve hit just .194 in those situations.
That secret sauce wasn’t a sustainable recipe.
This certainly doesn’t fall on the absence of Jacob deGrom or the pitchers who are here. They’ve been absolute magnificent. Bassitt was splendid last night outside of one bad pitch, and he continued a trend of championship caliber pitching from the rotation. The starters have gone 13 straight games while allowing two or fewer runs, and pitched to a 1.67 ERA during the same span.
It’s no coincidence that trend of excellence coincides with the return of Max Scherzer.
The Mets know they have to bring in reinforcements if they are going to withstand the summer pennant race. They know this offense is, well, offensive.
Simply put, it’s going to come down to improvements at third (.643 OPS), their designated hitters (.660 OPS), and getting something more out of their catchers (.502 OPS), or at least supplement the first two issues in an effort to protect their catchers better in the lineup. They also need to fortify their bench and get bullpen help but at this point, those may not be primary needs (and they’re big needs).
Daniel Vogelbach is a fine start albeit a one-dimensional fix since he cannot hit left-handed hitters. They need to find well rounded solutions - even if it comes in the form of a rental - to fill at least one of these massive gas leaks in the lineup.
Because right now, they’re staring right into the Braves eyes. They’ve erased a ten-game deficit since the beginning of June and Atlanta has a gasoline can ready to ignite a four alarm fire on the Mets.
And in the end, it doesn’t matter who the Mets get ahead of the trade deadline if those currently here don’t get their collective acts together, and fast.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, Triple-A): 1-for-5, Grand Slam, 4 K
William Lugo (SS, Low-A): 2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 1 R
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 4 prospect, Single-A): 2-for-5, HR, 5 RBI
Around the League 🚩
The Braves closed to within 1/2 a game of the Mets in the NL East with a 7-2 win over the Angels, while the Phillies lost 6-2 in extra innings to the Cubs
Mookie Betts hit his 200th home run as the Dodgers beat the Giants 4-2 in Los Angeles
Angels star OF Mike Trout received a cortisone injection for back spasms, which has landed him on the 10-day injured list
The Angels have received calls on Shohei Ohtani’s availability - the Angels have no plans to move him at the trade deadline (MLB Network)
Yankees RHP Michael King suffered a broken elbow while throwing a pitch during Friday night’s game - he is out for the rest of the season
The Nationals want 4-5 top prospects in any deal for OF Juan Soto (Rosenthal)