The New York Mets season has two scripts to it. Either their pitching forces them to lose by a touchdown or they leave a small village on the bases. In the 2-1 loss to the Washington Nationals, it was the pathetic offensive effort that prevented them from getting a victory.
The Mets made Max Scherzer throw 29 pitches in the first inning, but they did not score.
Three more men left on base brings the Mets' MLB-leading total to 145 in less than 18 games.
Nationals 1, Mets 0 after one.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 11, 2020
It looked like the Mets were going to chase Max Scherzer early in the game. Through two innings, he was well over 60 pitches and looked like the same Scherzer they faced a week ago. Per usual with the Mets, they tacked on to their league-leading LOB tally to let him off the hook.
The Mets left seven men on base, and when they did get into scoring position, they failed to record a hit all four times. Luis Guillorme drove in the only Mets run with a sacrifice fly. He also played a strong up the middle defense with Andres Gimenez at shortstop.
The Mets’ best chance to tie the game came in the seventh inning when Guillorme led off the inning with a double. Instead of leaving Billy Hamilton in the game to bunt him to third base, manager Luis Rojas opted to pinch-hit with Pete Alonso. At almost any other point, this is a brilliant move to make, but in the current situation, it becomes very questionable.
Alonso is the epitome of how bad the Mets are with runners in scoring position. Bunting the runner to third base, gives the Mets a chance to score a run with anything outside of a pop-up or strikeout. The clutch hitting is dreadful, and the Mets need any help they can get to make getting the runner in easier. With Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil due up, it would serve them perfectly to hit with a runner on third base.
Instead, Alonso could not get Guillorme to third base, let alone drive him in with no one out. Nimmo walked, then McNeil hit into a tough luck double play, which summed up how dreadful the 2020 season has been for the Mets. Ironically, Guillorme ended up striking out to end the game when Alonso could have pinched hit in the ninth.
Porcello’s Tough Luck
Rick Porcello had a very similar start to his last one against the Nats. He surrendered a run in each of the first two innings but shut the door for the following four innings. Porcello struck out five and worked around eight hits to lower his ERA to 5.68. The high ERA is nothing special, but comparing it to the 13.50 from two starts is a good step forward for him.
Jared Hughes and Edwin Diaz both combined for three scoreless innings in relief of Porcello. Both are pitching well as of late and would be terrific parts of a late-inning bullpen if the offense could ever get them a lead.
Us waiting for the Mets to score a run pic.twitter.com/3z8fEpYdnu
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 12, 2020
The defense for the Mets excelled, but they had to sacrifice offense for it. Despite not having their A+ offensive lineup, there still should be enough power in their defensive lineup for them to score more than one run. If Rojas is looking for more consistency from his lineups, he should stick with the defensive centric lineup. At 7-11, there is not much to lose in a season that seems already lost.
As of 10:25 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Mets have not announced their starter for Wednesday’s game. It will either be Franklyn Kilome or a bullpen game. Whoever the start is, they will face off against veteran Anibal Sanchez at 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.