Mets keep failing to produce with runners in scoring position

The New York Mets lost yet another one-run game this season, this time 4-3, on Monday in the finale against the Washington Nationals. They have a mediocre 27-27 mark in one-run games, according to SNY, and that can likely be blamed, at least partially, on two things: a not-so-reliable bullpen in the late innings, and a constant failure to capitalize with runners in scoring position.

On Monday, we saw the two situations: Edwin Diaz blew a 3-2 game and turned into a 4-3 defeat in the ninth inning, and the Mets went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

For the year, the Mets are batting .240 with men on second or third, which was the the eighth-worst batting average in that scenario before Monday’s game.

“We probably could have won more games, one-run, for sure,” Mets manager Luis Rojas after losing to the Nats.

The Mets need more timely hits

The Mets are currently 69-69, four games behind the division leaders, the Atlanta Braves. They are going to need more timely hits if they want to go to the postseason.

“We went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position today, and we had chances to score more runs, and it’d probably be a different game than 3-2 in the ninth. So I think that’s why most of those games weren’t probably won for the most part. The pitching has been responsible to keep us close. I know it’s a tough loss, and we’ll talk about that ninth inning and the walks and single there, but once again, 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, you just gotta finish. You gotta deliver. You gotta score the runs that you’re setting yourself up to score. It’s happened repeatedly for us this season,” Rojas explained.

Rojas also defended the Mets’ closer after he allowed two hits, two walks, and two runs to lose the game.

 

“Edwin’s done it for us all year. We’re not making drastic changes. I think the command is something he can bounce back from. He had a little stretch in the middle of the season where he was struggling with his command a little bit, and then he bounced back and started throwing more strikes. This is the last two games where he’s done it. For sure, he can work on things like this,” Rojas said.

Mets Three Run Seventh Inning Chases Woodruff in 4-2 Win

The Milwaukee Brewers were one of the hottest teams in baseball and came in winning 11 out of their last 12 games. Meanwhile, the newly healthy New York Mets came off a good weekend in the Bronx and rode the momentum to beat another tough pitcher. After getting shut down for six innings by Brandon Woodruff, the Mets put up three in the seventh inning for a 4-2 victory.

In those first six innings, Woodruff showed why he deserved his All-Star selection. He held the Mets to just one run on one hit and had a very low pitch count. In the seventh, Francisco Lindor battled through a walk then the rest of the order continued their aggressive attack early in the count. The next four batters saw just seven pitches but manufactured three runs.

Dominic Smith moved Lindor to third with a single, and Pete Alonso‘s double drove them both in to make it a 3-1 game. After Jeff McNeil‘s ground out moved Alonso to third, Michael Conforto drove him in with a single. The early attack was the same tactics they used against the New York Yankees, and it paid off against a strike-thrower like Woodruff. Brandon Nimmo continued to be a sparkplug at the top of the order with two more hits and is 7-for-16 since coming off the IL.

Megill Is Here To Stay

Tylor Megill impressed for a third consecutive start as he adjusts to the big leagues. He pitched a gritty five innings, allowing two hits, striking out seven, and his only blemish came on Omar Narvaez‘s solo-home run. Megill has the stuff to pitch in the big leagues, but his biggest improvement will come in his ability to limit his pitch count. He needed 92 pitches to get through his start, but otherwise, Megill has given the Mets everything they could have hoped.

Aaron Loup, Seth Lugo, and Trevor May combined for three shutout innings to bridge the gap to Edwin Diaz. He bent but did not break after allowing a run and the first three runners to get on base. Diaz rebounded and retired the last three guys he faced to pick up his 18th save of the season.

With the Atlanta Braves losing, the Mets NL East lead will be either 4 or 4.5 games depending on the Washington Nationals’ outcome. Brett Anderson will face Jacob deGrom in game two of their series, which is another 7:10 p.m. ET start from Citi Field.

Mets Game Preview: (6/17/21) vs. Chicago Cubs (38-30)

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The New York Mets play their final game against the Chicago Cubs as they attempt to complete a sweep. If the Mets can pull it off, it will be their first four-game sweep of the Cubs since the 2016 season. Just like the first three games, Thursday’s matchup is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field on another beautiful night.

Pitching has carried the Mets to plenty of victories at home, and it has done the same for the first three games. They have allowed just seven runs in the series to drop their home ERA to 3.12, the best mark in baseball. Last night’s victory pushed the Mets to 10 games over .500 for the first time this season and the first time since the final day of the 2019 season. Edwin Diaz has been a big reason for their success and has been lights out since his blown save on June 1. In the following six outings, Diaz has pitched 5.2 innings, allowed two hits, no walks, and struck out nine.

The home team has won all six games of the season series, and the Cubs hope to end the streak. Their offense has become reliant on the home run, which has been responsible for every run they have driven in during the series. Kris Bryant is unlikely to return to the lineup after resting his bruised hand in Wednesday’s game. Even without Bryant, the Cubs have to take advantage of the Mets bullpen after they pitched six innings the previous night.

Pitching Matchup

The electric Marcus Stroman gets the task of trying to complete the sweep for the Mets. Stroman has been terrific this season with a 2.33 ERA in 13 starts, the 13th best in baseball. He also enjoys pitching at Citi Field, where his ERA is 1.88, and he has only allowed one home run. Stroman pitched 6.1 innings in his last start, with one run allowed, and tied a season-high with eight strikeouts against the San Diego Padres.

Kyle Hendricks starts for the Cubs and is beginning to find his way after an ugly first month of his season. He had a 7.54 ERA in April but bounced back to have a 3.12 ERA in his last seven starts. Throughout the season, his problem has been home runs with 19 allowed, which is the highest number in baseball.

Matchup To Lookout For

Kyle Hendricks vs. Jose Peraza: 6-for-19 (.313), Double, Walk, 3 Strikeouts

Mets Blow The Game Twice in 6-5 Loss To The Arizona Diamondbacks

The New York Mets are known for their ugly June’s, and the trend is continuing in 2021. They wasted a 4-0 and 5-4 lead in extra innings to lose to the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak and was a rare off game from the Mets bullpen.

The 10th inning had as much action as any in the game. James McCann made a cameo as a pinch hitter and gave the Mets the lead with a leadoff RBI double. The Mets could not get the insurance run around to score, and it came back to haunt them. Trevor May was called into action for the save after struggling and throwing 26 pitches the previous night. May did not have his best stuff and ended up allowing a two-run double to Pavin Smith, which capped off a terrific night for him. Smith also had a monstrous 435-foot three-run home run earlier in the game.

Overuse?

Rojas had Trevor May, Drew Smith, and Seth Lugo to choose from for the 10th inning. Smith seemed like the option if the game remained tied or the Mets extended the lead. Lugo seemed like an afterthought due to Rojas hoping to open his season in a low leverage situation. May is in the middle of a pitching slump and has allowed runs in four of his last six outings. Despite getting five days off before Monday’s outing, it is clear that he has not been at his best as of late.

Either way, the loss should not have come down to extra innings. Marcus Stroman pitched five stellar innings before his confrontation with Josh Rojas after the fifth inning. Both benches and bullpens cleared, but no further conflict resulted from the gathering. Stroman struggled in the sixth inning by allowing Smith’s homer, moving the score to 4-3, and giving them new life.

Staying Alive

Rojas ended up getting his revenge against Edwin Diaz in the ninth. Nick Ahmed‘s single and error from Billy McKinney allowed him to get to second base to set the table for Rojas. With two-outs, Rojas found the hole between the first and second baseman to tie the game and give Diaz his first blown save of the season. Diaz gave up three hits in the inning, but none were hit particularly hard. The blown save was a case of Diaz getting unlucky with the defensive alignments behind him.

On Monday, Dominic Smith and Francisco Lindor showed signs of their power returning and did it once again tonight. Smith recorded a two-run homer and was robbed of a three-run homer, which resulted in a sacrifice fly. In the ninth, he walked and stole second base, the second of his career. Lindor had just one hit, but it turned out to be an RBI triple that ricocheted off the center-field fence. His average sits at .199 and has risen 16 points in the last five games.

The Mets cannot win every game, but this one is inexcusable to lose. They let the D’Backs hang around, gave them life after the bench-clearing issue, and failed to put the game away numerous times. Luckily the loss does not affect their division lead, which remains at 3.5 after the Atlanta Braves lost. At a 3:40 start on Wednesday, two lefties square off to finish the series. David Peterson takes the mound against veteran Madison Bumgarner.

Vintage Jeurys Familia bailed out injured Edwin Diaz: the Mets’ closer will undergo testing

New York Mets, Edwin Diaz

Last night’s game was crazy from almost every point of view. It featured a New York Mets’ victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-7, and it stayed that way because of an overturned call on a home run that would have tied the game, but the crew eventually ruled as a double after review.

With a four-run lead, the Mets decided to give the ball to their best reliever, who happens to be their closer, Edwin Diaz. It wasn’t a save situation, but manager Luis Rojas went with Diaz anyway.

The strategy did not work out for the Mets, given that Diaz conceded a base on balls and then allowed an RBI triple with one out.

After striking out Odubel Herrera for the second out, Diaz was about to get out of the jam. However, he walked another hitter and then reported back tightness to Mets’ pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, but opted to try and pitch through it.

That was costly, as it was when Rhys Hoskins hit the controversial double that was initially called a home run, thus tying the game. When the crew said it was a double, the game went from 8-8 to 8-7 instead, and Rojas decided it was enough for Diaz and brought Jeurys Familia.

“We were hoping that ball stayed in the yard,” outfielder Kevin Pillar said per the Mets’ official site.

The Mets ‘familiar’ closer

With two outs, former Mets’ closer Jeurys Familia struck out Bryce Harper no less, to end the ballgame.

“We trust our bullpen,” Pillar said. “We had the right guys step up and make some good pitches, and we got out of there with a win.”

Familia, who is among the Mets’ leaders in saves, has a 1.29 ERA and a 2.54 FIP in the early going, a crisp turnaround from what he showed last season and in 2019.

Rojas confirmed that Diaz will undergo testing on Monday. The hope is that the issue is minor and doesn’t require a stint in the injured list.

The victory, seen from that angle – potentially losing the closer for at least a couple of days – was costly. But it was a victory nonetheless.

“We’re a tough team,” Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso said. “We’re a really tough team. Win or lose, we’re not going to make it easy. We’re relentless. And we finish games.”

Mets Escape Philadelphia By Inches In 8-7 Victory Over Phillies

What the hell just happened?

The New York Mets survived the final game of their three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies thanks to the convenience of instant replay. Rhys Hoskins seemed to rip out the hearts over every Mets fan with a three-run game-tying home run off Edwin Diaz in the ninth.

Thanks to the wonders of instant replay, Hoskins hit the tippy-top of the fence, which changed his home run to a double. Unfortunately, Diaz had to leave the game with an undisclosed injury. Jeurys Familia came in with ice in his veins to strike out Bryce Harper and allow the Mets to crawl away with a victory.

On the offensive side for the Mets, Jose Alvarado made a horrible mistake by waking up a sleeping giant on Friday. Donnie Stevenson was born and has led the Mets to two victories against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Before diving into Alvarado’s lack of control, who would have thought Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar would begin a Mets comeback? In the eighth, Pillar brought the Mets within a run with his home run against Brandon Kintzler. Villar found just enough space to record a single up the middle, then wreaked havoc on the bases.

Bullpen Issues on Both Sides

Kintzler spent plenty of time occupied with Villar’s speed over the next two batters. With Villar on the move, Jose Peraza lined a single, and it banged right off the first baseman Hoskins glove. If Hoskins snagged it, the Phillies get a double play to end the inning, but it kept the Mets alive. Once Hoskins picked up the ball to make matters worse, he lobbed it back to the infield, and aggressive baserunning from Villar caught the Phils napping to tie the game.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Mets handed a frozen platter to Alvarado. After allowing a first-pitch single, Alvarado walked Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto consecutively to give the Mets a 5-4 lead. Phillies manager Joe Girardi turned the ball over to David Hale, who provided little relief. Pete Alonso blew the door wide open with a bases-clearing double to cap off the rally and give the Mets an 8-4 lead.

David Peterson looked like he would leave his start early after the Phillies were hitting rockets off him. A masterful double play from McNeil and Lindor gave Peterson all the momentum he needed to allow him to survive. Peterson did more than survive by getting through five innings, holding the Phils to just one run, and recording eight strikeouts.

Why Diaz?

For both team’s bullpens, making it out alive was the name of the game. At first, it looked like Miguel Castro would become the only casualty. Castro allowed a three-run homer to Didi Gregorius in the sixth inning, giving Phillies a 4-2 lead. The bullpen was due to hit a bump in the road. Heading into the night, they had thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings.

Manager Luis Rojas managed the game very well until he decided to use Diaz when he did not need to. Rojas easily could have turned to Familia, Sean Reid-Foley, or Robert Gsellman with Diaz as an insurance policy. It was evident from a four-pitch walk that Diaz would not be at his best and resulted in suffering an injury.

Somehow the Mets are 11-11 and back to a tie for first place in the NL East. They will head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for a four-game series starting on Monday. Even though it was ugly, the Mets needed to get a couple of wins on the board and hope to carry their momentum on the rest of the road trip.

 

Mets Offense Chokes in Extra Innings During 4-3 Loss

New York Mets, Edwin Diaz

The “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field were quite the opposite for the New York Mets as they dropped all three games to the Chicago Cubs. Unlike their 16-4 loss the previous night, the Mets a great chance to win this game. They had a runner on third with no outs and bases loaded with one out in the 10th but failed to take the lead. In the bottom half, the Cubs took advantage of their based loaded opportunity to win 4-3 and complete the sweep.

Jason Heyward played the hero with an RBI single, which showed the Mets how simple it is to drive in a run with the bases loaded. When the Mets had an opportunity to take the lead, Jeff McNeil struck out, and Dominic Smith grounded into a double play to foil any opportunity to win the game. The Mets went just 1-for-7 w/RISP, left eight runners on base, and are hitting .190 w/RISP.

Joey Lucchesi struggled again as he lasted just three innings and allowed the same amount of runs. Sean Reid-Foley was stellar in his Mets debut by throwing three perfect innings with four strikeouts. Reid-Foley set the tone for a Mets bullpen that was terrific all night. Trevor May followed with a scoreless seventh, then Aaron Loup and Miguel Castro combined to work around a leadoff triple in the eighth. Edwin Diaz sent the game to extra innings but allowed the bases-loaded single to take the loss.

Get The Offense Going

If you search synonyms for the word “bad,” you will find many words to describe the Mets offense. Pete Alonso did homer for the second straight game, but he was the only somewhat hot hitter in the lineup. J.D. Davis tied the game in the seventh with a pinch double after getting a night off from playing the field. Davis is 8-for-18 to begin the season and should return to the lineup on Friday because they desperately need his bat despite his struggling defense.

Despite the sweep and falling back to .500, the Mets are still tied for first place. While there is never a guarantee to win with Jacob deGrom on the mound, they will have the opportunity to take advantage of his greatness when he starts on Friday. Erick Fedde pitches for the Washington Nationals, who make their first trip to Citi Field for the 7:10 p.m. start.

McCann’s Perfect Strike Give Mets The 2-1 Victory Over The Rockies

New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

Defensive improvement was the top priority during the New York Mets offseason, and James McCann showed why when he secured a series win against the Colorado Rockies. With two outs in the ninth, McCann foiled Trevor Story‘s stolen base attempt to give the Mets a big 2-1 victory in the mile-high city.

The Mets do not get to that point without the stellar outing from Marcus Stroman. He delivered eight terrific innings with just three hits and one run allowed on an efficient 90 pitches. Stroman made the highlight reel with his behind-the-back grab on a comebacker and five-hop throw to first base in the eighth. He now has a 0.90 ERA in three starts, which is good for the seventh-best in baseball.

Survive and Advance

The offense is still struggling to get anything going consistently, but great pitching allows the Mets to survive these games. Jeff McNeil drove in the first run with a second-inning ground out and J.D. Davis recorded the second with a fourth-inning single. Overall, the Mets are still struggling with runners in scoring position as they went 1-for-8. The Mets had an opportunity for an insurance run in the ninth, but McNeil’s failed attempt to stretch a double to a triple floundered their scoring chance.

Luckily, Edwin Diaz continued to dominate by picking up his second save in the same amount of games. His ERA is 3.18 and continues to drop after his rough outing early in the season. Brandon Nimmo also continued to stay hot by getting on base for the 11th consecutive game to start the season. He leads all of baseball with his .447 batting average and .543 on-base percentage.

The 7-4 Mets have themselves a one-game lead in the NL East after a chaotic first three weeks to the season. They have a day off on Monday as they head to Chicago to face the Cubs. If the weather obliges, they will begin a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

Montgomery, Diaz Struggle in New York Mets 10-2 Loss to the Marlins

The New York Mets had to decide Mike Montgomery‘s future, and his outing against the Miami Marlins did not help. Montgomery needed 60 pitches to get through 2.2 innings, where he allowed five runs on six hits. The fish wasted no time in the first inning when they opened up an early 4-0 and sent nine batters to the plate.

Montgomery had the upper hand over Jerry Blevins to become the second lefty in the bullpen. With Blevins’s scoreless outing on Saturday, he might have a new life to make the roster. The defense behind him did not provide much help, but the Mets have to decide their plan going forward, and Montgomery can opt-out if he disagrees with it.

The relievers that followed Montgomery did not provide and resistance for the Marlins hitters. Jeurys Familia and Miguel Castro both allowed runs in their one inning outings. Edwin Diaz struggled the most with four hits and three runs allowed but did strikeout three. Surprisingly, Dellin Betances was the one reliever who recorded a 1-2-3 inning.

The Mets’ offense was quiet against Marlins starter Daniel Castano. Brandon Nimmo provided the only run off Castano with his third-inning home run. It was only Nimmo’s second hit against a lefty this spring, and consistent hitting against southpaws can move him from a platoon option to an everyday player. Michael Conforto also hit Castano well with two hits, including a double. Wilfredo Tovar provided the second run with his home run in the ninth inning.

On Monday, the Mets play at 12:05 p.m. ET against the St. Louis Cardinals. Taijuan Walker (1-0, 3.00 ERA) faces off against veteran Adam Wainwright (0-0, 1.83 ERA) from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

New York Mets: Defense Struggles in the Ninth in 4-3 Loss to Nationals

The New York Mets and Washington Nationals were reluctant to play defense in Saturday night’s matchup. Both teams combined for five errors on the night, and it helped lead to a Nats 4-3 victory in walk-off fashion.

The Mets’ offense got started early thanks to two Nats’ first-inning errors. Juan Soto‘s error allowed Michael Conforto to advance to third and J.D. Davis to second on his single. Both came around to score on Carter Kieboom‘s throwing error, giving the Mets an early 2-0 lead. The bats went silent for the rest of the game as their third run came on a wild pitch in the seventh inning.

Pitching Strong As Ever

Mets pitchers were solid under the bright lights. Jordan Yamamoto allowed an RBI double to Josh Bell in the first inning but settled in after. Yamamoto pitched 3.1 innings, allowed one run, and retired eight in a row at one point. Jonathan Villar‘s error at third base caused the end of Yamamoto’s start. Through 8.1 innings this spring, Yamamoto has allowed one run and no home runs.

Edwin Diaz was electric and efficient in his one inning of work. He sandwiched a one-pitch out between two, three-pitch strikeouts. Diaz also reached triple digits with his fastball and has retired all nine batters this spring with five strikeouts. Miguel Castro and Drew Smith continued their strong months as each hurled a scoreless inning. Both pitchers are very undervalued parts of a deep bullpen.

Things got crazy when Ryley Gilliam entered in the ninth. Yadiel Hernandez singled to lead off and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jackson Cluff‘s bunt single moved Hernandez to third and put the Nats in business with no outs. A fielder’s choice allowed the Nats to tie the game, then an error by third baseman Mark Vientos but the winning run in scoring position.

Gilliam uncorked another wild pitch to move runners to second and third for Andrew Stevenson. After getting the second out, Yasmany Tomas singled past a diving Wilfredo Tovar to win it for the Nats. Gilliam has allowed three runs and five hits in his two outings this spring.

David Peterson (0-0, 0.00) takes the mound in Port St. Lucie as the St. Louis Cardinals return to town. Carlos Martinez (0-1, 11.57) throws for the Cards at 1:10 p.m. ET on SNY.