On Friday Night, the New York Mets lost a bad game to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets mixed up their lineup in hopes of getting an offensive spark. They did not. The Mets moved Jeff McNeil into the third spot and put Dominic Smith in the seventh spot in the lineup. Mets hitters left 21 runners on base and went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Marcus Stroman looked great on the mound before leaving with hamstring tightness, but the bullpen worked well behind him. The Phillies struck first in the bottom of the second.
Phillies Strike First in Weird Fashion
In the bottom of the second inning, the Phillies loaded the bases with two outs. A 1-2 slider crossed up Mets’ catcher James McCann and Phillies pitcher Chase Anderson swung and missed. Anderson reached first base safely and two Phillies crossed the plate on the passed ball. Those two early runs gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead and with the way the Met bats have been moving, it seemed insurmountable. Heading into the top of the sixth inning, the Mets had gone 21 innings without scoring a run. They were shutout through the final seven innings on Tuesday, shutout in nine innings on Wednesday, and were yet to score in five innings on Friday. With the Mets being unable to get timely hits, the offense just seemed anemic.
Mets Get Opportunities But Can’t Break Through
The Mets finally broke through against the Phillies, with Smith picking up an RBI single in the sixth inning. The good feelings stopped there, however, as the next batter, James McCann, grounded into an inning ending double play. McCann had a really tough night, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout and leaving five runners on base in the process. In the seventh inning, the Mets went down in order, with two of the three batters getting called out on strikes. The Mets had another chance to break through in the eighth inning, but failed to do so. Leading off the eigth, Jose Alvarado hit McNeil with a pitch. Pete Alonso flied out to deep center, allowing McNeil to go to second. Michael Conforto followed with a shallow flyout to left. After falling behind 2-0 to J.D Davis, Alvarado opted to just finish off an intentional walk.
Smith stepped up again with a runner in scoring position and looked to pull through yet again. Smith worked the count to 3-1 but took the best pitch of the at bat, a 98 mile per hour fastball right down the middle. With the count 3-2, Smith swung and missed at another sinker to end the inning. The Mets and Phillies benches cleared after Alvarado and Smith exchanged words for the second time this season. Eventually, the game got back underway as cooler heads prevailed. The ninth inning concluded relatively quickly, outside of a Brandon Nimmo walk. Francisco Lindor grounded out to first base to end the game, lowering his batting average to .189 for the season, thus far.
With this tough loss to the Phillies, the Mets are now on a three game losing streak and their record drops to 9-11. The Mets are one game back in the way too early National League East race. Their pitching has been much better than expected, especially with Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard, and Seth Lugo all yet to throw pitches this year. The pitching staff has an era of 2.90 for the season, good for second in the Major Leagues. The offense, which was not an expected problem, has really been a massive flaw for the Mets. Their team batting average is middle of the pack, but they are dead last in homeruns, RBI, and runs. They are second to last in slugging percentage as well. The Mets need to start hitting, plain and simple. If they don’t this season will be another lost one.