For the first time in a long time, it seemed like the New York Mets were on track to win out in the National League East. However, these dreams came all but crashing down as they collapsed in the month of August. Entering the month, they held a healthy lead on the division. The 3.5 game gap between them and the rest of the field seemed sturdy. However, four weeks later, the Mets find themselves a whopping seven games out. This collapse is remarkable and came about largely as a combination of a multitude of unfortunate factors. Poor coaching, injuries, and all-around terrible offensive play led to their embarrassing fall from grace.
After losing the division lead and falling a half-game back, the Mets entered a thirteen-game stretch against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants, two of the hottest teams in baseball. This went about as poorly as expected, as they lost eight of their first ten games against these teams. The cold streak continued into their final series against the Giants, as they were swept.
Mets vs. Giants: Game 1
The first game of this series was absolutely putrid for the Mets. To put it any other way would be to mince words. The scoring began in the game’s second at-bat, as Brandon Belt took Mets ace Tylor Megill yard on a 1-1 count. Megill has been quite consistent this year, but this was absolutely was not his night. Mike Yastrzemski followed in Belt’s footsteps in the top of the second when he homered off a 2-2 count. Yaz’s home run also drove in former Met and fan-favorite Wilmer Flores, giving San Francisco a 3-0 lead.
The Giants gave the Mets some room to breathe in the third inning but ramped their scoring onslaught back up in the fourth. Giants slugger LaMonte Wade Jr. hit the third home run off Megill of the night. This drove home Tommy La Stella, giving the Giants a 5-0 lead. In the very next at-bat, Belt decided that he wasn’t done yet and hit another home run. This was the fourth homer that Megill allowed of the night. After yielding six runs and allowing two more hits, Megill was done for the night. He left the game with an ugly line of 11 hits, 7 earned runs, and 5 strikeouts, all through just 3.2 innings.
The scoring continued that inning with a Brandon Crawford RBI single that scored Buster Posey. This gave San Francisco a 7-0 lead. The scoring finally ended in the eighth when Belt notched his third RBI of the game–this time only a single. Belt’s effort brought the score to 8-0, where it stayed for the remainder of the game. The Mets had almost nothing to show for offensively, and this was all-around an extremely disappointing performance.
The second game of the series was somewhat of an improvement for the Mets, although still far from a success. The scoring began in the top of the fourth, when Kris Bryant sent a Taijuan Walker pitch to the moon. Walker, who had been extremely reliable for the Mets in the first half, has somewhat collapsed along with the rest of the team. His ERA has risen to 3.82, and he has certainly grown to be more of a liability.
The Mets evened up the score in the bottom of the fifth when a throwing error allowed Pete Alonso to reach base and Jonathan Villar to score. Dominic Smith extended the lead to 2-1 in the following inning with an RBI double that scored Michael Conforto. This was the Mets’ only lead of the game and overall series.
Walker continued his good outing into the seventh. After allowing two runners on base, Walker was pulled in a widely-questioned move by skipper Luis Rojas. This move ended up working out quite poorly for the Mets, as Walker’s replacement, Aaron Loup, immediately gave up a bases-clearing RBI double to Brandon Crawford. This gave the Giants a 3-2 lead that they would hold until the end of the game. The Mets’ one and only lead of the series came and went, just like that.
The final game of the series also came and went without much event and ended about the same as game two. The Giants again began their scoring with a Kris Bryant home run–again for two runs. Bryant got the scoring started early, with his homer coming at the top of the first inning.
The Mets were able to answer, though, as Pete Alonso smacked his twenty-eighth home run of the year over the fence. This hit was also worth two runs, as Alonso was able to score deadline acquisition Javier Baez.
Unfortunately for the Mets, Darin Ruf closed the game off with his go-ahead RBI single in the top of the eighth.
Takeaways from the “Giant” sweep of the Mets
The Mets have fallen so, so far. This sweep marks their eleventh loss in thirteen games, all against the Dodgers and Giants. Losing this many games to two of the best teams in the National League is far from a good sign, and the Mets’ playoff hopes are essentially dashed. As a Met fan myself, I am extremely discouraged, and I have very little left to offer. However, I will say that before this team can do anything of meaning, Luis Rojas must be the first to go.