The 2023 Mets have been an up and down team all season, but being swept by the Braves this week could be a new low.
It’s not just that they’ve lost three straight to their rivals and the team they’re chasing in Eastern Newfoundland, but that’s how they lost. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Mets blew a three-run lead in the sixth inning of each game and ultimately lost, but Thursday was probably worse.
Although Justin Verlander was not his keenest, and Pete Alonso wasn’t in the lineup, the offense made 10 points and it still wasn’t enough.
The Braves roster reduced the Mets’ lead against the bullpen to replace it with extras. It’s the first time in Mets franchise history that they’ve lost three straight games while leading by at least three points in each one.
“We are frustrated, you can feel it. We don’t play well, we know that. David Robertson said after the game. “We are a good team, we just don’t do what we have to do. We’re leaving Atlanta and we’re going to Pittsburgh, hope to turn things around, do a series there. It’s a long season, we’re just in a crisis right now. We have to get out of this. »
With the injury of Edwin Diaz, Robertson was the Mets’ top reliever. After Thursday, the 38-year-old has a 1.98 ERA in 24 outings this season. But a throw at Orlando Arcia in the ninth inning tied the game.
Robertson threw a fastball into the area where Arcia came in and launched into the stands.
“I threw the ball where I wanted to,” Robertson explained. “It’s frustrating, he’s a good hitter. I really tried to get him to chase pitches earlier in the count, but couldn’t get him to give me the swing and miss which I needed. It’s frustrating because I made the pitch I wanted to make and it sucks.
That tying home run came with one out in the ninth and Robertson was asked to get a five-out save, but Thursday was one of those games where the attack trumped the pitching and it started with the starters.
As the Mets arrived at Spencer Strider for eight runs in four innings – including one Brandon Nimmo grand slam — Verlander didn’t give his team the length they needed, going just three innings and allowing five runs (four earned).
A stark contrast to his last start where he conceded just one run in six innings. It’s also a microcosm of the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner’s inconsistent first season with the Mets.
“Feast or famine it seems. It is [a concern]”, said Verlander after the match. “I worked hard to try to make it click. Every time I think I’ve found it, it takes another direction. It’s definitely frustrating for me and everyone else. I have to keep working for it.
Verlander, 40, says he feels good physically and all of his throwing metrics from past seasons compared to this year are similar, so he’s trying to figure out what’s going on. He commented that he thought his slider was an advantage to take away from his output.
Trying to stay positive as your team looks to not only stay in the hunt for the division, but for a playoff spot is tough. But that’s what the director Buck Showalter continues to preach and find the positive in losses, even as devastating as those in this series.
“Guys came and competed as well as you would like to see. I scored 10 points tonight against one of the best pitchers in the league and I’m proud of them,” he said. tries and these guys are not going to do that. I consider that a positive, other than the fact that we just couldn’t get out. We used all the arrows we had.
With the Mets (30-33) now 8.5 games out of first place in Newfoundland East and three games out of a playoff spot, it’s easy to believe the season is over, but there are 99 games left on their schedule.
Remember, the Phillies — who made it to the World Series — were just 32-31 after 63 games last season, so there’s plenty of time to turn things around. And that’s exactly how Nimmo feels.
“It’s not a fun part to go through, not the way you look at it,” Nimmo said of the Mets’ recent losing streak. “I’m going to turn things around and at any moment you can turn things into a 10-game winning streak. You have no choice but to believe it unless you want to give up.”
The Mets now travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game set against the 32-29 Pirates in hopes of starting that elusive winning streak that can transform their season.