The Mets entered this three game weekend series feeling real good about themselves after winning their last 2 games of the homestand against the Nationals but those feelings had a short shelf life as they were swept by the Phillies here at Citizens Bank Park in a 3 game set that clearly illustrated all of their issues.
The series began with the news that Jacob deGrom would miss his start due to neck stiffness and the team lost a tough walk off game even though they tied the contest on a clutch Robinson Cano RBI hit in the top of the ninth inning. On Saturday, Aaron Nola tossed 7 shutout innings to keep the Mets at bay and today ex-Met Zack Wheeler beat the Mets 6-2 to put a 3 game sweep on the Mets ledger.
The pitching betrayed the team especially with the Seth Lugo blown game on Friday Night but their defense and base running also showed their blemishes whether it be a missed tag at the plate at crunch time or base running blunders by Billy Hamilton and Andre Gimenez.
It was yet another road series that this team was manhandled by a division opponent as this series reminded me so much of the set a few weeks ago in Atlanta where the Mets were outplayed in every portion of the game.
The good news for the Mets is they have plenty of opportunities to get back in the playoff race in the next 2 weeks as they play the Miami Marlins 7 times and they need to take advantage of that especially considering 2 Yankee Subway Series encounters totaling 6 games with the Bronx Bombers also occur in the next couple of weeks.
But their attentions to detail must change on a number of levels. Reckless running of the bases must stop and defense must be more consistent. And yes there are injuries in the rotation but this creates opportunities for others and you can not simply aim for 5 inning performances–you must push for 6 or 7 innings because that will allow the bullpen to be the best it can be.
A record of 9-14 is simply not acceptable with the talent on this roster but attention to detail should be a no-brainer which it clearly is not right now. This is the first litmus test in the career of Luis Rojas as a major league manager and these are the tough moments. Discipline combined with support must be in the equation to turn things around but it has be an equal share of those 2 tactics. Too much discipline could turn the players off while too much support could provide excuses for them.
In this scenario, you may need different plans for players-some need more support others need a kick in the butt. Still others need a little of both. Rojas has to create that game plan and execute it immediately–otherwise the 2020 season might be over.