As the Mets started a big week here in Philly old problems resurfaced in a 4-1 loss to the Phillies. Lack of clutch hitting and some on the field mistakes paved the way for a 4-1 loss in a week in which the Mets can simply not afford missteps.
Offensively, the Mets had plenty of chances putting 11 hits on the table but once again could not deliver the big hit and once again Wilson Ramos was in the eye of the storm hitting into a double play late in the game with the tying runs on base. And it begs the question has Luis Rojas lost confidence in the Met catcher who may be playing his last few weeks as a Met with JT Realmuto likely being a prime target in the off-season during the free agent period.
Rojas said after the game,”We have confidence in all of our guys and I want them to be aggressive at the plate swinging at pitches they like to drive. Last night I saw us revert to some of the at bats we had earlier in the season and we must correct that.”
I totally agree with the Met manager but the team is also exhibiting base running blunders which takes them out of big innings. Last night they ran themselves out of an inning for the second straight game when Jeff McNeil got tagged out to end an inning where even if he had gotten in a rundown a run could have scored before he was tagged. On the same play, the hesitance of Dom Smith to run from third to the plate compounded the issue.
This all came on a night the Mets actually got a representative start from a Non-deGrom/Lugo appearance as Rick Porcello gave them 6 innings keeping them in the game. As Brandon Nimmo said after the game it seems that when the pitchers perform the hitters do not and when the bats are smoking the pitching disappears.
And that is usually the reason team do not get enough wins to earn a playoff spot. And if this trend does not change immediately, that will be where the Mets stand at the end of the season. And despite the lack of depth in the starting rotation, inconsistent hitting coupled with base running and defensive blunders will define them in this truncated 2020 season.