The Phillies pounded the Mets 8-2 behind a trio of homers from JT Realmuto, Alec Bohm and Rhys Hoskins to take the opening series of the season as the Mets head home to Citifield to open their home season against the Marlins.on Thursday.
David Peterson was lit up in a first inning in which the homestanding Phils plated four runs while the Mets squandered numerous scoring chances going 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position stranding 14 men on base on this day. “I think I was having some mechanical issues early on and that contributed to that first inning”, said Peterson after the game.
What made this game frustrating more than even that first inning was the issues the Mets experienced hitting with runners in scoring position during this series and that was an issue that we saw a season ago. “I think the hitters need to approach that situation the same as any other situation and not overswing or try to do too much”, said Met manager Luis Rojas.
Michael Conforto has an awful night at the plate going 0 for 5 leaving nine runners on base which was frustrating to him when he said, “This was not the way we wanted this game to go but we are better than this and we have to reset ourselves at Citi for the home opener tomorrow.” In fairness to Conforto and the Mets the long layoff between games forced by a positive Nationals Covid test could have contributed to what we saw in the first 3 games of the 2021 season.
But big league clubs simply can not make excuses as this CoVid world will likely pose similar issues for every team in the league. And you have to push forward. And it is VERY important for Luis Rojas to stress with his team that defense, a shaky bullpen and a lack of hitting will runners in scoring position ruined their 2020 season. And Met fans are starting to think they are witnessing Ground Hog Day in 2021.
You have to reinforce into the minds of your players that this is a talented roster that simply has to do the primary things in this sport both crisply and efficiently. That is the simple message these players need to hear. The season is out there in front of them and nothing can be decided in one three game series. But at the same time acknowledge what you did wrong –make the simple corrections and move on.
And that has to happen in short order. Taijuan Walker will take the hill for the Mets as the team looks to erase some bad play in this series where the Mets flat out blew the opener and that resulted in a series loss to a divisional opponent. I do not want to get overly dramatic here but a homestand with 7 games versus divisional opponents–3 vs Marlins and 4 with the Phils–needs to be a week of games the Mets put this first trio of contests way in their rear view mirror or it could haunt them for a long time this season.