Toughest Loss of the Season as the Mets Fall 7-6 in Philly by Rich Coutinho/TheNYExtra.com
The Mets have experienced a plethora of tough losses this year but Sunday in Philly might have been the toughest all season. When you consider that they were facing Zack Wheeler and put 5 runs on the board off of him in his 5.1 innings of work and got homers from both Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso and led 6-3 going into the bottom of the 8th inning. Those factors make this loss so tough to take.
But that inning became a horror show for the Mets as Jeff Brigham was called in with bases loaded and nobody out and proceeded to cough up the lead. And it occurred with the Phils managing only 1 hit but Met pitchers walked three and hit 2 batters which scored both the tying and go ahead runs giving the Phils a 7-6 lead.
Buck Showalter was down in the pen with both Brooks Raley and Adam Ottavino unavailable while David Robertson might have been ready for the bottom of the ninth–an inning that never occurred. So, instead of taking a road series from the Phils, the Mets limp home 7 games under 500 with a 35-42 record. And walking around the Met clubhouse, you can sense this one hurt more than any other game this year.
A big misplay in that 8th inning was an error from Bret Baty that plated a run and left the bases loaded but to the youngster’s credit he took full blame and accountability when he said, “This loss is totally on me as I have to do a better job in that situation. It was totally my fault.” The bottom line here is when you get homers from your 2 big bats in Alonso and Lindor plus tons of clutch hits from Brandon Nimmo you just could not surrender a 6-3 lead in the fashion the Mets did on this day.
The Mets have lost far too many games this year when they score 6 runs or more and you never quite thought that would occur when you looked at the team’s pitching roster for this 2023 club. But it has and that is the biggest issue this team has. When pitchers pitch well, the hitting disappears and when hitting does what it has to do they surrender big leads. That is the very definition of a losing team and when you consider the defense has gone south in recent days, it makes you think this will be a gloomy summer.
They have 13 games before the All Star break and they are all against teams that currently hold playoff positions. They simply must shake off this game and they need to go 10 and 3 to reach 500 at that break. That is real tall order but is imperative for them to at least feel somewhat back to feeling like a winning team.
Losing can become an easy thing to accept in sports if you find a different way to lose every single day. And looking at the faces in this clubhouse I am afraid some of that acceptance has begun to sneak into their thoughts. That is the most worrysome factor about this recent slide in which they have not taken a series since they swept the Phils at Citi in late May. We are talking almost a month of games have elapsed since then and that explains why the Mets are in the position that exists today.