The red and white not-Mets
WHAT HAPPENED, THE FIRST SEVEN:
In short, the first seven innings of this one were bad. With the focus being on the bats, Max Scherzer dominated an already poor Mets lineup. He struck out 10, and the only runners to reach base against him did so in the second inning—an Asdrubal Cabrera single followed by a Kelly Johnson walk. Of course, Scherzer is really good at what he does. As for the Mets offense…well, they’re there too. The current state of the lineup is one that would be able to compete with an average starting pitcher, but an elite one? The results are going to be less than desirable. From that perspective it isn’t all too surprising that Scherzer pitched as well as he did with the as feeble a resistance he saw.
Logan Verrett wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t great. He only surrendered two runs across his five innings of work, but he also walked four batters and gave up four hits. The lead-off hitter either reached base or hit a home run (I’m looking at you, Daniel Murphy) in every inning but the first, which isn’t the best way to start off innings. In general, it was a subpar performance that isn’t the kind that’ll stick in your memory for a long time. He was followed by Antonio Bastardo, who looked good in two innings of work—allowing no hits (the one runner came from a Johnson error) and striking out one.
WHAT HAPPENED, SOME FORM OF LIFE:
Then came the eighth and ninth inning, where the Mets would record a total of five hits. Once Scherzer left the game, the Mets attempted to charge. Alas, it was too little too late. Having just seen Murphy belt his second homerun of the game, the Mets 4-0 deficit coming into the final inning proved insurmountable despite a 2-run homer by James Loney and a late Johnson double that would bring the tying run to the plate in the form of rookie Brandon Nimmo. It was good to see the fight was there, but it would’ve been better to see it for a longer period of time. Regardless, this kind of late comeback attempt helped the Mets avoid being shutout for the second straight night. Hopefully it is something they can use to build on going into the weekend.
WHAT HAPPENED, YESTERDAY:
Murphy made sure to keep making Mets fans feel wonderful about his departure, rubbing salt in the wound by notching two homeruns that proved to be the deciding factor. On the other side, the Mets also happened to cross Max Scherzer at a bad time. It was peak Max Scherzer pitching and peak Mets lack of hitting, and the two combined for a pretty cut and dry outcome. That being said, maybe the late charge signals that there is some type of offense buried deep within this lineup. I know, I know, I’m probably being over-optimistic. Sigh.
WHAT HAPPENS, TODAY:
The Mets head back home for the first time in a week, and look to wrap up June with a win against the Chicago Cubs. Not only that, but the Mets will also be looking to snap a 4-game losing streak as they send Steven Matz to the mound for the first of four against a team they last faced in the NLCS. A bounce back series against the Cubs would be just what the doctor ordered, and something they need to help them stay afloat in the still-early NL East division race.
Photo credit: Geoff Burke – USA Today Sports