Anytime you lose three in a four game series, it’s hard to look for positives; but this is a team with heart.
In the 16 inning game Thursday, they got the Michael Conforto RBI double to tie the game in the eighth, and then in the 16th, after he had caught 15 innings, Travis d’Arnaud hit the game winning homer. It wasn’t just the bats, though, as Josh Smoker and Hansel Robles really went above and beyond in that game too.
On Saturday, the Mets were trailing 2-1 when Curtis Granderson hit an RBI triple to tie the game. Mets took the lead on a Conforto pinch-hit sacrifice fly.
On Sunday, the team was no-hit for 7.2 innings making the 2-0 Marlins lead look insurmountable. In the top of the ninth, though, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a game-tying two-RBI single.
While it was difficult seeing the Mets lose three straight winnable games, especially after Thursday’s emotional win, we should be heartened by how this team fights.
After fighting it a bit for two innings, Jacob deGrom found his groove again. He completely shut down the Marlins striking out 13 batters and allowing just one hit after the second inning. While TV radar guns aren’t always reliable, he did hit 99 mph.
So far, deGrom had looked like his 2015 dominant self. In his three starts, he has a 1.89 ERA, 0.842 WHIP, and a 10.4 K/9.
3. Good Omen?
There have been four times in Mets history the team started 2-3 and had an ensuing five game winning streak. The first three times it happened (1986, 1988, 2015), the Mets won the NL East. On two occasions, the Mets made it to the World Series.
With Thursday’s win, the 2017 team became the fourth Mets team to accomplish this feat. Naturally, it’s safe to assume the NL East is all but assured.
1. The Bullpen Is On Fumes
This is to be expected when you play a 16-inning game, but some of this lies with Terry Collins‘ decision making.
Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas lead the majors in appearances this year so far. Salas has made the most appearances in baseball since last September and Blevins is seemingly up every game regardless of whether he enters or not. Robles and Addison Reed aren’t too far behind them. It’s a reason why we’ve seen hiccups from everyone not named Blevins. It’s a reason why the Mets are desperate to get Jeurys Familia back.
2. Collins’ Baffling Moves
It’s safe to say Collins did not have a good four-game series against the Marlins.
On Thursday, the Mets rushed Juan Lagares back from the DL, and he was withheld from the starting lineup despite the Marlins pitching Wei-Yin Chen. He pulled T.J. Rivera after four innings for no apparent reason. He pushed Robert Gsellman, despite his having nothing. When he finally pulled Gsellman, he chose Josh Edgin over Blevins to pitch against Justin Bour in a big spot. These moves helped fuel a Marlins’ comeback and the 16 inning affair.
The following night, he opted to pitch the LOOGY Edgin for the final two innings rather than go with Sean Gilmartin, who was on full rest. The Marlins would walk it off against Edgin while an arguably better and definitively fresher pitcher went unused.
On Saturday, Collins hit Jose Reyes lead-off despite his poor play, having already dropping him in the lineup this season. Later in the game, Collins had Blevins warming while Salas was on the mound. Instead of bringing in Blevins to pitch to Yelich, Collins stuck with Salas who gave up back-to-back homers to Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton. It was only at that point, Collins went with Blevins to face Justin Bour.
Overall, you could argue it’s the players who win and lose games, and Collins didn’t force these players to struggle. You’d be right, but the argument also ignores Collins’ inability to put his players in the best position to succeed.
3. Marlins Have The Mets Number
The Marlins are annoying. They helped ruin the 2007 and 2008 seasons. They have ruined the beginning to the 2017 season and the Mets need to figure them out if they’re going to prevent them from ruining the end of it too.
So far, the Marlins are 5-2 against the Mets. They won three straight games from the Mets when the Mets starters were Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Matt Harvey. Those three starters pitched 19 innings allowing just four runs while striking out 22.
In the three loses, two were by walk-offs. As noted by MMO‘s Ed Leyro, the Mets have lost 26 games at Marlins Park and 11 of those losses were of the walk-off variety.
The Mets will have a much needed day off before beginning a three game set against the Phillies. This is a team the Mets should continue to beat up on and provides a good opportunity to let out some frustration.