This Is What Bad Teams Do

Justin Verlander, New York Mets.

Atlanta– There is a mantra from Hall of Fame NFL coach Bill Parcells that you are what your record says you are. The New York Mets, owners of the all-time highest payroll in baseball, have floundered their way through the season with a combination of poor offense, mediocre starting pitching and a shallow bullpen. The lack of consistency continued in this series as their offense showed up for the most part, including today as they put up 10 runs against the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately for them, the Braves (38-24) put up 13 and completed a series sweep where the Mets blew at least a three-run lead in every game.

Justin Verlander didn’t have his best stuff for the Mets, giving up five runs in three innings, but the Mets’ offense continued their ownership of Spencer Strider in the early going. Brandon Nimmo delivered a second inning grand slam to give the Mets a lead while Francisco Alvarez homered twice on the day, including a two-run homer off of Strider in the fourth. The Braves kept chipping away at the Mets’ bullpen, which surrendered runs in five of the seven innings they pitched on the night.

The situation got very dicey for the Mets in the eighth, when Travis d’Arnaud hit a two-run homer off of Drew Smith to make it 10-9. That hanger led Buck Showalter to go to David Robertson, who hadn’t pitched in five days, for a five-out save. Robertson got through the rest of the eighth but the Mets squandred an opportunity to add insurance in the ninth, leaving the bases loaded as Jesse Chavez struck out Omar Narvaez and Mark Vientos to end the frame.

Things unraveled again in the ninth when Robertson hung a fastball to Orlando Arcia, which he crushed to left to tie the game. Robertson got through the inning but a loss felt inevitable as the Mets quickly went down against Raisel Iglesias with the top of their order. Tommy Hunter came on for the Mets in the tenth and got into trouble before serving up a game-winning three-run homer to Ozzie Albies to deal another dagger to the hearts of the Mets, who have now lost six straight games for the first time since August of 2019.

After the game, Showalter made some comments to the media that will surely go over well to a ticked off fan base.

While Showalter may have channeled Art Howe for a second, it’s worth pointing out that you can find positives for almost any team this side of Oakland in terms of performance. The problem is that bad teams tend to do what the Mets do, which is be good in one area and find a way to lose by blowing games in others, which in the Mets’ case was a subpar outing from one of their two expensive aces and shoddy relief pitching. There are still 99 games left in the season but the Mets have played like a bad team for far longer than they have looked like a good one.

Player Of The Game:

Today’s Player of the Game award goes to Atlanta Braves’ shortstop Orlando Arcia, who went 3 for 5 with a run scored and two RBIs, including the game-tying homer off of Robertson in the ninth inning.

Post-Game Notes:

    Pete Alonso was unavailable after flying to New York for further testing on his injured left wrist. The team did not have any updates after the game but Showalter mentioned prior to first pitch that the hope was for Alonso to play in Pittsburgh this weekend.

    Vientos was the only Mets’ regular without a hit, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts to drop his batting average to .162.

    Nimmo’s second-inning grand slam was the first of his major league career.

    Austin Riley paced the Braves’ offense by going 4-for-6 with three runs scored and two RBIs, including a two-run homer off of Verlander in the first inning.

What’s Next:

The Mets will look to snap their six-game losing streak as they continue their road trip against the Pittsburgh Pirates (32-29). Tylor Megill (5-3, 4.40 ERA) will face off with former Met Rich Hill (5-5, 4.41 ERA) in the pitching matchup. First pitch for the opener is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at PNC Park.

Arrow to top