In theory, this 11-4 loss was much closer than it seemed. For many parts of the game, the New York Mets were this close to getting back in the game and catching the St. Louis Cardinals.
Case-in-point, in the seventh inning, it’s 8-4 with runners on first and second with no outs and the heart of the order due up. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt makes a double switch.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 16, 2021
Instead of 8-7, it was still 8-4. After that home run robbing catch, the Cardinals then roughed up Heath Hembree to the tune of three runs in the eighth.
At that point, it was 11-4 meaning the game was effectively over. In turn, that meant the season was effectively over. Now, the question is whether the Mets will finish over .500 and what they’re going to do in the offseason.
Honestly, they need to do a lot. This Cardinals sweep showed that. The same is true with the Mets going a combined 2-11 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
Many of those games were close, but so what? In the end, the Mets because they’re not as good as those teams. They’re simply not. Hembree pitching in that spot further proved that.
For now, the Mets can play what if all they want. Certainly, there were positives. That said, the NL teams making the postseason showed the Mets just how far away from contention they really are.
It’s frustrating and sad. That goes double with how the first four months of the season went. It’s now time to build on the right core and figure out the next step.
There’s a lot of blame directed at Luis Rojas for another brutal New York Mets loss in September. Absolutely, there were some questionable moves.
Marcus Stroman was lifted after six great innings despite being at 89 pitches. On a day when Seth Lugo was unavailable, Aaron Loup, Trevor May, and Edwin Diaz didn’t go multiple innings. There were also pinch hitting decisions.
Putting aside the fact the pitching increasingly looks scripted like with Kevin Cash and Blake Snell in the 2020 World Series, the real issue is this roster. It was a roster largely unaddressed at the trade deadline.
This was a team which had zero hits from innings 2-8 until Javier Báez‘s clutch game tying homer. Yes, he was a trade deadline acquisition, and he’s been great.
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 15, 2021
However, that’s one, and with all apologies to Trevor Williams, really, the only player the Mets added at the deadline. A team in first place didn’t feel terribly compelled to go for it.
The days of the 40 man September rosters are no more. With all due respect, these are three players who should not be rostered at this point in the season. It’s inexcusable for a front office to let this happen.
Rojas did all he could to stop the game from getting to this point. However, you can only avoid the bottom of your roster for so long. Eventually, they’re going to get to play and impact a game and a season.
Ultimately, that’s what happened last night. Instead of asking why Rojas used those players when he did, we should be asking why are these players even here.