Patrick Mazeika

Luis Rojas A Convenient Fall Guy For Mets

It was never set up for Luis Rojas to succeed as the manager of the New York Mets. With his firing, which is what happened when the Mets didn’t pick up his option, it was deemed Rojas did not succeed.

In 2020, he took over a team after Carlos Beltran was forced out without managing a game. He had to take over a team in Spring Training with a coaching staff he didn’t assemble, and by the way, a once in a century pandemic hit.

That season didn’t go as hoped. Noah Syndergaard needing Tommy John and Marcus Stroman opting out probably ended that season before it began.

Entering this season, there were massive expectations, and understandably so given the ownership change and Francisco Lindor trade. That said, the cards would be stacked against Rojas a bit.

Unless you count his two late September appearances as an opener, Syndergaard didn’t start a game. Carlos Carrasco didn’t pitch until July 30, and he was rushed.

The injuries really were the story and the problem. Of course, the biggest injury was Jacob deGrom. In the midst of what was his best year, he went down.

Michael Conforto had COVID, got hurt, and faltered. Lindor struggled to adjust, and when he did, he got hurt. At one point, there were so many injures, James McCann had to play first base for a stretch.

Keep in mind, the Mets entered the season without a third baseman or left fielder. Dominic Smith can hit (when he wasn’t playing through injuries like he did all year) and he can play a terrific first, but he’s just not a left fielder.

This was the year where ReplaceMets were a thing. Patrick Mazeika and Brandon Drury were getting plate appearances in big spots (because there was no other options), and they were delivering.

Eventually, the replacements to the replacements got hurt. Eventually, the dam had to break.

Despite everything, Rojas had the Mets in first place at the trade deadline by 3.5 games. At various times, even if it was just in passing, he was mentioned as a potential Manager of the Year.

The pitching was on fumes, and the best the Mets could do at the trade deadline was Trevor Williams. The Mets thought so highly of him, he was immediately assigned to Syracuse.

Eventually, the magic touch wore off, but then again, when Albert Almora is on your bench, you don’t need magic; you need a miracle. There were no miracles forthcoming.

We saw the cracks in the team. The offense who shifted from Chili Davis to Hugh Quattlebaum never clicked. The barren upper levels of the minors leagues left behind by Brodie Van Wagenen haunted the team. Ultimately, there were just too many injuries which probably should’ve been expected a year after the 2020 COVID impacted season.

There were embarrassments like the first Mets GM Jared Porter being fired for harassment. The next, Zack Scott, took a leave of absence after his DUI arrest during the season. While not of the same vein, there was the Javier Báez-Lindor thumbs down drama.

At some point, the team we all thought would win the World Series became a flat out bad team. They’d set a record by being in first place for as long as they did only to finish under .500.

Yes, during this time, Rojas made some bizarre moves. While the focus was on that, his successes were overlooked, downplayed, or not acknowledged. That’s unfortunate.

What’s also unfortunate was after what was only one full season, Rojas was fired. He never got the opportunity to learn and grow as a manager. He didn’t get to build on the things he did well.

Instead, he’s out as manager.

With the collapse, this was obviously coming. After all, Sandy Alderson wasn’t going to fire himself for punting the trade deadline and having his big time hires blow up in his face.

Between the need for a fall guy and the Mets pursuing a new president of baseball operations, Rojas was as good as gone. After all, the new POBO would want his own guy as manager.

The end result was Rojas losing his job as manager. It’s unfortunate because he never really had a chance. It’s very likely he will get that chance somewhere else, and he will very likely do well.

Until then, it’s incumbent on the Mets to prove they did the right thing. If Rojas’ all too brief tenure is any lesson, that stats and ends with building your roster because no manager, no matter how good, is going to be able to win without two regular players, shallow pitching depth, and all those injuries.

Luis Rojas Facing Increased Scrutiny Because Edwin Diaz Choked Again

There are many reasons the New York Mets blew this game to the Miami Marlins and lost a game they couldn’t afford to lose. Sandy Alcantara was brilliant, and the offense came up short again.

The Mets blew it in the 10th inning. There was probably a botched call from the umpires and replay. That meant instead of Jesus Sanchez‘s error leading to runners at the corners, it was just prolonging the at-bat.

Javier Báez would strike out. Jeff McNeil had some bad luck hitting one off the pitcher for what turned out to be a ground out. Luis Rojas then went running to his bench.

First, it was Luis Guillorme for Kevin Pillar. Guillorme walked. Then, in a somewhat incredulous decision, he pinch hit Patrick Mazeika for James McCann. Mazeika meekly grounded out to end the inning.

With the Mets other high end relievers having been used, Rojas was essentially forced to bring in Edwin Diaz. What was over concern should now be alarm.

After blowing consecutive saves to the Washington Nationals, Diaz was entrusted with getting this tied game to the 11th inning. He’d fail miserably.

The first batter, Magneuris Sierra, laid down a good bunt. Diaz got there and nearly threw it away. Really, it took a great play from Báez to not only get the out, but to also stop Diaz from throwing it away to end the game.

Diaz did rebound to strike out an overmatched Sanchez. Then, Bryan De La Cruz came to the plate. Make no mistake, there’s just no way Diaz should’ve been pitching to De La Cruz.

After the game, Rojas cited a number of reasons why. Those included the R/R matchup as well as Diaz’s control issues. No matter what, the real issue was Diaz.

Despite ordering the intentional walk being the right call, Diaz would pitch to De La Cruz. Instead of being careful, Diaz would throw a 1-1 fastball over the heart of the plate which De La Cruz launched to dead center to end the game leading to Diaz with the Hansel Robles signature finger point:

Again, blame the offense all you want for the 2-1 loss. Blame Rojas for some weird pinch hitting decisions and for pitching to De La Cruz. Those are all valid critiques.

However, at the end of the day, the Mets have a closer who can’t seem to pitch in September in a pennant race. He had a 7.36 ERA in September 2019. He’s allowed five runs in 3.0 innings taking a loss and going 1/3 in save chances.

Closers like Diaz, or at least what many pretend Diaz to be, are supposed to hide some of the deficiencies by ensuring the close games go in your favor. That just doesn’t happen with Diaz in the huge spots.

For the third straight outing, that was the case. You just wonder how many more outings like this he has before the Mets are completely out of contention.

Mets Need To Give Something Extra In Big Win

Well, it was bound to happen. After all the times the New York Mets were going to ignore his track record, they were bound to get Rich Hill through six. Tonight was that night.

This was Hill’s best start as a Met, and he was helped along by his defense and some Nationals snafus.

In the first, Lane Thomas failed to retouch second on a flyout leading to him getting doubled off. In the third, after Luis Garcia doubled, Hill would pick Garcia off second.

Garcia hit his second double in the fifth. If not for a terrific play off the wall by Michael Conforto and a strong relay throw, Riley Adams scores. Instead, Hill got Keibert Ruiz popped out to end the inning

As evidenced by the above and Francisco Lindor, really the play behind Hill was phenomenal. Hill dropping down some and getting Juan Soto out in big spots, like the sixth, is exactly how you pitch six shutout innings.

Hill got the win because the Mets offense did just enough. It also helped they were able to absolutely abuse Soto’s poor defense in right.

In the second. Javier Báez had a hustle double on a ball hit to Soto. He’d score on a frightening moment where Conforto lined one off of Washington Nationals starter Sean Nolin.

Fortunately, Nolin was able to move enough it didn’t hit him in the head. More than that, he was able to stay in the game.

Kevin Pillar followed with a double putting runners on second and third. The runs would not score with Chance Sisco and Hill being unable to deliver a hit.

In the third, Brandon Nimmo drew a one out walk, and Pete Alonso hit a ball the other 29 right fielders in baseball catch. Soto was the one who couldn’t turning it into an RBI triple giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.

At this point, the hope was the Mets offense would take off and put the game away. Instead, the Mets offense went away leaving very little margin for error.

The Mets had chances. In the fifth, there were runners on second and third with one out. In the seventh, they had first and third with one out. They failed to score in either situation.

These are the situations which come to haunt you. We saw Aaron Loup and Seth Lugo handle it. Unfortunately, Edwin Diaz couldn’t.

First, Soto got a measure of revenge with a lead-off homer. After a strikeout, Diaz walked Ryan Zimmerman, who was replaced by the pinch runner Andrew Stevenson.

This is where Nimmo almost cost the Mets the game.

On an 0-2 pitch, Stevenson took off, and Adams lined it to center. Nimmo had no chance to catch it, but he dove anyway. If not for Conforto backing up the play, the Mets lose on an inside the park homer.

Instead, they lost their catcher. Conforto made a strong relay, and Báez made a strong but albeit offline throw. Sisco just got blown up on the play, Stevenson scored. and the game was tied with the tying run at third.

Patrick Mazeika came in, and Diaz settled down to get the next two outs to send it to extras. The Mets would score more in the tenth than the previous nine.

With Lindor as the ghost runner, Alonso golfed one to center giving the Mets a 3-2 lead. When Baez fouled out to deep left, Alonso had heads up base running to tag up and go to second.

This led the Nationals to intentionally walk Conforto to set up the double play. Instead, Kevin Pillar ripped a two RBI double to left extending the lead to 5-2.

That lead would be extended to 6-2 later in the inning when Jonathan Villar hit an RBI single. Remarkably, Villar started the game 0-for-2, and he would still have a four hit game.

Jeurys Familia entered the game in the 10th, and there would be no blowing it. He shut the door on a game the Mets had to have.

Well, the Mets need them all. In any event, the Mets turned what could’ve been a bad loss to a terrific 6-2 win.

Game Notes: Brad Hand was activated. Dominic Smith was placed on the bereavement list. Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling went on the road to broadcast a game for the first time in nearly two years.

Mets Still Alive After Sloppy Win

This is the way it works with Carlos Carrasco. He struggles in the first, and he shuts the opponent down after that. That’s what happened again in his start against the Miami Marlins.

It was 2-0 before Carrasco recorded an out, but he kept the Marlins there. What was unusual was the Mets responded immediately with a Jonathan Villar lead-off homer off Sandy Alcantara.

In the fourth, we’d see Francisco Lindor put his stamp on the game.

Brandon Nimmo led off the fourth with an infield single. He went to second when Isan Diaz threw it away. Lindor drove home Nimmo with an RBI double and moved to third on a fielder’s choice. That put him in position to score when he induced Alcantara to balk.

This speaks to how bizarre the game was from a defensive standpoint. There were just a number a terrific defensive plays. However, there were also a number of errors and miscues. By some miracle, there were no unearned runs in the game.

Case-in-point, in the fifth, Jorge Alfaro reached on a Villar error. He took off on a pitch which Bryan De La Cruz lined to right. Javier Báez brilliant deked Alfaro allowing Michael Conforto to easily throw him out at first.

We saw that in the sixth. Mets killer Miguel Rojas, who opened the game with a homer, hit a lead-off single, and he moved to second on an error from Carrasco. After a one walk, Luis Rojas brought in Aaron Loup.

While he’s been the Mets best reliever, Loup just didn’t have it. He’d walk back-to-back batters to force home the tying run. He’s dig down to get out of the inning, but the damage was done.

After Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless seventh, he was in line for the win. They’d get it for him giving him a team high nine wins.

Jeff McNeil and Patrick Mazeika hit consecutive one out singles. McNeil was able to go to third on a Jesus Sanchez error.

Rojas went to his bench to have Dominic Smith pinch hit. Smith sat because he’s been struggling and due to his best 0-for-9 off Alcantara. After he ripped a double off Jesus Aguilar‘s glove, he’s now 1-for-10.

If Aguilar didn’t touch it, the ball probably goes foul. However, he did, and in a fitting fashion, the go-ahead run scored on an almost play.

The Mets made good on that 4-3 lead. First, it was Trevor May in the eighth. May did all he could do that inning including trying to dive to catch a foul ball.

In the ninth, Edwin Diaz continued his recent stretch of dominance. He struck out two in a perfect inning saving the sloppy 4-3 win featuring seven errors and a number of misplays.

Game Notes: Brad Hand was claimed off waivers. As it happened after August 31, he will not be postseason eligible. Khalil Lee was sent down for Yennsy Diaz. Like Lee briefly was, Albert Almora is a September call-up.

Marcus Stroman: Big Game Pitcher

The New York Mets were reeling, and honestly, they were on the verge of not just falling out of the race, but completely falling apart. They turned desperate activating Javier Báez without so much as a rehab stint.

This was actually the perfect time for a Marcus Stroman start.

In his career, Stroman was established himself as a big game pitcher. We saw it as he rushed back from an ACL injury to help the Toronto Blue Jays in the postseason. He was the World Baseball Classic MVP. We now have his Mets performance to add to the list.

Entering his start yesterday, Stroman had a 3.07 ERA in the second half. That’s nearly a run and a half lower than the Mets team ERA in the second half. Of course, that team ERA is lower partially due to Stroman.

He took the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers with the Mets a season worst three games under .500 and 7.0 games back in the division.

Báez proved to be a spark plug to the offense with an RBI double in the first. It actually led to three first inning runs and an offensive explosion of seven . . . SEVEN! . . . runs.

However, before it got to seven, it was 3-0, and it was up to Stroman to ensure the win. After that top of the first, he did what great pitchers do. He shut down the side, and he did it in order.

In fact, Stroman wouldn’t allow a hit until the third. That was a single by the opposing pitcher David Price. A position player wouldn’t get a hit until the fourth. The reason was Stroman was filthy.

He would get into trouble in the fourth, and it was partially because J.D. Davis couldn’t make a play a third baseman needs to make. The bases would be loaded, and Cody Bellinger hit a two RBI single pulling the Dodgers within 3-2.

That’s as close as the Dodgers would get. Patrick Mazeika came up big throwing out Bellinger trying to steal second for the third out of the inning.

Speaking of Mazeika, this was the second straight start he worked with Stroman, and they look like they’ve been working together for years. It’s something Stroman spoke about and for the second straight start, he gave credit to his catcher.

The Dodgers wouldn’t get another hit off Stroman, and they wouldn’t score another run in the game. Stroman’s final line was 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.

This isn’t just the line of a pitcher who wants to push his way into the Cy Young discussion, or one who has free agency pending. No, this is the line of a pitcher who wants to will his team into the postseason.

What was a tight game became a blowout. Again, it was Báez igniting things with a double. That seventh inning double didn’t just spark two runs, it was also the smoothest slide you’ll ever see. It was in front of Trea Turner to boot.

In the end, it wasn’t just a 7-2 win, it was a desperately needed win. Mostly, it was a big time pitching performance against a loaded lineup at a time the Mets needed one.

There were many players who stepped up on the day, but in the end, Stroman loomed largest. This is what he does, and it’s what he may well continue to do as he looks to push the Mets into the postseason.

Mets Lose On Umpire Blown Call And J.D. Davis Strikeout

The New York Mets offense has been dreadful lately. With that being the case, you can never quite tell if it’s the offense or the opposing pitcher.

Because the Los Angeles Dodgers started Walker Buehler it’s easy to concede it was the starting pitcher. After all, Buehler is arguably the current NL Cy Young favorite. Despite that, the Mets almost got him.

The Dodgers had jumped out to a 3-0 lead with Trea Turner being a pest. In the first, he led off the inning with a double, tagged up on a fly out, and scored on a Justin Turner RBI ground out.

In the third, Turner he hit a one out single and would score on a Max Muncy double. After Turner walked, Corey Seager hit an RBI single giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

That would be the last time a Dodger reached base. Carlos Carrasco settled in, and he would have his finest start since coming off the IL. It was the first time he went five innings, he struck out a season high six, and he seemingly started figuring stuff out.

After Carrasco, the Mets bullpen did their job putting up zeros. That kept the Mets in the game, and a Pete Alonso fourth inning solo shot had the Mets trailing 3-1 entering the eighth.

That eighth inning set umpiring back decades, and you could actually argue putting players on the honor system would be better.

Patrick Mazeika got it started with a single. Brandon Nimmo followed with a one out single. They’d both advance on. Buehler wild pitch during the Jeff McNeil at-bat.

That McNeil at-bat is where home plate umpire Nestor Ceja which would’ve left Eric Gregg scratching his head. McNeil appeared to work out a walk loading the bases. That was until Ceja called a pitch a foot off the plate a strike.

That bogus strikeout was the difference between bases loaded one out and two on with two outs. It would make a huge difference.

It was Alonso driving in another run with an infield single pulling the Mets within 3-2. Problem is it shouldn’t have been a single.

Alonso who has a ton of hard hit outs lately got some assistance from his cleat. On the subject of Ceja, he had called a foul off Jonathan Villar‘s foot when the ball easily cleared his foot.

With Michael Conforto due up, the Dodgers brought in Alex Vesia. In what was a great 10 pitch at-bat, Conforto drew a walk. Unfortunately, this meant J.D. Davis came up with the bases loaded.

Davis would strike out. It was the fifth time Davis struck out with the bases loaded, and he has yet to get a hit in that situation. It’ll be interesting to see how he blames that on Alonso.

After Kenley Jansen made quick work of the Mets in the ninth, the Mets fell to two games under .500 and six games behind the Braves. There are just no words for that right now.

Game Notes: James McCann and Jake Reed were put on the IL. Geoff Hartlieb and Yennsy Diaz were recalled. Jacob deGrom was transferred to the 60 day IL.

Mets Overcame Giant Obstacles And Distractions To Finally Win

After being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Mets were perilously close to being swept by the San Francisco Giants. With all that was happening, you almost expected it.

After all, even by Mets standards, things were completely haywire. It started with Steve Cohen’s tweet calling out the offense.

There was also Tim Healey of Newsday sending a bizarre tweet including the amount of times Marcus Stroman re-tweeted his highlights amongst his game stats. Then, there was Stroman re-tweeting tweets promoting violence against Healey and calling Cohen a clown.

James McCann was still dealing with back spasms, and the Mets still weren’t aware of whether he’d need to be put on the IL. This necessitated Chance Sisco getting emergency called up and Patrick Mazeika doing the dreaded starting a day game after a night game.

Then, well, there was a game where a lot happened. Again, that’s a lot by Mets standards.

Tylor Megill was terrific allowing just one run over six innings. Of course, he’d leave on the losing side because the Mets offense has been terrible. That’s even with Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani leaving the game in the second with an injury.

Over the first eight innings, the Mets only had just three hits. When they did get a base runner, well, they didn’t knock them in, and even better, Jonathan Villar got picked off again. Even for Villar, this was horrendous.

As a result of all the tomfoolery, the Mets were down 1-0 on the verge of a second straight sweep. That’s when Giants closer Jake McGee plunked Pete Alonso on the elbow.

That seemed to give the Mets life as Michael Conforto followed with a single sending Alonso to third. He’d then score on a sacrifice fly to tie the game. He’d then leave the game as a result of the HBP.

Edwin Diaz mowed down the Giants on six pitches sending it to extras. In the tenth where the Mets inability to score runs went to comical levels.

Villar was the ghost runner, and for some reason, Luis Rojas wanted Mazeika to bunt him to third. Naturally, Mazeika had a poor bunt, and Villar was out by a wide margin.

Brandon Nimmo kept the inning alive with a two out single. That once again put the go-ahead run at second, but Jeff McNeil hit it hard into the shift ending the inning.

Diaz again came up big. While he would plunk Austin Slater with one out, he dominated the other Giants hitters sending it to the 11th.

In the 11th, Conforto came up big with a one out RBI double giving the Mets the lead. To no one’s surprise, he’d be stranded there. That hurt as Jeurys Familia allowed a single to the first batter he faced tying the game at 2-2.

In the 12th, the Mets offense finally woke up and put the game away. Mazeika hit a one out single, and then Kevin Pillar hit a three run homer giving the Mets the lead.

That 5-2 lead grew to 6-2 with McNeil and Sisco hitting a pair of two out doubles. With Diaz and Familia done, the Mets turned to Jake Reed to close out the game.

Once again, Reed was very impressive. He retired the Giants in order. While it wasn’t a save with the Mets having a four run lead, it was every bit of a save considering the Mets struggles and needs to win this game.

In many ways, the Mets had to have this one. It got them back to .500, and it has them past a brutal losing streak. It also has them feeling better heading into a four game set at the Dodgers.

Time will tell whether then can turn their season around and get back in the race. If so, this was a huge next step.

Marcus Stroman Didn’t Deserve Loss For Now Under .500 Mets

This was a big game, and Marcus Stroman reminded us all he’s a big game pitcher. He went out there and did all he could do to will the New York Mets to a win, but they couldn’t follow.

Stroman went a season high 114 pitches and seven innings. He struck out nine. He had a hit. He was great in the field.

Unfortunately, he made just two mistakes. The first was hit for a two run homer by Tommy La Stella in the first. In the seventh, when Stroman was somewhat surprisingly back out there, Evan Longoria hit a solo homer.

That’s how the Giants built a 3-0 lead. The other reasons for the lead was the Mets did nothing against Logan Webb. Some of it was how good Webb was. Some of it was the Mets shooting themselves in the foot.

In the fourth. Michael Conforto tallied the Mets first hit with a one out double. J.D. Davis was then credited with an infield single on a ball Evan Longoria threw away.

Since Conforto didn’t look to advance when Longoria made the play, he didn’t score on the error. Then, no one scored when Jeff McNeil hit into an inning ending double play.

In the fifth, a Mets two out rally ended when Brandon Nimmo hit a hard liner right at La Stella.

It wasn’t until the eighth the Mets cracked through. Dominic Smith led off the inning with a pinch hit single. After a fielder’s choice, Pete Alonso launched a homer pulling the Mets to within 3-2.

After Aaron Loup pitched a scoreless inning, the Mets had their chance in the ninth. In that inning, we’d see what separates these two teams.

McNeil led off with an opposite field single. It got past the center fielder, but it was backed up by Lamonte Wade Jr. As a result, McNeil stayed at first.

Jonathan Villar was called out on strikes on a very dubious call, and McNeil advanced to second. He’d stay there as Kevin Pillar had just about the worst at-bay you’d see in that sp

McNeil moved to second but would not score. The game down to Kevin Pillar. In a very poor at-bat, he’d strike out looking to end the game.

The loss put the Mets deeper into third place and finally put them under .500. It doesn’t matter who is stepping up because as a team the Mets just don’t have it.

Game Notes: James McCann was late scratch. He was replaced in the lineup by Patrick Mazeika.

Mets Split 2-1 Extra Inning Games Against Phillies

In the first game of the doubleheader, Aaron Nola had out-dueled Taijuan Walker. Not only did he match Tom Seaver‘s MLB record of 10 consecutive strikeouts (with the aide of some very questionable strike calls), but he drove home the only run heading into the seventh.

It looked like the Mets would lose in a frustrating 1-0 fashion. That was until Luis Guillorme led off the ninth, sorry seventh, with a comebacker against Jose Alvarado. Alvarado threw it away allowing Guillorme to go to second.

Albert Almora pinch hit and struck out. Jeff McNeil then grounded out putting all the pressure on Francisco Lindor. Lindor had Alvarado’s timing, and he delivered a game tying single.

Luis Rojas made an astute move double switching Seth Lugo into the game. Not only did this bring in his best reliever, but due to a quirk in the extra inning rules, it put Lindor at second even though he didn’t make the last out.

After Lugo struck out three of the four batters he faced, the Mets were going to get their opportunity to walk it off.

The left-handed Ranger Suarez intentionally walked Pete Alonso to face Dominic Smith. For some reason, Smith offered to bunt the first two pitches, and on the third, he hit a walk-off RBI single giving the Mets a 2-1 win.

Once again, in the second game of the doubleheader, the offenses were anemic. Only this time, it wasn’t as excusable because it was Matt Moore and David Peterson.

For a split second in the second, it appeared Almora put the Mets ahead 2-0 on a homer. However, Andrew McCutchen went up to grab it, and while the Mets thought it hit the back wall, replay upheld the out call.

Entering the sixth, there was a combined five hits in the scoreless game. Bryce Harper homered in the sixth to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, and once again, in the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies bullpen begged the Mets to win the game.

Instead of Alvarado, Joe Girardi tabbed Archie Bradley to close it out. There was no one warming in the pen. You could say it was a mistake, but the Phillies bullpen is terrible.

Bradley book-ended Guillorme once again reaching on an error by walking two batters to load the bases with no outs. Walk-off king Patrick Mazeika strode to the plate, but he struck out.

James McCann gave one a ride to deep center, but even though he was playing shallow, Odubel Herrera tracked it down. Instead of a game winner, it was a game tying sacrifice fly.

Jeff McNeil, who had a tough doubleheader going 0-for-7 with three strikeouts, grounded out to end the inning.

Rojas went to Sean Reid-Foley, the 27th man for the doubleheader for the eighth. Reid-Foley did what he needed to do, but he got some bad luck behind him.

Brad Miller hit a grounder to Lindor. Lindor couldn’t quite get a handle on it allowing Rafael Marchand to get to third without a throw. The Phillies then pinch ran Travis Jankowski for him.

The Mets drew the infield in, and Herrera hit a hit shot at Guillorme. Guillorme made a great play to snag it on the short hop, but it popped out of his glove as it hit the ground. Guillorme was noticeably frustrated with himself for being unable to make a play at home, but he made a great play just to get the out at first.

Unfortunately, there were no heroics against Hector Neris. Lindor and Alonso grounded out before Smith struck out to end the game.

In the end, the Mets scored zero earned runs, but they were still able to scratch out a split. That’s good, and yet, there can be some frustration as a Mets team with a nearly complete lineup could barely score runs.

Game Notes: Jonathan Villar was put on the IL, and Travis Blankenhorn was recalled. J.D. Davis was transferred to the 60 day IL, and the Mets claimed Chance Sisco. Mason Williams opted for free agency. Aaron Loup and Edwin Diaz were unavailable to pitch.

Marcus Stro-No, Not Another Injury

The New York Mets entered the game with Jonathan Villar and Tomas Nido unavailable. Brandon Drury was sent down to Syracuse, and Patrick Mazeika was recalled. However, Syracuse was shut down for the day due to COVID.

The Mets had a doubleheader yesterday, and they have a planned bullpen day tomorrow. The absolute last thing this team needed was another injury. That goes double for a starter.

Well, Marcus Stroman had to leave the game with a left hip problem while facing the lead-off batter in the second inning.

This meant Yennsy Diaz, who pitched 2.1 innings three days ago, was needed to give the Mets multiple innings. Put another way, they needed him to come up huge.

Well, that’s the way his outing started. After loading the bases with no outs, and a mound visit from Francisco Lindor, Diaz would strike out the next three batters to escape the jam. That’s made all the more impressive by his striking out Ronald Acuña to end the inning.

There was no such luck for Diaz in the third. After he allowed a hit to Ozzie Albies, he walked Abraham Almonte. He then got a ground ball from Austin Riley, but it would not go for a double play.

With the shift, Jeff McNeil opted to field the ground ball on the shortstop side of second instead of letting Lindor field it.

McNeil initially tried to out race Almonte to second, but he couldn’t. Instead, he got Riley out at first. What might’ve been an inning ending double play was just one out. On the very next pitch, Dansby Swanson hit a three run homer.

That’s all the runs the Braves needed. That’s because of a mixture of Charlie Morton being great and the Mets offense being dreadful. After all, the Mets have been shut out in consecutive games and in three of their last seven.

With the injuries, the Mets resorted to having David Peterson and Jerad Eickhoff pinch hit. You may want to attribute that to the offensive problems, but Eickhoff had the Mets only hit off Morton. After that fifth inning single, the Mets didn’t get another hit until James McCann doubled with two outs in the ninth.

Really, about the only bright spot was the bullpen. Over eight innings, they allowed just the three runs. The big hero was Aaron Loup who came up big by pitching three scoreless.

Still, this was a 3-0 loss where the Mets lost another pitcher and could only muster two hits. They’ve missed a chance to really deliver a blow to the Braves chances of winning the division, and according to what happens tomorrow, they may be giving the Braves new life.

Game Notes: Michael Conforto was going to be activated off the IL, but the Mets opted to wait another day.