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Mets Are Sinking Even More

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New York Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns said Tuesday that he will be patient regarding any decisions about making roster changes prior to the late July trade deadline. So why so early with a third of the season complete is there talk about selling?

One look at Tuesday and it was another Mets season slip sliding away following a doubleheader loss to the NL west division leading Dodgers. Of course, if the losing continues at this frequent pace, Stearns could sell before the deadline.

Basically, a long afternoon into the evening of baseball at Citi Field. The Mets, again, epitomized their season of inconsistency. They pitch and don’t hit. They hit and they don’t pitch. The bullpen once again can’t hold a lead and ruins a gem for first game starter Tylor Megill who tossed his longest career scoreless outing (7 IP, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, 98 pitches).

With Edwin Diaz, the Mets struggling closer not available, the bullpen blew another save, this time Adam Ottavino was the culprit. He allowed three consecutive hits to start the ninth, as the Dodgers tied the game at two and went on to become another Mets loss in 10-innings (4-6).

Fact about this slip, sliding, away: Mets bullpen in their last seven opportunities have blown five saves. Eight of their last 14 also have been blown, so any wonder why the Mets are on this losing pace?

Yet, manager Carlos Mendoza after seeing his team lose the doubleheader, (5-2 and 3-0) would say his team will continue to battle. Question is how long before Stearns decides to pull the plug before the deadline or prior to the All Star break? It’s difficult to understand how to correct what fans are calling a mess.

Shohei Ohtani was quiet, 0-for-5, two strikeouts in the first game loss. Ohtani did not start game two and struck out before Freddie Freeman hurt the Mets again in game one. Regardless, the Mets look more like a losing team and there are no answers how to turn this around. A reality check is that from the onset, Stearns said this would be a year of competing for the postseason.

More frustration engulfed by losing can be brutal, so many ways this Mets team continues to lose ballgames, mainly attributed to their bullpen in a game one ninth inning situation with Ottavino on the mound.

The Dodgers trailed 2-0 entering the eighth. Freddie Freeman, who always manages to damage the Mets, hits an RBI single to make it a 2-1 game. In the ninth, Chris Taylor, who is in a slump, drives in Teoscar Hernandez with a bunt to tie the game and send it to extra inning. That helped the Dodgers who came into the twin bill having lost their last five.

Winning teams capitalize on moments, though the Mets during this bad span failed to score and walk off the game after they had bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth. Mendoza said, “At the end of the day we have the bases loaded in the ninth and we couldn’t cash in. We let one get away.”

The Mets have not scored a run in their past eight chances of playing extra inning baseball.

Perhaps too many have gone away. No different in the nightcap. Jose Quintana (1-5) allowed eight hits in six innings, striking out three and walking none. But his habit of throwing the home run ball continued with a Will Smith round tripper in the first inning.

Losing seven of their last eight while going 10-24 since April 24 is ugly. This could force Stearns to lose patience. Wednesday afternoon the Mets will try and avoid another sweep of a series.

But Mendoza keeps saying there is no quit with his team, a hard sell when you consider a doubleheader loss, including a first game that appeared to be a win. 

This has become a recurring theme during the month of May. With the exception of catcher Francisco Alavarez and his imminent return in a few weeks, there are no answers with a third of their season complete. The Mets are in danger of entering June 10 games under .500, unchartered territory for the first time in 23 years.

“We have no momentum right now,” said Jeff McNeil, “Nothing.” Pete Alonso, J.D Martinez, Brandon Nimmo. and perhaps Francisco Lindor who ended a long drought with a two-run homer in the first game, have not generated any momentum and that goes with losing.

Stearns is an optimist. He is patient, but for how long? He said “We haven’t played well enough. I think everyone associated with us would acknowledge that. Based on the talent we have in the clubhouse and the belief that group has in itself.”

But the belief after this doubleheader loss is bleak, and after the Mets failed to build momentum after coming from behind Sunday afternoon against the Giants. Even avoiding a series sweep Wednesday afternoon to the Dodgers may not be convincing.

The Mets have failed to be convincing. And if they don’t start winning there is that belief Stearns will start to sell early.

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly Twitter) @Ring786 Mancuso

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