Lackluster performance in DC leads Mets to a disappointing split with Nationals (2024)

Lackluster performance in DC leads Mets to a disappointing split with Nationals (1)

What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️

  • The Mets were shutout by the Nationals to drop the series finale 1-0 (box)

  • After winning the first two games in the series the Mets dropped the final two to spilt the four games with Washington

  • LHP José Quintana had another solid outing pitching seven shutout innings while allowing four hits, three walks, and striking out one

  • 2B Jeff McNeil went 1-for-3 which was the team’s lone hit for the afternoon

  • RHP Adrian Houser gave up the lone run in the eighth, a home run to Jesse Winker, in one inning of work

Mets photographer Marc Levine… 📸

by Michael Baron

The Mets announced on Thursday that long-time chief photographer Marc Levine had suddenly passed away.

Marc was hired by Jay Horwitz to be the club’s photographer in 1989 and is individually responsible for many of the iconic moments on display at the ballpark, online and elsewhere around baseball.

Marc made sure to get to know everyone he worked with, never said no to a request from a player or club employee, worked day and night through freezing cold temperatures and the blazing hot sun to deliver all of us all of the signature moments in Mets history to be remembered forever. Many of the photos you may have purchased or the imagery around the ballpark came from the eyes of Marc Levine.

When I first started covering the Mets, I was in the photo box and Marc was always there by my side, telling me, “you should try to get the shot from here,” or “set the camera this way so the light is just right at this hour.” I would always watch and study him to see how and when he might be using his flash, why he might be using a wide angle lens on camera and a telephoto on another. But it wasn’t just me - this is how was treated everyone. He didn’t have to be this way - he wanted to be this way and he’s someone I will always remember in my travels to and from Citi Field.

HIs work was amazing and he deserved all of the love and respect the Mets and their families have given him over the years.

To learn more about Marc, check out this interview between he and Jay from just last month.

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Roster Moves 🗞️

  • OF Duke Ellis from by the Mariners off waivers from the Mets

Injury Updates 🏥

  • RHP Kodai Senga (right shoulder capsule strain) will join Triple-A Syracuse next week in the next phase of his major league rehab assignment

Who’s Hot 🔥

  • Over his last seven games, LHP José Quintana is 2-1 with a 2.92 ERA giving up 12 runs in 37 innings pitched

Down on the Farm 🌾

  • LHP Joey Lucchesi (Triple-A): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

  • RHP Brandon Sproat (No. 6 prospect, Double-A): 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 2 HR

  • OF Ryan Clifford (No. 4 prospect, Double-A): 4-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, R, K

BOX SCORES
Single-A STL | High-A BRK | Double-A BNG | Triple-A SYR

Today’s Game 🗓

Match-up: Mets (42-43) at Pirates (41-45)

Where: PNC Park — Pittsburgh, PA

Starters: RHP Luis Severino (5-2, 3.42 ERA) vs. RHP Paul Skenes (4-0, 2.06 ERA)

When: 6:40 PM EDT

Where to Watch: SNY

How can the Mets buy time to the trade deadline? ✍️

Lackluster performance in DC leads Mets to a disappointing split with Nationals (3)

by Linda Surovich

After dropping the final two games against the Nationals, the Mets once again find themselves below .500.

And they’re there for the same old reason - the bullpen.

The first loss was due to the same problem that has plagued them all year: their incompetent bullpen. The second loss was due to a sluggish performance by the offense. After all, the Mets managed just one hit over the final game and a half of this series, which was an early single up the middle from Jeff McNeil on Thursday.

Whatever the reason for their sleepwalk on Thursday - whether it was due to the early start time or all the extra inning games this week catching up with them, it was as flat of a performance as they’ve had all season.

It’s hard to knock the offense though - they’ve been the best in baseball in most every major category since May 30.

One game shouldn’t be too concerning, but it did expose the lack of depth they have. Also - it isn’t particularly surprising that a lineup that had DJ Stewart, Ben Gamel, and Tyrone Taylor in it got one-hit. Stewart is hitting .180/.333/.661 with five home runs and 19 RBIs this season. Outside of a big home run against the Rangers, Stewart has produced very little this season and the Mets need to start considering other options for their bench, especially since his value centers solely around his ability to hit from the left side off the bench. Brett Baty lost his job to Mark Vientos and Tylor Megill was sent back to Triple-A in favor of Christian Scott after Megill struggled in multiple starts. The Mets might have waited one start too long to demote Megill but what matters is that they made the move.

The point is, the Mets should hesitate to act to strengthen the back side of the roster right now, even if it’s just on a temporary basis while they wait for the trade markets to open up. There should be no reason why the Mets couldn’t upgrade these roster spots by the deadline.

The bullpen is a different issue.

The Mets lost Edwin Díaz, Drew Smith, Sean Reid-Foley, while also missing Brooks Raley for the season which left the Mets turning to a rotating door of hope that someone in their minor league ranks - along with an over-exposed Jake Diekman and Reed Garrett - could get the job done.

Thankfully, Díaz should be back Saturday, but the bullpen issues run deeper than anything one man can fix. Of course, his return will help limit Garrett’s exposure, perhaps Diekman’s too although Diekman has to fix the walks if he’s going to continue to get high-leverage innings. That should help buy some time but again, this isn’t a one-arm show in the Mets bullpen, especially with Díaz who, to be fair, has put together two weeks that resemble Díaz this season.

The trade deadline is still weeks away, and the Mets simply can’t afford to wait that long to get the bullpen some help. In a Wild Card race this close, every game is crucial. They might be forced into a situation where they’re opening the marketplace simply to get some competent bodies back into the fold. It’s next to impossible to navigate this portion of the season without 3-5 of their best relievers, let alone losing 2-3 of them for the long-term.

The problem for the Mets is, there are are going to be many more buyers than sellers ahead of the trade deadline in all probability. Some might not even decide to be a buyer or a seller until zero hour. That’s what a third wild card scenario can do - make teams indecisive or give the appearance they’re indecisive in an effort to drive up prices in the market. David Stearns will need to be smart when it comes to acquiring reinforcements both in the pen and in the rotation without overpaying in prospect currency.

Perhaps he can parlay an excess starter for some relief help? That would help further protect the club’s crop of suddenly strong prospects in their minor league ranks.

Stearns has created a meritocracy in the organization and that trend needs to continue as every game proves crucial as the trade deadline looms.

Around the League 🚩

  • The Reds defeated the Yankees 8-4 to finish off the sweep in the Bronx

  • Toronto SS Bo Bichette was scratched from the lineup with a right forearm contusion

  • The Pirates placed RHP Jared Jones on the IL with a right lat strain

  • The Nationals demoted 1B Joey Meneses to Triple-A after nearly two years in Washington’s lineup

Lackluster performance in DC leads Mets to a disappointing split with Nationals (2024)

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