2) The Mets need more from their pricey pitchers
Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander entered this Braves series looking good. Scherzer had gone four straight starts without allowing more than one run, and Verlander allowed only one run in six innings in his last start against a quality Blue Jays lineup.
The Mets came to Atlanta knowing that they were about to play in the biggest series of the season thus far. It's especially frustrating, then, that their $40M+ workhorses failed to step up when their team needed them most.
The Mets staked Scherzer to a 4-1 lead, only for the veteran righty to get battered for eleven hits and five runs. Verlander continued his baffling trend of getting roasted in the first inning, but was bailed out by Brandon Nimmo's grand slam in the top of the second. Verlander and the Mets led 6-3 after the top of the third, but again the Braves came back, chasing last year's AL Cy Young Award winner in the third inning.
Unlike the NFL, where mistakes on two big contracts is a guaranteed way to derail the season, there is no salary cap in Major League Baseball. Even if Scherzer and Verlander weren't making nearly the GDP of the Marshall Islands, the Mets would still have a top five payroll. With apologies to John Feinstein, the Mets' season is on the brink, and Scherzer and Verlander need to bring it every night, especially if the bullpen continues to get hammered.