The New York Mets have had a few losses in the last month or so of the season that could be considered haunting. The Mets relinquishing the division lead and the highly-coveted wild card bye against the Braves this weekend was a knockout punch, but the Mets lost the division before that by losing games against weaker teams that needed to be won.
There was the 1-0 loss to the Rockies on 8/28, a game in which the Mets only got three hits against a pathetic Rockies team. There was the series against Washington in which the Mets got blown out in two of the three games. Finally, there was also the series the Cubs swept at home.
Let’s look back at one loss that should haunt the Mets: September 13th, hosting the Cubs.
The Mets were coming off of a Monday-night loss to this same Cubs team in which Chris Bassitt got roughed up. But with deGrom on the mound, the Mets expected a quick bounceback. deGrom did what deGrom does, going six innings, striking out 10 batters, and allowing just three runs.
But, as is typical with deGrom starts, the Mets didn’t score enough. The only run the Mets scored in the game was a garbage-time solo homer from Pete Alonso in the bottom of the ninth.
Cubs starter Adrian Sampson allowed six baserunners (two hits, four walks) over six innings but managed to keep the Mets off the board. Reliever Michael Rucker came in and got four outs while only allowing one hit. Brandon Hughes wrapped up the game with five outs, the only blemish being the Alonso solo homer.
The Mets would go on to lose the last game of the series as well, letting the Cubs steamroll them at home. This just continued the Mets’ poor play against sub-.500 teams in the second half of the season. The Mets went 6-8 against the Nationals, Marlins, Cubs, and A’s in September, as Steve Gelbs points out below.
Yes, the series in Atlanta sucked. Yes, that was the knockout punch. But when you lose so many games against teams that are mediocre at best, it adds up fast. If the Mets had just salvaged a couple more of those games, it changes the narrative of the season.