The New York Mets have lost the first two games of their most important series in years. They've done this by being outscored 9-4 and losing games started by Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.
With the division on the line, I expected better production from the two aces. deGrom allowed three runs in six innings while Scherzer allowed four runs in 5.2 innings pitched.
While deGrom and Scherzer definitely underwhelmed, they aren't the only players to blame.
The Mets offense has looked abysmal in these two games and that must change if they want to make a deep playoff run.
The Mets scored two runs in each of the first two games in Atlanta. This is the case despite the team scoring in the second inning on Friday and the first inning last night.
One noticeable difference between the Mets and Braves offenses is the sizable gap in home runs. Atlanta has hit 237 home runs compared to the Mets 162. Atlanta is the NL leader in long balls and is second overall. The Mets are eighth in the NL and 16th overall.
The Braves have hit five home runs in the first two games of this series compared to the Mets one home run. With New York missing Starling Marte, it's become increasingly harder for the club to string together enough hits to score runs.
The Mets had just two extra base hits on Friday night, a double from Eduardo Escobar and a solo home run by Tomas Nido. They followed that up with zero extra base hits last night. It's very hard to win games without a single extra base hit.
With Marte on the shelf for who knows how long, the Mets need to hit for power. Pete Alonso has hit 40 home runs this season and has a couple of singles in this series. The Mets need more from him. Francisco Lindor has 25 home runs with over 100 RBI. He also has a couple of hits but the Mets need more.
Working pitch counts is a great thing and the Mets have done that, but haven't gotten many results. They drew just one walk in last night's defeat. They did knock Kyle Wright out of the game after five but managed just one base runner against a very formidable Atlanta bullpen.
I'd recommend bunching Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil, the two best on-base threats the Mets have right now, at the top of the order. This would give Lindor and Alonso the best chance to drive in as many runs as possible by doing damage with baserunners.
The Mets will always go as far as their pitching will take them. However, even if deGrom and Scherzer gave the Mets better outings, it's very hard to beat the Braves scoring two runs per game. The offense just has to contribute more and I expect it to on Sunday night.