Mets starting lineup needed far more than Starling Marte returning

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game One
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game One / Elsa/GettyImages

Starling Marte was 2 for 4 in his return to the New York Mets starting lineup in Game 1. Hey, how ‘bout that? The Mets did muster 7 hits which in the playoffs is sometimes more than enough to win a game. Unfortunately, the San Diego Padres had 8 hits and a couple of them went really far.

Offensive numbers for the Mets in Game 1 were very, well, offensive. In the wrong way.

The Mets left 8 runners on base and were a combined 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Unless they capitalized on each of those opportunities, it probably wouldn’t have mattered. The bigger takeaway from the offensive performance is how much more this starting lineup needed than just a return of Marte.

Mets starting lineup was no match for the Yu Darvish and the Padres

The Mets offense has obvious holes, problems, and issues. In Game 1, the Padres dominated with the home run ball. They weren’t an especially powerful team in the regular season. Instead, it was the potential to go yard that they carried with them into the postseason.

This quality isn’t something the Mets have all that much of outside of Pete Alonso. Many players on this team can crank one out. It’s just not as much of a threat as some of the guys on San Diego.

A big issue remains at the DH spot. Daniel Vogelbach shouldn’t have to carry all of the blame for the Game 1 loss. He was 0 for 4 with a team-high 3 men left on base. He’s just part of the equation as to why this Mets offense isn’t so scary.

But that wasn’t the goal of this year’s team. From Opening Day onward, it was built to win about 90 games and make the playoffs. They did much better and took 101 victories with them into the playoffs. Once there, the hope was Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and at least one other starter would be able to pull through. Scherzer disappointed in Game 1. deGrom should get the ball in Game 2 with the season on the line. Will the offense do something they seem to rarely do when he’s on the mound and show up?

Losing 7-1 is an entire team loss. Scherzer didn’t do his job. The Mets bats didn’t do theirs either. Yu Darvish did what he has done so many times to the Mets in the past. The Padres bats, in the first inning, supplied him with enough support to win.

It’s the worst fear of a 2022 Mets fan come to life. The greatest asset of the ball club, future Hall of Fame ace, struggles. Meanwhile, the offense has “one of those nights.”

The Mets are back at it again Saturday night. As important as Game 1 was, Game 2 is critical.

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