When the New York Mets travel to Philadelphia for a three-game weekend series, it will be a meeting of two teams headed in opposite directions. The Phillies enter the series having gone 13-4 since June 3rd, while the Mets are 4-12 in that same span. The Braves and Marlins have also been hot, leaving the Mets a distant fourth in a crowded NL East.
The Mets aren't just losing, it's the way they seem to go out of their way to lose that is driving Mets fans insane. In dropping two of three to the Astros this week, the team's quality of play was so bad that the only thing missing was a sponsorship from Chico's Bail Bonds on their jerseys.
The rubber match against the Astros was the cherry on top of the sundae of sadness. Omar Narvaez did nothing to warm Mets fans up to the idea of him sharing time with Francisco Alvarez, committing catcher's interference, failing to stop two wild pitches, and getting punched out on a clock violation, all while allowing four stolen bases from behind the plate.
The Mets' June comedy of errors was somehow summed up in a single afternoon. Tylor Megill couldn't find the plate. Pete Alonso short-circuited a golden opportunity in the first inning by running out of the baseline. Brandon Nimmo made yet another out on the basepath. Adam Ottavino and Josh Walker each botched plays in the field. When Jeff McNeil fouled a ball off his own knee, it embodied the pain this team has been inflicting on everyone all month long.
There's no getting around it: the Mets are dreadful right now. Watching them fall all over themselves game after game is a punishment that, as far as I know, is not against the Geneva Convention, but it should be. A series against a division rival could provide the perfect opportunity to get back on track, but there's nothing in the way the Mets are playing that suggests they can muster a positive result.
Even though we aren't quite at the halfway point of the season, it feels like do-or-die time for the Mets. Can they remember how to play good baseball, or will it be more of the same? Let's make some predictions.
Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor and Phillies DH Bryce Harper combine for at least three home runs
Would you believe me if I told you that Bryce Harper hasn't hit a home run since May 25th? No? Well it's true, and we have to work on our trust issues. The Phillies slugger has been battling a wicked power outage of late, but rumor has it that the Mets' pitching has curative powers.
Harper has hit 34 home runs against the Mets in his career, and that number figures to increase this weekend. Only two teams have given up more long balls than the Mets: the Rockies, who play a mile above sea level, and the A's, who are tanking their way to Las Vegas in a move that would make Rachel Phelps jealous.
Francisco Lindor's batting average may not show it, but his swing has shown signs of coming alive recently. He drove in six runs in the three games against the Astros, and he has two home runs in his last four games, with several other well-hit balls that died on the warning track.
Look for Harper and Lindor to put on a show in front of the Philly faithful.