It has been 30 days since the Mets last posted back-to-back wins. The team has been alternating wins and losses, as well as stringing together multiple losses in a row over that span of time. It has been increasingly frustrating to watch the offense and pitching not be on the same page on a consistent basis.
The Mets had a chance to come out on top of the pitcher’s duel last night as they took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning with a two-run homer by Kelly Johnson. Noah Syndergaard, who hasn’t looked himself as of late, ended up giving the lead back to the Tigers in the bottom of the inning by allowing three runs to come across. Syndergaard has given up more hits than innings pitched since the All Star Break (27 H in 23.2 innings) and opponents are hitting .287 against him. He also leads the starting staff with a 1.52 WHIP since the break as well. Now while he has posted a respectable 3.02 ERA since the break, we are accustomed to Thor being lights out every time he takes the mound, and not being hit as often as he has been. While deGrom has been dominant since coming out of the All Star Break, the Mets are going to need the same from Syndergaard if they want any shot of the postseason.
I understand the Mets were facing one of the top pitchers in the game last night but they certainly had their opportunities to get back into this game. More specifically the Mets had Fernando Rodriguez on the ropes in the top of the ninth with the tying run at the plate three times. The offense was only able to score one run in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI groundout by James Loney and finished the evening 0-5 with runners in scoring position. The team continues to hit a lowly .205 with runners in scoring position, and a even more disgusting .168 with runners in scoring position with two outs. The trade for Jay Bruce is supposed to help improve those numbers, and the jury will be out for the next two months to see if he can help revitalize the offense.
The Mets will have an opportunity to try and take the series over the next two days as well as attempt to string two wins together against a quality opponent. There is no denying that the Tigers are one of the hottest teams in baseball currently. However the Mets will need to begin playing their best baseball of the season rather quickly regardless of opponent, or they will be staring at themselves even further down the standings.