Takeaways from the Mets 11-2 loss to the Yankees on Sunday…
The Mets got walloped by the Yankees by the score of 11-2 on Sunday night at Citi Field. Here are my takeaways from the loss…
A mid-game meltdown.
The Mets got on the board early on Sunday with a run in the first, but the Mets had a huge opportunity to put up a crooked number early. Instead, they stranded the bases loaded, and that marked their only real threat of the night.
But as pitiful as the offense was, that was far from Sunday’s story.
The story was an avoidable situation regarding the Matt Harvey innings limit fiasco, which once again burned the team and put them in an insurmountable spot.
Terry Collins announced on national television Harvey would be limited to five innings of work on Sunday. Once he handed the ball to Hansel Robles, the wheels fell off the wagon for the Mets.
It started with a bouncing ball up the middle off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury in which Daniel Murphy – who replaced Juan Uribe who departed with an injury – fielded on the back-hand and threw it wide of first base, allowing Ellsbury to reach second. Then, Brett Gardner laid down a bunt, but bunted it too hard back to Robles, and he turned and threw to third. But, David Wright dropped the throw on what was a sure out, and runners were at the corners for Carlos Beltran.
And Beltran delivered for the Yankees with a two-run double.
Then Robles walked Greg Bird, and Dustin Ackley followed with a three-run home run which broke the game open and put the Mets in another very deep hole for the second consecutive night.
After the Mets had no response in the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees tacked on six more runs combined in the seventh and eighth innings, capping a miserable evening for the Mets, and a lot of questions which need to be answered in the very near-term.
This was a game the Mets just beat themselves. They were sloppy after Harvey departed, their bullpen was beyond terrible, and they were just generally uninspiring in general.
It was a very poor, embarrassing and alarming display on the part of the Mets.
A half day on #HarveyDay.
Short of a little two-out trouble in the third inning, Matt Harvey was splendid for five innings on Sunday night, buzzing one fastball after the next by the Yankees and consistently keeping it on the corners.
He was crisp, mostly efficient, worked fast, and overmatched the Yankees at times with his fastball, and didn’t give them anything to hit at all. The hit he allowed was an infield hit to the left of Juan Uribe in the third inning, and that was mostly that.
He needed 77 pitches to get through five innings, allowed only one hit and struck out seven.
The problem was, of course, he only went those five innings, and because Terry Collins had to limit Harvey, it forced him to use an unconventional game plan and ask for 12 outs from the bullpen.
One way or another, if Harvey is going to pitch in meaningful games and be limited, the Mets are going to have to figure out how to better bridge the gap caused by these short outings.
Or, they’re going to have to shut him down and figure this out without him until the playoffs.
This is not a survivable situation, and it alters not only the game Harvey pitches in, but the games which follow as well.
In other words, it’s a 24-plus-1 situation the Mets have on their plate.
Where has the offense gone?
The situation with Harvey served as a distraction for what has become a significant issue on this homestand.
The Mets offense has gone completely absent since the first game of this homestand. Overall, they’ve scored 13 runs in the first six games of this homestand – regardless of their pitching, the Mets aren’t going to win a lot of games at the rate they’re suddenly (not) scoring runs.
They took some pretty poor approaches against Sabathia on Sunday, who was hardly overwhelming with his stuff. They were going outside the zone a lot and didn’t work him nearly as much as they needed to. In the first inning when they had their best threat of the night, both Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Uribe went out of the zone for strikeouts.
From that point forward, the Mets did absolutely nothing.
That’s been an issue for the Mets offense during this homestand, and a big reason why they’ve suddenly stopped scoring runs and stopped winning games consistently.
A bad week, and a lead trimmed.
The Mets have had a rough week across the board. This loss on Sunday, including the situation with Harvey, represented everything that went wrong this week in a nutshell.
And now, their lead in the division is down to six games.
The Mets are still in good shape mathematically, but they need to start winning games again. They’ve begun to struggle with the trials of September baseball, and Sunday’s game was a combination of everything which could possibly go wrong at that.
9 1/2 games became six games very quickly, so this should serve as a gut check for the Mets as they open up a ten-game stretch against the Braves, Reds, and Phillies. The goal needs to be for the final three games against the Nationals to not matter.
They have a ten-game stretch coming up with an opportunity to make that happen.
But it’s up to them to shape up, and quickly.
Other notes from Sunday:
The Mets went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position in the three-game series. They are 6-for-40 with runners in scoring position in their last six games, having gone 2-4 during that span.
Yoenis Cespedes snapped an 0-for-19 skid with a double in the fifth inning. It was his 39th double of the season.
Wright’s first inning double gave him his fifth double in six games on this homestand.
The Mets bullpen allowed 11 runs in four innings of relief of Harvey on Sunday night, seven of which were earned.