Takeaways from the Mets 1-0 win over the Nationals on Sunday…
A quiet, yet fun ending to the regular season.
This was yet another quiet, go-through-the-motions kind of game for the Mets as Terry Collins used a lot of his bullpen and the Mets offense made very quick and quiet outs throughout this chilly October afternoon.
The Mets did take a stab and making history in game 162 however, as they carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Clint Robinson singled sharply off of Ruben Tejada with two outs.
But this would have been an unconventional no-hitter if the Mets had somehow managed to score some runs and pull it off, as Collins had used Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Logan Verrett and Jon Niese just to get into the seventh inning, not to mention the pitching changes he made in the following innings.
Mets pitching was indeed brilliant, as has been the case over the last four days. If there’s any solace to be had in this extremely disappointing ending to their season, it’s that their pitching sharpened at the right time.
The offense, on the other hand, has gone completely south, and that really is a concern as they look towards the Dodgers in the NLDS.
Fortunately, the Mets combination of starters and relievers were able to keep Washington at bay just long enough on Sunday to get Curtis Granderson’s bat to the plate, which had provided the bulk of the offense in this game with a single and a double leading into that at-bat. Granderson launched a Blake Treinen fastball over the centerfield wall to break the Mets 18 inning scoreless streak and give the Mets just enough to win the season finale.
The problematic offense.
The problem with the Mets offense has reached a level of serious concern, especially now that the season is over and there’s no more time to iron out any kinks and work out of any slumps.
Yes they won the game, but the offense pretty much came from one person, Granderson, who accounted for three of the five hits on the day.
The season ended with funks from Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Conforto, David Wright, and Daniel Murphy, which is a very large portion of their lineup.
They get to hit the reset button for a few days and try and find that magic they had for the better part of two months, but they need to find it quick, because it only gets harder from here….
If there’s anything to smile about these days it’s the Mets pitching, which has been outstanding despite this late season skid into the playoffs. They allowed a total of X runs in this series – that’s really encouraging considering it had become such a concern dating back to the beginning of August.
Whatever happens with the offense – and yes, its a major concern right now – the Mets will be living and dying with their arms no matter what. To see them get their act together despite the losses is important, especially as they’re about to run into the premiere arms in baseball starting on Friday night in Los Angeles.
Jacob deGrom in particular was electric for four innings on Sunday. He ran into a little bit of trouble when he issued consecutive walks to Ian Desmond and Michael Taylor in the second, but he was otherwise dominant, good for seven strikeouts and only those two free passes.
In that moment in the second inning, he temporarily lost the feel for his change-up and curveball, but he got it right back and, as was the case in his last start against the Reds, his change-up in particular was on-point in his abbreviated outing.
The Mets bullpen did the rest. They got a good audition out of the bullpen from Bartolo Colon, another so-so performance from Jon Niese, and a much needed quality effort from Tyler Clippard, all three of which figure to be major factors for this club starting Friday.
Now the calm before the storm.
The Mets have three days before they hop a plane to Los Angeles. They will have Monday off and workout on Tuesday and Wednesday morning at Citi Field before they leave. This will be a nice opportunity to let some of these bumps and bruises heal, clear their heads mentally, and rest and refocus focus for their playoff run.
It’s what this franchise has been waiting for since 2006, and they’ve been through hell to get here. While they’re limping to the finish line, there’s a lot of confidence in the room that this will indeed be a special run through the rest of October.
They have the talent, they have the foundation, and now they just need to rediscover their energy level.
This Met team has shown time and time again they can be a dynamic and explosive team when the bell rings. Lets hope now that their entire season is on the line against the Dodgers, that’s exactly what happens.
Other notes from Sunday:
Jacob deGrom finished his second big league season with a 14-8 record and a 2.54 ERA.
The Mets recorded 90 wins in 2015. It’s their highest win total since they won 96 in 2006.
2,569,753 fans came to Citi Field in 2015, the most since 2009.
Jeurys Familia tied Armando Benitez’s single season mark of 43 saves in 2015.
The Mets scored ten runs in their final six games – they went 1-5 in that span.