The Bad Old Days Are Back: Mets Offense On Mute, Vargas and Harvey Rocked

At least they weren’t no-hit.

Jason Vargas and Matt Harvey were rocked in Thursday afternoon’s 11-0 loss to the Braves, who finished off a three-game sweep of the Mets. The Mets were held to two runs in the three games, including consecutive shutouts. Julio Teheran took a no-hit bid two outs into the seventh before Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to right.

“He obviously pitched a great game,” Callaway said. “Taking a no-hitter into the seventh you have to have everything working. That’s exactly what he had. Fastball, even though it wasn’t super high velo, he was sneaky, he was getting by guys, he elevated really good up and in on guys and just mixed pitches.”

While most of the attention this week has gone to Harvey’s work out of the bullpen, Vargas’s struggles as a starter and Jacob deGrom’s elbow, the Mets offense has been cold as the weather warms up.

Callaway admitted Mets batters might have missed some hittable pitches the previous night against Sean Newcomb, but tipped his hat to Teheran. “A guy takes a no-hitter into the seventh inning, it would be doing an injustice to blame anything and we wouldn’t be giving credit where credit is do,” Callaway said.

First, the bright spots. Cabrera is hitting .327 with five homers and 17 RBI. Yoenis Cespedes has a league high 26 RBI and has contributed a number of clutch hits despite hitting only .248 and leading the league with 46 strikeouts. Todd Frazier has four home runs and 17 RBI. Juan Lagares is hitting .333, and Brandon Nimmo is at .294, and has done a good job of getting on base.

But there are a number of slow starts. Jay Bruce is batting .235 with two home runs. Adrian Gonzalez started off well, including a grand slam in Washington, but is down to .233 after Thursday’s game. The two catchers at the moment, Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton, are batting .167 and .125, respectively. Jose Reyes is batting .139 with one RBI. Wilmer Flores is under the Mendoza Line at .193, and not hitting lefties the way the Mets are used to seeing.

Amed Rosario is batting .222 and Michael Conforto is struggling with a .197 average. Callaway is not worried about either of the young hitters this early in the season. “Obviously they’re not where they want to be,” Callaway said. “To say that it’s a huge issue that’s gonna happen for a month, nobody can say that. I think they’re spinning a little bit. I think it was obvious that Conforto just wasn’t comfortable up there today with some of the swings he took.”

That doesn’t mean either player has to look over their shoulder about being benched. “If you don’t play them then they’ll never get out of it,” Callaway said. “Then it can last awhile.”

The Mets found out today that their best pitcher will still be able to contribute. Now they need the same from their offense.

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