Maybe the Mets should start wearing t-shirts that read, “No Run DMC” because they aren’t rapping out a whole lotta hits and they haven’t been scoring a whole lotta runs.
On a day when they honored their 2023 Class for the Mets Hall of Fame, the Mets dropped a second, extremely frustrating game to the Toronto Blue Jays as their offensive woes continued in a 2-1 loss, before 37,704, Saturday at CitiField.
The Mets have pitched well but have had trouble scoring runs on this six game homestand that began with a three game sweep of the NL East rival Phillies. In the five games that have been played so far, the Mets have scored 11 runs.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s RBI double in the ninth off of losing pitcher David Robertson provided the winning run as the Mets just could not generate any offense and were a putrid 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
“If we would’ve got a “W” today, I would’ve felt much better, Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor said after he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. “It’s tough, two tough losses that you feel like you have an opportunity of tying the game and winning the game, I didn’t do that for my team.
With the score tied at one in the ninth, George Springer lined a one out single to left and stole second. Robertson struck out Bo Bichette and then faced Guerrero Jr with first base open and Cavan Biggio, who had entered the game in eighth as pinch-runner, on deck.
“I considered it [walking Guerrero Jr]. It didn’t work out so it’s something that’s gonna be critiqued,” Mets Manager Buck Showalter said. “If it had, we’d been in a really good situation. I have a lot of confidence in him, once he got ahead there, that he would be able to stay out of the zone. Just got a firm ground ball hit where we couldn’t catch it.”
Guerrero Jr’s at bat was not without some fireworks as Blue Jays Manager John Schneider was ejected by home plate umpire Charlie Ramos for arguing balls and strikes after a called strike on the first pitch.
Robertson got ahead of him but on fourth pitch of the at bat, the Blue Jays slugging first baseman stroked a hard grounder down the third base line that was just out of the reach of a diving Brett Baty. Springer scored easily to give Toronto the lead.
“Trying to get him out,” Robertson said. “Got two outs there, got a good call from the umpire behind the plate, got ahead. I was 1-2 on him, just didn’t make a good pitch.”
The Jays went with Erik Swanson to close it in the ninth. Mark Canha reached on a one out single but pinch-hitter Francisco Alvarez flied to center and Brandon Nimmo struck out to end it.
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the second. Starling Marte led off with an infield single that Bichette could not flag down. Daniel Vogelbach came through with an RBI double that scored Marte, but the Mets fizzled the remainder of the inning as Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios retired the next three hitters.
Toronto tied the game in the sixth. Brandon Belt doubled to lead off the inning against Mets starter Tylor Megill (who labored for 5 2/3 innings but managed to only give up one run).
Showalter went to lefty Brooks Raley, who retired Daulton Varsho on a fly to right. With two out, Christian Kirk lined a hot shot to shortstop that went off Francisco Lindor’s glove and caromed into the outfield. Belt was off and running from second and once the ball got away from Lindor, he was able to come home with the tying run.
The first five hitters in the Mets lineup were 3 for 18 with seven strikeouts. The Mets rely on the top of the order for offensive production and when they’re struggling, it results in these run scoring droughts.
Lindor is at the top of the list of the Mets’ struggling hitters. The Mets shortstop is 0 for his last 16 and has struck out five times in his last 8 at bats.
To his credit, Lindor “faced the music” after the game and held himself accountable.
“Yesterday, I took a couple of pitches down the middle with runner in scoring position and then today, I ended up swinging at ‘em and not putting the ball in play [with runners in] scoring position,” Lindor said. “I take a lot of pride in it and I didn’t get it done.”
Showalter was asked if he’s considering moving Lindor down in the lineup. “I’ve got a lot of faith and trust in Francisco,” he said. “Got a long track record, certainly he’s frustrated by it, we’re frustrated for him ‘cause we know he’s better.”
It’s not just Lindor.
Pete Alonso was 0 for 4 and is 2 for his last 19 with no home runs or RBIs in the past six games, Brett Baty is 1 for his last 15 with 7 strikeouts, while Alvarez, who did not start, is 0 for his last 11.
After he struck out for a third time, Lindor heard some well deserved boos, but he’s come to expect that from a passionate fan base.
“I don’t wanna block them out, I don’t wanna block them out. They’re expressing their frustration and I hear them, I hear them. I’m right there with ‘em. I just gotta get better.”
Before the game, the Mets honored the Class of 2023 for their Hall of Fame. The inductees included former players Al Leiter and Howard Johnson, longtime Public Relations hear Jay Horwitz, and long time broadcasters Howie Rose and Gary Cohen.