The month of June is over for the New York Mets, as they concluded a painful 4-game series vs the reigning American League champion, Houston Astros, in which they were swept. This sweep was the first of its kind that the Mets endured this season, as they got manhandled, and outplayed in every facet of the game.
The series consisted of two blowout victories for Houston and a nail biter down to the 9th inning on Wednesday. Relief pitcher Drew Smith surrendered a gut-wrenching Home Run that sealed the Mets’ fate, as they had nothing going offensively all day. Yesterday’s game summed up the series perfectly, as the Astros hit when they needed to, especially with the long ball, while the Mets weren’t really able to find their footing on the mound in the batter’s box. The positive is that the Mets no longer have to play the Astros for the rest of the year. The negative is that the Mets closed June with 3 losses in a row and a record of 13-12.
Funny enough, in a month where the Mets barely made it past a .500 winning percentage, this was the first time since 2014 that New York finished over that winning percentage during the month of June. June has historically been tough for the 21st century Mets, as it is often the time of year when the Mets fall to mediocrity. While the Mets still stand in first place, it is no secret they have been struggling. And with the Braves’ emergence in June, the Mets’ lead in the NL East is only 3 games, when it started at 10.5 games on June 1st. The Mets’ issues are pretty clear nonetheless, in 10 of the 12 losses that they endured, they scored 2 or fewer runs. They also had unreliable starts for their depleted pitching staff, as there were a few games started by Carlos Carrasco and Tylor Megill, where it seemed as if they couldn’t get an out all night long.
The Mets are missing arguably the two best players on their team, these guys may even be the 2 best pitchers in the entire MLB. However, they’ve done it without these guys for the majority of the year. The Mets have certainly been handicapped all year, and they have outperformed what many expected, but this isn’t a league for excuses. The Mets have shown they can be a legitimate threat, but in order to secure a division title and a playoff birth, they need to solidify the issues that the team has.
While the season is far from over, the race to the playoffs is always a tight one. Their pitching staff has been up and down all year but with the immanent return of Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, New York’s fortune should change. The real issues are in the back half of the Mets lineup. While Jeff McNeil and Mark Canha often hit in the back half of the lineup, the nasty combination of whoever is slotted in at DH, whoever is slotted in at C and 3B, Eduardo Escobar has been a serious fork in the road for the Mets’ offensively. New York needs to figure out a way to get better production out of this part of the team. It’s no time to worry in Mets land, but the month of June was certainly a humbling experience.