Noah Syndergaard was solid in his return from the disabled list, but the Mets were unable to overcome an early deficit and were swept by the Nationals in the two-game series, 5-3, on Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park.
Things you should know about today's game...
1) Syndergaard (6-2) allowed an RBI single to Bryce Harper in the first and a two-run homer to Anthony Rendon in the third. He blanked the Nationals over his final four frames while retiring 12 straight and 15 of the last 16 batters he faced. Syndergaard was charged with three runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in seven innings and lost for the first time in six starts.
2) Jose Reyes supplied all the offense for New York with a pair of solo homers -- one from each side of the plate -- despite coming off the bench. He replaced Phillip Evans at second base, who departed the game with left knee discomfort. Wilmer Flores connected on a solo blast in the ninth with the help of Nationals' left-fielder Juan Soto.
3) Ex-Met Tommy Milone handcuffed New York, allowing one run and three hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings. It was the most strikeouts he's had since he fanned 10 on May 1, 2013.
4) Errors by Wilmer Flores and Reyes led to two unearned runs against Seth Lugo in the eighth.
Michael Avallone, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The primary deficiencies that ail the Mets were on full display Wednesday afternoon. No offense and poor fielding -- a staple of this organization the last few seasons -- conspired to drop the Mets back to 17 games below .500 at 44-61. But the problems with this club go so much deeper.
We all can see they just don't have the horses to compete, partially due to injuries and partially due to horrific roster construction. But to get completely shut down by Tommy Milone is beyond explanation, and frankly, inexcusable. The very definition of what a journeyman lefty is looked like Tom Glavine in his prime, shutting down the Mets over seven innings. It's unsurprising in one sense -- New York has hit no one this year, good or bad -- but the weak at-bats, the chasing of pitches out of the zone ... it's just a continuation of the same tired song.
Saying the team is going through the motions probably wouldn't be accurate, last night's embarrassment notwithstanding. But every game seems to be a carbon copy of the next, and although he hasn't been given the necessary tools to succeed, it's more than fair to wonder if Mickey Callaway is simply not cut out for this job.
Let's be clear: there isn't a manager, dead or alive, who could win with this roster. And it's plainly obvious that many of the players who have come through New York's system are woefully ill-prepared at doing what it takes to succeed in the Major Leagues. That's a blight on the organization as a whole -- a longstanding one, at that -- and not necessarily on Callaway who must deal with the fallout. But there are just too many games where the Mets are non-competitive and even without a full complement of working parts, it shouldn't be that way. At the very least, the Mets should be playing the game properly ... yet, they rarely do.
News and notes...
New York has lost 20 of its last 30 road games while falling to 19-40 (.322) in its last 59 games overall.
The Mets dropped to 6-6 against the Nationals this season.
Reyes entered the game with one home run in 154 at-bats this season. It was his first multi-home run effort since last Sept. 8 against the Reds. He became the fourth Met to go deep twice in game in which he did not start. Curtis Granderson (2016), Scott Hairston (2011) and Hawk Taylor (1964) are the others.
Michael Conforto doubled in the ninth and is 13-for-38 (.342) with three homers, four doubles and nine RBIs in 11 games since the All-Star break.
Syndergaard allowed three runs or fewer for the 13th consecutive start since surrendering four against the Cardinals on Opening Day. He has lost five of his last six starts against the Nationals.
Tim Peterson was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster for Syndergaard.
The Mets (44-61) return to Citi Field to face the Braves (57-47) for four games beginning Thursday night at 7 p.m. on SNY.
Jason Vargas (2-6, 8.36 ERA/6.64 FIP, 35 K, 1.786 WHIP) opens the series looking to snap an ignominious streak. After allowing three runs over 4 1/3 innings against the Pirates last Friday, the 35-year-old became the first pitcher in Major League history to not record an out in the sixth inning in any of his first 10 starts to open a season. Vargas blanked the Braves over five innings on May 30 after surrendering six runs in 4 2/3 innings against them in his second outing of the year. He is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in four career appearances -- three starts -- against Atlanta.
Mike Foltynewicz (7-7, 3.04 ERA/3.54 FIP, 133 Ks, 1.193 WHIP) take the mound looking to snap a stretch that has seen him post a 6.94 ERA in his last four starts. An All-Star for the first time this season, the right-hander has surrendered four or more runs in each of his last five outings, which has raised his ERA from 2.02 to 3.07. Foltynewicz tossed five scoreless frames against the Mets on June 12 during a no-decision. The right-hander is winless with a 7.04 ERA in four career outings -- three starts -- against New York.