Irritating loss exposes all that’s incorrect with Mets

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WASHINGTON — The Mets had tasted prosperity for the primary time in an extended whereas, and in order that was most likely why the 5-1 loss the Nationals slapped on them Wednesday night time was so irritating. That they had dragged themselves again to .500 from three under on the energy of weak spot: two groups that entered Wednesday night time a mixed 29 video games below .500.

(And, sure, a type of groups has “Nationals” stenciled throughout the chest of their jerseys, however that title additionally presently sits in fourth place within the NL East and was begging to be buried.)

Patrick Corbin was sensible for the house workforce, and that’s going to occur.

“The rating wasn’t outrageous,” Mets supervisor Mickey Callaway mentioned, “nevertheless it by no means felt like we had been shut due to who was pitching for them.”

In reality, the Mets’ first loss in per week (thanks to 2 off days and one rainout) supplied an specific reminder of the issues that also ail this workforce with 41 video games within the books and 121 left to return:

Pitching depth

You possibly can actually argue the glut of idle days this week might have supplied Callaway with the motivation to be a bit further pressing. Zack Wheeler might have pitched on full relaxation Wednesday. Jacob deGrom might have gone Thursday. Wednesday’s starter, Wilmer Font, might have been saved for the weekend, in opposition to no matter less-than-frightening lineup the Marlins will throw on the Mets.

Perhaps that might have helped. Perhaps if Corbin isn’t staked to an early 3-Zero lead final night time he doesn’t mow by way of the Mets for eight innings, trying like each bit the nine-figure prize he was final offseason. Or possibly it wouldn’t have mattered. The Mets are literally getting a break this sequence, lacking each Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. This was the sport they might’ve had the destructive matchup no matter whether or not it was Font or Wheeler.

Nonetheless, that might’ve solely been a short-term reply. The very fact is, the Mets are strikingly skinny of their rotation, and up to now the options they’ve turned to — Font for 2 begins, Chris Flexen for one — have confirmed lower than satisfying. This isn’t a name to go big-ticket and signal Dallas Kuechel (though that wouldn’t be a nasty thought).

However there will probably be extra nights like this when the Mets might want to search for rotation solutions. The workforce is adamant about preserving Seth Lugo within the bullpen, for example, but when Jeurys Familia might turn out to be dependable — and he regarded good in a single garbage-time inning Wednesday — can they actually afford the luxurious of Lugo, Familia and Robert Gsellman within the pen, particularly since Lugo has by no means been shy about his want to begin?

Backs of baseball playing cards

We gained’t decide on Todd Frazier right here, as a result of there’s been quite a lot of that recently, and despite the fact that he struck out feebly in his lone at-bat Wednesday he isn’t the one veteran not performing to expectations.

The opposite, after all, is Robinson Cano. Cano’s 0-for-4 (with three strikeouts) lowered his common on the season to .245, which is 59 factors under his profession common. He has regarded particularly weak in opposition to lefties — none of his at-bats in opposition to Corbin had been significantly aggressive.

It appeared a putting distinction to see him battle right here, as a result of it was on Opening Day when he homered off Scherzer for the Mets’ first run of the season, and added one other at-bat and a sterling defensive play and appeared able to justify the Mets’ choice to make the controversial deal that introduced him and Edwin Diaz right here within the winter.

Cano has twice been hit on the arms by pitches, and he was raging sizzling when that occurred. He hasn’t been raging sizzling for some time. And a Robbie Cano that resembles the Mets’ model of Robbie Alomar … effectively, that’s too brutal for the Mets to even ponder.

“He’s going to bust out and ultimately get it rolling,” Callaway insisted. “He’s our second baseman. I believe on the finish of the 12 months you’ll search for and see numbers which can be awfully acquainted.”

It’s a superb principle. It’d be a greater follow.

The Mickey Watch

It will likely be the pink elephant in each clubhouse the Mets work till it isn’t. It’s not a straightforward strategy to handle, and up to now Callaway has appeared equal to the problem, and the three-game successful streak did appear harking back to the various instances Terry Collins discovered methods to Band-Help this workforce by way of robust stretches in 2015 and ’16. Successful streaks are useful.

However all it takes is one prolonged dropping streak …

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