It was a night that can only described as poor pitching against the Mets’ biggest threat for the National League East, Washington Nationals. Perhaps Mets manager Terry Collins summed it up best when he said:
Nobody could find the strike zone, behind in counts…
That’s what it comes down to. Find the strike zone. Get the outs.
The Nationals walked their way to a 7-1 win over the Mets.
The same day news broke out about Bartolo Colon having some personal family matters, he has a poor night. According to the pitcher, one had nothing to do with the other. He was just not able to “get that comfortable grip” on the ball. He gave up five walks.
It was the top of the fifth inning. Mets and Nationals were tied at one. Jayson Werth got on base with a leadoff hit. Bryce Harper walked, which seemed to be the recurring theme of the night. Just when it looked like Colon was going to get out of the inning unscathed, Anthony Rendon made it 3-1 Nationals.
The relief corps were no better giving up another six walks for a grand total of 11 by the pitching staff.
Mets catcher, Kevin Plawecki, told reporters after the game,
It is uncharacteristic for us, but the beauty of it is it’s just one night.
One night? The Mets have lost their last five out of six games, including Wednesday night. This is not just one night. With Matt Harvey starting the rubber game Thursday (5-19), it was a game this team needed to win.
At some point, you have to stop saying “it is still early”. When it comes to the Nationals, there is no such thing. Every game against the Nationals is a crucial game. These are the games that will determine the NL East champs.
Throw the Philadelphia Phillies into the mix now. Over the past week, they have been nipping at the Mets’ heels. Currently, the two teams are flip flopping between second and third place.
However, this is not just a knock on the pitching. The offense didn’t exactly light it up. Scoring only one run is not exactly winning material. Yoenis Cespedes cannot win games on his own with one swing of his bat.
The offense had two chances in the seventh inning to get back in the game. Both times they blew it. Plawecki, with bases loaded, hit a fastball back toward Nationals reliever Felipe Rivero. Result is a force play at home. Bases still loaded. Michael Conforto comes to the plate to pinch hit. He swings at a 2-1 changeup. Inning over.
Here’s what it is going to take to win. Harvey needs to get back to form. Whatever it takes, it has to get done. He is saying he isn’t “feeling comfortable throwing a baseball right now”. He’s frustrated. Rightfully so. However, things need to get figured out sooner rather than later.
Harvey is an unknown right now. He is not the “you have a chance to win” pitcher you are used to having.
After seeing the pitching performance by the bullpen, do you really feel comfortable on giving them the ball if Harvey has a short game? What happens if he can’t get out of the fifth inning again? Who do you give the ball to?