Now the task is for Steven Matz, Marcus Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard who get the starts for the Mets as they departed to Colorado after a tough Sunday night 3-2 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field. It’s simple to understand why the task is difficult for the Mets to catch the Cubs for that second National League Wild Card.
And it was not Jacob deGrom the night before or Zack Wheeler Sunday night. Wheeler allowed a run in his fourth straight start but the bullpen let this one go on one pitch.
Seth Lugo got the loss and a slider was the culprit in a game that was tied 2-2 in the 9th inning. Enrique Hernandez with one out doubled. Lugo would strike out pinch hitter Edwin Rios and Jedd Gyorko singled up the middle that scored Hernandez.
A tough loss and costly. With 13 games remaining, and the next three at Colorado and Cincinnati, the Mets trail the Cubs by four games for that second wild card spot.
“I made my pitch, that’s baseball,” lugo said in a dejected Mets clubhouse.
The prevailing opinion is this Mets team never gives up. They have fought their way back numerous times since the All-Star break to get make this wild card chase interesting.
But Sunday night, even with Wheeler throwing a consistent fastball and using other effective pitches, the lineup did not produce. The top three of Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, a combined 0-for 11.
So Sunday night it was not the starting pitching, and overall on this 6-4 homestand, next to the end of the season, starters kept pace with a 3.06 ERA which stands first in baseball during this second half playoff push.
The bullpen again, though not terribly bad, but one that has defined a season of misery, gave this one to the Dodgers in the ninth inning.
Lugo entered in the 8th inning with two on and left them stranding. And that go ahead run saw his scoreless streak snapped at 14.1 innings.
Overall, another great effort from the Mets despite losing two of three from the NL West division champions. But the task became more difficult to get the wild card.
NOTES: Robinson Cano, 1-for-2, has hit safely in 14 straight starts for the Mets…. Dodgers won for the ninth time this season when trailing and entering the eighth inning.
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