The Mets appeared to have the inside track to a wild card after dealing for shortstop Javier Baez. Unfortunately, Baez left the team’s contest with the Phillies due to hip soreness. The Mets’ latest loss sends them even deeper down the standings, making the team’s playoff chances quite slim as we enter mid-August. If the Mets are to make a splash this year, Baez will have to be healthy down the stretch.
The Phillies Sweep the Mets
The Phillies sweep of New York extended the team’s win streak to eight games. J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura went deep for Philadelphia. Philly is now 2.5 games in front of the Mets in the East. It is particularly interesting to note team owner Steve Cohen gave the Mets a pep talk prior to the game.
The Mets’ loss is their seventh in eight games. The sweep stings quite harshly as the Mets started the weekend series with the Phillies as the division leaders. The Mets are now in third place in the East. The Atlanta Braves sit in second place, a couple games back of the Phillies.
Former Met Zack Wheeler struck out 11 while allowing merely two hits on Sunday. Wheeler was clearly inspired by the pregame ceremony honoring former Philly pitcher Roy Halladay. Though Wheeler surrendered a double to start the contest, he went on to retire an amazing 22 straight Mets batters. It is the most strikeouts by a Philadelphia pitcher since Halladay pitched a perfect game in the spring of ’10.
The Mets seem to have forgotten how to hit. The team has a pathetic 20 runs in the prior nine losses. It is particularly concerning that Pete Alonso’s slump continued on Sunday. Alonso was the last out of the ninth inning. The ice cold slugger went to the plate four times, walking away without any success at the dish. Alonso struck out twice, extending his drought to a horrid 0 for 21.
Wheeler pitched his fourth-ever complete game, walking merely one batter. Three of Wheeler’s complete games have been shutouts. Out of 108 total pitches, 80 of Wheeler’s deliveries to home plate were strikes. After the game, Wheeler stated, , “I had command and my off-speed was pretty sharp.”
The Mets clearly regret failing to keep Wheeler in the rotation. The All-Star, only 31-years-old, started five seasons for New York prior to inking a $118 million deal with Philadelphia as a free agent. Wheeler is now 3 and 1 against the Mets, with a 2.72 earned run average.
What Happened to Taijuan Walker?
Taijuan Walker, an All-Star for the first time in his career, is off to a horrendous start to the second half of the season. Walker, 7-7, let up four hits and three runs, walking one and striking out one. Walker surrendered three home runs, hiking his home runs permitted in the prior four games to an eye-popping 10. Walker is winless with four losses and an unbelievably bad 7.84 earned run average in that stretch. The righty has allowed 26 hits in the past 20 2/3 innings.