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Mets Series Review: Sizzling Nights

The New York Mets have stumbled out of the All-Star Break, losing a series to the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. The Mets' pitching has been terrific as Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt each lost, despite delivering quality starts. However, the offense was rather anemic, scoring one run in their first two games before breaking out and scoring eight runs in their win on Sunday night. The Mets starting pitching has allowed two runs or fewer in their last 14 games but only has eight wins as the Mets offense has gone into the abyss. 

The series against the Padres started on Friday night when the Mets had Max Scherzer on the mound after a brief rain delay. Mad Max was strong but not lights out, and Eric Hosmer gave San Diego a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run in the fourth. It could have just as easily been 20-0 as the Mets did not have one good at-bat against Yu Darvish. Scherzer allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, striking out eight, while Darvish blanked the Mets for six innings. 

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The Padres added two runs against a rusty Joely Rodriguez in the seventh before the Mets finally got a run against Darvish, but the game was gone. The Padres won 4-1, as the Mets barely registered a whimper over the final two innings. 

Saturday night took on the same script, as the Mets got a quality start from Chris Bassitt, who did not allow a hit until the fifth inning. The Mets, meanwhile, were just going through the motions against Blake Snellfax. The game turned in the sixth when Bassitt did not get a call from home plate umpire Jim Wolf. It was clearly strike three and would have ended the inning. However, as always is the case, the next pitch was a two-run home run by Manny Machado, Game Over.  

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The Mets stranded eight runners and hit into two double plays, as they failed time and again. Pete Alonso had a three-hit game go to waste as he scored a meaningless run on a bloop single by JD Davis in the ninth. Meaningless because terrible Tomas Nido was the last hope, which is the same as no hope popping up meekly to end the game 2-1 as the Mets' losing streak hit three with many more to come as the 2021 Mets are back and more feeble than ever.

The Mets went into Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN needing a win to salvage the series and avoid the sweep. Before the game, they got good news as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Atlanta Braves 9-1, assuring the Mets would hold on to first place and gain a game if they found a way to win. Carlos Carrasco did not allow any runs, but the start was hardly good. The Mets' pitcher was in and out of trouble all game, as the Padres narrowly missed three long balls that just went foul. Carrasco pitched five innings, giving up six hits and two walks, as he was a bland Nilla Waffer cookie. 

While Carlos Carrasco was struggling, Joe Musgrove was dominating, as the Mets did not have a hit in the first four innings. However, in the fifth inning, Daniel Vogelback, who made his Mets debut, led off with a single. Mark Canha followed with a double as the Mets had second and third with no outs. They did not score as Luis Guillorme, Tomas Nido, and Brandon Nimmo all grounded out meekly to end the inning. 

Drew Smith came on to pitch in the sixth and gave up an RBI double to Eric Hosmer. The next batter, Aaron Nola, looked to add to San Diego's lead, but Nimmo made a highlight reel catch while crashing into the wall. The Mets would get second and third again in the sixth, as Starling Marte singled and Francisco Lindor doubled as Musgrove began to wilt in the stifling heat. This time the Mets would not fail, as Pete Alonso blasted a three-run homer to turn the game around. The Mets added two more runs in the sixth, chasing Musgrove, as Luis Guillorme hit a soft fly that landed in left field, allowing Vogelbach to rumble home from second, while Nido hit a ball off the wall for a double. 

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Seth Lugo worked a smooth seventh as the Mets added to their lead. Pete Alonso again had the big hit with an RBI double, while the Mets scored two runs courtesy of an error by Manny Machado. The Mets had David Peterson pitch the eight; he was somewhat shaky, giving up one run on two hits with a walk. 

In the ninth, it was Joely Rodriguez's job to close out a six-run lead. Rodriguez utterly failed and delivered the worst relief appearance of the season for the Mets. Jelly Leg walked the first two batters and gave a double to Manny Machado, scoring one run. Jorge Alfaro followed with an RBI single. The Padres and first and third, no outs, and the tying run was on deck, meaning it was not a save situation and time for trumpets. Edwin Diaz came on and saved the day, getting a pop fly from the dangerous Luke Voit and a run-scoring grounder from Eric Hosmer. The score was 8-5, but the flames of the Padres rally were now snuffed, as Diaz struck out Nola for his 21st save as the Mets held on.