This weekend, the New York Mets were swept by Philadelphia, putting them in third place, 2.5 GB of the Phillies. That makes the Mets 2-9 in their last eleven games, and a ball club that looked to win the division is now fighting to keep their head above water and stay in the playoff race. In this article, I will look at some of the factors behind this recent drought.
What’s Wrong with Taijuan
First, Taijuan Walker hasn’t had a good start since the all-star break, as he has allowed 23 runs in 21 innings pitched since the season resumed for a post-all star ERA of 9.86. That being said, Walker was having a great season before the all-star break, which can be shown by him qualifying for the all-star game in the first place and his name floating around some Cy Young conversations.
The good news is that outside of the three solo shots that he gave up on Sunday against the Phillies, he seemed to be executing his pitches well, a sign that he could be ready to turn the corner from this mid-season slump. Also, some of the members of the Mets bullpen have stepped it up recently. Miguel Castro, Aaron Loup, and Trevor May have stepped it up during this dry streak for the Mets, as they all have a sub 1.75 ERA since the all-star break.
But the reason that the Mets have struggled recently falls primarily on their offense. Over their last 15 games, the Mets have averaged 2.53 runs per game. The Mets are already second to last in runs per game in 2021 at 3.75, but this stretch of games has been especially bad. Over the previous seven-game road trip in Miami and Philadelphia, the Mets are only 9 for 59 (.159) with runners in scoring position. The Mets are towards the middle of the league in batting average, but failing to get hits in clutch situations can blow winnable games.
The Polar Plunge
The offensive struggles have also coincided with Pete Alonso’s hitting slump. In his last 21 AB, Alonso does not have any hits. His average launch angle in August so far is higher than any other month, so it seems like he may be relying too much on home runs since his fly-out percentage in August is also higher than usual.
But at this point, it is time to put these recent struggles in the rear-view mirror, hope for speedy recoveries for Jacob Degrom and Noah Syndergaard, and move onto a potential sweep of the Washington Nationals (50-62).
Main image credit