The Mets have had a decent season so far, with a 15-20 record. However, they had a strong chance to go 5-0 against the Yankees. This would have completed an extended sweep against the crosstown rivals. But the team found themselves going 2-3 in the series against the Yankees. Consecutive bullpen meltdowns by Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, and Drew Smith pushed those games out of reach for the Mets. Losing close games has been a consistent problem for the Mets in 2020. In fact, the team is 6-11 in games decided by 2 runs or fewer (as of 9/1/20).
Lack of Clutch Play
This lack of clutch play from the Mets is a combination of both poor hitting and pitching down the stretch. On the hitting side, the Mets are 27th in the league for runs per last three innings of the game. The team averages one run in the last 3 innings. Failing to drive in these runs late has been costly for the Mets. As a result, New York is failing to record more wins in close games. The Mets also are having some bullpen struggles this season with Justin Wilson’s ERA at 5.91, Hunter Strickland’s ERA at 8.10, Drew Smith’s ERA at 6.43, and Dellin Betances’s ERA at 6.10.
Twenty-Five More Games
The good news for Mets baseball fans is that there are still 25 games left in the season, and plenty of time for the team to figure out how to win games in the late innings. With recent trades for catcher Robinson Chirinos and first baseman Todd Frazier, the Mets may be able to improve their hitting overall and down the stretch of games. In a 60-game season, every regular game result carries a lot more weight than usual. That is why winning only 35% of games decided by two runs or fewer will hurt your team’s chances of qualifying for a spot in the playoffs.
The Bottom Line for The Mets
Currently sitting at fourth place in the NL East, the bottom line is that New York cannot continue to lose these close games when the division seems open for the taking. The Braves will most likely win the division, but the Mets could beat out the Phillies for the second spot in the league and secure a playoff spot for the first time since 2016. For my analysis of Jacob Degrom’s incredible season so far in 2020, check out this article.
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