By Deesha Thosar
FOX Sports activities MLB Author
NEW YORK — There’s no sugarcoating it: The Mets are failing to fulfill the second. Once more.
Max Scherzer failed when the Mets wanted him probably the most, each final weekend in Atlanta and Friday in opposition to San Diego. The Mets offense didn’t capitalize early after they had the prospect in opposition to dominant right-hander Yu Darvish.
The rowdy followers, the postseason-logo-ed discipline, the jazzy ambiance — the stage was set in Queens. However this was no playoff-ready crew.
The Mets misplaced to the Padres 7-1 in Sport 1 of the Wild-Card Collection on Friday at Citi Discipline.
“The wheels fell off,” Scherzer mentioned. “I do not know why.”
Scherzer was disappointing for a second consecutive outing, and in a surprising scene, he was booed off the mound when he was pulled within the fifth. The veteran and future Corridor of Famer — who was given $43 million per 12 months by the Mets for this very second: to close down opposing lineups within the playoffs — coughed up seven earned runs throughout simply 4⅔ innings. All seven runs had been a product of the Padres’ clobbering 4 residence runs off Scherzer.
Scherzer is now the second pitcher in Main League Baseball historical past to permit 4 residence runs and 7 earned runs in any postseason sport. The opposite was Cincinnati Reds pitcher Gene Thompson in Sport 3 of the 1939 World Collection in opposition to the Yankees.
“It was a little bit bit stunning,” Mets catcher Tomas Nido mentioned of Scherzer’s second straight clunker.
Jurickson Profar, Manny Machado, Josh Bell and Trent Grisham all took Scherzer deep within the collection opener. Bell’s two-run shot silenced the Citi Discipline crowd as early as the primary inning, and the Mets had been trailing the Padres earlier than Darvish threw his first pitch. Trailing 2-0 may need been manageable for the Amazin’s, however then got here the house run Scherzer allowed to San Diego’s No. 8 hitter, who has a penchant for energy. The 94 mph fastball to Grisham was proper down the center, and the Padres outfielder pounced on it for a solo shot to heart.
Scherzer retired his subsequent seven consecutive batters earlier than permitting two extra residence runs, together with a three-run dinger to Profar, in his fifth and remaining inning. Mixed together with his final outing of the common season — when the Mets misplaced the second of three video games in opposition to the Braves final weekend — Scherzer has permitted 11 earned runs, six residence runs and 16 hits over 10⅓ innings.
“I wasn’t capable of command that fastball the best way I often can,” Scherzer mentioned. “That is my bread and butter to have the ability to arrange every part else. When my fastball’s flat after which working, that is often once I get hit rather a lot. Clearly, tonight I received hit rather a lot. Do not know why that’s.”
When two vital video games had been in entrance of him, Scherzer pitched two of his worst outings as a member of the Mets. That’s by no means what Mets common supervisor Billy Eppler had in thoughts when he satisfied the crew’s billionaire proprietor, Steve Cohen, to pay $130 million to Scherzer throughout three years.
And probably the most troubling a part of Friday was that afterward, Scherzer was as confused as everybody watching about why he couldn’t execute his fastball. It spells hassle for the Mets — ought to they make it to the NLDS in opposition to the Dodgers — as a result of Scherzer’s effectiveness has now been absent for 2 straight begins.
The Mets offense was simply as uninspiring Friday. They threatened to assault Darvish early with an aggressive sport plan of stealing bases. Francisco Lindor was hit by a pitch within the first inning and promptly stole second base. He reached third on a Jeff McNeil single, however Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach couldn’t money him in.
The identical factor occurred within the second inning, when Starling Marte led off the body with a single to heart. He stole second and third, however Darvish retired Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar and Tomas Nido to strand Marte 90 ft from residence.
New York went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring place and left six males on base. In addition to Eduardo Escobar’s solo residence run off Darvish within the fifth inning, the Mets had simply two extra-base hits all night time.
“I do know our guys will come out and current themselves nicely,” Mets supervisor Buck Showalter mentioned. “I’ve received a number of confidence in them.”
What started as a possibility for a contemporary begin for a tortured fan base ended with the house crowd darting for the exits by the top of the seventh inning. The DJ the Mets employed to publish up subsequent to the Shea Bridge in heart discipline didn’t learn the room. The Mets had been trailing 3-0 when he began enjoying “We Are The Champions” by Queen. The gang — passionate however sensible followers — responded with some half-hearted claps, however it was largely shocked faces and silence.
Nobody was within the temper for the DJ’s makes an attempt to choose up the power. Solely the Mets may try this.
“We’ve been actually good, and now we get to see what we’re product of,” first baseman Pete Alonso mentioned. “I’m excited for tomorrow. I’m excited to get to the ballpark and play a ballgame. That is enjoyable. It’s not nice shedding — it’s by no means enjoyable shedding, particularly the primary sport of a playoff collection like this one. However that is enjoyable baseball. I’m actually excited to go tomorrow.”
The day earlier than his first playoff begin for this crew, Scherzer spoke about his perspective heading into his outing. He was desirous to get on the market, and he understood that every part was on the road. That is the playoffs, he mentioned. That is no time to fiddle. It’s win or go residence.
Nicely, identical to that, the 101-win Mets are lower than 24 hours away from flaming out and enjoying what may very well be their remaining sport of the 12 months. On Saturday, Southpaw Blake Snell can be on the hill for the Padres.
The Mets mentioned they might wait till the result of Sport 1 to announce their Sport 2 starter, suggesting that Jacob deGrom would take the mound if the Mets misplaced. He has pitched in an elimination sport earlier than — seven years in the past, to be actual. Within the 2015 NLDS Sport 5 in opposition to the Dodgers, deGrom gave up two runs and struck out seven throughout six innings. The Mets would take that Saturday, when it’s going to be on deGrom to attempt to save his crew’s season.
“That is what we love doing: competing and going on the market in large conditions,” deGrom mentioned. “You attempt to go away all of it out on the sector. You have a look at your self within the mirror on the finish of the day and know you gave 100%. That is all you are able to do. However I have been in an elimination sport earlier than and was capable of battle by that one. Obtained to go on the market and simply attempt to execute.”
Deesha Thosar is an MLB author for FOX Sports activities. She beforehand lined the Mets for the New York Every day Information. Observe her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.
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