The Mets limp into the All-Star break after losing 3 out of 4 to the Washington Nationals. After winning the opener on Thursday to pull within 3 games of first, the last 3 losses leave them 6 out, and tied with Miami for the second Wild Card spot.
The series loss to Washington can be traced to three things. First, good starting pitching by Washington. Outside of Thursday’s game, Washington starters gave up only 4 runs in the last three games. Second, the Mets offense again went into a slump after coming to life against the Cubs and Marlins. Third, Daniel Murphy is killing his old team, hitting 3 of his 7 Home Runs against Met pitching in this series.
Here are the three stars for the series:
Asdrubal Cabrera: 4 for 16, 2 Home Runs, 3 Runs, 2 RBIs.
Cabrera has been a decent replacement for Ruben Tejada. Their averages are comparable, but Cabrera has now scored one more run this season at the All-Star break (37) than Tejada did all of last season. Also, Cabrera has provided some power to the lineup, hitting 12 Home Runs so far this season, compared to Tejada’s 3 for all of 2015.
Curtis Granderson: 5 for 13, 3 Doubles, 2 Runs.
It looks like moving to the #2 spot in the order hasn’t affected Granderson so far. As mentioned in previous columns his numbers would be higher if there was more offense behind him in the lineup.
Jose Reyes: 4 for 16, 3 Home Runs, 4 Runs, 3 RBIs
Welcome back, Jose! I’m not sure if it is the return to New York, or Reyes’ desire to prove everybody wrong, but batting him first in the lineup is, at the very least, setting the table for the rest of the lineup. Not to mention, he is still showing some power, hitting 3 Home Runs in 6 games with the Mets. Reyes only hit 7 in 116 games with Toronto and Colorado in 2015.
The All-Star break could not come at a better time. With Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes exiting this weekend’s series early with injuries, the time off will allow them to get rest without a trip to the DL.
The Mets are 4-9 against the Nationals this season, so the good news is that there are only 6 games remaining against them. It seems that the Mets are able to close the gap on Washington when they are not playing each other, only to fall back when they do. So, it stands to reason that the 6 game deficit can easily be made up.