Hard to make much of Mets win

This season has gone awry for the Mets after high expectations were set on them this season. This weekend should have been an NL playoff preview between two well-compensated ballclubs, themselves and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Instead, it was just another game of the 162-game schedule on what was a rainy, cloudy Sunday that delayed the game to a late start at Citi Field rather than the traditional 1:00 p.m. start.

The Mets somehow went on to win 2-1 in 10 innings against the Dodgers in the series finale after their offense played awfully in the first two games of the series, in which they mustered a run, four hits and 18 strikeouts while hitting .072 and going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

They did not play any better in this game. They collected two runs and six hits. The Mets managed to get only a run with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Dodgers reliever Alex Vesia got them out in four pitches in the eighth inning of his lone relief appearance.

They played like they were begging to lose. It sure seemed like it was going to happen after the Dodgers tied it at one in the eighth inning on Mookie Betts’ RBI single off Mets reliever Trevor Gott. Brooks Raley relieved Gott in that inning after the Dodgers tied it, and he was able to get the Mets out of a jam when Met killer Freddie Freeman grounded into a fielder’s choice and Max Muncy fouled out, leaving Miguel Rojas and Betts stranded in that inning.

This gave the Mets new life as Raley’s appearance served as the turning point of the game. After inexplicably not using David Robertson for a six-out save in the eighth inning with the home team holding on to a 1-0 lead in a game they had to win, Mets manager Buck Showalter redeemed himself by putting his closer in the ninth inning to keep this tied at one and hope his team figured it out in their ninth inning or tenth inning.

Robertson pitched two scoreless innings, including stranding out Chris Taylor at second in the ninth inning and James Outman (ghost runner) at third in the tenth inning, which set the stage for a Mets win. With Brett Baty as the ghost runner in the tenth, Luis Guillorme hit the game-winning RBI double to end the game.

It should have been enjoyable. We should have savored this win the way we did when the Mets came back to beat the Tampa Bay Rays this season or when they swept the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field this year. This did not feel like one. This seemed more of a relief than a feel-good win. Had the Mets lost this game, this would sum up their season in a nutshell, which they found another way to lose.

If anything, this game summed up why the Mets are a 43-50 team going nowhere this season. When they pitch, they can’t hit. When they hit, they can’t pitch. They failed to put everything together all season. No wonder fans did not sound excited about this win.

They saw the team for three and half months to know their team isn’t very good, and it isn’t going to change now. Sure the Metropolitans can muster a run, but it’s going to be hard to sustain it.

The schedule should get favorable for the rest of the post-All-Star break, even though the Mets have to play the Atlanta Braves twice. But this team has found ways to lose to bad teams this season, too. To match the 87 wins of last year’s Phillies that got them to the postseason after struggling the first few months of the season, the Mets would have to go 44-25. This is likely not happening.

Their starting pitching will be why since it has been a problem all season. The Mets received nothing from Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Kodai Senga has been good, but he can’t go deep in games, and he still is pitching once a week rather than every five days. Carlos Carrasco is who he is at his age by being a mediocre starter. Jose Quintana will make his Mets debut Thursday against the Chicago White Sox after having a rib injury in spring training, but does anyone really expect much from him since he is a mediocre starter?

Scherzer actually pitched well on Sunday and that was when he was dealing with neck stiffness. He pitched seven shutout innings, while allowing only a hit and striking out six on 97 pitches. Scherzer retired eight in a row to finish his day. He did not give up his usual home run for a change. It was actually refreshing to see after being awful for most of the season.

But again what makes anyone think he can do this consistently? He will give you five awful performances for a rare performance like the start he had against the Dodgers. The same can be said for Verlander. That’s another reason it’s hard to celebrate this win.

If the Mets did not benefit from the ghost runner rule, maybe they lose this game.

The players can spew this nonsense there are many games to go, but it’s become a tired cliché now to the point of annoyance.

This win should offer no reason to believe since they tried to lose this.

Luck won’t be on the Mets’ side every game as we saw this season.

You can read Leslie's Jersey Sporting News columns on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

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