Two-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer was too much for the Mets tonight, holding them to four hits over eight innings. The heterochromic wonder baffled the Mets with a full arsenal of sliders, curves, change ups and fastballs. What’s amazing is that he doesn’t throw 98. Whether it’s because he can’t anymore or because he doesn’t need to is irrelevant because he’s able to overpower lineups consistently with location, movement, and a great mix of pitches. Mets pitchers could learn a thing or two from watching him.

The Mets lone run against Scherzer came from Jose Reyes, who capitalized on the one bad pitch he threw all night – a hanging slider that Reyes deposited into the upper deck of the Coca Cola corner. Otherwise, we couldn’t muster any offense.

Steven Matz effectively mixed pitches and busted batters inside but made just enough bad pitches to cough up three home runs (totaling four runs) to Matt Wieters, Michael Taylor, and, of course, Anthony Rendon. If you’re keeping track, that’s 13 home runs allowed by Mets pitchers in the last four games.Yikes. The Mets were down 4-1 when Scherzer exited after eight innings, but Fernando Salas and Neil Ramirez made sure to give the Nats and their struggling bullpen three extra insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

Jay Bruce added a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was way too little, way too late. Speaking of which, here we are six games under .500 and 10.5 games out of the wild card in mid June. If we manage to get swept in this four-game series, even this eternally optimistic Mets fan will have a hard time thinking positively about 2017. Let’s root for a split.

Tomorrow at 4:10 p.m. EDT, the Mets and Nationals square off for game three with Seth Lugo vs. Steven Strasburg.

9 comments on “Gut Reaction: Nationals 7, Mets 2 – 6/16/17

  • John Fox

    I had to look up heterochromic, I knew he had different eye color but I did not know the word.

  • TexasGusCC

    Matt, the Mets need a wake up call. Sorry, I thought this team had a chance to be very good but I was mistaken. As they are formulated and used, there’s no shot. Only blind hope…

    I’m hoping the Coupons are taking note of the way the Nationals are run. They find good young players and allow those players through ups and downs to grow and there never is a veteran blocking a good young player.

    I’m hoping Alderson is watching how their lineup doesn’t have sluggers, but rather players that hit for a good average, and, can hit one out as well but it isn’t their only calling card. The way all aspects of the team work together to compliment each other instead wondering why the starters have the highest ERA in baseball but also have the worst defense behind them in baseball, by a mile.

    I’m hoping Bozo the Manager is watching the way they execute, the way they don’t beat themselves, and the way they mask their weaknesses by burying them in the lineup or on the bench. They don’t allow a slumping player to keep a key lineup spot. It’s a mental thing as well, that tells the team that the name on the back of the uniform doesn’t matter.

  • Chris F

    Really enjoyed the podcast Brian!

  • Jim OMalley

    Ok. Well the Nationals have benefited from a couple of number one picks too. They also had that gift Turner deal as well.

  • Chris F

    Gus, are you imagining that Werth at 38 yo isnt blocking a kid? What about Zimmerman, whose season could never have been predicted? They went out and traded their best prospect for Adam Eaton despite having Taylor.

    As for sluggers, the Nats have 103 HR I think after last night. They are a big time slugging team What I think is that they have a bunch of professional hitters that also have power.

    Lastly, Dusty has the privilege of fielding a team that is filled with very talented players; Collins does not. The Nats have drafted and traded well.

    • TexasGusCC

      Werth is not blocking any top prospect in their system. Not Zimmerman either. Taylor has flopped two or three years in a row and if he were a Met, you’d hate him more than Flores.

      Yes, the Nats hit homers, but it’s the batting averages that make the difference. Baker works hitting with his guys and having a lineup of .300 hitters makes life very nice and puts a lot of pressure on the opposing pitchers. The power is a result of looking to make hard contact, but again, we have said the homerun is a 3% outcome.

      Collins has not impressed us with his usage of talent. Is Zimmerman in fact more talented than Duda? He wasn’t a few years back but continuing the progress has done this, and good for them. They have Harper, we have Cespedes. They have Murphy, we have Conforto. They have Rendon, we have Flores or Bruce. If our players got hurt and we didn’t rehab them correctly, that’s on us.

      The Nats do the little things that a team needs to do to win, and those little things accumulate and the mental approach is affected. Conversely, the Mets veterans are expected to know better. Can you imagine an environment where the employees are expected to know better and the manager just stands around, sometimes forgetting to even manage?

      • Chris F

        Who exactly is being blocked in the Mets system besides Rosario? I simply dont want to hear about Flores, Cecchini, Reynolds, TJ, Nimmo and the like. None of these are Trea Turner. None of them are every day major league talents on the scale of Rendon, Turner, Harper etc.

        I completely agree that the Nats have a more contact oriented approach, whereas Alderson is walk or HR. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. The Mets do not value speed, contact, or defense. Alderson has created a SABR team on paper, not actual baseball players. Night after night we see appalling defense and base running, all hinged on the notion that we will homer our way out of it. Well, the Nats are homering their way out of it, and getting on base as well. They are clearly a much better constructed team. The Lerner family is rich beyond imagination. The Wilpons need a FO that has to be careful with talent service time because of money. That is flat out reality.

        Yes, Zimmerman is more talented than Duda. Ces is nowhere near Harper. That you mention Rendon with Flores confuses me. Rendon is a star. Flores is roster filler. Simply no comparison whatsoever. Conforto has the chance to be a star, but at every position on the field the Nats have a better player, and its not even close except at CF, depending on who is out there for the Mets.

        The organization of the team is a real issue: ownership imposes demands that force shady personnel decisions by the FO. The FO imposes philosophy that makes managing the team hard, and provides personnel that cannot play well rounded baseball. The players are told walk or hit homers. Dont worry about first to third, hit and run, bunt the runners over, steal a base. In Aldersons view, a man of 1B is in the same scoring position as a man on 3B…a HR brings them both in. I find it maddening every night. An aside of this, is that the pitching staff is built around swing and miss with power. That means if you have any issues, pitching to contact is a disaster, so pitch counts and BB climb as we can see.

        I agree with you that as constructed the team has very little chance now.

        • TexasGusCC

          Chris, I will give you a short answer wherever I can. Yes, Rosario is blocked. But, they also wanted to send Conforto down in March but he hit too well to do so. That is the mentality I’m referring to. Also, Nimmo was ranked #44 in MLB, so he’s not just junk.

          I don’t know how rich all these people are because I cannot even comprehend. But I do know, that other than the way SNY is screwing the team with basically a Minnesota Twins payment, the Mets are making money. But, the Mets are spending, how they’re spending it is a different story.

          Rendon two years ago was Flores. A good prospect that wasn’t doing well. They never sat him. Say what you want about Flores, but he was ballyhooed also and has offensive talent.

  • Metsense

    The Mets are built around starting pitching and so far in 2017 the starting pitching failed. deGrom, Wheeler, Harvey and Gsellman have ERA’s and FIP’s above 4 and Syndergaard is hurt. That has led to the reliever’s imploding with Reed, Blevins and Edgin having the only sub 3 ERA’s and Familia is hurt. The offense can’t support these pitching numbers, especially with the offensive injuries, but they would have if the pitching had not failed.
    Scherzer was vintage Scherzer and good pitching stops good hitting. If the Mets win the next two no ground is lost. LGM

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