Gut Reaction: Nationals 11, Mets 10 (9/3/19)

In a game they had no business losing, the Mets gave up seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come out on the wrong end of an 11-10 score. It was an unfathomable ending to a game that had multiple twists and turns.

This was the supposed to be the pitcher’s duel deluxe between Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. But deGrom didn’t have his best stuff and the Mets ambushed Scherzer in the fourth inning after it appeared he had no-hit stuff in the first three frames.

The Nationals opened the scoring in the bottom of the first and seemed to have scoring opportunities every inning but managed just two runs in the first seven frames.

The Mets managed just a walk by Brandon Nimmo in the first three innings but in the fourth they decided to swing at the first pitch and the results were great. Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto opened up with singles, Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 26 games with an RBI double, Nimmo followed with a sacrifice fly and Joe Panik homered to put the Mets up, 4-1.

Jeff McNeil homered to give the Mets a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning.

deGrom had thrown 96 pitches and Mickey Callaway sent him out for the eighth inning. The pitch total wasn’t obscene but they were high-stress pitches for most of the night, including an 18-pitch seventh. DeGrom gave up a single to start the eighth and then Juan Soto cracked a two-run homer to cut the lead to 5-4.

Seth Lugo came on and retired the next three batters in order.

The Mets seemed to put the game away in the ninth inning. Nimmo led off with a homer, McNeil had a two-run hit and Alonso added a two-run blast to center to put the Mets up, 10-4.

Callaway opted to remove Lugo and let Paul Sewald finish out the game. Unlike sending deGrom to the mound in the eighth inning, it was likely the right move on paper. But Sewald gave up hits to four of the five batters he faced. Callaway opted to play matchups, brining in Luis Avilan to face the lefty Soto. But the matchup game failed again for the Mets, as Soto singled to load the bases. Callaway called for Edwin Diaz, who promptly gave up a double and a homer and the game was over.

The game was like a flashback to May and June when the bullpen stunk and they lost games they should have won. Perhaps none of those games was as much of a gimme as this one, however. It’s still hard to process how this one played out.

17 comments for “Gut Reaction: Nationals 11, Mets 10 (9/3/19)

  1. David Klein
    September 3, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    That was one of the worst loses that I can ever remember with Mickey playing a gigantic part in the game from sending a shaky deGrom out for the eight instead of going to Lugo to leaving Sewald in there way too freaking long. I dunno what Mickey was thinking letting Sewald face Rendon and bringing Avilan in a save situation, which set up Diaz, who has control problems coming in with the bases loaded and he got clobbered. The crazy thing is if the Mets only add an insurance run or two then Lugo comes out for the ninth and the Mets likely hold on to win. What a clusterfuck. Damn that Trea Turner for not turning a double play.

    • jennifer
      September 4, 2019 at 12:06 am

      I don’t get it. Yesterday he pulls Noah early when he’s dominating and then today he puts deGrom out there after he’s labored the whole game. It’s like, what?

  2. TJ
    September 3, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    This loss id historically bad. This pen is an unmitigated disaster, no doubt. It’s on Brodie, it’s on Brodie to fix it for 2020, and it’s on Brodie to do it without sacrificing more of the future.

    But, the managerial spot is a disaster as well, and the same applies.

  3. José
    September 3, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    I apologize for calling you guys losers the other day (even though I included myself). I was really frustrated

    What I really meant is being a loyal fan of this team makes one a loser, and it all starts at the top: Wilpon

    RIP: Mets 2019 season

    Even if they could suddenly rebound and squeak their way into a wild card, there are too many levels and too many better teams for the Mets to go all the way

    What’s the solution? You guys are far more knowledgeable than yours truly, and I’d like to read your opinions

    But I think their hitting and starters are pretty good, and potentially great. That leaves defense and bullpen

    See yous in 2020

  4. Michael
    September 3, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    The BP is pathetic. Sosa, Wilson and Familia are the only ones you can have an iota of confidence in. Three lousy outs with a six run lead ???
    FwI, Hansel Robles has given up 5 earned runs over the last 25 innings. He would sure look good in a Mets uniform these days.

  5. Mike W
    September 3, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    What a disaster. You have to have the win. Let Lugo pitch two.

    Even if they have to eat a lot of contracts, time to clean house. It has to start with Callaway.

  6. BVac
    September 3, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Its been said before this team can not make october without Diaz right

  7. NYM6986
    September 4, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Perhaps the worst loss of the season and after our bats did so much. The dreaded pen. Can we still make a .500 season out of this year and build for next year? Absolutely. That seems like a reasonable goal. The playoff hunt died with that walk off Gnats HR.

  8. Bob P
    September 4, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Mickey has been bad this year. Period. One thing I have noticed though is that after every loss people look for reasons to put the loss primarily on his shoulders. These are always second guesses with the benefit of hindsight. They didn’t lose this game because Mickey left deGrom in too long or because he pulled Lugo. Could they have won if he didn’t make those moves? Of course. But they also could have lost. If he pulled deGrom and Lugo blew the game he would be getting killed for that. As far as tonight’s move I actually agreed with leaving deGrom in. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he’s still the best pitcher we have. As far as pulling Lugo, I would probably have preferred him being left in (and of course with the benefit if hindsight it’s clearly the right move) but if it means the difference between having Lugo available the next day, and you have a 6 run lead, you have to expect the bullpen to be able to hold that. I’m certain that if he left Lugo in and the Mets won, someone would be bitching that he wasted Lugo for today when he had a 6 run lead.

    My point is not to defend Mickey, who as I said has been bad this year. To be fair though, this is not a team that would have a 700 win percentage with a different manager. They lost this game because the bullpen absolutely sucked and completely choked. Mickey didn’t cause that.

    • TJ
      September 4, 2019 at 10:16 am

      Absolutely agree that the players win or lose the game, and the manager is not playing. However, the manager is responsible for putting them in the best position to win the overall majority of times. All managers get questioned and criticized, it’s part of the game. But, Mickey has been really bad at game management on way too many occasions. Some things are obvious and perception is reality. Would the best manager in baseball make this squad a playoff team, likely not, the pen is too bad. Can the Mets upgrade the manager spot for 2020, absolutely with a good hire.

      • Chris F
        September 4, 2019 at 10:26 am

        All true TJ. But BVW put these people out there. He’s has one major blunder after the next. Who do you call after an extended inning? Ronnie mentioned that Lugo could stay hot, but it was obviously an issue. Surely some combo of relievers can get 3 outs with a 6 run lead. If not, then there is no team at all.

        • TJ
          September 4, 2019 at 4:42 pm

          GM definitely made multiple poor moves that have had negative impact. He is in year 1 of a 4 year deal, so like it or not he will get a crack at it again for 2020 at a minimum. That scares me a bit, but I really hope he looks long and hard at upgrading the manager if they can corral a more accomplished guy. That, a solid CF, and as many quality arms as he can find.

  9. NYM6986
    September 4, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Couldn’t agree more with your comments. While I am not a fan of Mickey as our manager, BVW has let the team down by not assembling a good bullpen. Let’s hope he does better in stock in the bullpen for 2020.

  10. JWAY35
    September 4, 2019 at 9:37 am

    I’m no idiot I know the manager can only do so much, and isn’t the one throwing the pitches but why is he not treating this game like a must win? Sure we’re up 6 but when you see the wheels coming off why are you not pulling Sewald or Diaz? I’m tired of the BS ego stroking to protect players feelings! If you sucked say you sucked and have a manager who will call you out if you sucked, Callaway doesn’t need to name names…but who in the BP would have the right to be pissed if he said ” Our BP has been terrible, we need guys who will step up and help win games for this team” It’s time for the Mets to replace the manager and send Diaz down to the minors…maybe that will help him focus on getting back into form!

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  11. September 4, 2019 at 9:55 am

    That was one u-g-l-y waste of a game. I woke up expecting to see Callaway fired.

    • Bob P
      September 4, 2019 at 10:53 am

      So you think Mickey should be fired based on the results of this game? If you think he should have been fired a while ago I can understand but to me there were a couple of decision that he had to make last night that could have been justified either way and they didn’t work out.

      I’m not trying to defend the job he’s done this year but I think you and other need to take a closer look at why some of these games are lost. Questionable managerial decisions have had a part in some games but the vast majority has been players not playing up to expectations.

  12. TexasGusCC
    September 4, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    This game is just another game that Mickey has lost because he didn’t do what needed to be done. Darling said that Lugo should have been taken out and saved for today, and I said it before Darling did in the chatter; I said Familia. However, a scrub was brought in that freesbes his pitches, and they sit on a flat plane to be killed; and no one fixes that! After two baserunners, he should have been pulled. Callaway just sits there always expecting things to just turn around by themselves. He has blown a ton of games doing that; be it batting Cano third forever, or just leaving a player in that is struggling.

    I have said many times that managers have more of a hand in games than people say, and this was another example. So was the Dodger game where the Dodgers scored five in the ninth off Diaz because he just left him in there, so have many other times. It is actually hard to figure out if Callaway is better than Bozo the Manger before him, that’s how bad he has been. However, both these guys manage more by players’ reputations and less by what they see in front of them. Just gutless, weak, sad people. The Mets need a strong person in the dugout; a person with balls. Also, need someone with balls to fix the mess in the Front Office. However, that’s another story.

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