Real or not? Mets can't do much of anything right during brutal slump

ByDavid Schoenfield ESPN logo
Thursday, June 7, 2018

How's the team song go?

Meet the Mets,

Meet the Mets,

Step right up and greet the Mets!

Bring your kiddies,

bring your wife,

Guaranteed to have the time of your life

because the Mets are really sockin' the ball;knocking those home runs over the wall!

Umm ... about those home runs ... there haven't been enough of them over the past week and definitely not enough of anything else. The Mets have scored seven runs in their past six games, all losses. They lost 1-0 to the Orioles on Wednesday, as Dylan Bundy and two relievers combined for a five-hit shutout.

The Mets have hit .139 with three home runs in this little stretch of ineptitude and they've dropped to five games under .500. Oh, and after a much-needed off day Thursday, the Yankees come to town. Don't worry, Mets fans, your team is ready:

And don't worry about that New York media, the Mets are being treated with kid gloves:

Fun times in Queens.

Colon ties Marichal: Bartolo Colongave up two runs in five innings and the Rangers backed him up with four home runs -- two by Jurickson Profar -- off Daniel Mengden to complete a sweep of the A's with an 8-2 victory. With three home runs the past two games, Profar has increased his slugging percentage from .410 to .470. Ah, a reminder that we're still relatively early in the season and a couple of big games is all it takes for a player to turn his season around.

Anyway, Colon earned his 243rd career victory, tying Juan Marichal for the most ever by a player born in the Dominican Republic. Next up: Dennis Martinez's 245 wins, the most for a Latin American-born pitcher. Congrats to the Big Guy.

Cubs walk it off in dramatic fashion: Adam Morgan versus Jason Heyward, the game on the line:

That was the first walk-off grand slam this season after there were six last year, but it was even more improbable given the matchup:

Of course, it was still a gut-punch loss, just for the Phillies instead of the Cubs as Philly's bullpen issues continue. Seranthony Dominguez even gave up his first two runs of the season after 14.2 scoreless innings to start his big league career.

The Phillies had scored two in the top of the ninth, so this isn't technically a game they lost while leading going into the ninth, but they've had two of those and now this one, and they've lost two more games in which they led heading into the eighth. The major league average per team heading into Wednesday was 2.4 such losses.

Brandon Crawford is ready for fall: The dude is raking. The Giants beat the Diamondbacks 5-4 in 10 innings as Crawford provided the walk-off single with two outs after Andrew McCutchen had doubled.

Crawford hit .189 with five extra-base hits in March/April, but since May 1 he leads the majors with a .429 average and has banged out 17 extra-base hits. He's up to .324/.372/.498 overall and with his excellent defense, he has to be the most deserving to start at shortstop for the National League at the All-Star Game.

The biggest play of the game, however, came in the bottom of the ninth when pinch hitter Alen Hanson tied the score with a two-run home run. That's four consecutive games in which Hanson has delivered a pinch hit, the first Giants player to do that since Ken Oberkfell in 1989.

Astros earn split with Mariners: For a few moments Wednesday, it looked as if the Astros' bullpen was again going to take some of the blame for a one-run loss. The Astros led 3-2 in the seventh inning when Denard Span homered off Lance McCullers Jr. After a walk to Guillermo Heredia, Chris Devenski came on and promptly threw away a pick-off attempt, and Jean Segura would knock in Heredia with a two-out single to give the Mariners a 4-3 lead.

But the Houston bats rescued the bullpen as they touched Juan Nicasio for four straight hits to start the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs and eventually taking a7-5 victory.

For the Mariners to have any chance at winning the AL West, they'll need nearly perfect execution from the bullpen. Nicasio has had a strange season: He has 37 strikeouts and only two walks in 28.2 innings, but he also has a 5.34 ERA. Granted, eight of his 18 runs allowed have come in two horrendous outings, but you almost wonder if he's throwing too many strikes, which is why batters are hitting .296 off him.

It did get a little nervy for the Astros in the ninth, as A.J. Hinch went with Hector Rondon for the four-out save, his first of the season. The Mariners got the tying runs on base with two outs, but Rondon struck out Nelson Cruz swinging on a 3-2 slider. Stay tuned to see if Rondon gets more save chances moving forward.

This is major league baseball: Part 1:

RIP, Red: Red Schoendienst was a beloved figure in St. Louis, a superb player for 15 seasons for the Cardinals and the manager of the 1967 World Series champs. He was a 10-time All-Star and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1989 as a player by the Veterans Committee. After he was fired as Cardinals manager in 1976, he would serve as a coach under Whitey Herzog (with two interim stints as manager in 1980 and 1990 thrown in). Even when he was no longer an official coach, he was at the park almost every day, often in uniform, often hitting infield fungoes to the infielders during batting practice. He died Wednesday at age 95.

Schoendienst is one of the few Hall of Fame players who followed up with success as a manager. Of course, his success as a manager came before his election to the Hall of Fame, and he was a marginal selection at best, given his career WAR of 42.3 -- one of the lowest totals for a post-World War II Hall of Famer.

Although he was elected as a player, his managing probably helped him get in -- plus the simple fact that everyone liked him. As Stan Musial once said, "He is one of the kindest, most decent men I've ever known." Sometimes nice guys do finish first.

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