It has been a common theme recently that when the New York Mets trail by one or two runs in the late innings, it’s safe to say that the game is over. Tonight they proved that they just cannot come through in some big-time situations and we have seen it happen time and time again throughout the entire season. They dropped tonight’s game to the Atlanta Braves 3-2, but it isn’t like they had no opportunities to tie or even win the game in the latter stages of the game.
I know Daniel Murphy and David Wright were both out tonight, but that really is no excuse, these guys are major-league ball players and when you have relief pitchers on the ropes in crucial situations, you just got to drop the hammer down. The Mets had a number of opportunities in the bottom of the eighth and ninth to do some damage, but they failed to do so.
In the bottom of the eighth, they got a big RBI single from Juan Lagares to cut the lead to 3-2, but that would be the closest they would come. After that, Lucas Duda grounded into a double play. The next man, Travis d’Arnaud hit a soft grounder in between short and third and Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a ridiculous play to rob d’Arnaud of a game-tying hit. That really is the Mets’ luck right there in a nutshell just when they had some momentum going it gets stopped at a blink on an eye.
You really just can’t make this stuff up when it comes to this team. I really never have seen it before, just the collective inability to fail in key spots is scary. Then in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets get two men on against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, which is a hard enough task as it is. Wilmer Flores laid down a perfect bunt to move the runners to second and third.
So now one would think, there’s no way the Mets can’t get at least one run out of this. Well guess again, because the next man, Ruben Tejada would ground out to third and Eric Campbell would be thrown out at the plate. Then pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis would fly out to end the game. It really is sad I thought maybe, just maybe the Mets would have a walk-off win in them tonight, but I was certainly wrong.
When you get Kimbrel on the ropes like that, you have to capitalize; there are very few times when he is erratic as he was tonight and you just got to take advantage of that. I know the offense has been a problem all year, but now it just getting flat out ridiculous. This is twice in the last two weeks I’ve seen them lose games where they had multiple runners on in the bottom of the ninth with less than two outs and trailing by only one run.
This just tells me that they can’t come through when the game is on the line. In order to be a successful team, you have manage to take some of the ball games in which you are trailing in the late innings. The Mets just can’t seem to do that at all recently, they cut the lead to one run and that’s it. It really isn’t even one guy; it’s the entire team which makes it even worse.
There really is no solution for clutch hitting; you either can do it or you can’t. Clearly the Mets have not been able to do it of late and it has cost them several ball games over the past couple of weeks. It would be nice to see this team comeback and win a ball game in the late innings, but who knows when well see that happen. Until then, I can only hope that their timely hitting will improve; it may be a moot point by now, but clutch hitting is still a major part of this game.