This Mets collapse doesn’t have to end like the others

On the topic of Mets collapses, it was simpler to assign blame in the dangerous previous days. When folks have been uninterested in ripping into Fred Wilpon, his son Jeff was at all times out there to take up some well-earned pictures to the ribs.

Now, issues aren’t as black-and-white. The new man in cost, Steve Cohen, initiatives a can-do vibe that runs counter to the Wilpons’ loserville contact and deserves a fair-and-square likelihood to construct his program. But on Friday evening, earlier than his crew misplaced for the seventh time in 9 video games and fell out of first place for the first time since May 7, this one 4-2 in Philadelphia, maybe the rookie proprietor made a rookie mistake.

“How about a little positive energy for this weekend?” Cohen tweeted. “I’m feeling the offense is going to get it going.”

The offense delivered two runs and 5 hits in a loss that handed the Phillies management of the NL East. It’s by no means a good suggestion for any Met to predict a run of crunch-time prosperity, not when there’s been so little of it over the years.

It’s official: The Mets are certainly collapsing. They held a five-game divisional lead in late June, and a four-game divisional final week, and now they’re simply one other second-place, 56-53 membership. If the common season had ended after Friday evening’s video games, the Mets would have missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season.

The excellent news? The solely excellent news? The Mets nonetheless have time to do one thing about it.

Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso at the Mets fell out of first place on Friday.
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No, that wasn’t at all times the case for this franchise. Toward that end, the Mets’ 2007 face-plant took the cake.

Those Mets grew to become the first crew ever to blow a seven-game divisional lead with 17 video games to play, delivering an epic choke job down the stretch whereas dealing with three groups (the Marlins, Nationals, and Cardinals) that completed a mixed 42 video games south of .500 and a mixed 41 video games out of first place. The Mets performed their closing seven video games at dwelling and misplaced six of them, together with a must-have finale outlined by the seven first-inning runs the Marlins scored off a person with 303 victories to his identify, Tom Glavine, who recorded just one out. The Mets handed the division to the white-hot Phillies, and didn’t even qualify for the wild card.

“Just a tough life lesson in baseball,” mentioned their supervisor, Willie Randolph.

The Mets at all times led the league in robust life classes. The following fall, after Randolph was fired, supervisor Jerry Manuel’s Mets blew “only” a 3 ¹/₂-game divisional lead in September and once more missed the playoffs by dropping a house sequence to the Marlins, who received the final recreation ever performed at Shea Stadium on back-to-back homers in the eighth. With the rating at 2-2, Manuel made a extremely questionable resolution to begin the eighth with reliever Scott Schoeneweis, who surrendered the decisive leadoff homer to Wes Helms.

“Obviously,” Manuel mentioned afterward, “[when] the guy hit the ball out of the park, I said, ‘Damn, what am I doing?’ ”

The Mets then strung collectively six consecutive dropping seasons earlier than lastly returning to relevance in 2015, advancing to a World Series they misplaced to Kansas City. That was supposed to be the begin of one thing huge, however the Mets haven’t received a playoff recreation since.

Dom Smith makes a catch in entrance of Brandon Nimmo.
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This season felt totally different, at the very least till Jacob deGrom went down. The Mets nonetheless have sufficient expertise to win, and certainly sufficient potent hitters to rating much more runs than they’ve been scoring. But Friday evening’s fourth inning defined why the Mets simply surrendered their three-month maintain on first place. With the bases loaded and no outs, Marcus Stroman adopted supervisor Luis Rojas’s orders to preserve the bat on his shoulders and settle for the strikeout to keep away from a double play. Great technique, till Brandon Nimmo (you guessed it) bounced right into a double play.

“We’re just in a little bit of a rut,” Stroman defined.

Before the recreation, requested if he discovered it essential emotionally and psychologically that his crew keep atop the division, Rojas mentioned he needed no a part of his gamers feeling that burden.

“That can’t get in our heads,” he mentioned. “That’s just outside what we have to do here. … If we go into the game just thinking of the standings and what are we losing, it’s just not healthy, I think, for what we want to accomplish in tonight’s game.”

The Mets didn’t accomplish something in Philadelphia, aside from infusing the dwelling crew with extra confidence.

“It sucks,” Nimmo mentioned. “It’s not fun at all.”

Collapses often aren’t.

Nimmo mentioned the Mets’ mission now’s to recapture first place, beginning Saturday. At totally different factors throughout the season, the Mets have been referred to as robust, resilient, even magical. They now have 53 video games to show that wasn’t all a crock of you realize what.

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