Can the New York Mets fix their flaws before the playoffs?

By Disha Thosari
Fox Sports MLB Writer

New York – a month from now, Mets He is expected to play in his first National League Division Series since 2015. But to get there, his performance must be significantly different – ​​and much better – than what he displayed on Monday. 5-2 damage To Cubs,

The Mets’ offense set the tone early in the first inning, when they loaded the bases against Chicago. Xavier Assad, a rookie right-hander who troubled the New York hitters all night. Batsmen at the top of the Mets lineup sent six men to the plate in the opening frame.

But the two outs and the bases are full, Mark Kanha Never took his bat off his shoulder. He struck four pitches, and the Mets failed to capitalize, giving a right-hander instead to end his threat. Chris Bassito Quick run support.

Bassit, in contrast to his recent successful outings and the pattern of his big season, turned in his second shortest outing of the year. The veteran scored five earned runs in 3.2 innings before departure, head down for rain and dissatisfied with temperament. Bassitt’s rare start was a tough position that was made easy to imagine, just a few weeks from now, when the Mets are likely to compete later in the season.

If their experienced, generally reliable starter mixes it up on an October night, the Mets will want to answer and pick it up quickly before the score gets out of hand. But if Monday was a test run of how things would unfold in the playoffs, Mets fans would need better reasons to watch the glass half-full, while trying to get optimism for change.

Assad played six innings of one run in his fifth Major League debut of his career. But it was no lights-out performance, as New York dropped 10 men on base and went 1-for-9 with the runners in the scoring position, missing no more than a poor performance in the eighth.

Down 5-1, six outs left, Jeff McNilla Leading the innings with a busy infield single, completing with a head-first slide into first base. Pete Alonso with line-drive single to left field, and Daniel Vogelbach Worked a four-pitch walk to load bases without any.

But Kanha, who crushed his first career Grand Slam two nights ago in Miami, apparently left that mojo in South Florida. For the second time on Monday, he attacked the loaded bases. Then edward escobarA hot bat swung into the shallow center over the past few weeks since coming off the injured list.

Then Buck Showalter had to make a decision that could have changed the outcome of the game. with the right fielder Tyler Nuquin Due out, the Mets manager had a few pinching options on the bench. there was one mark winds, an exciting young rookie called last weekend in Miami, crushed the Left at a .330/.408/.732 clip in 68 games for Triple-A Syracuse this year. the second was there reputationA waning veteran skied 16 for 0 and played a hit in his last 34 at-bats, for which the Mets traded four players on last month’s deadline.

Showalter opted for the latter, and unfortunately for the Mets, what happened next was predictable.

Vientos remained on the bench, and Roof flew into right field against the Chicago Southpaw. Brandon HughesEnding the Mets’ best opportunity to beat the Cubs 59-82. Mets fans who were engulfed in rain at Citi Field were incredulous, some with their hands on their heads and others cheering the result vehemently.

Later, Roof was cagey, defiant and brief, explaining what went wrong with that eighth-innings batting. Who wouldn’t last — during a pennant race, no less — after a stretch near him?

“It’s disappointing,” he said. “I’m just trying good batsmen, and sometimes you need a little luck.”

Still, it’s unfair to put Monday’s loss on the roof entirely. The two batsmen before him also turned into unproductive batting. Vientos went unused as everyone wondered what could have happened. Bassit struggled off-night.

Later, Showalter defended his decision to pinch Roof on Vientos, citing the veteran hitter’s track record. In his 10-year big-league career, Roof has 39 home runs and .897 OPS against the Left. But, in using Roof, Showalter overlooked his recent history since joining the Mets on trade deadline, .137 batting average (7-for-51) and 15 in 22 games. Strikes out.

“We keep waiting,” Showalter said. “We think Darin has been really good at that spot for his career. It hasn’t been for him lately.”

The problem is that the Mets offense can use a spark — especially on the designated hitter — after leading 5-5 in 10 games. marlins, citizens, Pirates And Cubs this month. These four teams are in the basements of their respective leagues; None of them are there to make it to the playoffs. Before the All-Star break, the Mets had the worst OPS (.614) in the NL in DH, finishing third in the worst. mlb,

Mets GM Billy Appler acquired Vogelbach, Nequin and Roof on the trade deadline aimed at improving the team’s efficiency in the DH, but all three have been largely disappointing. Since those trades, the Mets’ designated hitters have posted .587 OPS on the position, which is still the worst in the NL.

It’s not like the Mets lack urgency, even with their 100 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Fangraph, with 20 games each. Watch McNeil’s head-first dive into first base to see how badly he wants to win these games against lesser opponents. But it’s possible that some hitters are, as Showalter said, “trying to do too much,” which is leading to unsuccessful hitting approaches and disproportionate results.

On Monday, it became much easier to imagine the same conditions that unfolded in October. The Mets Are Counting Down jacob degrom To lead the rotation, Max Scherzer To healed from burning/fatigue on his left side And to give Bassit what he has for most of the season. But hiccups do happen, and when they do, it’s imperative that Mets hitters can lift their pitching staff.

Mets star Max Scherzer tops injured list

Mets star Max Scherzer tops injured list

Ben Verlander and Disha Thoser discuss Max Scherzer’s trip to IL and how it affected the Mets’ chances to win the NL East.

And the thing is, the scenario in October will be much tougher – and way more competitive – than on Monday. The Mets faced a sub-.500 team they were able to beat on their best day. Being beaten by Assad? try to face Brave’ Max Fried either spencer striderThe dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw either Tyler Anderson And this Astros’ Justin Verlander either framber valdez,

The Mets (89–53) still have the third-best record in baseball, they are still first in the NL East, and their magic number is eight to reach the playoffs for the first time in six years. But they still have the Braves (87-54) vying for the division title, and they still want that sub-week and a direct ticket to the NLDS instead of playing a wild-card series.

Monday showed the Mets can’t stand laps or breaks. It’s going to take the best of every single player on their postseason roster to make this a deep race.

Disha Thosar is an MLB writer for Fox Sports. She previously covered the Mets for the New York Daily News. Follow him on Twitter @DeeshaThosar,

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