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Those who would say the glass is half empty would look at the fact that the Mets scored just three combined runs and had just nine combined hits in two games. But those who look at it half full would point to the fact that Mets still won a game despite those poor offensive numbers, and that the Mets still have a 4.0 game lead in the division despite scoring three runs or fewer in 11 of their last 17 games.
Dom Smith, the hero of game one on Friday, falls into the second category.
“It's never concerning when you're in first place,” Smith said of the Mets’ recent woes at the plate. “We’re finding ways to get the job done. Obviously, we’re not going to win every game. If we did, we’d be 162-0, which is, like, impossible. So, it’s a part of the game.
“You can’t discredit Aaron Nola, the way he pitched tonight. You can’t discredit how Matt Moore came out and pitched. Same thing with our starters. Taijuan (Walker) pitched great, David Peterson pitched great, our bullpen was great. This is a hard game. You have some elite pitchers out there, but it’s a part of it.
“We’ve got another one tomorrow and we’ll be ready. When you’re in first place, you can’t be too concerned. You’ve just got to grind one game out at a time and try to win them all.”
The Mets had a golden opportunity to come away with a sweep on Friday, loading the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh inning of Friday’s nightcap. James McCann drove home the tying run with a sac fly to center, but that’s all the Mets would get in the inning, and the Phillies would ultimately come away with a 2-1 win in extras.
Still, Luis Rojas is pleased with the overall play of his team.
“We played good. We’re still showing resiliency out there,” said Rojas. “That bottom of the seventh, bases loaded no outs, that was a big chance … It’s a tough loss, but once again I have to be proud of the guys for how much resiliency they’re showing. It’s incredible.”
The Mets have managed to maintain their division lead despite now having the lowest runs-per-game average of any team in the National League, and Rojas knows that sometimes it’s going to take these grind-em-out kind of wins in close games to ultimately help the division crown a champion.
“It’s gonna be a battle. I thought from the offseason to spring training to the beginning of the season that it’s gonna be a battle,” Rojas said. “Everyone in the division has had injuries, us included, but it’s still gonna be a battle. Just look at those two games we played today, I think it’s just going to be like that. There’s nothing less to expect, so we’ve just got to do our part, we’ve got to prepare the way we do and show up and give our best baseball.
“I like the way we’re playing. I like the camaraderie that we have, I like how we’re doing everything. The offense has been a little down lately, but having (Jeff) McNeil and (Michael) Conforto back in the lineup, I know that that’s going to start sequencing more good at-bats and we’re going to be able to score more runs. But it’s definitely going to be a battle moving forward.”