Mets leave 12 runners on base as offense sputters in pivotal Phillies loss: 'It hurts'

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Andres Gimenez sitting on the ground after Phillies turn double play
Andres Gimenez sitting on the ground after Phillies turn double play

The Mets’ 18-run explosion against the Toronto Blue Jays was just four days ago, but on Tuesday night it felt more like four months, as the Mets left 12 runners on base and fell to the Phillies 4-1 in Philadelphia.

Despite recording 11 hits, the Mets’ only run came on a Brandon Nimmo solo home run in the fifth inning, as they went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and grounded into a pair of costly double plays to end potential scoring innings.

And the Phillies 2.5 games ahead of the Mets in the Wild Card race entering the night, it was night an opportune time for the bats to go cold.

“It hurts,” Nimmo said after the game, “We didn’t take advantage of some opportunities as far as hitting goes. “It just comes down to hitting with runners in scoring position. It’s one of the hard things to do in the game. There’s a reason why people get paid to do it, get paid for RBIs. Everyone knows what’s on the line when runners get in scoring position.

“I think guys are really wanting to come through, and if I had to guess, the more that you don’t come through and people tell you about it and you notice it, the more pressure it puts on those situations … I do know the guys want to come through, and sometimes you put more pressure on yourself than you need to in those situations.”

Friday night’s 18-1 win over the Blue Jays in Buffalo was a night when everything seemed to go right for the Mets in the batter’s box, but they’ve taken some steps backward since then, dropping three straight and scoring just six runs.

“Particularly after that game, I've seen a couple of poor at-bats in that situation. Just non-quality at-bats, not maintaining our approach that we still have when there’s nobody on or no one in scoring position,” said Luis Rojas. “Once again today, we get double-digit hits and we get one run on a solo homer. That tells you right there some of the things that have been affecting us to score more runs as an offensive team, because we know how good we are offensively.

“There are numbers out there that put us at the top of probably a lot of categories from an offensive standpoint, but when it comes to runners in scoring position, that’s not where we’re at the top.”

The Mets now find themselves at six games under .500 with a 21-27 record, 2.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals for the second and final Wild Card spot, with the Phillies a game ahead of those two teams for the other spot.

With just 12 games left, the Mets know they don’t need to add any extra pressure to their own situation, but things need to turn around as quick as possible to jump the teams ahead of them.

“We’ve got games left and we know that we can score more runs,” said Rojas. “We know that we can do it, and we’ve got to get back to that approach that we had in some of those games where with runners in scoring position, nobody on, we’re locked in. Not the case tonight, and that’s what led to us scoring just one run.”