Dead Ducks in Beantown

Even Pete's feeling deflated after another losing effort...

The Mets lost to the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston on Tuesday night, 6-3, pushing them seven games back in the National League East and 8 1/2 back in the NL Wild Card with 11 games left on the schedule.

So much for that miracle run. The math says they’re still alive, but that’s just about all these Metsies have going for them at the moment. In the wake of this team losing 11-of-19 this month, even the most optimistic have been chopped down.

“[Making the postseason] is unlikely, that’s just the facts,” Pete Alonso said after the loss. “We haven’t played up to our potential. As unfortunate as that is, we still have 11 games left. We have to finish the season strong regardless of where we are in the standings.”

Talk about a one-eighty. Alonso’s trademarked and unwavering confidence in this group turning it around appearing so obviously whittled down actually hurt to hear.

He is right, though. This team never did reach its potential, squandering nearly every chance that’s been gifted to them along the way. Gotta finish, in every sense of the phrase.

Marcus Stroman gave up four earned runs over five innings of work (just his fourth start this season allowing more than three earned runs), increasing his earned run average to 3.00 on the nose, good for ninth in MLB among qualified starters.

The 30-year-old right-hander worked around solitary baserunners the first and second and escaped a bases-loaded, no-out mess in the third, but on the back of consecutive two-out doubles from Bobby Dalbec and Christian Vasquez in the fourth, Boston finally broke through.

Enrique Hernandez struck with a solo shot in the fifth to tie the game at two, Xander Bogaerts put the Sox ahead with a two-run homer later in the frame, and you could almost feel the air sucked out of the Mets’ dugout.

“When my mechanics are off, it throws everything off,” Stroman said after the game. “Things aren’t moving like they’re supposed to. You’re not able to locate as well. And I knew it, I felt it in the game. I take it with a grain of salt. I’ll focus on that between these next five, six days, and prepare, and be better my next time out.”

Stroman’s done a fine job of that so far this season, as noted above. Stepping into an ace role in the absence of an all-timer in Jacob deGrom is no easy task but he’s done so without so much as an occasional hiccup.

Take into consideration the fact that the Patchogue-Medford High School alum is up to 174 innings pitched after logging zero in 2020, and it makes the feat all that more impressive.

“I feel great. To be honest, I feel really good,” he said with regards to any wear and tear he may have accrued over the year. “I do so much to keep my body and mind in the proper space and I think all the hard work has just paid off.”

Heading into free agency this offseason, it would certainly appear that will be the case for Stroman.

Boston’s three-run fifth would essentially seal the deal for this once-again sputtering Mets offense (1-for-6 with RISP, seven left on base). Consistency has been elusive for this group, to say the least.

Javier Báez has played just 38 games with New York (.304/.377/.556, 9 HR, 155 wRC+ in 151 PA) and his 1.6 wins above replacement (FanGraphs) rank fifth on the team this season (Brandon Nimmo leads with 3.1 fWAR). Underwhelming would be an understatement.

As Alonso intimated after the game, a respectable finish to an otherwise lost and wholly deflating season would be nice after the last palpitation-inducing six months. Indeed, Meat. Indeed…

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