Mets look to turn page against Nationals after disastrous sweep by Braves – The Denver Post


ATLANTA — The Mets seem to be searching for answers after getting swept by the Atlanta Braves over the weekend.

The defending World Series champs now control the NL East after a dismal showing by the Mets at Truist Park. The Braves took down Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt in succession, and the Mets bats went cold. This was a stunning fall for a team that led the division by as many as 10 games in June and the mood in the clubhouse following Sunday night’s 5-3 loss was a mix of shock, anger and determination.

However, no one seems to know what the Mets did wrong or how to fix it.

“I would say they executed,” shortstop Francisco Lindor said. “Hats off to them. Good pitching staff. They did very well.”

“They just flat out beat us this weekend,” first baseman Pete Alonso said. “They played well. Good for them. Tip your hat.”

“Hats off to them,” outfielder Brandon Nimmo said. “They’re just peaking at the right time and they’re a good team.”

Gentlemen, the hats are off and they’ve been off since Friday.

The Mets don’t have much time to dissect this series with the Washington Nationals coming to town Monday for the final three games of the regular season. But let’s start here: They scored only seven runs in three games, only had four extra-base hits, left 22 runners on base and went 5-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

Manager Buck Showalter thinks some key players, like Francisco Lindor, were pressing at the plate, though Lindor downplayed the notion.

“I don’t know if I would say pressing,” Lindor said. “I want to be good, but that’s year-long. I had a good game yesterday, today I didn’t have the game that I wanted to.”

Technically, there is still a chance to win the division. Atlanta has not clinched the title just yet but the Braves are two games ahead with three to play this week in Miami against the Marlins, so the Mets will need help from a team that looks as dominant as ever, even if they sweep the Nats.

But it’s a longshot, with the Braves needing only a single win to take the division and advance to the NLDS. The playoff picture for the Mets is coming into focus and it’s a difficult road.

The San Diego Padres are the Mets’ most likely opponent in a wild card round that would begin Friday at Citi Field. If the Mets advance, they would face the 110-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. If they manage to get past the Dodgers, they might have to face the Braves again in the NLCS.

The team is trying to take the lessons learned from this series and apply them to the postseason.

“I feel like for a lot of us in this group, and for me, I feel like this is the closest thing to a playoff atmosphere,” Alonso said. “I feel like we did a good job with getting hits, but I feel like if we get a couple more timely hits in some big spots and have quality at-bats with guys in scoring position, I feel like we can get a little bit better with that.”

Alonso thinks maybe the shock factor of postseason play will be taken out of the equation now and that the first-time playoff players can now focus on playing and enjoying the moment. But there was little enjoyment in Atlanta, only disappointment.

The Mets are aiming to use that as fuel against Washington.

“If I know these guys, they’ll rebound and look to make somebody feel their pain,” Showalter said.



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