Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mets Swept By Dodgers, Fall Under .500

Sunday July 22, 2012
Final Score: 12 Innings, Los Angeles Dodgers: 8 New York Mets: 3
Mets Swept by Dodgers, Fall Under .500

The Mets lost to the Dodgers Sunday afternoon 8-3, resulting in a sweep of the series.  For the first time all season, the Mets record falls under .500 with the loss as their record drops to 47-48.  The Mets now sit five games behind the Atlanta Braves for the wild card and 8.5 games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East division race.  The Mets have now lost eight of the nine games since the All-Star break and nine of ten overall.

Two other times this season, the Mets had been .500 entering a game and had been able to pull out a win, but not this afternoon.  The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for the Mets, as they finish the home stand against the Washington Nationals then head out west for a 10-game west coast trip with series against San Francisco, Arizona and San Diego.

Once again the Mets bullpen was tagged with the loss, something that is becoming too often of an outcome.  Ramon Ramirez imploded with two outs in the 12 inning, suffering the loss while surrendering five earned runs.  Ramirez surrendered three straight hits with the bases loaded to blow the game open.  The Mets bullpen had thrown four shutout innings prior to the meltdown, but once again was unable to hold the game.

The Mets have averaged five runs a game since the All-Star break, and looked like they were going to surpass that today. They were able to get 20 men on base today thanks to 16 hits and four walks but couldn’t make anything of them; the hitters just could not cash in.  The Mets stranded 14 runners on base, going 4 for 19 with runners in scoring position.  Multiple times the Mets had a chance to put this game away but were unable to come up with timely hits to knock in the go-ahead runs.  Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Lucas Duda and Josh Thole were the players to get the hits with runners in scoring position. 

It was another good outing for Jon Niese that was wasted and went for nothing.  Niese received the no-decision while tossing seven-plus innings surrendering only three earned runs.  He gave up eight hits, with the two big ones both coming in the sixth inning as Juan Rivera knocked his fifth homerun of the season over the wall and an Andre Ethier RBI single. 

Niese is taking full advantage of the injuries the Mets are suffering to their rotation by making the most of his chance at the number two spot.  Niese has allowed three or less earned runs in five of his past six outings and in his two starts since the break he has given up only four runs in 14 innings.

The Mets look to get back to .500 when they start a series against the first-place Washington Nationals at Citi Field Monday night.  Chris Young (2-4, 4.11 ERA) will attempt to stop the Mets losing streak against Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann (7-6 2.35 ERA). 

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