It took until their 76th game of the season, but the New York Mets are officially on a losing streak.
The Mets’ 2-0 loss to the Houston Astros on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field marks the first time this season that they’ve lost three consecutive games.
With it has come offensive struggles — scoring just one run in their last 24 innings dating back to Sunday’s series finale loss against the Miami Marlins before getting swept in a two-game series by the Astros for the second time in a week.
“It’s hard to win a Major League Baseball game,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “We’re playing the best baseball players and pitchers in the world and on any given night, they can be on top of their game and make it real tough on you.
“To be not too far from the halfway point [to lose three straight games] is pretty good.”
The Astros have quickly become a very real thorn in New York’s side having beaten the Mets four-straight games this season to provide a stark reminder that there are still some things to improve on if they want to be a legitimate World Series contender.
“We have a good team over here. We battle every single game,” Taijuan Walker, who pitched a 7.1-inning gem on Wednesday but was ultimately outdueled by veteran Justin Verlander, said. “We play ’til the last out. That’s a really tough team. [Houston] been in the World Series three times in the last six years.”
Verlander went eight innings and allowed just two hits while striking out six to highlight the Mets’ sizable offensive slump. The only run they’ve scored in that 24-inning swoon was a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s 9-1 beatdown at the hands of the Astros.
Their best chance came in the first inning when Brandon Nimmo led things off with a double, but he proved to be the last Mets hitter to record a hit until Ender Inciarte’s perfectly-placed swinging bunt in the fifth.
Verlander and Astros reliever Ryan Pressly proceeded to retire the 12 Mets batters — the first time New York has been shut out at Citi Field this season.
“They’re a little frustrated right now,” Showalter admitted. “You tip your hat to the opposition all the time, which is the right thing to do, the real thing to do. But at the same time, we’ve beaten some really good pitchers this year too. To get where we want to get, we have to beat a guy like [Verlander], too.”
So how do they turn it around?
“The same way [we] have with the same things that have happened behind the scenes,” Showalter said as his team faces its first skid of 2022. “They’ve responded… We’ll be OK.”
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