It can’t get worse for the Mets after Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to the Orioles at Citi Field. Or can it?
Oh, right. The Yankees come to Flushing for the first round of the Subway Series on Friday night.
The Mets were swept in the two-game series by Baltimore, the team with the worst record in baseball. The Mets’ next three games will be against their crosstown rivals, who have one of the best records in baseball.
The Mets were five-hit by Dylan Bundy and two relievers. Zack Wheeler was their latest hard-luck starter as he got a no-decision despite throwing seven shutout innings.
Manny Machado’s eighth-inning sacrifice fly off Jeurys Familia drove in the game’s only run.
The Mets (27-32) have lost six in a row (eight in a row at home) and 11 of 13 overall.
“You know what?” Michael Conforto said. “We’re not happy. It hasn’t been a good homestand for us.”
More? The Mets have scored seven runs in 59 innings on this homestand. They have scored two runs in their last 42 innings.
“I think guys are [angry],” manager Mickey Callaway said. “You could see it after the game today. I felt like the whole game everybody thought we were going to win the game and then we don’t and I felt like everybody was mad. They weren’t down on themselves, they were mad. Going into an off-day, I think they’re going to have some time to reflect. We have a big series that we have to focus on next and I’m sure everybody’s going to get pumped up.”
The Mets, who didn’t get their first hit until the fifth inning in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat, were held hitless for the first three innings by Bundy (4-7). Asdrubal Cabrera led off the fourth by snapping an 0-for-16 skid with a double off the rightfield wall.
Cabrera was the first Met to make it to second base. And at second base he stayed until it was time for a teammate to bring him a glove for the top of the fifth as Conforto and Todd Frazier hit fly ball outs and Jay Bruce popped out to shortstop.
Wheeler had the Mets’ second hit, an infield single in the fifth. And the game was still scoreless in the seventh when the Mets loaded the bases on a two-out double by Kevin Plawecki, an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez and an unintentional walk to pinch hitter Jose Bautista.
Bundy geared it up for the next batter, striking out Amed Rosario on three pitches.
Bautista had pinch hit for Wheeler, who was out after 93 pitches. Wheeler allowed three hits, walked a batter, hit two and struck out five. In their last 18 games, Mets starters have a 2.36 ERA. The Mets lost 13 of those games.
“Our job is to try to put up zeros,” Wheeler said. “Just try to do our job the best we can.”
Callaway called in Familia to do an unfamiliar job, bringing in his closer in the eighth inning of a scoreless game because the Orioles had the top of the order due after a pinch hitter for Bundy. Like everything else Callaway has tried lately, it didn’t work.
Familia (2-3) allowed an infield hit to pinch hitter Pedro Alvarez. It was a slow bouncer to the second-base position. But because Cabrera was shifted into short rightfield against the lefthanded power hitter, Rosario had to race across the infield and watched the ball glance off the webbing of his glove before a futile and late throw to first.
Pinch runner Craig Gentry stole second, moved to third on a one-out single by Adam Jones and scored on Machado’s deep sacrifice fly to center.
Brandon Nimmo led off the bottom of the eighth with a single against lefthander Richard Bleier. Cabrera attempted to bunt him to second, but he lined the ball back to Bleier, who caught it before it hit the grass. Bleier threw to first to double off Nimmo and Conforto struck out to end the inning.
“It was my call,” Cabrera said. “I was just trying to do something to help the team.”
Todd Frazier led off the ninth by snapping an 0-for-18 skid with a single off closer Brad Brach (10th save). Bruce made the first out on a 368-foot drive that was caught in front of the 370-foot sign in left-center. Plawecki popped out to right and Gonzalez grounded out into the shift to deep second to end the game.
So . . . bring on the Yankees?
“Hopefully,” Frazier said, “that will kick-start us and get us back to where we need to be.”
The Mets’ lineup has been, well, offensive in the last six games. The totals: