New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo reacts after he struck out...

New York Mets' Brandon Nimmo reacts after he struck out swinging to end an MLB baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citi Field on Saturday, June 3, 2023. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Obvious reasons for the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday included Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s RBI double, which snapped a tie in the ninth after manager Buck Showalter decided against intentionally walking him, and another awfully quiet performance from the lineup.

Less obvious? The Mets really, really miss Edwin Diaz, their all-everything closer who suffered a severe knee injury during the World Baseball Classic in March.

Trying to get by without their top guy, the Mets have been looking for — but haven’t quite found — another reliable reliever or several. The ripple effects of their minimal bullpen depth again proved relevant.

A day after he let Justin Verlander throw 117 pitches because he was the team’s “best option” for a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, Showalter stuck with Tylor Megill, already at 92 pitches, for the start of the sixth inning. Brandon Belt led off with a double and later scored.

Then Showalter tried to navigate the final three innings with two pitchers: Adam Ottavino and David Robertson. They almost did so successfully, too, stranding two runners in scoring position in the eighth and getting two outs in the ninth. But Guerrero came through against Robertson.

“We used every bullet we could to try to keep it close,” Showalter said. “[Brooks Raley] came in and did the job. Otto did his job. And Robbie for the most part did his job. But the whole focus for me is the pitchers pitched really well again today. We’re just having trouble scoring runs. That’s pretty obvious.”

Guerrero stepped to the plate with a runner on second and two outs. With first base open, the Mets (30-29) could have walked him and faced Cavan Biggio, who entered as a pinch runner with a .179 average and .603 OPS an inning earlier.


Showalter chose Guerrero because he “trusted” Robertson, he said. And he liked the idea of the next reliever facing Biggio to begin a theoretical 10th inning.

“It didn’t work out, so it’s something that’s going to be critiqued,” he said. “If it had, we would’ve been in a really good situation.”

Robertson added: “It’s not like anybody is an easy out in this league. It doesn’t really matter who you’re facing. The guys could hit the ball.”

The Mets had a chance in the ninth after Mark Canha singled with one out, but Francisco Alvarez (flyout) and Brandon Nimmo (strikeout) did not come through against Erik Swanson — ending on a down note a day that began with the Mets inducting broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose, plus Al Leiter and Howard Johnson, into the team’s Hall of Fame.

In two games against Toronto (32-27), the Mets have scored one run.

“You’re not going to win many games that way,” Showalter said.

Megill’s outing was an exercise in funambulation. He lasted 5  1⁄3 innings and allowed just one run but had consistent traffic on the basepaths, scattering five hits and a season-high five walks. He also struck out five.

He finally cracked in the sixth. After Belt doubled, Matt Chapman walked. Alejandro Kirk scorched a ground ball toward shortstop Francisco Lindor, who had it bounce off the heel of his glove for an RBI single.

“It was a line drive. Belt started running. And for that glimpse of a second I lost it a little bit,” Lindor said. “As a shortstop, I should’ve caught that baseball.”

The Mets managed one run in six innings against righthander Jose Berrios. They jumped ahead in the second inning on Daniel Vogelbach’s RBI double, his first extra-base hit and first run driven in since May 7.

Vogelbach had a chance to give the Mets another lead in the sixth. With two on and two out, he shot another liner to right-centerfield, but this time it hung up long enough for George Springer to make a running catch.

“I thought it was going to be off the wall,” Vogelbach said. “The second one was a better swing than the first one. I didn’t get rewarded for it. I don’t know if the wind was blowing in. 101 [mph] with a 17 [degree angle off the bat] and it doesn’t even make it to the warning track.”

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