The unsettling numbers continue to mount, and while the Mets rely on the axiom that there’s still a lot of baseball to be played, it might not be played with the same group that currently occupies the clubhouse.
Sunday’s 8-7 loss to the Dodgers in 11 innings, which completed a three-game sweep, extended the Mets’ losing streak to six games. They’ve lost 12 in a row to the Dodgers.
The Mets (31-44) are a season-worst 13 games under .500. They’ve lost 13 of their last 14 at Citi Field, are 6-23 in the last 29 games and have gone 20-43 since their 11-1 start. And now they have to hope that Monday’s MRI on Brandon Nimmo’s right pinkie, which was hit in the fifth inning by Rich Hill and forced Nimmo to leave after the sixth, shows no damage.
The Mets are 0-3 since Friday, when general manager Sandy Alderson all but said this can’t go on much longer with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline careening toward a sell-off.
“Us in the clubhouse and on the field, we can’t concern ourselves with that,’’ manager Mickey Callaway said. He’s always the most optimistic person in the room. Maybe not so much lately, though.
“It’s tough. We’re not winning games,’’ he said, “so we’re doing everything we can every day to try and figure out how to get over that hump where we can start winning some games, so it’s tough.’’
Callaway borrowed a page from the Rays’ script by starting reliever Jerry Blevins, though that wasn’t the plan until scheduled starter Jason Vargas went on the disabled list with a strained right calf.
“Almost 35 years old. It’s the perfect time to transition to the starting rotation,’’ Blevins joked.
Blevins became the first of seven pitchers used by the Mets, which culminated with Chris Flexen giving up the winning home run to former Met Justin Turner with two outs in the 11th. It was the seventh solo homer of the day for the Dodgers, tying the MLB record set by the Braves in 2006. Cody Bellinger and Enrique Hernandez hit two apiece.
Blevins, a lefthanded specialist who was making his first major-league start, retired six straight batters — but that was after he began the game by giving up consecutive home runs to Hernandez and Max Muncy.
“You go down 2-0 [in the count on Hernandez], I’m thinking you can’t start this game off with a walk,’’ Blevins said. “I make sure I throw a strike and he crushed it. The next one [by Muncy] I thought was a pop-up to leftfield. The ball carried. I figured I’d give Dom [Smith] a chance to rob a home run in leftfield. He showed that his vertical leap is not quite up to par.’’
That also was Blevins being tongue-in-cheek.
The Mets played catch-up after that. Kevin Plawecki (career-high four RBIs) doubled in a run in the second and Wilmer Flores doubled home the tying run in the third. Bellinger homered off Tim Peterson in the fourth for a 3-2 lead before the Mets went ahead 4-3 on Asdrubal Cabrera’s two-run homer in the fifth.
Hernandez’s second home run tied it at 4-4 in the sixth. Joc Pederson gave the Dodgers a 5-4 lead when he homered in the seventh. Bellinger’s blast in the eighth made it 7-4, but Plawecki hit a tying three-run homer in the bottom half.
Then came what seems to be inevitable: another loss. Flexen, just up from Triple-A Las Vegas, was under consideration to start the game. Instead, he essentially finished it for the Mets by giving up Turner’s homer on a 1-and-0 pitch.
“Unfortunately, it’s been kind of the tale of the season so far,’’ Plawecki said. “We’ve been one swing away, one pitch away.”
Notes & quotes: Callaway said Noah Syndergaard (strained right index finger) threw off the mound, “so that’s a good progression for him.” . . . Yoenis Cespedes (hip) is “day to day trying to get all that pain outta there,’’ Callaway said . . . Anthony Swarzak gave up two homers, making it five in 11 2⁄3 innings.
And the beat goes on
A look at some bad streaks for Mets:
12 losses in a row to Dodgers
6 losses in a row overall
1-13 in last 14 games at Citi Field
Season-worst 13 games under .500 (31-44)
4-17 in June
6-23 in last 29 games