Like a masochistic, prophetic, brutally unfun quiz show, the Mets’ poor play has presented a daily question and near-daily answer: What will go wrong today?
On Friday night, in their 5-4 loss to the Giants, the response was a creative one: an error by Pete Alonso, a walk issued by David Robertson and a go-ahead three-run home run off Robertson by rookie catcher Patrick Bailey in the eighth inning after what had been a well-rounded, low-stress, successful couple of hours.
The Mets finished a miserable month by dropping their third consecutive game and 19th of their past 25. They blew a lead in 13 of those losses.
After opening June just four games behind NL East-leading Atlanta, they closed it a stunning 18 1⁄2
At 36-46, the Mets are 10 games under .500 for the first time since July 2019.
“We’re glad to see the month behind us now,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Hopefully we get something started in July.”
Alonso said: “That’s a really tough pill to swallow . . . We haven’t played championship baseball.”
The Mets put the potential tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth, but Bailey threw out Starling Marte — freshly into the game as a pinch runner — trying to steal second for the second out of the inning. That snapped the Mets’ streak of successful steal attempts at 35, a franchise record.
Brandon Nimmo then struck out swinging to end it.
The turning point came in that top of the eighth. Showalter turned to Robertson, the primary closer, whom he sometimes calls on to face the meat of the opposing lineup an inning early.
Robertson recorded the first out by getting former Met Wilmer Flores on a called third strike. Then Joc Pederson hit a grounder sort of hard but pretty much right at Alonso, who fielded it for what could have been an easy second out . . . until it wasn’t. The ball initially eluded his fielding attempt, and believing he had to hurry, he rushed a bad throw wide of Robertson, who was covering first base, for a throwing error.
J.D. Davis, another former Met, worked a walk, bringing the potential go-ahead run to the plate. When Robertson left a 1-and-1 curveball over the heart of the plate, Bailey — who has helped spark the Giants (46-36) since his mid-May call-up — crushed a 432-foot blast to centerfield.
That was the Mets’ third blown lead of the game.
“For some reason, lefties are catching my curveball deep and taking me to the deepest part of the park,” Robertson said. “I don’t think I’ve ever given up any home runs like that in years past, but it’s happening to me now, so I guess I gotta make some adjustments.”
With the Mets suddenly down, Alonso closed his eyes, took a deep breath, looked up and shook his head. He had been visibly frustrated earlier in the game, too, breaking a bat over his knee (on two tries) after the third of his four hitless plate appearances.
“I’m fine with that,” Showalter said. “They care. A lot.”
Alonso said this is the most frustrated he has been in his career. He hit .161 with four home runs in June.
“I’m having technically probably the worst month I’ve ever had in the big leagues,” he said. “I demand better from myself. I expect myself to perform better. It’s just frustrating when over this past month I haven’t. It’s not fun.”
Among the Mets’ highlights: Jeff McNeil had a pair of RBI doubles, the first time since April 17 that he had multiple extra-base hits in a game. Tommy Pham went 3-for-4 with a home run, his sixth of the month (after totaling three the previous two months).
Carlos Carrasco was solid, allowing two runs in five innings. He has recorded an out in the sixth inning in only two of his 11 outings this season.
The Mets put themselves in a good position until Alonso and Robertson — two of their best this season — set up the Giants’ comeback.
“San Francisco has been playing well for a while and they’re taking advantage of things like that and making it hurt,” Showalter said. “That’s what we did well last year and at times this year, but not near enough.”