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Where oh where have the runs gone?

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Poor luck and worse hitting in an afternoon loss to the Braves.

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

In yet another brutal game in Atlanta, the Mets were shutout 4-0. They managed ten hits and five walks, but poor sequencing on both sides of the ball ruined any chance of a bounce back win. All in all, it was a bleak game in a day full of bleak news for the Mets.

Kyle Wright was anything but sharp, but even still the Mets’ couldn’t break out of their early season offensive malaise. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first, but Robinson Cano ripped a ball right at Dansby Swanson for a double play. A walk and another single put two men on in the second, but the Mets again came up empty. A double and yet another walk once again set the Mets up for success in the third, but two strikeouts squandered that opportunity too. In the first three innings alone, the Mets left six men on base and went 0-for-7 with RISP.

David Peterson was not so lucky, because he was facing a major league caliber offense. After cruising through the first two innings, a single and a double put two men in scoring position with no outs. Peterson then got a weak ground ball to third and Adam Duvall seemed to be hung up between third and home, but the Met defense botched the run down and everyone was safe. Ronald Acuna walked to force in a run, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead. To Peterson’s credit, he did a great job getting out of the jam, striking out Dansby Swanson and inducing two ground balls (one of which might’ve been a double play if not for some unlucky positioning), limiting the damage to two runs for Atlanta.

If you were hoping playing from behind would wake up the Mets’ offense, it didn’t. Two singles (sandwiched around a hard hit ball by Amed Rosario that Ronald Acuna made an excellent play on) just led to two more men left on base after a force out and a strikeout. The fifth inning was different in that the Mets didn’t leave anyone on base, but they still didn’t score. They got back at it in the sixth, squandering a 1st and 3rd situation by grounding into a double play.

The offensive ineptitude largely rendered the rest of the game irrelevant. David Peterson gave up a third run in the fourth on a solo home run by Johan Camargo. The rookie starter was mostly great, striking out eight over six innings and allowing three runs on five hits and a walk, a higher total than he deserved. Peterson’s strong rookie performance has been one of the few bright spots in what has been a very bad start to the season.

Edwin Diaz came on for the seventh and worked around a leadoff walk to post a scoreless inning. He was replaced by Drew Smith, who gave up two hits and a run in the eighth to put the Mets down 4-0. If there’s one thing this team is good at - both in a macro sense and on a per game basis - it’s filling fans with false hope, and today would be no different. Andres Gimenez led off the top of the ninth with a single and Brandon Nimmo followed with a walk. With Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, and Michael Conforto coming up, it seemed like there was a chance.

Instead, McNeil struck out, Alonso flew out, and Conforto grounded out, recording the final three outs in a woeful 1-for-15 performance with RISP that left 13 runners stranded. There’s certainly an element of bad luck anytime your sequencing is that bad, but the Met offense is simply atrocious right now.

Despite it feeling like the Mets have been in Atlanta for an eternity, they’ll play one more against the Braves tomorrow evening with Jacob deGrom and Mike Soroka squaring off in an opening day rematch. It feels reactionary, but we’re almost in must win territory already, as every game in the standings makes a huge difference in this shortened season.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: None
Big Mets loser: Pete Alonso, -18.3% WPA; Robinsson Cano, -16.0% WPA; Tomas Nido, -12.3% WPA
Mets pitchers: -7.0% WPA
Mets hitters: -43.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil singles with one out in the first, +8.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Austin Riley doubles in the third, +10.9% WPA