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An early exit for Stroman and an offensive drought led to the Mets being shut out yet again

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The Mets would do anything for a run or a healthy roster.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier on Tuesday, Mets GM Zack Scott spoke to the media and surprised fans and writers alike by announcing the return of Michael Conforto from the Injured List, effective this evening. However, as game time approached, the Conforto transaction was nowhere to be found. It eventually came out that the Syracuse Mets had a covid-19 outbreak, and so Conforto needed to be tested (he was and it came back negative) before the Mets could activate him.

This should not have been seen as an omen of any kind, because we are logical people who don’t believe in jinxes or curses.

That said, maybe it was an omen of the type of night this was shaping up to be.

It is not news to report that the Mets are having a rough go of it on the injury front. Nor is it news to report that the Mets are stretched too thin in the pitching ranks. There would be a confluence of these two non-news items when Marcus Stroman was pulled from the game in a 2-1 count with no outs in the second inning with soreness in his left hip.

While it is uncertain how serious this injury is, in the short term this bad news, as the Mets have only one off day between now and the All-Star Break. The rotation and the bullpen will need help. Where will they get it from? Your guess is as good as mine.

Yennsy Diaz was the first out of the bullpen, and he managed to escape a bases loaded, no outs situation in the second. He would not be so lucky in the next inning, when he surrendered a three-run home run to Dansby Swanson. Due to a strange defensive decision from Jeff McNeil to crossing over second base, a double play that would’ve gotten Diaz out of the inning was not executed, and led to the Mets’ deficit.

That would be all the Braves would need, but it would also be all the Mets’ bullpen would allow. Drew Smith went two innings, Aaron Loup went [checks notes, verifies with an independent source] three innings, and Trevor May pitched a scoreless ninth to keep the game close.

In that ninth, Ender Inciarte dropped down a bunt for an infield hit, and then took two bases on a wild pitch that caromed off of James McCann’s mask. The next pitch also went to the backstop, but Inciarte decided against scoring for reasons not understood by either the SNY booth or the viewers.

And while three runs is not an insurmountable lead by any stretch of the imagination, the Mets’ recent offensive woes continued. For the fourth time in the last week, the Mets were shut out, this time only collecting two hits on the night. The first hit, just as the front office planned it, was a pinch hit single by yesterday’s starter/call up Jerad Eickoff in the fifth inning. The second was a well-struck opposite field double off the bat of James McCann, but he was stranded on second when Kevin Pillar lined out to end the game.

Charlie Morton looked quite good for the Braves tonight, and his seven innings of cruising against the Mets bats furthers the frustrating reality of this team’s current situation.

The Mets look to split the series tomorrow evening at 7pm. No one seems to know who the hell is pitching for the Mets, but it might be last week’s deGrom opponent John Stock, who was claimed off of waivers earlier today. Kyle Wright is going for the Braves.

Box scores

MLB.com

ESPN

*illar of the game

Jonathan didn’t play and may be headed for the IL, and Kevin went hitless, so neither gets the gold tonight.

Win Probability Added

Mets vs Braves WPA Chart, 6/22/21
Fangraphs.com

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Absolutely no one.

Big Mets loser: Yennsy Diaz, -20.4%WPA

Mets pitchers: -9.8% WPA

Mets hitters: -40.2% WPA

Teh aw3s0mest play: Billy McKinney’s fourth inning walk, +4.3% WPA

Teh sux0rest play: Dansby Swanson’s three-run jack, -28.3% WPA

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