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Out with a whimper

Joe Musgrove silenced the Mets’ bats and Chris Bassitt’s inability to put away hitters came back to bite him again, as the Mets are eliminated from the 2022 postseason.

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Three Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Mets were eliminated from the postseason with an uninspiring 6-0 loss to the Padres. They were shut down by Joe Musgrove, who yielded just one hit over seven innings of work. In fact, the Mets managed just one hit the entire night off Padres pitching.

Meanwhile, Chris Bassitt suffered from a similar inability to put away hitters as in his last start in Atlanta. The outing started out well; Bassitt needed just seven pitches to get through the first inning. But, his struggles began in the second inning. Josh Bell led off the frame with a single past the diving Pete Alonso. Bassitt bounced back to retire the next two batters, but then made the fateful error of walking Ha-Seong Kim with two outs. He also walked Trent Grisham to load the bases for the nine hitter Austin Nola, who lined a single to left field after fouling off a series of 0-2 pitches from Bassitt to put the Padres on the board 2-0.

The Padres added a run off Bassitt in the fourth; Bassitt walked Kim again with two outs and Kim promptly stole second to advance into scoring position. Trent Grisham then singled to stretch the Padres’ lead to 3-0. That also ended Bassitt’s night after just four innings. The Padres scored another insurance run off David Peterson in the fifth. Jurickson Profar led off the inning with a single and Juan Soto attempted to bunt for a hit and was unable to reach first base safely, but still advanced Profar to second. Manny Machado then singled the other way to right field to plate Profar for the Padres’ fourth run.

The Mets’ best (and really only) chance for a comeback came in the bottom of the fifth when Pete Alonso singled to lead off the inning for the Mets’ first hit of the day. Jeff McNeil then struck out swinging and Mark Canha hit a rocket to deep right-center, but Trent Grisham made a fantastic running catch to zap the energy out of the budding rally.

Things got a bit interesting (and testy) in the bottom of the sixth when something happened that can only happen in baseball. After the Padres had been employing some gamesmanship all evening by stepping out often on Bassitt to throw off his rhythm, Buck Showalter attempted to do the same to Musgrove by demanding the umpires do a “sticky stuff” check on Musgrove’s ears, which were indeed obviously shiny with something other than sweat. But nothing came of the fondling of Musgrove’s ears by the umpire and he made it through seven innings unscathed, despite a leadoff walk to Marte and some hard-hit balls by the Mets in the seventh.

Drew Smith contributed a scoreless sixth inning for the Mets and Seth Lugo and Mychal Givens combined for a scoreless seventh, extricating themselves out of a second and third with nobody out situation. After the first two batters reached base against Givens in the eighth, the Mets brought Edwin Díaz in to a subdued version of “Narco.” Díaz retired the first two batters via a sacrifice bunt that advanced the runners and a strikeout, but then Juan Soto put the nail in the coffin, smacking a single down the third base line to plate both runs and blow the game open.

Robert Suárez pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and a freshly rested Josh Hader had no problem retiring the Mets in order in the ninth to send the San Diego Padres to the NLDS.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Drew Smith, +1.1% WPA (lol)
Big Mets loser: Chris Bassitt, -17.2% WPA
Mets pitchers: -21.5% WPA
Mets hitters: -28.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso’s single off Joe Musgrove to lead off the fifth, +3.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Austin Nola’s RBI single off Chris Bassitt in the second inning, -18.8% WPA