After Friday night’s disaster of a game, it looked like the Mets got themselves back on track Saturday thanks to Jacob deGrom. He put together a typically dominant performance and gave the offense just enough time to wake up.
Unfortunately, they went back to sleep on Sunday night at the most crucial time of the year. New York lost 6-0 to the Padres to get eliminated from the playoffs.
This was the only Wild Card series to go three games during the first round of MLB’s postseason, but the Mets might’ve been better off not showing up. The Padres put the pressure on New York early and didn’t let up until the final out was recorded.
Win Probability graph and key moments
Scoring first has been key for whoever has won games in this series. The Padres continued that on Sunday with two runs in the second inning thanks to an Austin Nola two-run single. As we can see from the above graph, that moment is what really swung Game 3 in San Diego’s direction.
The Padres kept adding on in the fourth and fifth thanks to RBI hits from Trent Grisham (again) and Manny Machado. They did this all while Joe Musgrove was holding the Mets to just a Pete Alonso single through the first seven innings.
That single from Alonso came in the fifth, and it finally looked like the Mets were about to have something cooking when Mark Canha drove a ball out to right-center field. That didn’t happen because Grisham struck again. This time, it was with his glove by running down a ball that had a catch probability of 25%.
It looked like San Diego was about to put the game out of reach in the seventh inning against Seth Lugo. He allowed a single to Juan Soto and a double to Manny Machado to start the frame before recovering to strike out Josh Bell and Jake Cronenworth. Buck Showalter then brought in Mychal Givens, who proceeded to strike out Wil Myers to end the threat.
With runners on second and third in the top of the eighth, the Mets had a win expectancy of 1.7%. That got worse when Juan Soto extended San Diego’s lead to 6-0 with a two-run single off Edwin Diaz.
San Diego native Joe Musgrove absolutely shoved in a huge spot on the road. He ended up holding the Mets to just one hit and one walk over seven shutout innings. The right-hander became the first pitcher to toss at least seven innings and hold his opponent to one hit or less in a winner-take-all game.
On offense, it was obviously all Padres. Soto, Machado, Grisham, and Nola each enjoyed multi-hit nights that included at least one RBI.
As for the Mets? There were no standout performers. That’s what happens when you only get one hit and let the opposing team have its way with you.
Not doing the little things. Just about everything you could do right in a baseball game is what the Padres did. There was great pitching and timely hitting, but they also executed sacrifice bunts, along with the bottom of the order producing in a big way. The Mets just didn’t get that on Sunday night, but they also didn’t get much of that at all throughout this series.
Mets’ bullpen showed up again. While there were some questions about New York’s bullpen and how the club would bridge the gap between the starters and Adam Ottavino and Edwin Diaz, this group performed well all weekend. Between these three games, Mets relievers allowed just two runs, one of which came in the ninth inning of Game 2 when they already had a 7-2 lead.
Mets’ rotation underwhelms again. New York ran Chris Bassitt out to the mound on Sunday night. He was arguably the Mets’ most consistent starter throughout the regular season. The righty was also quite good after bad starts throughout 2022, which is what he was doing here. Unfortunately, he underwhelmed for a second straight time, allowing three runs on three hits, three walks, and two strikeouts in four innings.
Jacob deGrom was his usual self on Saturday night, but with this appearance and what Max Scherzer did on Friday, New York’s rotation ERA in this series settled in at 7.36. That’s a back-breaker for this team.
Desperate effort for momentum. As Musgrove warmed up for the bottom of the sixth, Showalter asked the umpires to check the hurler for foreign substances. Musgrove’s spin rate was up significantly, but it was also one of the biggest starts of his life. We saw deGrom dial it up to 102 mph just the night before with New York’s season on the line.
This was likely just Showalter trying to get into Musgrove’s head, but it didn’t work. It just seemed like he was just reaching for something as this season slipped away.
Nothing (single tear). The Mets will pack their things and leave Citi Field without a deep run into the postseason like so many of us expected for most of this year. The Padres will continue their quest toward the Fall Classic by facing the Dodgers, MLB’s best team.
After what was such a fun year of baseball in Flushing, these last couple of weekends were an absolutely brutal way to finish it off. We’ll have more thoughts on the season that was and what’s ahead for the Mets in the coming days and weeks.