Mets’ season burns out of control as black smoke appears

Black smoke billowed outside Citi Field on Seaver Way in Sunday’s ninth inning, obscuring the blaze occurring inside the ballpark.

The smoldering from across the street was contained by the FDNY before the inning concluded, but no such luck for the Mets’ season which burns out of control toward the finish.

On a day they didn’t get their second hit until the ninth inning, the Mets lost 7-0 to the Braves, placing their season on double, secret probation. With seven games remaining, the Mets (24-29) might need a perfect finish or at the very least six victories in seven games for a shot at the postseason.

It won’t get any easier with the AL East-leading Rays next up for three games, with the Mets trailing the Reds by 2 ½ lengths for the NL’s final wild-card berth.

“If not run the table, something close,” Brandon Nimmo said, when asked about the task awaiting the Mets. “I think we have got maybe one more [loss] that we could maybe spare, but not many in the grand scheme of things. If we’re not running the table it has got to be close.”

Kyle Wright frustrated the Mets, allowing one hit over 6 ¹/₃ innings before the Braves bullpen finished the job. The Mets received a double from Wilson Ramos in the third inning for their first hit. Their next hit didn’t come until the ninth, at which point they trailed by a touchdown and extra point.

Travis d’Arnaud stuck yet another dagger in the Mets with a two-run double in the eighth against Jeurys Familia that bumped the Braves’ lead to 3-0. The former Mets catcher finished the three-game series with five RBIs, which included homers Friday and Saturday.

Smoke Citi Field Mets
Black smoke floats above Citi Field during the Mets’ loss today.Paul J. Bereswill

“You wish he was on your team — you just didn’t have to play him,” Nimmo said. “He’s a great player and he’s a good catcher, just all-around good, so he had a real good series and had a huge hit here in this game.”

An added gut punch was Ronald Acuna Jr.’s three-run double in the ninth against Chasen Shreve.

In the 350th start of his major league career, Rick Porcello gave the Mets his strongest performance this season, allowing one run on three hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts over seven innings. It was the right-hander’s sixth career game reaching double digits in strikeouts.

Porcello carried a one-hitter into the sixth, when Acuna Jr. went to the opposite field and cleared the right-field fence for the game’s first run. But the Mets were certainly pleased with Porcello’s performance, given his penchant for pitching less than six innings and allowing three runs or more.

“There’s been a couple of starts where there’s been some hiccups — the first one of the year and one against Baltimore where I was pretty ineffective, but other than that I’ve felt fine,” said Porcello, who lowered his ERA to 5.46. “It’s been a pitch here, an inning there and that’s what has been beating us some, but I don’t feel like there is anything skill-wise or pitch movement or anything like that I am struggling with. It’s just make the right pitches in the right situations and we’re fine and today it was, on a personal note a better turn. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to win this game. We needed this one.”

Porcello was asked if he was surprised by the Mets’ record given the talent on the roster, which includes potential top-10 MVP possibilities in Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith and a Cy Young Award contender in Jacob deGrom.

“I think there’s a lot of teams in the big leagues that are talented, and it’s not talent that separates you, it’s playing good baseball,” Porcello said. “We’re still in the middle of this thing and we’re fighting and after the season we’ll take a look back at what went wrong and evaluate it that way.”

New York Post


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