The Mets continue to get frustrated by the NL Central, getting swept by a second team in that division by way of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In the series finale, after the Mets scored in the top of the 5th to draw even with the Pirates on Wilmer Flores's hit, Andrew McCutchen turned Niese's walk to Jose Tabatha to lead-off the bottom half of the frame into two runs with his home-run. Niese would not get out of the inning, surrendering another run to head to the dugout with the Mets down 4-1.
Erik Goeddel got out of the inning without any further damage, but had troubles himself in the 6th inning, emphasized by Starling Marte's three-run home-run that put the game away at 7-1.
The Pirates would go on to win the game 9-1, dropping the Mets to 2 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals for first in the NL East.
The Mets have lost 5 of their last 6 games, losing 4 of those by 6 runs or greater, as productivity at the plate continues to plague the injury-depleted Mets. David Wright continues to be on the disabled list, with his stint extended with the latest news that he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Lucas Duda was scratched from the Sunday lineup with discomfort in his hamstring. That led to a lineup that featured a .263 hitter as their best hitter (Daniel Murphy), and three position players hitting below the Mendoza line.
The Mets are 4-10 against the NL Central, with their only series win coming against the basement-dwelling Milwaukee Brewers. The Mets will travel to Milwaukee next month for a three-game series.
What have we learned?
- Matt Harvey can dazzle, but he can have off days. And when he has an off day, watch out. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent him to the showers after four innings, torching him for a career-high seven runs which ballooned his ERA to 2.91.
- The Mets need players who can produce. Producing even includes sacrifices, which the Mets were unable to do early on Sunday. With two in scoring position and nobody out, the Mets struck out three times to leave them stranded.
- Terry Collins told media "There's no panic here" on Saturday. But truth be told, this is becoming a very telling stretch for the Mets. The magic of their 12-3 start in April is now gone, they now trail the Washington Nationals by 2 1/2 games, and their away record is a bothersome 7-15. Injuries have built up, and the fans are clamoring for change. The Mets could really use some good vibes during their upcoming series against the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins before embarking on their southwestern trip to San Diego and Phoenix next week.
The Mets begin a six game homestand as they host the Philadelphia Phillies on a Memorial Day matinee. Bartolo Colon will try to improve off his loss to St. Louis where he gave up 8 runs in 4 1/3rd innings. Once 4-0 with a 2.77 ERA, Colon now sits 6-3 with a 4.85 ERA. He will face Severino Gonzalez, who has calmed down a little since his season debut where he gave up 7 runs in 2 2/3rds innings of work. He now has a 2-1 record after a pair of 5-inning games.
Coverage begins at 12:30PM on FOX Sports Radio 1230.