Mets lose in painfully familiar fashion to end grueling stretch

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The 13-game gauntlet Pete Alonso referred to as a “show-me stretch” mercifully came to a close Thursday night.

It ended in familiar, frustrating fashion, and the only thing the Mets might have shown themselves during the grueling stretch was the door with regard to their playoff hopes.

Despite the best start of Carlos Carrasco’s season, the Mets’ offense came up small again, and the Giants got to Seth Lugo for a run in the eighth inning to capture a 3-2 win and the series sweep at Citi Field.

The Mets (61-66) went just 2-11 during the 13-game stretch against the Giants and Dodgers, the National League’s top two powerhouses. Their offense was largely the culprit, averaging just 3.1 runs per game while batting 15-for-99 (.152) with runners in scoring position.

After entering the daunting section of their schedule a half-game out of first place in the NL East, the Mets fell to 7 ½ games back of the Braves by the end of Thursday.

Seth Lugo allowed the winning run in the Mets’ loss to the Giants on Thursday.
Corey Sipkin

Owner Steve Cohen, who had called out the Mets’ unproductive offense in a tweet during the middle of the 13-game stretch, tried a more encouraging approach Thursday. “Let’s win this game, cmon,” he tweeted as the Mets came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The Mets loaded the bases with two outs, but pinch-hitter Jeff McNeil grounded out — leaving the bases loaded for the second time in as many nights — to end the threat.

Lugo had allowed the Giants to take the lead in the top of the eighth without recording an out. He gave up a leadoff single to Mike Yastrzemski through the left side, which was vacated by the shift. After Lugo clipped Curt Casali on the arm with a sinker, pinch-hitter Darin Ruf then singled through the right side vacated by the shift to score Yastrzemski and put the Giants ahead 3-2.

Aaron Loup relieved Lugo and issued a walk to load the bases before escaping the jam without allowing a run.

It spoiled Carrasco’s best start of the season. He went seven strong innings after giving up a two-run homer to Kris Bryant in the first inning. He left in a 2-2 tie thanks to Alonso’s 447-foot, two-run blast that just stayed fair in the bottom of the sixth.

Carrasco rebounded from Bryant’s homer by retiring 20 of the next 21 batters — including his final 13 in a row — completing seven innings on an efficient 78 pitches. He did not walk a batter and struck out five in his longest outing since September 2020 after missing nearly the first four months of this season with a torn hamstring.

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