Brandon Nimmo made the Mets believe the offense’s long-awaited breakout was coming. The Mets followed by making everyone else believe it may never happen.
Despite taking their first lead in a week with Nimmo’s leadoff home run, the Mets failed to score the rest of the game, and finished with just four hits, in dropping the Subway Series opener to the Yankees, 4-1, Friday night at Citi Field.
In losing their seventh straight game — and ninth straight at home — the Mets tied a franchise-worst stretch (1964, 1990) by scoring one or fewer runs for the fifth consecutive game.
The Mets have now scored three runs in their past 51 innings, and have totaled just eight runs during their week-long winless homestand.
“We’re missing pitches. We’re swinging at balls. Usually it’s one or two guys, but it’s the whole team,” Todd Frazier said. “It’s that same old song. We’re not putting runs up at an alarming pace.”
With Jacob deGrom on the mound, Nimmo’s first inning blast into the second deck in right field felt like it might be enough of a cushion for their ace.
“When you go up 1-0 right away, you kind of think that might be a little different ending,” said Nimmo, whose eighth home run was the first leadoff shot of his career. “I’m just hoping that later on this season we can repay [deGrom] a little bit.”
Following the home run, Masahiro Tanaka didn’t allow another hit, and recorded eight strikeouts through five innings. But when the Yankees starter was forced to leave after injuring his hamstrings as a baserunner, manager Mickey Callaway was convinced once more the offense could finally break their ever-stretching slump.
“That was the second point of the game where we’re like, OK, we got him out of there … get someone else in there, and see if we can get some damage done,” Callaway said. “It’s frustrating. They basically pitched a shutout after the first hit of the game.”
The Mets had multiple opportunities with multiple runners on base, but still finished with one or fewer runs for the 16th time this season.
When Frazier and Jay Bruce singled with two outs in the seventh, Chad Green struck out Devin Mesoraco to leave the score tied. When Aroldis Chapman opened the ninth by hitting Nimmo, and allowing a single to Asdrubal Cabrera, the Mets failed on three straight chances with the tying run at the plate.
“We’re waiting for some big hits to come through in those situations,” Nimmo said. “Our offense is gonna come around at some point. … We can’t let this bring us down.”
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