PHILADELPHIA — The first popup hit Brandon Nimmo’s glove and fell to the turf. The second popup fell between Francisco Lindor and Tommy Pham, with the same result. They were routine pieces that ended everything but the routine.
Combined, the dropped pops cost the Mets the five points they allowed Friday in a 5-1 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. They also represented a continuation of the sloppy play that dictated the results during New York’s 14-game losing streak in 18 games.
“We’re a much better team than what we’re showing right now,” Lindor said.
Yet, this kind of game is becoming a trend. Every night, the Mets found themselves making defensive mistakes, making mental mistakes, recording strikeouts and more. Because they didn’t hit or pitch well as a team — they recorded just three hits all night against former teammate Taijuan Walker on Friday — every mistake carried an inordinate weight.
“I don’t really know what to attribute it to,” Nimmo said. “Sometimes it happens over 162 years. But it happened more often than last year, and I don’t really have an answer as to why it’s happening.”
Nimmo’s error, his first since 2021, was the result of what he considered a bad jump from his position in center field. As he approached the popup that Kyle Schwarber hit, Nimmo debated whether to slide or stay on his feet. In the end, he chose the latter option, but the ball slipped out of his glove when he reached it.
Lindor’s error came while listening to the crowd as he and Pham converged on a Brandon Marsh pop fly in the sixth. At the time, because the fans had turned up the volume of their shouting, Lindor thought Pham was close enough to perform. But Pham never recalled Lindor, leaving the shortstop to regret his passivity.
“It was on me,” Lindor said. “I should have taken full charge of the ball.”
It doesn’t help that Mets pitchers made both errors worse, as they have become accustomed to in recent weeks. After Schwarber’s ball peeked past Nimmo’s glove in the first inning, Kodai Senga uncorked a wild pitch, walked two batters, and allowed an RBI single and a sacrifice fly. Both runs were unearned, as neither would have scored had Nimmo made the catch.
Marsh’s ball technically went down as a single RBI, as no one touched it before it hit the turf. It added an earned run to Senga’s line and then another when Trea Turner then hit a two-run single against Jeff Brigham.
“Mistakes happen,” Senga said through an interpreter. “If I’m able to recover from that and keep them at zero, I know that gives the team another boost. That’s the type of pitcher I strive to be.