Francisco Lindor Jun 4, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) reacts after striking out against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have to be better, and Francisco Lindor knows it.

The Mets have yet to win a game in June, and that tailspin continued with a 14-7 loss to the Pirates on Friday night. After being swept by the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves, the Mets had a chance for a clean slate at PNC Park. Instead, they let another game get away from them, resulting in a seventh straight loss.

The team is running out of answers. Even their leaders, like Lindor, are baffled by the results.

“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know,” Lindor said postgame when asked why he thinks things are going the way they are for the Mets recently. “I want to say it’s part of the season, but I’ve been saying that way too long. It’s time to turn the page. It’s time to be better. We got to be better. Just plain and simple, we have to be better. I have to be better.”

Give Lindor credit. Yes, as a leader with a huge paycheck, he is expected to sit in front of his locker and field questions from reporters, whether the Mets are amidst a seven-game winning streak or a seven-game losing streak. 

At the same time, he took accountability for miscues that helped torpedo another game into the loss column for New York. Perhaps Jason Kipnis was wrong.

Right or wrong, Friday’s game getting out of hand fell partly on Lindor’s shoulders. He said he made a “mental mistake” when booting a would-be inning-ending double-play in the bottom of the third inning. Rather than getting out of the inning tied at two apiece, the Pirates would tack on five more runs in the third and take a commanding 7-2 lead. 

“It’s unacceptable. Today’s on me,” he said. “That play right there, it was going to close out the inning. [Tylor] Megill was pitching good. He had the momentum. Today was on me. I made the error…A couple of the guys went to the mound, and I stayed behind. I should have gone to the mound as well. Mental mistakes like that, they can’t happen. I will make another error—that’s guaranteed—but mental mistakes like that cannot happen.”

But they did. And Lindor wasn’t the only Mets player to make an error in that same inning, and while that’s beside the point, it just goes to show that when it rains, it pours.

As Lindor seemingly searched for answers, he looked broken. The Mets have nearly 100 games left to play, and their star shortstop seemed dejected. And who could blame him? Things haven’t gone the team’s way recently, and they’re inching closer and closer to rock bottom. At the same time, the season is far from over, and it’s up to players like Lindor to help the team change its misfortunes.

“I don’t know if it’s shocking,” Lindor said as he searched for the words to answer a question about New York’s recent stretch. “I think it just sucks. The teams we have played they’re good baseball teams, and they’re big leaguers too. They’re trying to give us their A-games. So, hats off to them, but it just doesn’t feel good.”

[Image from John Jones/USA TODAY Sports]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.