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Mets free fall continues, swept by Phillies behind Zack Wheeler’s gem

If this is not rock bottom, then the Mets must be fearful of what is. Entering this weekend’s series at Citizens Bank Park, the Mets still held first place by half a game. They came to Philadelphia purportedly prepared, after weeks of inconsistent play, to stand their ground once and for all.

Instead, the Phillies thoroughly manhandled them in a three-game sweep. New York’s 3-0 loss in the finale featured another listless performance by the team’s hitters, who at one point recorded 22 consecutive outs against ex-Met Zack Wheeler.

That half-game NL East lead? It’s now a 2 1/2-game deficit, with one of the Mets’ toughest stretches of schedule rapidly approaching: 13 consecutive games against the Dodgers and Giants beginning on Friday.

Between now and then, the Mets will have to figure out how to resurrect an offense that scored just five runs in the three-game sweep in Philadelphia. Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker delivered a quality start despite allowing three solo homers in the finale, but the offense never gave him a chance.

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