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Three main factors behind this Mets collapse

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PHILADELPHIA — Even if manager Luis Rojas wouldn’t call it as such, the Mets began their biggest series of the season Friday night. And it started on a wrong note

After holding the NL East lead for the last three months, the Mets fell out a half-game out of first place after falling 5-2 to the Phillies on Friday night at Citizen Bank Park.

If the Mets can’t win the next two games of the three-game set, they will leave Philadelphia as a second-place team.

“We know we’re facing a team that has gotten very hot lately and there’s some guys that are swinging a hot bat right now,” Rojas said before the loss. “And they are gaining some momentum in the standings, as everyone is aware of the standings at this point in August.”

The Mets held a cozy four-game lead in the division as they prepared to play the final Sunday before the All-Star break. Since then they are 9-14.

A look at how the Mets got to the brink or relinquishing the NL East lead:

Michael Conforto's offensive struggles is one of the reasons the Mets are struggling as of late.
Michael Conforto’s offensive struggles is one of the reasons the Mets are struggling as of late.
AP

Lineup woes

Michael Conforto appeared to jump-start his season on the Mets’ first road trip following the All-Star break, but his breakout was just a blip on the screen. The slumping outfielder, who went 1-for-3 in Friday night’s loss, has an anemic .201/.331/.329 slash line. Rojas benched him earlier in the week to give him a mental break, but to this point the Mets haven’t received much of a bounce from him.

Jonathan Villar was a valued member of the team’s “Bench Mob” that helped keep the Mets afloat earlier in the season and continues to split time at third base, even with J.D. Davis back from the injured list. Though Villar hit a solo homer Friday, his offensive production has slipped, particularly his power — he entered Friday with a .323 slugging percentage in the second half. Davis has also slumped (he told The Post in recent days that nagging soreness in his left hand hasn’t helped), leaving third base as something of a black hole.

James McCann and Tomas Nido, who went 0-for-2 with a a walk, were a formidable offensive tandem behind the plate for a stretch, but neither has been good in the second half. McCann had a .696 OPS since the All-Star break, with Nido at a dismal .471.

In their last 16 games, the Mets had reached five runs in a game just four times and hadn’t surpassed that total.

Rotation regression

Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman were a formidable 1-2-3 punch in the first half. DeGrom, with his 1.08 ERA was selected to the NL All-Star team, but didn’t participate and Walker was later named as a replacement for the NL team. Stroman was also borderline All-Star material.

But that dream rotation has frayed in the second half. DeGrom hasn’t pitched since July 7 because of forearm tightness and then elbow swelling, and he won’t return before September.

Meanwhile, Walker’s ERA has surged from 2.50 to 3.86 following four straight subpar starts (three of which were losses). There is concern Walker has hit a wall physically after three straight abbreviated seasons due to injuries and the pandemic.

Stroman, who allowed two runs in five innings in the Mets’ loss, gave them a one-hit shutout over eight innings in his second start following the All-Star break. But the right-hander hadn’t lasted six innings in a start since June 27, a stretch in which his ERA has increased from 2.35 to 2.83.

Tylor Megill has been a savior to the rotation and Carlos Carrasco’s return from the IL has helped, preventing the Mets from having to send Jerad Eickhoff back to the mound after three underwhelming starts.

Meltdown losses

Edwin Diaz, who allowed a two-run homer to Bryce Harper in the eighth inning that secured the Phillies’ victory, blew three straight saves (two of which became losses), beginning with the final game before the All-Star break, against the Pirates. The biggest gut punch of the three was on July 17, when he surrendered a walk-off grand slam to Jacob Stallings in Pittsburgh. Rojas cited that loss Friday as taking the biggest toll emotionally on the Mets.

I want to say that the most frustrating loss that we had was the one in Pittsburgh, where I saw the guys, Diaz, pretty emotional,” Rojas said. “He was really mad after that game in Pittsburgh.”

Though Thursday’s series finale in Miami wasn’t a loss caused by a bullpen failure, it stung because the Mets left the bases loaded on three separate occasions and lost the momentum of the previous night’s victory, in which Baez hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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