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Defense Matters, That’s Why The Mets Lost 

Here’s the game in a nutshell. Steven Matz didn’t have it, and the Padres defense made the 85 Bears look like a sieve. 

The Padres were hitting Matz hard right from the jump when Manuel Margot hit a two run homer to give the Padres a 2-0 lead. 

After a scoreless second, the Padres jumped all over Matz again scoring four runs. Matz didn’t get help from his defense. Case in point was the Cory Spangenberg grounder. 

Jose Reyes couldn’t pick it up cleanly, and he made an ever so slightly offline soft toss to Wilmer Flores. It wasn’t a particularly difficulty play for either middle infielder, but neither could complete the play. Only because it was home town scoring, it was ruled a “single.”  

This was Reyes’ second RBI of the night with him singling home Jay Bruce in the second inning. 

After that third inning, Matz was done. His ugly final line was three innings, nine hits, six runs, six earned, no walks, and four strikeouts. Honestly, Matz probably wasn’t even that good. 

The Mets did have a chance to get back in this game in the sixth inning. 

The Mets loaded the bases with one out against tiring Padres starter Jhoulys Chacin with Lucas Duda coming to the plate. Padres Manager Andy Green went to the left-handed Buddy Baumann to face Duda.

Duda hit a deep enough fly ball, but the combination of Hunter Renfroe‘s arm and Asdrubal Cabrera‘s lack of speed, there would be no sacrifice fly. Cabrera would score when Baumann walked Reyes pulling the Mets to within 6-2. 

Craig Stammen came in to pitch to Rene Rivera, who hit a hot shot up the middle. Allen Córdoba made a nice play on the ball, which could’ve been a two RBI single, and got Rivera at first to end the inning. 

With Reyes and Córdoba, we really witnessed what a difference defense makes. Then again, we saw it all game long with this Padres defense, especially with both Margot and Jabari Blash making sliding catches to rob Michael Conforto of a couple of hits. 

The Mets did pull within 6-3 when Flores homered to center:

Even with the homer, the Mets couldn’t catch up to the Padres. Maybe the Mets would’ve had a chance if they had better defense, but the Mets were content to punt on defense this year. It’s haunted them many times. Tonight was the latest example.

Game Notes: Erik Goeddel, Tyler Pill, and Hansel Robles combined to pitch five scoreless innings out of the pen. Pill will likely be demoted tomorrow to make room for Chris Flexen, who is scheduled to make his MLB debut tomorrow. 

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