Montero Wasn’t To Blame
The reclamation of Rafael Montero has taken an interesting turn. Montero was just a losing pitcher in a game, and he wasn’t the reason why the Mets lost the game. Instead of him letting the team down, the team let him down.
It all happened in the seventh inning. After two singles and a Maikel Franco double, the Phillies were up 2-0 with no outs in the inning. Ty Kelly sacrificed him over, and that’s where things went awry.
The Mets brought the infield in, and Andrew Knapp hit a sharp groundball to the right side. Asdrubal Cabrera couldn’t get to it. He got a glove on it, but he couldn’t field it as it trickled into right field giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead.
Montero threw a pitch in the dirt. Rather than getting down and trying to block it, he committed the faux pas of just trying to backhand it. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Rivera lost complete sight of it thereby allowing Knapp to score from second giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead.
While it was only the second inning, the lead was daunting. Over seven innings, Pivetta and his 5.40 ERA kept the Mets to one hit – a T.J. Rivera fifth inning solo home run.
Even when the Mets drew a walk, they’d hit into a double play. In a sign of what type of game this was, Lucas Duda hit into a bizarre double play. He hit a shallow fly ball to center, and Aaron Altherr just juggled it. He eventually grabbed it before he was able to double off a confused Bruce.
Things fell apart in the top of the eighth as Rivera’s poor play reared its ugly head again.
With two on and no out, pinch hitter Brock Stassi singled to center, and Franco raced home. Brandon Nimmo made a good strong one hop throw home that had Franco by a good margin. Rivera missed the ball, which not only allowed the run to score, but also allowed the runners to move up a base.
With Daniel Nava‘s subsequent two RBI single off Chasen Bradford pushed the Phillies lead to 7-1. While the Mets made some noise in the bottom of the ninth, they would’ve score a run.
It didn’t matter. The game fell apart. The one piece of good news was it wasn’t his fault. He pitched well and settled down. Overall, his final line was 6.1 innings, eight hits, four runs, one run, one earned, two walks, and six strikeouts.
If this is now what qualifies as a poor start from him, there is reason to believe in Montero.
Whether you believe in this team or not, is up for debate. We’ll know more as the Mets take on the Nationals for a three game set.
Game Notes: Curtis Granderson missed the game with a hip issue that prevented him from being able to swing the bat.