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Mets Lose On Ugly Eighth Inning Meltdown

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Bryce Harper would hit one of the most incredible home runs you will ever see off of Jacob deGrom:

Harper was sawed off, and he still hit a no doubt home run.  Because of who the Mets are this season, they would immediately respond.

In the bottom of the first, Michael Conforto hit an opposite field double off of Jeremy Hellickson that Matt Adams just could not corral. After that, Todd Frazier, who is suddenly the hottest bat in the Mets lineup followed with a two out RBI single tying the game at one.

In the third, it was Frazier again.  After an Asdrubal Cabrera single and Conforto walk, Frazier ripped a go-ahead RBI double giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.  It could have been more but the Nationals nailed Conforto at home.

 

Juan Lagares would create the first rally after drawing a walk off of Matt Grace.  During Jose Lobatons at-bat, he would steal both second and third base. That led to Mickey Callaway surprising everyone by calling a squeeze:

With the ball scooting away, this allowed Lobaton, who had reached earlier by walk, to get to third.  This put him in perfect position to score on an Amed Rosario fielder’s choice giving the Mets a 4-1 lead.

The Mets would quickly make that a 6-1 lead in the seventh.  Brandon Nimmo began the inning with a triple off the outstretched glove of Michael Taylor, and he’d score when Cabrera hit a two run homer off A.J. Cole.

At 6-1, the Mets looked to be in great shape. deGrom was pitching like the ace he is being the first Mets starter to pitch into the eighth inning.  His final line would be 7.1 innings, six hits, three runs, three earned, one walk, and 12 strikeouts.

At the time the Mets added four tack on runs, it didn’t look like deGrom needed them.  While he might not have a suddenly imploding Mets bullpen would actually need more than a five run cushion.

After allowing a pair of singles, deGrom was done with one out in the eighth.  Seth Lugo relieved him and walked Howie Kendrick to load the bases.  This led Callaway to call on Jerry Blevins, who allowed Harper to hit a two RBI single to bring the Nationals to within 6-3.

All three runs were charged to deGrom, but the last two were allowed to score by the Mets bullpen.

With Lugo and Blevins not getting the job done, Callaway summoned AJ Ramos with two on and one out in what was now a ballgame.

Ramos would strike out Ryan Zimmerman before allowing a single to Pedro Severino to load the bases.  That put the game in the hands of former Mets infielder Matt Reynolds, who pinch hit for Cole.  After a four pitch walk. the Nationals were within 6-4 and still with the bases loaded with two outs.  At this point, Callaway had little choice but to go to Jeurys Familia.

Familia would choose a bad time to blow his first save of the year as he allowed Wilmer Difo to tie the score with a two RBI single.  It got worse with him hitting Moises Sierra, a player who has not played in the majors since 2014, before issuing a bases loaded walk, the Mets second of the inning, to Taylor to give the Nationals a 7-6 lead.

In the ugliest inning of the year, the Mets bullpen would allow six runs (two inherited) off three hits, three walks, and a hit by pitch.  That really is embarrassingly bad and reminiscent of last year’s terrible Mets team.

Kendrick would homer off Hansel Robles in the ninth to ensure the entire Mets bullpen would pitch poorly on the evening.

Just to make sure this loss would sting all the more, Cabreara would hit a one out double off Ryan Madson, he would try to get to third on a pitch that got away from the catcher.  The play would be reviewed, Cabrera would appear safe, but the out call was upheld.  In the end, it doesn’t matter, Cabrera made a real bone headed decision.

The Mets came into this series with a chance to maybe bury the 2018 Nationals in April.  Instead, they may have breathed new life into a team which desperately needed a shot in the arm with this 8-6 loss.  This is really the Mets first taste of adversity this year.  Let’s see how they respond.

Game Notes: Yoenis Cespedes did not start the game for the first time this year.  He pinch hit in the eighth and flew out.  Jay Bruce didn’t start again today with his plantar fascittis flaring up again.

10 thoughts on “Mets Lose On Ugly Eighth Inning Meltdown”

  1. Saul's Colorist says:

    Worst loss I ever experienced…
    They must win one game this series.

    They exploited team infield defensive range

    They exploited backstop’s inability to offer a credible effort to throw out would be base stealers.

    The lack of team speed can be a bummer on a night like tonight

    ————

    I would offer Ramos back to Miami in a Realmutto deal

    I would send Lugo down to close for Vegas – He is not emotionally conditioned for the bullpen role yet..,

    Robles needs AAA

    Lobaton will still succeed in the minors

    Cabrera’ passion has a downside

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Robles has been good and far from the problem, and the Mets have good team speed.

  2. Blu2MileHigh says:

    I was there in Delta Silver tonight.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      How were the seats?

  3. Blu2MileHigh says:

    The bullpen seldom threw first strikes,
    Kingsler and Madson (no Doolittle) were effective.

    We are doing OK considering Plawecki is weeks away, Swarzak and Vargas have not pitched, Reyes has not ignited yet, Cespedes is playing sick, Harvey is getting stronger every start, Matz is improving and Wheeler is getting it together.

    Harper impressed me by not trying to homer off Blevins.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t see how Harvey is getting stronger. He’s gotten progressively worse and with lower velocity in each start.

  4. Gothamist says:

    They must pitch inside…..if they are going to take an extra base they need bigger leads. Why the Nats held runners with no speed on with multiple throws to first must have a larger purchase such as supplementing a catcher with an average arm?
    If the pitchers practice keeping runnersat first close why not practice with the slowest runners? They learn to have dual focus.

    They learn to have dual focus.
    They learn to have dual focus.

    make sense?

    Do all of the Mets pitchers need to practice often throwing to first base regardless of who is there? Dual focus?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The Mets have been throwing inside much more. Even if they weren’t, that’s not what caused last night’s loss. It was their inability to throw strikes that did them in.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t think this loss can be downplayed, at least not until we see how the rest of this series shakes out.

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