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As Expected: Mets Split Doubleheader Losing deGrom’s Gem and Winning Conlon’s Mess

If we learned anything from the doubleheader yesterday, it was baseball makes no sense whatsoever.  How could it?  Somehow, someway, the New York Mets are 5-6 in Jacob deGrom starts and 2-0 in P.J. Conlon. starts.  Just to put how bizarre that is in perspective Conlon has pitched fewer innings in his brief MLB career than deGrom did yesterday.

And it was another virtuoso performance from deGrom yesterday.  The only mark against him was a Tyler Flowers seventh inning shot.  That had made the game 2-1 with the Mets scoring on a Devin Mesoraco bases loaded walk.  While Luis Guillorme would end that rally, he made up for it by hitting a double over the head over Preston Tucker, who had not played the field in about a month and looked like it.  On the double, Mesoraco would score from first.

After the Flowers homer, the Braves apparently smelled blood in the water because they went on the attack.  Tucker walked, and Johan Camargo singled on a ball any other second baseman not named Asdrubal Cabrera fields.  With runners at the corners, the Braves seemed poised to tie the game.  It never happened.

First, deGrom struck out Dansby Swanson.  He then got Kurt Suzuki to pop out to swallow left with Amed Rosario getting to it and running it back to the infield to prevent any shenanigans.  Finally, deGrom got Ender Inciarte to ground out to end the inning.

After that, deGrom gave the Mets the seven innings they needed on a day where they were going to have a bullpen game in the second half of the doubleheader.  It was a 115 pitch virtuoso performance.  In total, he allowed the one run on five hits and three walks while striking out eight.  He furthered this case to win the Cy Young.

It didn’t matter because instead of going to Jeurys Familia, Mickey Callaway went with Seth Lugo.

Admittedly, going to Familia for six outs may not have seemed like the obvious move, but when you’re looking to use your whole bullpen for the second game, why not use Lugo’s for 2-3 innings instead of either setting up or trying to get the six out save himself. For whatever reason, Callaway tabbed Lugo to go out there and get his first career save against the first place team in the division.

It didn’t happen. In the eighth, Ozzie Albies started the inning off with a bunt single, and he was on third after a Freddie Freeman single.  To his credit, Lugo did limit the Braves to just a Nick Markakis sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2.

The Mets would take the lead in the ninth when Mesoraco, who was 2-3 with two runs, a homer, and two RBI on the day the catching competition really started, hit a go-ahead homer.

Even with Familia warming, Callaway went to Lugo to pick up the win.  Seemingly just as Gary Cohen’s words left his mouth about the last time he homered, Charlie Culberson hit a walk-off two run homer to give the Braves a 4-3 win.

It was a brutal fourth loss in a row featuring a third bullpen meltdown and questionable Callaway decision making.  It was a bad omen for the night portion of the doubleheader.  Fortunately, it didn’t pan out that way.  Maybe, because in the five plus hour rain delay between games, the Mets finally figured something out.

Like most games recently, the game started off quite well with Adrian Gonzalez opening the scoring with an RBI single.  The rally would continue with Kevin Plawecki, fresh off the disabled list, reaching on an awful throw to second by Brandon McCarthy.  Instead, of an inning ending double play, it was 2-0 Mets.  That lead would grow to 3-1 Mets with a Brandon Nimmo homer to lead off the third.

That lead was not for long as the Braves went to work against Conlon in the third.  After a Freeman two RBI single, Markakis would double setting up runners at second and third with no outs and the game already tied 3-3.  Conlon was done for the day, and Callaway would tab Hansel Robles to come on to stifle the rally.

While it may not have been pretty, in an inning which included Camargo getting hit by a pitch, Robles got through the inning allowing just a Suzuki sacrifice fly to give the Braves a 4-3.  In total, Robles would actually give the Mets three scoreless innings, which not only kept them in the game, but it would allow the Mets to take the lead.

The big hit of the game would come from Rosario.  After Plawecki, Jose Reyes, and Guillorme hit consecutive one out singles to load the bases, Rosario hit a go-ahead two RBI single giving the Mets a 5-4 lead.

To the surprise of no one, the lead didn’t last.  Robert Gsellman came into the sixth, and he was greeted with a Ryan Flaherty single and an Inciarte double to set up runners at second and third with no outs.  Rather than tempt fate by bringing in Jerry Blevins again (who was not warming), after Albies struck out, the Mets intentionally walked Freeman to load the bases before Gsellman allowed an infield single to Markakis to tie the score.

Naturally, Reyes could not make the play.

After a mound visit, Gsellman got a groundball from Suzuki.  Gonzalez made the heads up play of getting the out a home to preserve the tie.  Culberson would not have a second act of heroics today as he flied out to center to end the inning.

In what should be a lot of credit to this Mets team, they responded in the seventh.  The rally started with a Michael Conforto leadoff single. He’d be erased on a Jay Bruce fielder’s choice, but the Mets would load the bases with ensuing singles from Gonzalez and Plawecki.  Reyes, once again, failed by striking out.

Guillorme would give the Mets the lead with a clutch two out two RBI single, and Rosario followed with an RBI single of his own giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

There would be no bullpen meltdown as Jacob Rhame pitched a perfect seventh before Callaway finally allowed Familia go out there and get his six out save.  With that, in a very odd way, the Mets earned a split of the doubleheader, and they ended a frustrating losing streak.  It will be very interesting to see how this team responds later today if they actually play the game.

Game 1 Notes: In the fifth, Braves starter Max Fried picked-off both Conforto and Jose Bautista off first base.  Bruce played first base.  Technically, Bautsita’s goes down as a caught stealing as he broke for second.  There was a long rain delay when there was no rain on the field.

Game 2 Notes: During the broadcast, Keith Hernandez noted his belief Reyes is struggling at third because he is not comfortable there.  It should be noted Reyes has played more than 90 games at the position and was signed to be a utility player, a utility player who refuses to play the outfield.

8 thoughts on “As Expected: Mets Split Doubleheader Losing deGrom’s Gem and Winning Conlon’s Mess”

  1. Luis says:

    Reyes needs to be DFA…there is no excuse for his continued existence on a ML roster..nor should he have been re signed

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The only reason he’s on the team is the Wilpons like him

      1. Five Tool Ownership says:

        might be true…. but there are other variables I see, quite clearly…

        – Who is your back up SS with any arm or any range?
        – Where is a PR in late innings coming from, Steven Matz?
        – He does have a possible positive impact in the clubhouse and possibly more so with Rosario?
        – There might be a plan for him to announce his retirement this summer, a last hoorah with team where it started way back almost twenty years ago?
        – The Mets are not screaming with likable with the players and management alumni, alumni in the NY Metro area, team ambassadors here, DR or those who speak espanol outside of Venezuelan Edquado Alfonzo.
        – There is a reclusive Cespesdes and there is solid friendship with Reyes.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          1. Reyes isn’t that.
          2. Guillorme
          3. The Mets are doing a retirement tour when they’re still trying to be relevant in a playoff race.
          4. How is a man who threw his wife through a glass door likeable?
          5. Cespedes has made fast friends with Frazier.

  2. Gothamist says:

    Got sucked back in after that Saturday win against Arizona but by the third Miami game, not hitting their best three starters I succumbed to sporatic viewing and at times just scoring innings….

    Miami has very string starters.

    This guy McCarthy – How long does it take him to tar up his cap bill when special events call for holiday hats?

    Last night he did tip his FB where he only went to his bill once or not at all.
    HILARIOUS – As McCarthy pulled up his left shoulder to take slack off his right biceps you could see the tar on his uniform!!!

    No wonder he is a journeyman pitcher like Stanton. What quality team wants movement from foreign substances, a role model for young pitchers!

    — Mr. Sewald – It you get a strike looking against a Milwaukee power hitter using you slider away on the 1/3 outer corner- does that mean that the hitter can not hit that pitch? …. What about up and in the next pitch, even push him off the plate on that pitch #2 and only then throw that second sweet slider on pitch #3?

    — Wilmer has looked much better and it means he has been much less stiff, going the other way, bending knees and getting low, and doing great with situational hitting.

    It may explain his prior hitting ‘inflexibility” – he maybe dealing with a chronically vulnerable L3-L4 back that may be best looked at by a second opinion.

    Surgery is a huge risk, players have subconscious thinking after surgery yet if Wilmer has been heavily restricted since the 2015 DL stint this may have huge upside.

    First comes his health and living daily without pain — then comes baseball….

    — I like this “kid’ Rhame even more! It seems he is less effected by not getting calls to left sife of the plate, he is maintaining his composure and with his FB up to 97, consistently at 95-96 and with his slider around 88 it looks exciting ….. yet a 12:45 am appearance on a day that started at 11am for the Atlanta hitters is obviously a very small sample.

    We know from Salas, Ramos, Familia etc… they rather walk in a winning run than get hit with their best stuff.

    We have a long way to figure out who Rhame is but we know what we have with “middle up” Robles and “wave at the pitch, open right shoulder batting lefty Reyes”

    That last Reyes K on a decent looking ABAT was not a strike but too close to take and he is not getting into better graces with anyone with 3 RBIs seeking to singularly draw walks… He was hitting righty….

    A hitter who has two modes of hitting agressively or seeking a walk but not both should be looking for a future elsewhere ASAP?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      1. Sewald might be overworked. It’s just one possible explanation to address his recent poor location.

      2. I haven’t seen anywhere where Wilmer was expected to undergo surgery.

      3. Rhame has made the most of his opportunities.

      4. Reyes is done.

  3. Gothamist says:

    JOE BLANTON

    ″(The batters) got pine tar rags, they got Mota sticks, they got weighted donuts in the on-deck circle, they got batting gloves, they got corked bats … I got 85 (miles per hour),” Braden said to the amusement of those on the set. “I need something, Tim. For the love … help me out.”

    Oh, that rationalizes it…. my bad

    http://www.recordnet.com/article/20150528/SPORTS/150529707

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I really pay no attention to Barstool people.

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