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Soul Crushing 16 Inning Loss To Giants

In 2016, the Wild Card picture was all jumbled up like it is now with the Mets having a favorable second half schedule and a need to leapfrog a number of teams. That season turned around with a road trip to San Francisco.

Tonight, the Mets began a similarly pivotal series in San Francisco. Like in 2016, we would get Noah Syndergaard against Madison Bumgarner, and like last time, we’d get a real pitcher’s duel.

Jeff McNeil hit the first pitch of the game for a double, and he moved to third on a J.D. Davis single. This allowed him to score on a Pete Alonso double play. The Mets had a 1-0 lead, but Bumgarner would go on to retire 13 in a row after the Davis single.

Things were not as easy for Syndergaard, but he’d have equally as impressive results.

In the second, he worked around an Alex Dickerson leadoff triple. In the third, he worked around a Brandon Belt two out double. On the double, Juan Lagares couldn’t make a play on it reminding us all he’s no longer that type of defender anymore.

The Giants finally got to Syndergaard in the fourth loading the bases with one out. Fortunately, due to Pablo Sandoval making Sid Bream look like Usain Bolt, he was held up on a Mike Yastrzemski single. He would however score on a Kevin Pillar sacrifice fly. On the play, Davis misplayed it forcing him to make a leap, and thankfully, he came down with it.

Syndergaard would have to summon the magic again in the seventh. This time, it was Yastrzemski who led off the inning with a triple. After a Pillar ground out to the drawn in Todd Frazier, Joe Panik was intentionally walked to set up a double play and bring Bumgarner to the plate.

The decision was made easier with no one warming in the Giants bullpen. However, the strategy was rendered moot with Panik stealing second on a 3-1 pitch. There was no throw from Tomas Nido due to his framing the pitch and the jump Panik got with Syndergaard not even bothering to keep Panik close.

It would up not mattering as Syndergaard struck out Bumgarner, and he got Belt to fly out to end the inning. At 108 pitches, he was done after a strong and gutty performance. Like three years ago, the Mets were going to the bullpen, and Bumgarner pitched nine brilliant innings.

Fortunately, Conor Gillaspie hasn’t played baseball since 2017. As a result, we’d see Seth Lugo pitch a scoreless eighth and Luis Avilan pitch a scoreless ninth to send the game into extras. This would mean the Mets would get into the Giants bullpen.

Robinson Cano led off the 10th with a single off Will Smith. Amed Rosario then continued his torrid July with a hit. Cano would actually go first to third on the single to left, and with Alex Dickerson throwing to third, Rosario went to second on what was ruled a double.

Nido struck out, and Wilson Ramos, the last right-handed bat on the bench, pinch hit for Lagares. He was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Michael Conforto pinch hit for Avilan, and he struck out putting the inning on McNeil. In uncharacteristic fashion McNeil struck out to end the inning.

Overall, it was a bizarre inning for Mickey Callaway (or the texting Brodie Van Wagenen). Instead of pinch hitting Ramos for Nido, he pinch hit for Lagares. Then, he pinch ran Luis Guillorme for some reason thereby burning him and Ramos.

Edwin Diaz came on for the 10th, and he worked his way around a leadoff walk showing he can in fact pitch in tie games. That paved the way for Jeurys Familia to pitch the 11th. Again, Gillaspie wasn’t coming off that bench, and as such, Familia pitched a scoreless inning despite him pitching his third game in as many days.

With the options dwindling, Callaway double switched Robert Gsellman into the game with Dominic Smith going to right, McNeil going to second, and Cano being done for the night.

After Gsellman pitched a scoreless 12th, the Mets got something brewing in the 13th against Derek Holland, who had pitched 1.2 innings yesterday. He was pulled with runners at the corners and two outs for Trevor Gott with Alonso coming up to the plate.

That’s the benefit of Bumgarner going nine. As a result, Bruce Bochy can play the matchups in the 13th. That ability led to an Alonso fly out to end the jam. With that flyout, Alonso was 0-for-6 on the night.

Because of the curious decision to pinch run Guillorme earlier in the game, Steven Matz pinch hit for Gsellman in the 14th after Gsellman’s two scoreless innings.

Justin Wilson got himself into trouble in the 14th with a lead off walk, which was actually first and second with two outs. He was bailed out by a terrible check swing third strike call against Pillar, and then with the Giants without position players, he got to face and strike out tomorrow’s (today’s?) starter Tyler Beede to end the jam.

Williams Jerez came on for the 15th for the Giants, and he was in immediate trouble walking Nido and allowing a one out single to Conforto. For third time in extras, McNeil had a chance to get the big hit. This time he hit into a 3-6 fielder’s choice. Davis would follow with a foul out.

In the bottom of the 15th, Chris Mazza, a 29 year old rookie who pitched two innings in the previous game, entered to pitch. He got through the inning setting the stage for Alonso to get his first hit in his seven at-bats:

Because baseball is a cruel sport, Dickerson and Crawford hit back-to-back doubles to begin the 16th to tie the game, and Mazza hit Austin Slater. Of course, there was no other option than Mazza with Rhame serving his suspension, so he and he alone had to get out of it.

Pillar singled to load the bases with no outs. This meant the Mets went to five infielders and drew everyone in. It didn’t matter as Donovan Solano hit one past Alonso to end the Mets four game winning streak.

This is as soul crushing as it gets.

Game Notes: Brandon Nimmo has begun baseball activities, but he’s still about a month away from a rehab assignment. Jacob Rhame‘s appeal was heard, and his suspension was reduced to one game making him unavailable for this game.

11 thoughts on “Soul Crushing 16 Inning Loss To Giants”

  1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Impressive speed posting this, MD. Kudos.

    “In 2016, the Wild Card picture was all jumbled up like it is now with the Mets having a favorable second half schedule.”

    —Hm. After the upcoming 20 game stretch against weak teams, the Mets go into a brutal 34 games and 11 series where 10 of those teams are above .500. August 9 – Sept 15 is probably going to be painful to watch. 34 of their last 66 games will be against .500+ teams. I’m not seeing this as favorable, given from now until the end of the year they go 34-32 v good teams-weak teams. And if the Mets lose to the Giants tomorrow, that ratio tips to 36-29 thanks to the Mets pushing the Giants up to .500.

    —re tonight’s game, these Mets will always find ways to lose. It looks like they actually went into this game with 11 pitchers. In an era where 13 is the norm, the Mets couldn’t scrounge up 12, apparently failing to anticipate how Rhame’s suspension might bite them, so even after getting incredibly lucky with their subpar relief core they had no one to replace the obviously faltering Mazza. Amazing. If I’m wrong I hope someone will correct me, but it appears that the Mets chose to go with 11 pitchers this game, plus Rhame (suspended). It was a road trip on which they already knew they were going to pull Matz early on July 16th and the bullpen would be thereby overtaxed. Even so, they went short on the pen. That sound about right?

    An interesting team would have had deGrom or Vargas get a couple of outs in the 16th after they took the lead and saw Mazza was collapsing. The Mets are not an interesting team, and Callaway is not a creative manager,

    —As much as I appreciate Alonso’s play, other 1Bmen get to the game-losing hit he dove over / fell on top of. Of course, Alonso did drive in both Met runs including the 16th inning blast that put the team ahead. Without him they probably lose in 9.

    —I always advise caution when it comes to looking at Rosario’s stats: Look at a slightly larger slice of the data and from June 26th through July 16th he has a thoroughly unimpressive line of .292/.327/.375 for a .702 OPS and even that needed the help of a .350 BAbip, so it wasn’t like he was getting unlucky. He’s one of those players of whom it’s regularly tempting to believe he’s ready to turn a corner, but so far that hasn’t happened, and this is a guy who is already 1135 PAs into his career.

    —I don’t see this as a soul crushing loss, tbh. It just took them longer to lose this time, something they simply do more often than not. Even after Alonso’s HR, the flagging Mazza portended the result we saw. I lean towards optimism, but these Mets don’t fan those flames very much.

    Anyway, thanks for the writeup. You remind me of the old-time sportswriters at the park with their Remington typewriters set up on planks, writing up the game as it ebbs and flows, then posting the final copy seconds after the game ends. 30.

  2. David Klein says:

    They’re eight games under .500 your sillytjey can make a miracle run to the wild card was delusional.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s not about how many games under .500 they are. It’s about where they are in the standings. Even at six games back, they’re still well within striking distance, especially with their schedule.

  3. OldBackstop says:

    Soul crushing. Aptly put. They now have to take three in a row or I declare them sellers.

    Alonso, setting aside his near heroics, now has only three hits in 31 plate appearances since the Derby, two of them huge home runs.

    Bears mentioning.

    1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      The good news is that Alonso is temporarily hitting balls right at guys, with a .067 BAbip in those 31 PAs. That’ll change. I think that BAbip resulted from 1 hit on 16 balls put into play that didn’t go for HR, SF, HBP, and ROE, and we know he wasn’t just hitting dribblers to SS or back to the mound. With a normal BAbip he would have had 4 or 5 more hits,

      Even the kid’s slumps are pretty good. He’s had an OPS of .572 in this stretch, but even with that BAbip of .067 he still pro rates to about 40 HR, 80 RBI, 60 BB. That’s nuts!

      1. OldBackstop says:

        Good points.

  4. OldBackstop says:

    ….into extra innings. This is the most gut wrenching July series I can remember.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      This is really bad even by Mets standards

  5. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    And… it’s deja vu all over again.

    Even after dropping the ball Dom had a chance to throw Dickerson out, but he just couldn’t get it done. Also, Frazier’s relay looked hurried.

    Maybe this will end the talk of the Mets making one of the wildcard slots. They’re not a team that can pull that off. They aren’t going to vault over 9 other teams. They aren’t going to go on a .650 run for the rest of the year. No one has been absent for a long stretch and is coming off the IL who is going to magically carry the team to victory. There are big holes in the lineup, big holes in the rotation, and even bigger holes in the bullpen. Even before this latest fiasco the Mets would have had to play .621 ball until the end of the season just to get to 85 wins, and with 9 teams ahead of them, 8 or 9 teams were not going to win 85 games or fewer and cooperate to let them squeak by. The parlay was just far too unlikely to be worth considering except as a brief, casual mention.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Frazier’s throw was right where it needed to be. Ramos wasn’t and gave up on the play.

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