After a tough road trip, the Mets returned home, and they looked like a much better team. They would win what became a contentious series, but they couldn’t complete the sweep:
- It’s beyond absurd the Mets believe Gio Gonzalez was just a marginal upgrade over Jason Vargas. It’s more absurd they not only wouldn’t guarantee a spot in the rotation to a pitcher they thought was better, but they also let $2 million stand in the way.
- Once again, the Mets were only “all-in” when it came to Pete Alonso on the Opening Day roster.
- So far, Alonso has gone 3-for-17!against the Phillies with two doubles. Let’s hope this is a strange blip instead of the Phillies figuring something out other teams can catch up on.
- Zack Wheeler was great becoming one of a few pitchers to throw 100 MPH and have an exit velocity of 100+ MPH in a game.
- Oh, and he struck out 11 while walking none. This was case in point why we should not overreact to slow starts.
- On the topic of not overreacting to slow starts, Robinson Cano is raking going 8-for-16 with two doubles and a homer in his last four games.
- While Mickey Callaway and his intellect and acumen are very unfairly maligned he used Cano perfectly as a decoy to get the matchup he wanted in Tuesday’s game.
- Todd Frazier and Luis Guillorme gave the Mets significantly better defense, and they provided some key hits.
- Two days off didn’t help Amed Rosario. You have to wonder how much longer the Mets can deal with him not hitting or fielding, especially with Guillorme looking good in this series.
- It was always interesting how there were two different sets of rules as to handle Rosario’s and Dominic Smith‘s struggles. Those separate rules may have led to neither being the player they thought they could be for the Mets.
- Seeing Rosario’s struggles and the defense in general, you see how much the Mets miss Tim Teufel. You should also question how much of a positive impact Gary Disarcina has had.
- The Mets replay process needs to be better. Dom held the bag and saved Rosario from an error . . . if the play was called properly and/or the Mets challenged the play.
- There was zero reason to demote Paul Sewald, who was pitching well, for Jacob Rhame, who was not pitching well in Syracuse.
- That move may have led to what has becoming a fractured Phillies team, and it galvanized them when Rhame, intentionally or not, threw two high and in to Rhys Hoskins.
- Hoskins got the perfect revenge hitting a homer off Rhame, and then he had a home run trot which made Darryl Strawberry‘s look like he was faster than Usain Bolt.
- Bryce Harper has very good stats for the Phillies so far, but he’s going to have to be better than what he was in this series if the Phillies are going to have a chance.
- Jeff McNeil is in a slump. His GIDP stopped whatever chance the Mets had at a comeback. He’s also three for his last 17
- Speaking of McNeil, the Mets getting plunked, especially on the hand, is getting ridiculous. The pitchers retaliating should not be an issue, but they can’t do what Rhame did.
- After the game Marc Malusis commented the Mets started things. Of course this completely overlooks the Phillies hitting three Mets and Drew Anderson going up and in on Michael Conforto multiple times.
- This is Example 1,693,085 why SNY is unwatchable aside from Mets games.
Things got interesting for the Mets in the sixth inning. Very interesting.
After five shutout innings, the Braves pulled Mike Foltynewicz in favor of LHP Jesse Biddle. The Mets got to work with Todd Frazierearning a one out walk. The ensuing batter, Brandon Nimmo, stuck out his elbow, and he was hit by a pitch.
Except, he wasn’t awarded a base because the home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater ruled Nimmo didn’t try to get out of the way of that pitch. Upon review, he was correct.
That didn’t stop Mickey Callawayfrom going absolutely ballistic leading to his first ejection in his managerial career.
In case you were wondering whether this was going to be an offensive breakout, don’t.
Devin Mesoracoripped a ball right at Braves third baseman Johan Camargo, who tagged out the lead footed Cabrera, who was standing next to the bag, before throwing to first to complete the double play.
Considering how Mets starting pitchers haven’t had leads for nearly a week (with the exception of Sunday), you could almost understand Zach Wheelerseemingly not knowing how to handle the situation.
Wheeler’s first pitch in the bottom of the sixth was hit by Freddie Freeman for a game tying solo homer.
What was odd after that was even after Tyler Flowersbarely beat the throw on what was almost a double play grounder, Bruce would nail him at third on a Camargo single. On the play, Frazier fielded the throw and dove back to tag Flowers out.
In a what was impressive base running, Camargo moved to second on the Flowers gaffe.
With two outs and a runner at second, Wheeler couldn’t get out of the inning. Like most of the night, it was a soft single which did him in.
Now, before reflecting on the final score and Wheeler’s final line, consider this – the Mets should have gotten out of that inning down 3-2.
Inciarte took off for second, and Mesoraco made a perfect throw to second. Only problem was Cabrera flat out dropped the ball. What appeared to be a gassed Wheeler walked the next two batters.
What is odd was with the pitcher’s spot due up third that inning, Disarcina didn’t bother double switching Sewald into the game. Considering it was a one run game, at a minimum, it was a curious decision.
It wound up not mattering as Sewald surrendered a grand slam to Ozzie Albies. With the Mets down 7-2, Sewald hit for himself in the top of the seventh because at that point, why not?
Sewald allowed another run in the seventh to make it an 8-2 game. That was the final score of a game the Mets had a lead and were in decent position of winning. Things are getting real bad.
Game Notes: The Mets have scored 14 runs in nine games this month.
Well, just when you think things can’t get worse, you’re reminded this is the Mets. Perhaps the biggest punchline of this season, maybe the past decade, was how the Mets BATTED OUT OF ORDER IN THE FIRST INNING!
Can someone send this down to the third base dugout? https://t.co/htjvJss5k1
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 9, 2018
Basically, the Mets skipped Asdrubal Cabrera, and Wilmer Flores took his spot striking out. Cabrera, who was supposed to bat second, came up third and doubled. That’s when Reds manager Jim Riggleman pointed out to the umpires the Mets were batting out of order.
Cabrera’s double was erased from the record books, and Jay Bruce, whose turn it was actually to bat, was ruled out.
Aside from making Mickey Callaway and bench coach Gary Disarcina looking completely incompetent, it really hurt the Mets because this game would prove to be a pitcher’s duel between Zack Wheeler and Sal Romano.
For his part, Wheeler was brilliant, and it was one of the better starts in his Mets career. Over six innings, he limited to the Reds to just one run on four hits and three walks while he struck out seven. He would only really face trouble in the first and the sixth. He got out of the jam easily in the first, but he would not be able to escape the sixth.
The sixth inning Reds rally started with a leadoff walk to Jesse Winker. He’d come around to score after a Jose Peraza bunt single. You could get on Wilmer Flores all you like, but he had no shot on this, and really no one does whenever Peraza lays one down as he is the Major League leader in bunt hits with six.
Joey Votto would follow with an RBI single, and the Mets and Wheeler were teetering. While it was not pretty, Wheeler deserves credit for buckling down and getting the last three outs of that inning without allowing another run.
Unfortunately, that rally tied the score 1-1 because the Mets just blew opportunity after opportunity after opportunity.
After the aforementioned blunder in the first inning, Michael Conforto hit a one out double that Adrian Gonzalez could not score. They stood idly by as Wheeler struck out, and Amed Rosario grounded out to the catcher.
In the third, the Mets did actually score. Brandon Nimmo hit a leadoff triple, and with the team hitting in the correct batting order, Cabrera drove him home with an RBI groundout.
In the fifth, the Mets had runners at first and second with one out only to see Cabrera and Flores come up short. From there, the Mets would little to nothing at the plate, which coupled with some strong work out of the bullpen from Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, both of whom have had recent multiple inning relief appearances, bore down and pitched a scoreless seventh through ninth.
At this point, it is important to note the Mets had called up Corey Oswalt to help out with an overworked bullpen. They did this despite his being on three days rest yesterday. As a result, the Mets called up a guy they would be hesitant to use making calling him up in the first place a complete waste of transaction.
As a result, in the tenth inning, Callaway went with AJ Ramos for his second straight game and third time in four days. Callaway went with Ramos instead of going with Jeurys Familia, who was presumably being saved for a save situation. This is a far departure from Callaway’s overtures early in the season when he said he was going to use his best reliever in the highest leverage situations.
Well, that save situation Callaway was waiting for never materialized as Adam Duvall hit a walk off homer off Ramos.
As a result, the Mets dropped to 18-17 after losing a series to the worst team in the National League. This is a far cry from the who went 12-2 and were world beaters. Now, they are just getting beaten up by the world.
Game Notes: Luis Guillorme was called-up from Tripe-A, and Tomas Nido was sent down. Guillorme would not appear in the game. Devin Mesoraco started his first game for the Mets, and he was 0-4 with two strikeouts.