The New York Mets traveled to Philadelphia for their first “test” of the 2022 season. While it started rocky, the team passed with flying colors.
1. The Mets built this team on starting pitching, and it is working. They league the league in innings, ERA, and WHIP while being second in strikeouts. That could be the biggest reason they started the season 5-2.
3. Taijuan Walker looked great until he had to leave with injury. Fortunately, it appears he will be fine.
4. David Peterson stepped up in long relief, and it appears he will rejoin the rotation. On that front, he started out jittery, and the K/BB wasn’t great. Still, there is talent there.
6. As good as the starting rotation is, the bullpen has been that bad. Much of the blame there goes to how Buck Showalter chooses to utilize them.
7. Showalter knew Trevor May was dealing with bicep and tricep issues, and he still tried to push him another inning. This is all the more egregious considering it was cold and Showalter just came from a lecture about not pushing relievers early in the season. Fortunately, May is alright.
9. Brandon Nimmo has been phenomenal atop the lineup. He has been everything we could expect and more.
10. The lineup in the finale of this series was perfect. Switching Francisco Lindor and Starling Marte makes so much sense analytically. Also, getting Robinson Cano out of the lineup right now makes even more sense.
11. Cano looks just about done. He has no bat speed. He has no speed. He isn’t hitting the ball with authority. This is already a huge problem.
12. Pete Alonso looks very comfortable as the DH. You still want to use the position to cycle through players on a modified rest, and you want to keep him engaged defensively, but it would be ideal for him to be the primary DH.
13. Dominic Smith needs to be better. Assuredly, some of the slow start is being sat to see if the Mets could get Cano or J.D. Davis going, but he needs to earn his way back into the linup. Hopefully, that sacrifice fly will get him going.
14. It is a pleasure watching Eduardo Escobar play. He gives his all on every play, and it was his hustle that allowed the umpires to award him a triple on that fan interference.
15. Sending Escobar was just plain dumb. Even a semi-competent throw gets him easily, and Escobar has real speed. The Mets have a very real Joey Cora issue, and it was an unforced error.
16. That Phillies lineup is frightening. As we saw on Monday, you give them an inch, and they can make you pay. More than that Joe Girardi alternates L/R so effectively you can never bring in a true LOOGY.
17. It’s a testament to this Mets offense they knocked both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola out of the game early. It wasn’t that they put up a lot of runs, but rather, they just continued to grind and force up the pitch counts for both pitchers.
18. It should bother everyone Clayton Kershaw left a perfect game after seven innings with just 80 pitches. That is inexcusable, and there is simply no defending it. It really was everything wrong with baseball right now.
19. It is long past time we have a Tom Seaver statue, and it is going to be great seeing one on Opening Day.
20. The Mets still need to face some of the better teams in baseball to get a true feel for them, but so far, they look like a real contender this year.
For all the talk about Buck Showalter being a good manager, there were concerns about his bullpen management and ability to adapt to the modern game. We are not a full week into the season, and we are not seeing signs of Showalter having adapted.
In terms of being more analytically inclined, we see Starling Marte batting second. Ideally speaking, your best hitter should bat second, and Marte is not the Mets best hitter. Instead, he is treated almost like a second lead-off hitter behind Brandon Nimmo because he is fast.
Speaking of Nimmo, we have seen Showalter ask him to sacrifice bunt. Nimmo has been their best hitter for years, and he’s being asked to sacrifice bunt. It’s one thing with Tomas Nido, even if that strategy is still questionable, but with Nimmo, it is just plain bizarre. With the implementation of the universal DH, you would think we not see the sacrifice bunt as a strategy, but with Showalter it is still a strategy.
More than the lineup and the sacrifice bunting, there is the way Showalter is handling the bullpen.
Before delving further, there is the caveat if Pete Alonso didn’t play poor defense, and if Seth Lugo didn’t struggle, we wouldn’t be talking about it. However, beyond that is the fact is Showalter made poor decisions putting pitchers in poor positions. That is what helped lead to the Mets blowing two late leads.
On Sunday, the Mets had a 2-1 lead in the eighth. He chose Trevor Williams for what was the Mets first high leverage relief situation of the season. Trevor May was available, and he warmed up at one point. Instead, Williams would be charged with a blown save. Yes, the caveat there is Alonso was terrible, and there were soft hits.
Another note is how Showalter used the Edwin Diaz less bullpen leading to that game.
In the previous game, the Mets won 5-0, and Showalter used Drew Smith and Adam Ottavino, two of his better options in the late innings. The game before that the Mets won 7-3, and Showalter used Smith and Lugo. To be fair, he would also use Sean Reid-Foley in that game.
Now, this was the first series of the season, and as we saw in that series, Showalter was just trying to get everyone involved. For example, every position player played just one game. Still, why was Showalter using Lugo, May, and Ottavino in spots where he could have been getting pithcers like Williams into games?
On that point, Showalter did say, “We’re too early in the season to be throwing guys three out of four days. We said the whole offseason with the lockout and everything that we’re going to be careful.”
Now, there is something to losing the battle to win the war. He’s right that its way too early to abuse relievers, and he does need to keep everyone fresh. On these points, Showalter has managed successfully many years, and there is some level of expertise to which we can demur.
That doesn’t explain the loss to the Phillies. Before getting to the game, we need to revisit what May would say after the game:
Trevor May discusses the extent of his fatigued arm: pic.twitter.com/H0DdRwGw37
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 12, 2022
He’s been battling bicep and tricep soreness, and he’s been getting treatments. He isn’t accustomed to pitching multiple innings. In fact, he hasn’t done that since 2020. Notably, he performed poorly both times.
Going back to the eighth inning, Showalter had a reliever he knew was dealing with shoulder issues and doesn’t go multiple innings. More than that, it was cold. In a day, Showalter went from you can’t push relievers to pushing a reliever he knew was dealing with arm issues. It doesn’t make sense.
Another factor at play was Lugo was apparently available. As we know, Lugo performs better when he’s starting an inning. The Mets could’ve avoided the whole mess of the inning if they went with Lugo to start the inning. Sure, Lugo probably still struggles, but the Mets could have then pivoted to a Smith or Ottavino if needed.
Instead, it was May then Joely Rodriguez, which made zero sense.
Remember, Rodriguez is horrific against right-handed batters. It was one of the reasons the swap between him and Miguel Castro made no sense. Rodriguez was warming, but May’s injury could have allowed Showalter to pivot and pitch whomever he wanted.
There was a runner on first with no outs. The right-handed hitting Matt Vierling was due up, and the Phillies had other right-handed hitting options on the bench. After the pinch hitter, which was the switch hitting Johan Camargo, the Phillies had Kyle Schwarber followed by J.T. Realmuto before Bryce Harper.
To get Schwarber and Harper, Showalter opted to have Rodriguez face Camargo and Realmuto with no outs. Camargo singled sending Alec Bohm to third. That allowed a run to score on the Schwarber RBI groundout. Realmuto then launched a homer to pull the Phillies within 4-3.
Lugo can and should get out of that situation. Then again, he should not have been brought into that spot. It should not have been. May should not have started that inning, and Rodriguez should not have followed. It was all a mess created by Showalter.
If this was Luis Rojas, writers and fans would have been livid, and they would have demanded he be fired. In fact, when the games were scripted for Rojas, these are the types of things that happened. Now, that Showalter is doing it on his own volition, he’s getting a pass.
In actuality, he shouldn’t. The ignoring analytics. The bunting. The bullpen management. These were all issues present when he was hired, and Showalter hasn’t shown any signs of progress or any willingness. These are problems before we even address leaning on veterans like Robinson Cano. There is still 157 games for Showalter to adjust and learn. The Mets need him to do it.
The New York Mets obtained Joely Rodriguez from the New York Yankees in exchange for Miguel Castro. Looking at the trade, it is difficult to ascertain just how this makes the Mets better. What is clear is this was a trade generated because the Mets felt they just needed two left-handed pitchers in the bullpen. It is something GM Billy Eppler said so himself:
"Clearly, left-handed relief was something that we were looking for"
Billy Eppler explains how the Joely Rodríguez-Miguel Castro trade came together: pic.twitter.com/UG5UOfIRwj
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 3, 2022
The obvious retort is going to be the Mets needed more left-handed relievers with Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Juan Soto in the division. Of course, that wasn’t an impetus for the Mets to go out and beat that two year $17 million contract Aaron Loup received from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With Rodriguez, the swap of him for Castro really doesn’t make any sense. That goes double when you consider Castro is three years younger, and both pitchers will be free agents after the season. To further the point, here are their splits from last season:
- Castro: .198/.313/.270
- Rodriguez .203/.288/.271
- Castro: .180/.327/.328
- Rodriguez 339/.380/.446
Remember, this is the era of the two batter rule for relievers. As such, the Mets are going to bring in Rodriguez to face Harper, and then, he is going to have to face Nick Castellanos. On that point, Castellanos had a 142 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this year. It’s the same throughout the division.
After getting through Soto, Rodriguez would have to face Nelson Cruz who had a 142 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. After he faces Matt Olson, Rodriguez will face Austin Riley who isn’t as good against left-handed pitching but still has a career 108 wRC+ against them.
Simply put, Rodriguez will come in to get that one batter, and then, he will face a batter who can absolutely obliterate him. This is a recipe for disaster, and it was one made for no other reason than the Mets compulsion to carry multiple left-handed relievers.
It’s an unforced error premeditated by an obsession over century old platoon thinking and not according to the numbers. In fact, Castro fares similarly well against left-handed batters as Rodriguez, but he is far, far superior against right-handed batters. Put another way, the Mets intentionally made themselves worse.
This just puts more onus on Jeremy Hefner to make good on this trade. Unfortunately, he is not going to get the full benefit of Spring Training to work with Rodriguez. Hopefully, the adjustments and tweaks won’t take that long. Otherwise, it is going to make Buck Showalter‘s life more difficult trying to find a way to get Rodriguez into games to be effective and not hurt the Mets.
Overall, this is a trade where the Mets better know something more than everyone. If not, this is nothing more than just getting a left-handed reliever for its own sake, which is something we shouldn’t be seeing teams do in 2022.
The New York Mets have the rotation which can win them a World Series. That goes double when the top of your rotation is Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. That said, this is a roster which still needs help.
The outfield is more than set with Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, and Mark Canha. However, they are not a trio who historically lasts a season. That is going to leave the team shallow for good chunks of the season just hoping Khalil Lee figures it out or Nick Plummer can prove last season was him making his march to the majors.
The infield is also set, but that could be a problem as well. Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor seem to be well past their issues, and they promise to be an elite double play combination on the field and at the plate. Pete Alonso made strides defensively and has likely dedicated himself to be even better. However, Eduardo Escobar has always been a poor third baseman, and now, he is going to be asked to play there everyday.
The catching situation is a bit of a mess. James McCann regressed in all areas of his game last season. Unless he starts hitting or framing better, the Mets are going to have to try to pivot to Tomas Nido depsite McCann’s big contract. On that note, Nido remains elite defensively, but he still has issues at the plate.
Looking at the bench, Dominic Smith is a first baseman, and J.D. Davis has no position, which admittedly is much less of an issue with the DH. Robinson Cano has the contract and bat to justify playing everyday, but that is only if he is Cano. Really, at this point, no one knows if he can, but you have to assume with the backing of Buck Showalter he just might get the opportunity to prove he still is.
Luis Guillorme is a great defender who will struggle to find playing time. His pinch hitting ability has also been neutralized with the universal DH. Fortunately, he does seem to finally have a believer in what he brings to a team in Showalter.
Honestly, the concerns over the bullpen is muchado about nothing. Edwin Diaz can close even if he’s not the most reliable. Trevor May is a very good late inning reliever. With the injury concerns past him, Seth Lugo can get back to being Lugo. Drew Smith is on the verge of a breakout. Miguel Castro is good against left-handed batters, and Adam Ottavino gives a different look.
With all the pitching the Mets have a great mix and actual depth which goes down to the Triple-A level. It is something they have not had in quite some time. However, as noted, from a position player standpoint, this team needs some real help. It’s another reminder Michael Conforto is still a free agent, and maybe, it’s a call for one of the players in the organization to step forward and claim a spot.
The Mets need that to happen because the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers continue attacking this offseason looking to push towards winning the 2022 World Series. The Mets have the pitching to get there, but now , they really need to make sure they have everything else.
With the addition of Max Scherzer, it would appear the New York Mets rotation is set. After all, they already have Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker returning. They also have two interesting young pitchers in Tylor Megill and David Peterson, who should be given every opportunity to battle for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Looking at Megill first, he was a revelation when he was called up to the majors. Through his first seven starts, he was 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA while walking 11 and striking out 39 over 35.1 innings. For some, he was reminiscent of deGrom, and you could argue it was more like John Maine in 2006. Whatever the case, he pitched well in what was then a pennant race.
After those seven starts, Megill tapered off as he reached innings he never reached in his career. Over his final 11 starts, Megill was 3-6 with a 6.13 ERA while averaging just under 5.0 innings per start. On the bright side, his control remained strong with 16 walks and 60 strikeouts over 54.1 innings. When you see him, there is something very promising there, and it’s incumbent on the Mets to best figure out how to allocate his innings to have him ready for September and October.
Peterson was a different story. He followed a promising albeit statistically troubling rookie season during the pandemic with a poor and injury shortened second year. It’s difficult to know when the oblique began to start bothering him and impacting his performance, but Peterson followed a season with a 4.52 FIP with a 4.78. We would see his 125 ERA+ fall more in line with the FIP dropping to a very poor 73 in 2021. While the strikeouts went up, the walks remained high.
With these two, Peterson has the better pedigree as he’s a former first round pick. However, Megill has better recent success. All told, they are both still a bit raw for the Major League level. You can certainly justify giving one or both of them a spot in the rotation. The better option would be to keep them both in Triple-A to allow them to further battle it out and get ready for when the Mets staff has an inevitable injury.
Keep in mind, the Mets needed 19 starting pitchers last season. Of course, part of that was using pitchers like Aaron Loup and Miguel Castro as openers, but the point remains they needed that many starters. Marcus Stroman was their only starter to make at least 30 starts, and he signed with the Chicago Cubs last season. What the Mets need more than anything right now is pitching depth, and with their having a lack of near Major League ready starters in the upper levels of the minors, they need to manufacture that depth.
With that in mind, the Mets need to sign another starter whenever this lockout ends. Keep in mind, future Hall of Famers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are still available. There are other interesting stopgap options as well, and of course, there is also Trevor Williams, who the Mets added at the trade deadline last year.
Whatever the case, the Mets have four very solid starting pitching options if they’re healthy. In fact, when they’re healthy, they’re the top four in the majors. That’s the key. They have to be healthy, and the Mets have to plan for the event they won’t be. That is exactly why Megill and Peterson should be positioned to start the year in Triple-A whenever they permit this 2022 season to begin.
Perhaps, it is unfair to suggest J.D. Davis was the reason the New York Mets lost. After all, in baseball, it is really more than just a player, play, pitch, or at-bat.
The Mets were down 3-0 after former Los Angeles Dodger Rich Hill allowed homers to Trea Turner, Albert Pujols, and Chris Taylor. With the Pujols homer that was one 40 year old homering off another one.
The Mets would begin to mount a comeback against Max Scherzer in the fifth beginning with a Brandon Nimmo solo homer. The inning continued, and Michael Conforto would have a tough at-bat with two outs to draw a walk with the bases loaded.
This brought J.D. Davis up to the plate. If you were expecting anything other than a strikeout, well, you haven’t been paying attention all season. This was the fifth time he did it all season in five such tries. Again, it was a fastball over the heart of the plate.
Didn't have his best stuff today, but legendary strikeout here from Max Scherzer to get outta the jam pic.twitter.com/IhDRIAbyId
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) August 21, 2021
The shame was after Miguel Castro loaded the bases with no outs walking in a run, Jeurys Familia got the Mets out of the jam further unscathed. Pete Alonso would also hit a two run homer off Blake Treinen to pull the Mets to within 4-3.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 21, 2021
That would be the final score, and it was an extremely frustrating one at that.
As for Davis, well, the Mets decided they’d rather let him sink the season. It doesn’t matter he doesn’t play defense, run the bases, and isn’t hitting. In the end, the Mets just seem to be accepting his blaming everyone else for his inability to produce.
The New York Mets briefly fooled us. For a brief moment, Mets fans actually thought the Mets were game and could possibly get a win.
The Mets had fallen behind in the fourth when Rich Hill lost it. Honestly, with Hill, you expect it to happen at some point in the fourth or fifth.
The rally continued anyway with the Giants getting three more hits. Wilmer Flores had the third driving home the second run of the inning. Things might’ve gotten worse, but Miguel Castro got the Mets out of the jam.
What’s shocking is the Mets, who seemed dead in the water, rallied. It was all the more surprising against Kevin Gausman.
After the first two reached, Pete Alonso drove a two RBI triple to Triple’s Alley to tie the score. He then scored on the rarest of rare things, a Dominic Smith sacrifice fly. Improbably, the Mets had a 3-2 lead.
That lead was very temporary. In the very next inning. Kris Bryant hit a two run homer off Castro. It was his first of two on the night.
Trevor May took the mound in the seventh. He struggled and didn’t look right. Theres certainly an explanation for it with his wincing on the mound. Whatever the case, Belt and Bryant homered.
Later on in the inning, Brandon Crawford hit an RBI trouble extending the Giants lead to 7-3. At that point, it was game over.
Yes, Jonathan Villar would hit a two run homer in the eighth, but it was really window dressing. The reason is the Mets ability to hit with RISP is non-existent.
Case in point was this inning. Brandon Drury followed with yet another pinch hit. The tying run was on base with one out as the Mets flipped the lineup.
At the end of the day, the Mets lost 7-5. They’ve now lost four in a row again. They’ve done it twice in less than two weeks. Heads typically roll after games and stretches like this.
Game Notes: Alonso’s triple was the first for the Mets in 68 games).
The New York Mets began the suspended game down 3-1. Rich Hill volunteered to pitch earlier than his spot because the Mets needed a starter. He’d be far from the only person who stepped up on the day.
Now, while Hill stepped up, he wasn’t great. The deficit grew to 4-1 in the second when Victor Robles hit an RBI double.
Then, something happened to the Mets offense. That something was Joe Ross. As fans, we tend to focus on the Mets killers of the world, but we overlook the Rosses of the world who just wilt when they see the orange and blue.
Brandon Nimmo awoke the offense with a leadoff double in the third. That led to the dreaded bases loaded no outs situation. Michael Conforto got the Mets past the mental hurdle of never scoring with an RBI groundout. This sparked a three run inning tying the score at 4-4.
It was the first time in a week the Mets scored more than three and just the second time all month. Whether it was Ross or not, the Mets offense seemed to be clicking.
They needed it to because Hill ran out of gas in the fifth. After allowing the first two to reach, he allowed a Luis Garcia two RBI double putting the Nationals up 6-4. That’s when the Mets went to the bullpen to ask Jeurys Familia to stop the bleeding.
Familia didn’t exactly do that. The first batter he faced, Riley Adams, drove home Garcia with an RBI single. After a sacrifice bunt, he was in scoring position. That set the stage for Jeff McNeil to save the game.
In what was a flashback, Alcidies Escobar, a 2015 Kansas City Royal, was up against Familia with the opportunity to end the game. He’d rip a liner, but McNeil got higher than we’ve ever seen him robbing an RBI base hit and ending the inning.
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2021
The Mets then started chipping away at that lead. In the bottom of the inning, McNeil drew a leadoff walk, and he was still there with two outs. On a 3-2 pitch, a clearly hobbled McNeil was running when Conforto ripped an RBI single through the shift.
The Mets have sliced a run off of the lead. pic.twitter.com/H1QBJNocxG
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2021
Thanks to a double clutch from Carter Kieboom on the relay McNeil scored easily. Conforto tried to advance on the throw, but he was caught in a run down easily making the last out.
Gabe Klobosits relieved Ross to start the seventh. Nimmo would led off the inning with a single. Two batter last later, Pete Alonso came sooo close to giving the Mets the lead. Instead, it was an RBI double pulling the Mets within a run.
Pete was thiiiiiiiis close to tying the game
But it's an RBI double ? pic.twitter.com/HpvsSJtg3f
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2021
While the Mets wouldn’t get the lead there, they finally would in the eighth. With a runner on second, Jonathan Villar was up there hybrid bunting, that is, he was up to sacrifice, but he always bunts to get a base hit.
That always puts extra pressure on the defense, especially with his speed. Nationals pitcher Mason Thompson fielded it rather cleanly and easily, but he appeared to rush the throw leading him to throw it away. The tying run scored, and Villar was in scoring position.
The Mets have tied the game!! pic.twitter.com/njP49RumzQ
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2021
Later in the inning, we’d see pinch hitting extraordinaire Brandon Drury. For some reason, just like Matt Franco in 1999, some pinch hitters just get locked in at the plate. That’s been Drury this year, and he delivered again with a go-ahead RBI single through a drawn-in infield.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 11, 2021
Astonishingly, that was the first Mets lead in 43 innings. Somehow that seems impossible. Then again, the Mets have been terrible of late losing four straight and nine of 10.
The Mets got to this point not just due to the offense but the bullpen as well. Familia, Miguel Castro, Drew Smith, and Trevor May combined to pitch four scoreless allowing just the two hits. They walked none and struck out two.
While the Mets were armed with the lead heading into the ninth, they weren’t out of the woods. The very mercurial and rusty Edwin Diaz was coming in for the save, and the first batter he’d face was Juan Soto.
Diaz made quick work of Soto striking him out on four pitches. With Soto down, it was effectively game over at that point. Diaz hit the easy save, and the Mets finally won a game.
This is what we envisioned the Mets offense can and should be. There are reasons why he saw it happened with Ross being one of them.
There was also Nimmo being a table setter. McNeil was spraying the ball, and Alonso’s talk about the process produced tangible results.
Mix in Conforto getting further away from COVID and returning to form with some luck, which is always needed, and you get a huge Mets win. The key now is to build off of this.
Game Notes: The second game of the doubleheader was rained out. The Mets signed Josh Reddick to a minor league deal.
After all that, the 3-0 lead became a 7-3 deficit, and it looked like Pittsburgh all over again. In actuality, it was, but it was like the series finale.
Michael Conforto got the comeback started with a two run homer in the fourth.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
It was a brand new game, and it would stay tied into the seventh. Miguel Castro departed with one on and two out. He didn’t get out of the inning as J.D. Davis had his typical difficulty getting the ball out of his glove thereby costing the Mets of any chance to get an inning ending double play.
At that point, Nido had a double and an RBI. James McCann had been scuffling amidst an 0-for-11 streak. Naturally, when Jauss tabbed McCann to pinch hit for Nido, he hit a go–ahead two run homer.
That shouldn’t been enough for a 9-8 win. The problem was for the first time in his career, Edwin Diaz would blow three straight saves.
Part of that was Diaz walking Kyle Farmer to start the inning. The other part was Jauss unnecessarily having Diaz pitch to Winker. Predictably, Winker hit the game tying single to tie the game at 9-9.
In extra innings, the took advantage of the dumb gimmick when McCann singled home the go-ahead run. Remarkably, the ball double tapped his bat on the singles. It was 10-9 heading into the bottom of the inning.
With all the bullpen usage, the Mets opted for Anthony Banda for the save. It didn’t go well. Two batters into the inning, there were runners on first and second with Tyler Naquin driving home the tying run.
After that, Jose Peraza made an impact against his former team starting the around the horn double play on Eugenio Suarez‘s grounder. He’d then get the put out on the ensuring Shogo Akiyama grounder to send the game to the 11th.
Brandon Nimmo led off the 11th putting runners at the corners. After a poor Alonso at-bat, McNeil delivered the go-ahead single giving the Mets an 11-10 lead.
For some reason, with Banda of all people up, the Mets put the contact play on. The end result was Nimmo getting nailed at home. Fortunately, the Mets weren’t done as Kevin Pillar and Conforto would go back-to-back.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
That 15-10 lead was enough for even Banda. Although, he did test that allowing back-to-back one out singles pulling the Reds to within 15-11.
With that, May saved hid second in a row and third of the season. That’s a testament to the never give up mentality of this never give up clubhouse.
Game Notes: Mets are 177-0 all-time when scoring at least 12 runs. Johneshwy Fargas was designated for assignment. Travis Blankenhorn was optioned to Syracuse. Eickhoff and Stephen Nogosek were called up.
If you thought blowing a 6-0 lead entering the bottom of the eighth was bad, Taijuan Walker only lasted one-third of an inning. In that one-third, he allowed SIX runs.
The key moment of the inning was a Kevin Newman hit ball Walker tried to touch foul. Instead, the umps called it fair. While Walker argued, and J.D. Davis aimlessly walked towards the third base coaches box not even pretending to care to make a play, the Pirates scored three runs to take a commanding 6-0 first inning lead.
Luis Rojas has been ejected from the game after 3 runs scored on this ground ball up the third base line: pic.twitter.com/dDECsIlOpt
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 18, 2021
Luis Rojas argued the play as vociferously as we’ve ever seen him argue with an umpire. Between that and a bump, he’d get tossed.
Walker departed as well. He’d be replaced by Drew Smith. Over 2.2 scoreless innings, Smith gave the bullpen some much needed length, and he kept the Mets in position to get back into the game.
The Mets would do that. First, it was a Dominic Smith two out RBI single making it 6-1. In the ensuing inning, Travis Blankenhorn came up to pinch hit for Smith, and he hit his first Major League homer.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 18, 2021
Suddenly, it was 6-4 in the fourth. That meant the Mets were back in the game. They’d stay in the game because the bullpen was phenomenal.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 18, 2021
Just like that, it was a one run game. After Jeurys Familia pitched an adventurous yet scoreless eighth, the Mets had a chance. Those chances improved when Smith hit a lead-off single. Then, Michael Conforto had his biggest hit of the year.
— JoseShoulders7 (@JoseShoulders7) July 18, 2021
Conforto has been heating up of late, and we’ve seen him hit for power again. When he hits like this, no deficit is insurmountable, even a 6-0 first inning one.
This was a game where we saw how special and resilient this Mets team is. They responded to a 6-0 first inning deficit with 8.1 scoreless. Wins like these makes you believe they can win the World Series.