It can’t get any worse than last night, that’s for sure.
A day after Matt Harvey (with some help from the bullpen) got slapped around by the Marlins en route to a 13-1 loss, the Mets went back to work in Miami. Seth Lugo and his barely intact UCL faced off against Odrisamer Despaigne, a pitcher with a K/BB of less than one this season who has nevertheless given the Mets fits in the past (he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning while with the Padres in 2014). Phil Evans made his first MLB start at second base, and that that’s a highlight for the primer of this game tells you just how far we’ve sunk.
Jose Reyes got the Mets off to a fast start, dropping a solo home run into the right center field seats with one out in the first. That would be all the offense they managed for the first five innings, as Dom Smith left two men on in the third and the Mets went in order in the second, fourth, and fifth.
Seth Lugo made that lead stand up at first. He worked around a walk to Giancarlo Stanton in the first (one of many unintentional-intentional free passes the Mets have doled out to the prodigious slugger this season) by inducing a reviewed double play from Christian Yelich. He induced another double play in the second, working around a single from Justin Bour and a double from Derek Dietrich. Things were quieter in the third, when Lugo set the Marlins down in order.
Miami finally broke through in the fourth, when Yelich launched his 18th homer of the season to left center. J.T. Realmuto followed with a two out double, but Lugo struck out Dietrich to keep the game tied at one. Lugo bounced back in the fifth with another 1-2-3 inning, but that would end his evening. The right-hander tossed five innings of one run ball, striking out three and walking one. The outing lowered his ERA to 5.03.
Though Lugo departed a tie game, the Mets worked to get him in line for the win. In the top of the sixth, Reyes led off with a single before both Asdrubal Cabrera and Dom Smith lined out. With two outs, Travis d’Arnaud stepped to the plate, and he blasted a two-run home run to center field to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. Brandon Nimmo followed that up by lining a first-pitch single (a very uncharacteristic move) to left, but he was stranded when Juan Lagares flew out to end the inning.
Josh Smoker entered for the bottom of the sixth and worked a scoreless inning, working around yet another walk to Giancarlo Stanton as well as a wild pitch. After a quiet top of the seventh, Jeurys Familia relieved Smoker, striking out two and walking one in a scoreless inning. It was one of Familia’s better outings since returning from the disabled list with blood clots in his throwing shoulder, as he looks to work himself back into closer shape going into the 2018 season.
The Mets put together another threat in the top of the eighth, when Cabrera singled with one out. Smith followed with a strikeout before d’Arnaud singled and Nimmo walked to load the bases with two outs. Lagares then had a ten-pitch battle with Junichi Tazawa, including five straight foul balls. Unfortunately, when Lagares finally got around on a ball, he lined it directly to second baseman Derek Dietrich to end the threat.
After working around yet another walk to Giancarlo Stanton in the bottom of the eighth, the Mets managed to push across an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Phil Evans lead off with a line drive single to center, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Matt Reynolds, then to third on a ground out from Nori Aoki. Reyes drove him in with a single, stretching the lead to 4-1.
That run would prove to be important, as A.J. Ramos made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Justin Bour lead off the inning by golfing a pitching that was practically lying on home plate for a solo home run. J.T. Realmuto then singled on a slow ground ball to short, and Brian Anderson made things even dicier with a single to put runners on first and third with one out two batters later. Ramos pulled within one out of the save before A.J. Ellis pushed a ground ball through the right side of the infield to cut the Marlins deficit to one run. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a line drive single just over the glove of Reyes, driving in Anderson to tie the game at four.
At this point, most of us were probably just rooting for the Mets to complete the implosion and lose the game. Instead, Paul Sewald entered (after Ramos walked Stanton for the fourth time this game) and struck out Christian Yelich, forcing the game into extra innings. Mercifully, things ended quickly. A leadoff single from Smith was wasted, and J.T. Realmuto lined a walkoff solo home run off of Sewald in the bottom of the 10th.
The loss drops the Mets to 65-86, keeping them in the fifth spot in the reverse standings. Another painful loss, but at least they didn’t drag things out too long.
Thoughts from the Game
I’d use this game as an excuse to bring up my doubts about A.J. Ramos (and my corresponding dislike of the trade to acquire him), but judging relievers on a one-game sample is silly and pointless. This could also be a chance to rant about Terry Collins failing to recognize when a reliever has nothing, but basically every major league manager does this with his closer. Perhaps another chance to complain about Jose Reyes still being on this team, but he went 4-for-5 with a home run.
No, there’s just nothing worth mustering up the energy to complain about at this juncture in the season. We’re just playing out the string here folks, even in the recap section.
Other Met News
Amed Rosario missed a second straight game with gastroenteritis, with the Mets describing him as violently sick. Rosario had a bout of the stomach flu earlier this season, missing a week or so of action while with Las Vegas. The young shortstop visited the hospital but spent the night in the team hotel, and has been instructed to stay there while resting up in order to get back to game shape. With the Mets season already long over and Rosario having received a decent sampling of MLB pitching, there’s no reason to rush him back at this point.
Photo credit: Jason Vinlove – USA Today Sports