A day after they were forced to start Corey Oswalt, the Mets turned to 28-year-old Drew Gagnon to make his major league debut against the Phillies. Meanwhile, the Phillies debuted top prospect Enyel De Los Santos, a 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic. That matchup seems like a pretty good snapshot of where these two teams are and how they got here.
Shockingly, Gagnon’s major league debut did not go particularly well. He set the Phillies down in order in the first inning, but allowed an infield single and a hit batter in the second before giving up a three-run home run to Maikel Franco in the second. The Phillies struck again in the third, loading the bases on two singles and a walk and cashing in two of those runners on a single from Nick Williams. Very quickly, the Mets were in a 5-0 hole.
Gagnon managed to help himself a little bit in the bottom of the third. After Amed Rosario tripled to left (a play where Rhys Hoskins face-planted spectacularly into the left field wall), Gagnon became the first Mets pitcher to register a sacrifice fly in his major league debut. He was just the third to register an RBI, the other two being Dillon Gee and, famously, Steven Matz. The Mets couldn’t get anything else done, and the deficit stayed at four runs.
The Phillies struck one more time in the fifth, when Gagnon grooved a fastball to Odubel Herrera that was deposited in the bullpens in right-center field to stretch the Phillie lead to 6-1. After a strikeout and another single, Gagnon’s night was done. He finished his major league debut after 4.2 innings, allowing six runs and striking out three. About the sort of performance you’d expect from a filler arm on a bad team.
Tyler Bashlor entered and got the last out of the fifth. He started the sixth inning by allowing a booming double to Scott Kingery, who would come around to score two batters later on a soft single from Maikel Franco. Bashlor stopped the bleeding there, however, and worked around another jam in the seventh by inducing a long fly ball from Kingery.
In the seventh, the Mets finally put together something of a rally against Enyel De Los Santos. Jose Reyes walked, and Rosario followed with his second triple of the game, once again hit to left field. That finished De Los Santos’s outing, as he became the third rookie pitcher of the season to come out and dominate the Mets. Mark Leiter entered, inducing an RBI groundout from Michael Conforto that cut the lead to 7-3.
That was as close as the Mets would get. Singles from Dominic Smith and Reyes in the eighth and ninth were wasted, and the Mets lost 7-3. It’s the 15th straight series the Mets have not won, with the last series win coming in May when they swept the Diamondbacks. Their record is now 36-53, a pace that would put them below 70 wins.
Thoughts from the Game
While GKR keep talking about Conforto and missing the point – that he suffered a major shoulder injury and recovery from shoulder injuries for hitters typically take a whole season – they have mentioned that Conforto is still taking his walks. This is important, as it adds more evidence that Conforto simply isn’t physically there, getting under pitches often despite still having a good approach. Suffice to say, sending MIchael Conforto to the minors is an incredible waste of time, and that it is even being discussed is just another sign of the dysfunction throughout the Met organization.
I won’t add any other rants here. Instead, you should check out our trade roundtable from Tuesday. You can get the dose of bitterness and pessimism that I usually offer there this week, since I don’t want to drive our editor any more insane.
Other Met News
Very quickly, here’s the net result of the many roster moves the Mets have made in recent days with their pitchers:
- Jerry Blevins activated from the bereavement list
- PJ Conlon recalled
- Paul Sewald optioned
- Chris Beck DFAed
Additionally, Noah Syndergaard is expected to start Friday, assuming his bullpen session on Wednesday goes off without a hitch. Jason Vargas may need another rehab start, but isn’t far behind. In less encouraging injury news, Jay Bruce suffered a setback with his injured hip and will be shut down for another 10 days.
Photo credit: Brad Penner – USA Today Sports