It’s a Jason Vargas start. Don’t think much more really needs to be said.
At least the greatest second baseman of all time – Jeff McNeil – is still in the lineup.
Mercifully, Jason Vargas wasn’t in the game for long. After recording only one out and giving up three hits, an almost two-hour rain delay chased the struggling left-hander from the game. Paul Sewald replaced Vargas and allowed the two runners he inherited to score, closing the book on Vargas after 0.1 innings and three runs. By the time the top of the first ended at 9:10, the Mets trailed 3-0.
Sal Romano, meanwhile, continued with his regularly scheduled start after the rain delay, and he dominated the Mets. Brandon Nimmo and Jose Bautista managed their only two hits off the righty, both of which came in the second inning and led to the Mets’ only run. Romano also walked three, including two starting the seventh inning before he was pulled. Jared Hughes relieved Romano and worked out of that jam with little trouble, recording a strikeout, fly out and ground out to strand two.
The Mets, meanwhile, had to patch together a game from their bullpen. Sewald got through the second inning and was replaced by Bobby Wahl, who gave up two more runs in the third. Tyler Bashlor kept the Reds off the board in the fourth and fifth, and Drew Smith did the same in the sixth and seventh. Jacob Rhame kept that trend going in the eighth, but gave up a home run to former Met Dilson Herrera (traded for Jay Bruce in 2016) that stretched the Reds’ lead to 6-1.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets had one last chance, with singles from Nimmo and Todd Frazier putting two men on with one out. That chance was squandered too, of course, as Bautista and Kevin Plawecki both popped up to end the game. The loss drops the Mets to 46-65.
Thoughts from the Game
It’s a little sad and entirely unsurprising that most of us were hoping the rain would just cancel the game rather than delay it. More importantly, the fact that the Mets’ win expectancy probably went up with Vargas out of the game is a problem, and it’s one that will, in all likelihood, not go addressed in the offseason. There’s no reason for Vargas to be on the Opening Day roster next season, but the Mets front office literally doesn’t know the meaning of the term “sunk cost,” so expect him to be pencilled in as the third starter from the first day of spring training.
As a more uplifting tidbit, enjoy this pregame Jeff McNeil factoid:
— Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) August 7, 2018
Other Met News
Chris Flexen underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, which will end his season. The 24-year-old was in the midst of a disastrous season, recording an ERA of 12.79 in the majors and putting up an unimpressive 4.40 in Triple-A to go with unremarkable peripherals. Hopefully some of his struggles can be explained away by his injury and he he can hit the ground running next year as viable starting pitcher depth.
Photo credit: Andy Marlin – USA Today Sports