It all started in the first inning. Wainwright was erratic and walked Michael Conforto to lead off the game, and then he hit Asdrubal Cabrera with a pitch. Yoenis Cespedes missed one game after he hurt his hip sliding for a ball and was up next in the lineup. It was then that everything changed. As much as the momentum was building it deflated just as quickly, which was the theme for this game. Cespedes grounded out to set up first and third and one out, but it also gave Wainwright a way out of the inning and he took it. Jay Bruce struck out and T.J. Rivera grounded out to end the threat.
Yes the Mets did score three runs in the is game, but two came from home runs and the third occurred when Jose Reyes did a trip around the bases after Magneuris Sierra committed two errors in the outfield. The Mets had runners on every inning except for the fifth and eighth, but the fifth is when Michael Conforto led off the inning with a home run. As a team the Mets were 0-for-11 with men on base.
Remember the excitement when Cespedes hit a pinch-hit home run on the first pitch he saw against the Reds last year? The magic is simply not there this year. He came up as the tying run in the ninth and weakly grounded out into a double play to end the game.
The offense was not entirely to blame for this one. Neither was Zack Wheeler. He pitched well for four innings, but then walked the bases loaded with two-out in the fifth. It was concerning but he got out of it and was handed the lead on Conforto’s home run. Then the sixth happened.
Again it was a play where the momentum just seemed to shift. Where the unease grew within the stadium. It was a soft ground ball by Yadier Molina that did not produce an out and next up was Paul DeJong. DeJong picked up where he left off in St. Louis and drilled a two-run home run to put the Cardinals on top. Wheeler stayed in until he gave up a long RBI double to Adam Wainwright and departed with the score 3-1. Not a brilliant performance by any means but two runs is not an insurmountable lead.
But then Terry Collins went to the bullpen. Josh Edgin came in to face one batter and walked him. Next up was Hansel Robles who was just recalled from Las Vegas. It took just two pitches from Robles to Tommy Pham to turn a 3-1 game into a 6-1 game, and that home run ended up being the difference in the game.
This team is proving more and more that they are who the record says they are and there will be no magical run like there was the past two seasons. A lost season will be a little more palatable if Sandy Alderson is a busy man at the Trade Deadline.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: None
Big losers: Zack Wheeler -21.6%, Yoenis Cespedes -17.1%, Hansel Robles -13.2%, T.J. Rivera -10.%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto home run in fifth
Teh sux0rest play: Paul DeJong home run in sixth
Total pitcher WPA: -32.2%
Total batter WPA: -17.8%
GWRBI!: Tommy Pham