The Mets made it interesting in the ninth, but the 7-4 final score goes down as just another loss in a season riddled with them.
The Mets got off to a rough start before the game even started. Michael Conforto had to be scratched with a sore thumb and Juan Lagares was inserted into the lineup to take his place. Patrick Corbin got the start for the Diamondbacks and since he is a lefty, that led to an interesting lineup configuration for the Mets. Matt Reynolds made his debut in right field, and by the time the game was over, he also made his debut at first.
In fact this was a game of firsts. Patrick Corbin had never beaten the Mets in his career and he picked up his first win against them, and Kevin McGowan made his first big league appearance.
Corbin picked up his first win against the Mets with relative ease. This lineup looks quite different than it did a month ago, and with Conforto out, the already-depleted crew lacked some serious firepower. With a season like this, that is not necessarily an issue and it is expected this time of year. What is an issue is players being given an opportunity and them not seizing it.
Juan Lagares has been unable to stay healthy long enough to give this organization an idea of what he brings to the table offensively. Now he is getting that opportunity and has not been impressive. This month he is hitting just .217/.217/.261 in 23 at-bats.
With the Mets trailing 4-0 in the third, Gavin Cecchini singled and Tommy Milone walked to bring up Lagares. He grounded out to third on a 3-1 pitch. It should have been a double play, but third baseman Adam Rosales just took the out at third. It was one of the rare times that Corbin was in trouble and the Mets did not take advantage. Asdrubal Cabrera did ground into a double play as the next batter, and what should have been a promising inning petered out pretty quickly once Lagares got through with it. So far it still looks like the Mets will need a center fielder in 2018.
Wilmer Flores overall is enjoying a successful season, but in August he has struggled. He went 0-for-3 in this game and is batting .229/.296/.500 this month. He did have a rib injury that sidelined him for a game, so who knows if that is affecting him at the plate.
The offense had an uphill climb right from the start in this one. Tommy Milone got the start over the injured Steven Matz and did not pitch well. He gave up a two-out three-run home run to J.D. Martinez in the first, allowed an unearned run to score in the third, and gave up a solo home run to Adam Rosales in the fourth.
He left in the fifth with two-outs and a runner on. Terry Collins called upon Kevin McGowan to make his debut against Paul Goldschmidt, and the MVP candidate laced a double to right to bring home the last run charged to Milone. He was charged with six runs, five earned, he walked one, and struck out five.
McGowan looked good in the sixth and pitched a clean inning, but perhaps he was pushed too far in the seventh. He loaded the bases with nobody out and it was up to Hansel Robles to clean up the inning. Robles did walk in a run but kept the damage to a minimum. Robles pitched the final three innings and only gave up one walk and one hit. He also only struck out one but he was effective in this game.
Amed Rosario was the only Mets batter to get to Corbin in this game. He hit a solo home run in the fifth, but when Corbin departed after eight innings he held a 7-1 lead. The offense was happy to see him go and came alive against the Arizona bullpen.
Matt Koch was traded to the Diamondbacks for Addison Reed in 2015 and he was the first one out of the bullpen in the ninth for Arizona. He walked Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes singled, which was his third hit of the game. Dominic Smith was called upon to pinch hit and he hit a ground rule double to bring home the Mets’ second run. Andrew Chafin replaced Koch, and after Brandon Nimmo struck out, Matt Reynolds grounded out to cut the lead to 7-3. That brought up Amed Rosario,who blasted a triple to left to bring home the third run of the inning. Fernando Rodney was then brought in to pick up the save, which he did when Gavin Cecchini grounded out to end the inning and the game.
There will be some growing pains with this young lineup, but it is nice to see some flashes of potential become reality, even if it goes in the books as another loss.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: None
Big losers: Tommy Milone -30.0%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Tommy Milone walk in third
Teh sux0rest play: J.D. Martinez home run in first
Total pitcher WPA: -32.1%
Total batter WPA: -17.9%
GWRBI!: Paul Goldschmidt