While the Mets dropped their second game of the series to the Astros 4-1, it was really the horrific images of Wilmer Flores being hit in the face by a foul ball that will remain from this game, long after the final score is forgotten. In a season full of rough injuries, perhaps none have looked as gruesome as Flores’s bloody nose.
Seth Lugo started for the Mets, and was quite good for the first five innings. His last start was his return from the disabled list, and so he was much more limited in his pitch count. Tonight, he was free of that pressure, and early on, responded quite well. While he had baserunners in three of the first five innings, he kept the Astros off the board, striking out six.
Brad Peacock started for the Astros, and more or less matched Lugo every step of the way, giving up just two hits and two walks over the first five innings. It was in the sixth that both starters ran into trouble.
Juan Lagares led off the inning with a stand up triple, struck over the head of George Springer in center field. Asdrubal Cabrera then walked and, after a strike out of Amed Rosario, Springer left the game. Francisco Liriano replaced him, and promptly gave up a double to Dominic Smith, plating Lagares. Kevin Plawecki then hit the ball sharply to third, but it was plucked out of the air by J.D. Davis. Liriano then walked Brandon Nimmo, and was relieved by Joe Musgrove, who ended the threat by inducing a Gavin Cecchini foul out.
Lugo could not get an out in the sixth inning, giving up singles to Alex Bregman, Josh Reddick, and Marwin Gonzalez, and walking Jose Altuve. Hansel Robles replaced him after two runs had already scored. Brian McCann then grounded into a fielder’s choice and Davis hit a sacrifice fly, each bringing in an additional run, putting the Astros up 4-1.
Robles, Jerry Blevins, and Chasen Bradford combined for a scoreless seventh and eighth, but the bats went silent and the team went quietly. Newest Met Norichika Aoki went 1-5 in his debut.
Chris Flexen will start for the Mets in the finale this afternoon in Houston, with Mike Fiers starting for the Astros.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Dominic Smith, +9.4% WPA, Juan Lagares, +9.3% WPA
Big losers: Gavin Cecchini, -18.2% WPA, Seth Lugo, -19.8% WPA, Amed Rosario, -13.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Juan Lagares’s triple in the sixth
Teh sux0rest play: Marwin Gonzalez’s RBI single
Total pitcher WPA: -22.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: -27.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Marwin Gonzalez