In a game that lacked the drama, excitement, and the happy recap of a matchup of these same teams nineteen years earlier, the Padres got to Jason Vargas early and often Saturday evening. Vargas surrendered nine runs on nine hits over his 3.2 innings of work in a game the Mets were never competitive in.
The Mets went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first against Padres rookie starter Joey Lucchesi. Vargas started the bottom of the frame by striking out Wil Myers, but then the line drives started raining down upon him. Eric Hosmer laced a single to right, and Christian Villanueva followed with his eighth home run of the year to put the Mets in a quick 2-0 hole. San Diego added two more in the first frame on a Manuel Margot triple ripped over the head of Juan Lagares—while Lagares took an awkward path to the ball, it was probably hit too hard to reasonably expect him to catch.
Vargas surrendered two more runs in the third, then three more in the fourth, and was only unscored upon in the second inning thanks to Lagares robbing Villanueva of a second home run in the bottom of the second inning. While troubling, the start was actually a slight improvement over Vargas’s last Mets start, in which he surrendered nine runs over 3.1 innings—albeit 11 years ago.
Seth Lugo finally came in to put Vargas out of his misery, and surrendered three more runs over 2.1 innings, all on RBI hits by Austin Hedges (5 RBIs in total on the day). Meanwhile, the offense struggled all night with Lucchesi’s funky windup and fascinating churve (change-up/slider hybrid) as he kept the Mets off the scoreboard until a Yoenis Cespedes home run in the sixth kept the Mets from getting shut out.
The Mets will look to shake this one off and take their first series victory since April 13-15 vs. the Brewers in the series finale behind Zack Wheeler Sunday afternoon, as they wrap up what has been a largely frustrating road trip thus far.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: None
Big losers: Jason Vargas, -37.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Asdrubal Cabrera’s third inning walk, +3.0 WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Christian Villanueva’s first inning two-run home run, -17.7 WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -37.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: -13.0% WPA
GWRBI!: Manuel Margot