The day didn’t start out great when it was announced that Noah Syndergaard was placed on the disabled list with a finger strain, but it was another injury that would loom large as the Braves were celebrating their walk-off 7-6 win in the ninth.
Steven Matz had really turned his season around and was looking good again in this one. He was staked to a 4-0 lead, when all of a sudden Mickey Callaway and the trainers were looking at his finger before he threw a pitch in the fourth. When Matz departed, a perfect storm that had been brewing for almost the entire season finally reared its head.
When it rains, it pours, but perhaps with some planning and forethought you can grab an umbrella and survive the deluge until the sun is shining again. Unfortunately, once again the front office failed to do that.
Before the season Sandy Alderson said he was happy with the pitching depth. Since that time, Rafael Montero needed Tommy John surgery and Matt Harvey was DFA-ed. Jerry Blevins, who had been a stalwart reliever, has been a nightmare coming out of the pen this season. Alderson’s additions in Anthony Swarzak and Jason Vargas have not done much since joining the team. Swarzak hasn’t pitched since April 1 with an oblique injury, and Jason Vargas has been ineffective and leaving games early which has required alot of innings out of the bullpen. Alderson acquired AJ Ramos at last year’s deadline but he was placed on the DL with a shoulder strain.
To add insult to injury the Mets are in a stretch where they play for eighteen consecutive days including the double header which required a spot start out of P.J. Conlon and heavy lifting by Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia. Now Seth Lugo has to start to replace Syndergaard and Chris Flexen, who sat for a week after his call-up, was battered by the Brewers on Saturday and sent back to Triple-A. Needless to say, two months into the season that “depth” has evaporated.
Gerson Bautista was a body that could pitch but it was not exactly an ideal situation to bring him in a tie game in the ninth. The game was quickly untied when Johan Camargo took him deep to hand the Mets another brutal loss.
Despite jumping out to a 4-0 lead thanks in part to Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrera, the Braves gradually chipped away. First it was against Paul Sewald who came in to relieve the injured Matz. He gave half of the runs back, although one was on Devin Mesoraco when he let a ball get by him.
Cabrera and Nimmo both helped to extend the lead to 6-2 but with so many outs left to get the Braves seized their opportunity against a thin, ineffective, and overworked bullpen. Getting two scoreless innings out of Blevins was a big ask and he did eventually give up a run in 1.2 innings of work. Once again it was the lefties who got to him. Freddie Freeman singled and Nick Markakis doubled him home, 6-3 Mets.
Jacob Rhame finished off the seventh but the eighth was a complete disaster. Obviously Freddie Freeman kills the Mets, which is understood and accepted as fact now. The guy is also a very good baseball player and probably does some damage against a lot of teams in the league. However, nobody is as infuriating as Ender Inciarte. If the Braves are ever in need of a big hit, he is always the one that just happens to be strolling to the plate and he will do something maddening. This time it was a game-tying triple after a hobbled Asdrubal Cabrera couldn’t turn a double play.
With Lugo, Gsellman, and Familia all unavailable, and Sewald, Blevins, and Rhame already in the game, add to it the Mets playing shorthanded, that left the game in the hands of young Bautista, and that is how the Mets were once again walked off after a stretch of brutal losses.
This road trip the Mets have found ways to top themselves in soul crushing losses, but once it rains, it pours and here we are without an umbrella.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Brandon Nimmo +26.7%, Steven Matz +15.5%, Jose Bautista +10.1%
Big losers: Jacob Rhame -38.1%, Gerson Bautista -36%, Michael Conforto -18%, Devin Mesoraco -10.4%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Asdrubal Cabrera home run in third
Teh sux0rest play: Ender Inciarte triple in eighth
Total pitcher WPA: -62.9%
Total batter WPA: +12.9%
GWRBI!: Johan Camargo