The New York Mets dropped today’s game 2-1 to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The game, a pitcher’s duel with lots of missed opportunities, ended with one swing of the bat, and sunk this month even further into the suck zone.
The game got off to a ridiculous start, with the Mets batting out of order in the top of the first inning. It appears that the official lineup, given to the umpires, had the second and third batters reversed, and so after Asdrubal Cabrera hit a ground-rule double, Reds manager Jim Riggleman came out to speak to the home plate umpire, who then called out the next batter, Jay Bruce, as the penalty for batting out of order.
There was a lot of confusion about what exactly the rule is, in terms of which batter gets called out in that situation, which led to Bruce walking to the plate in the top of the second before being called out. It was a bad look for the Mets, and one of the few blemishes on Mickey Callaway’s early managerial efforts.
The Mets scored their lone run of regulation in the third inning, when Brandon Nimmo hit a lead off triple off of Reds starter Sal Romano. Nimmo scored when Cabrera - this time batting second in the order - grounded out one batter later. Aside from that one blemish, Romano was impressive for the Reds, going six innings and giving up four hits, one walk, an seven strikeouts.
He was matched, nearly pitch for pitch, by Zack Wheeler, who made another step in the right direction with his start today. Over the first five innings, Wheeler walked one, gave up two hits, and struck out five, including two punch outs to Joey Votto.
The sixth inning was a struggle for Wheeler, who gave up a run on a walk and two straight hits to start the inning, the second by the aforementioned Votto. After a strikeout to Eugenio Suarez and a walk to Scott Schebler, Wheeler was able to strand the bases loaded, neding his day with a flourish, striking out Tony Cruz.
Some of Wheeler’s success may be due to the game called by the newest Met, Devon Mesoraco. Although he struggled at the plate today, behind it, he seemed to really lock in with Wheeler. Keith Hernandez on the SNY broadcast made numerous comments about Mesoraco’s calling of inside pitches, and he seemed to take a leadership role on the field, taking a trip to the mound to support Wheeler after a walk.
Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo were both excellent in their appearances today, with Gsellman throwing two scoreless innings and Lugo one. Callaway chose not to double switch Lugo into the game, meaning that he could only throw one inning, which would later come back to haunt him.
In the bottom of the tenth, new pitcher A.J. Ramos threw four pitches to Adam Duvall, and Duvall planted the fourth one into the left field stands, giving the game and the series to the Reds.
The Mets have a day off tomorrow before traveling to Philadelphia for a weekend series with the Phillies. Steven Matz, coming off a good start on Saturday, will face Jake Arrieta on Friday
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
[FANGRAPHS WPA IMAGE]
Big winners: Zack Wheeler, +20.4% WPA, Robert Gsellman, +20.0% WPA, Seth Lugo, +14.3% WPA, Brandon Nimmo +12.9% WPA
Big losers: A.J. Ramos, -35.7% WPA, Wilmer Flores, -13.8% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera, -12.6% WPA, Devin Mesoraco -11.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo’s 3rd inning triple, +10.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Adam Duvall’s game winning home run, +35.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +18.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: -68.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Adam Duvall