In a game that was essentially a carbon copy of any game over the past month, the Pirates topped the Mets 6-4. Luis Guillorme was played out of position at third base (with Jose Reyes at short, because it’s important to cater to the 35 year old utility infielder with a 47 wRC+), and multiple defensive gaffs cost starter Seth Lugo runs and pitches. Tyler Bashlor and Robert Gsellman each gave up runs in two inning stints. Jameson Taillon shut down the Mets for most of his start, while the Mets consistently wasted the baserunners they had.
This was a standard Met game from the get go. Three pitches in, Starling Marte reached on an error by Luis Guillorme. A stolen base, ground out, and sacrifice fly later, the Pirates had a 1-0 lead without a hit. They added another run in the second on a solo shot from Gregory Polanco, and a third run on yet another error from Guillorme in the third. Bad defense and giving up homers, basically the slogan of the 2018 Mets’ pitching staff.
Lugo managed to limit any further damage in his final two innings of work. His control was clearly off, but he fought through to work around a leadoff walk in the fourth and a third Met error - this time from Asdrubal Cabrera - in the fifth. He finished his evening after five innings and 99 pitches, striking out four and walking three. Only one of the three runs he allowed was earned, and the rest of the team didn’t do him any favors on the other side of the ball either. A double play ended a threat in the first, and the Mets left men on in the second, third, and fifth to put Lugo in line for the loss.
Tyler Bashlor entered in the sixth, replacing Lugo to make his major league debut. The performance matched the scouting report - a live fastball, a nasty slider, and questionable control. He induced two pop ups to start his outing, but walked Starling Marte with two outs and allowed an end-of-the-bat, juiced ball home run to Josh Bell that snuck just inside the left field foul pole that stretched the Pirate lead to 5-0. Bashlor’s second inning was more successful, as he set the Pirates down in order and induced two more pop ups. While not an ideal debut, the stuff is definitely there for Bashlor to be a significant piece of the bullpen going forward, and he should get significant run with the Mets out of contention this season.
After leaving another man on base in the sixth, the Mets finally broke through against Jameson Taillon in the seventh. Jose Reyes slapped a double down the left field line, and Kevin Plawecki followed with a double that squirted under the glove of third baseman Colin Moran to drive in the Mets’ first run. That chased Taillon and brought in Tyler Glasnow who, true to form, could not find the strike zone. Luis Guillorme walked, and Wilmer Flores followed with a pinch-hit, three-run bomb to cut the Pirate lead to 5-4.
This is the 2018 Mets though, so we all know where this is going. Michael Conforto walked following Flores’ home run, but was erased on a double play off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera. Then, with one out in the eighth, Devin Mesoraco walked and Jose Reyes singled to put the tying run in scoring position. Kevin Plawecki struck out on three pitches, Luis Guillorme grounded out, and the opportunity was squandered.
Robert Gsellman coughed up an additional run in the ninth thanks in part to some more suspect defense from Luis Guillorme at the hot corner. It was inconsequential, however, as Felipe Vazquez set the Mets down in order on three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth to seal the 6-4 loss. It’s the Mets’ seventh straight loss and their fourteenth in their last fifteen game at home.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Wilmer Flores, +20.0% WPA
Big losers: Kevin Plawecki, -13.4% WPA; Seth Lugo, -13.0% WPA; Jose Bautista, -12.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilmer Flores hits a three-run home run in the seventh to cut the deficit to 5-4, +20.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Luis Guillorme grounds out with two men on in the eighth, -12.0% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -22.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: -27.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Josh Bell