It was more of the same, as the Mets fell 4-3 to the Yankees. Two home runs in the first inning gave the Mets a 3-0 lead, but the Yankees chipped away with three home runs of their own, taking a lead in the eighth that they wouldn’t relinquish.
For a 20-minute stretch, it seemed like the Mets might finally have found the light at the end of the tunnel. After Amed Rosario fouled out, Todd Frazier, Brandon Nimmo, and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a home run, a triple, and another home run. In one inning, the Mets matched their run total from the past five games combined, giving Steven Matz a 3-0 lead.
Against the most potent offense in baseball (117 wRC+), Matz did his best to make that lead stand up. He worked around a double in the first and a single in the second, but finally stumbled in the third when gave up a solo home run to Gleyber Torres. The Mets had a chance to get that run right back with two men on and one out in the bottom of the third, but Asdrubal Cabrera popped out and Jay Bruce flailed at a changeup to end the scoring threat.
Matz bounded back with a clean fourth inning and worked some magic to get out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the fifth. You can only dance through this Yankee lineup for so long, however, and Matz finally snapped in the sixth. Gary Sanchez walked with one out, and Miguel Andujar followed with a two-run home run to tie the game at three. Matz got the next two outs to finish his evening after six innings, striking out six and allowing three runs on four walks and five hits. It was a valiant effort against a meat-grinder of a lineup, but with the Mets lineup being what it is, valiant isn’t good enough.
The game felt over at this point, and it basically was. A leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh from Adrian Gonzalez was squandered, as the Mets couldn’t even get Gonzalez to third. Aaron Judge promptly drove the dagger in, parking a middle-middle slider from Anthony Swarzak into the left field seats leading off the top of the eighth. The Yankees led 4-3.
In addition to an elite offense, the Yankees have probably the best bullpen in baseball. Unsurprisingly, the Mets couldn’t do diddly-squat against Dellin Betances in the eighth, and while Jay Bruce and Kevin Plawecki managed walks in the ninth against Aroldis Chapman, Jose Reyes could only a muster a weak line drive to right field that ended the game.
More than being yet another loss, this game featured some extremely frustrating managerial decisions from Mickey Callaway. Amed Rosario, who has a .279 OBP, was batting leadoff, while Brandon Nimmo was dropped to third. Jay Bruce, who has been as bad a hitter as Rosario, was batting fifth, with Michael Conforto batting sixth. Then in the ninth, Callaway chose to pinch hit for Bruce rather than Conforto. It’s disheartening enough to watch a team with sub-par talent, but watching that talent being mismanaged just adds to the frustration.
The Mets are now 16-33 since starting 11-1. They’ve lost six straight against the Yankees, eight straight and 15 of their last 18. Seth Lugo will take the mound against Luis Severino in the final game of this three-game set tomorrow evening.
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Win Probability Added
Big winners: None
Big losers: Anthony Swarzak, -20.9% WPA; Jose Reyes, -16.5% WPA; Devin Mesoraco, -12.3% WPA; Jose Bautista, -10.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce walks leading off the bottom of the ninth, +13.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Aaron Judge homers leading off the eighth inning to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead, -25.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -14.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: -35.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Aaron Judge