In case watching a really nice Steven Matz start wasted by a totally inept offense wasn’t depressing enough for you, the Mets had you covered this afternoon, nearly getting perfect game’d by the Rays, 9-0. This game had everything: poor pitching, no offense, lackadaisical play, everything.
Chris Flexen made his first start of the season for the Mets, and did not follow in the footsteps of Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz this series. In the first inning, he gave up a single, a walk, and then a three-run home run to C.J. Cron to put the Rays up 3-0. Flexen somewhat settled down in the second, giving up just a walk.
But the third inning would prove to be similarly disastrous for Flexen. Jake Bauers led off the inning with a double, and then advanced to third on a passed ball. A Daniel Robertson single plated Bauers, and then Robertson scored on a Mallex Smith double. The Rays led 3-0 after three innings, and Flexen’s day was done.
The Mets’ bats were auspiciously silent today, with Rays’ starter Nathan Eovaldi keeping the Mets completely off the base-paths for the first six innings. Eovaldi, before allowing a hit, struck out eight, and gave Rays fans some hope for the first perfect game since 2012.
Chris Beck was the first up in the Mets’ bullpen today, and promptly walked the first two batters to face him in the top of the fourth inning. Neither would score, however, as Beck was able to retire the next three batters in order. Perhaps because he loves symmetry, Beck also walked the first two batters of the fifth inning as well. A double play off the bat off Jesus Sucre made it look like Beck would get through the inning unscathed, but Eovaldi helped his own cause and drove in Adeiny Hechavarria for the sixth run of the afternoon.
Beck didn’t walk two to begin the sixth inning, but he did give up a one-out solo home run to Bauers to put the game even further out of reach. Tyler Bashlor pitched the top of the sixth for the Mets without incident, and was pinch hit for in the bottom of the inning.
The first Met to reach base was Brandon Nimmo, who singled to lead off the seventh inning, ending Eovaldi’s perfect game and no-hitter hopes. He was erased two batters later by a double play off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera.
Paul Sewald was next to answer the call, and gave up a solo home run to the second batter he saw, Joey Wendle, putting the Mets’ deficit at eight runs. He then walked the next two batters (hey! More symmetry!) before Robertson scored on a fielder’s choice. 9-0, Rays.
Despite only throwing 79 pitches, Eovaldi came out after the seventh, and was relieved by Andrew Kittredge, who walked Michael Conforto to start the eighth. Because this is the 2018 Mets, Todd Frazier then grounded into a double play and Dominic Smith struck out swinging to put the inning to bed.
Tim Peterson was, thankfully, the last Met pitcher of the afternoon, and continued his relatively strong showing out of the bullpen. Peterson struck out two, becoming only the second of five Met pitchers today to not give up a run.
Devin Mesoraco led off the ninth inning with a single, the Mets’ second of the game. Jose Reyes moved him over to second on a weak ground ball, and then Mesoraco took third on a wild pitch by Kittredge. Pinch hitter Jose Bautista then hit a foul pop up to Cron for the second out. Nimmo gutted out a walk to put men on the corners. Nimmo would advance to second on defensive indifference because, of course, that’s so Nimmo. Wilmer Flores would line out to end the game.
Hey, at least it was over in under three hours today.
This was a humiliating loss for the Mets, who looked lackluster in just about every aspect of the game today. It is hard to believe how bad this team looks right now, despite having so many players putting up seasons at, near, or above their career norms (deGrom, Nimmo, Cabrera, Wheeler, Matz, Mesoraco). This is a weird, sad season.
will rest up tomorrow - syke! - have a double header against the Phillies. The first game is a Zach(k) attack, with K Zack, Zack Wheeler, going up against H Zach, Zach Eflin at 4:10. In the nightcap, Aaron Nola takes on Corey Oswalt.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Not a single Met, that’s for sure.
Big losers: Chris Flexen, -31.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo’s seventh inning single, .6% WPA (yes, you’re reading that correctly)
Teh sux0rest play: C.J. Cron’s three-run home run, -22.5% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -33.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: -16.9% WPA
GWRBI!: C.J. Cron