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Matz shellacked, Mets blown out by Nationals

Matz now has an 8.20 ERA on the season.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

For two innings last night, the Mets were involved in a competitive baseball game. Steven Matz had given up one run in the top of the second—on an Asdrubal Cabrera home run—and the Mets hadn’t scored yet, but nothing alarming had happened. In the third, things really started to go south.

Matz gave up four runs in the top of the third, two on a home run by Trea Turner and the other two on a home run by Juan Soto, the latter of which was estimated to have traveled 463 feet. Matz’s home run rate was a problem in his first three starts, and the first three innings of his start last night only made it worse.

Despite that poor inning, Matz remained in the game, and he put up a zero in the top of the fourth before things completely fell apart in the fifth. With runners on first and third and one out, Juan Soto hit a ground rule double to bring the Nationals’ sixth run home, prompting the end of Matz’s night. Paul Sewald took over, and he allowed both of the runners he inherited to score and gave up four more runs of his own in the inning, giving the Nationals a 12-0 lead. If you tuned out after that inning, nobody would blame you. If you didn’t tune out, nobody would blame you, either, since very bad baseball beats several months without any baseball that preceded it.

Sewald wound up being charged with another couple of runs in the sixth, and Chasen Shreve, who took over for him, gave up two runs of his own in the seventh. Drew Smith pitched a scoreless eighth to become the first Mets pitcher not to have a bad night, and the highlight of the game was undoubtedly infielder Luis Guillorme’s scoreless ninth inning.

The Mets scored four runs after the game was well out of hand, the details of which don’t matter all that much. Steven Matz now has an 8.20 ERA, and with Marcus Stroman making a completely understandable decision to opt out of the rest of the season over COVID-19 concerns, you’d have to say that David Peterson is the Mets’ number two pitcher. Peterson has done well in his first three major league starts, but the Mets’ starting rotation, which looked like a concern yesterday morning, is in very bad shape.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Wilson Ramos, +4.7% WPA
Big Mets loser: Steven Matz, -32.7% WPA
Mets pitchers: -34.4% WPA
Mets hitters: -15.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilson Ramos hits a double in the bottom of the second, +4.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Trea Turner hits a two-run home run in the third, -17.4% WPA