The Mets turned to an opener Saturday afternoon in Tampa Bay, hoping to pull out a bullpen game against the masters of the craft. Drew Smith pitched well in the opener role, but the rest of the bullpen was not able to follow suit as New York fell 12-5 to the Rays.
Smith did allow an unearned run in the first when, with runners on first and third, Tomas Nido’s throwing error on a steal of second allowed Yandy Diaz to score. While the Rays’ traditional starter, Shane McClanahan, looked dominant in the first in striking out the side, the Mets got to him in the second when Jose Peraza launched a hanging slider for a three-run home run in the top of the second—the team’s first three-run home run of the season.
Pete Alonso followed with a hometown home run of his own in the third to extend the lead to 4-1 for the designated bulk pitcher, Joey Lucchesi—who was not able to get deep into the game. After a quiet third, Lucchesi allowed the first four runners to reach in the fourth, with the Rays’ tying the game on a Willy Adames double into the left-center field gap. Sean Reid-Foley came on but was unable to quell the rally, allowing two hits put the Mets in a 6-4 hole.
The Mets went quietly over the middle innings—Rays’ pitchers retired thirteen in a row between the third and the seventh—while a shaky Tommy Hunter pitched around trouble to keep the game close. Francisco Lindor snapped the hitless drought with a solo home run to lead off the eighth to cut the score to 6-5, but Tampa exploded for six more runs off of Jacob Barnes and Jeurys Familia in the bottom of the eighth to put the game well out of reach.
GameThread Roll Call
Nice job by MetsFan4Decades; her effort in the GameThread embiggens us all.
- MetsFan4Decades: 124
- kefmet: 62
- The Elusive Sage: 49
- Knurk: 37
- LouMonte7: 33
- stickguy: 32
- JR and the Off-Balance Shots: 31
- Mettle: 30
- BlockNTackle: 30
- deegie: 26