Fresh off two Mets wins in Philadelphia, the offense seemed to be waking up under the supervision of so-called hitting/approach coach “Diesel” Donnie Stevenson, and the Mets were looking to keep the good times rolling in St. Louis. Earlier in the day, it was announced that Joey Lucchesi had been recalled from the alternate site to make the start Monday night, after his last start went not terribly well. He had previously pitched 11 days earlier, throwing three innings in his start in Chicago, giving up 3 runs in the eventual Mets loss.
Joey Lucchesi didn’t look any better this time around. He only went 2.2 innings, giving up 6 runs. His trouble started immediately, with a triple from Tommy Edman and then a sacrifice fly by Dylan Carlson, starting the Mets at a deficit in the first inning. He didn’t get better from there, giving up a solo home run to Harrison Bader in the second inning, but he completely lost it in the third inning. The third inning was marked by singles from Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt, a three run home run from Nolan Arenado, and two doubles by Paul DeJong and Tyler O’Neill. Finally Lucchesi was yanked before he could allow any more runs, and Robert Gsellman cleaned up his mess, allowing for that disastrous third inning to finally end.
The Mets offense tried it’s best to outscore any potential pitching issues. In the second inning Adam Wainwright looked a little shaky, allowing for a Pete Alonso double and Kevin Pillar single. Then Jonathan Villar was intentionally walked to set up the double play, but it also loaded the bases, a high-risk, high-reward situation that turned into a reward for the Mets. Wainwright immediately hit Tomas Nido, allowing the tying run to cross the plate. He then walked Jeff McNeil, which scored yet another Mets run. The Mets went from one run behind to one run ahead without even having to take the bats off their shoulders.
The Mets offense didn’t let up in the third inning. Michael Conforto started things off with another walk, then Alonso hit yet another double, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. Dominic Smith hit into an RBI groundout, which was followed by Pillar hitting a two-run home run, putting the Mets ahead 5-2. However, all this offense was undone in the bottom of the third by Lucchesi’s meltdown.
The 6-5 score was upheld by both teams’ bullpens, with the Mets bullpen putting in quite a spectacular performance in 5.1 innings. Robert Gsellman threw two innings, and Sean Reid Foley threw 2.1 innings, with neither allowing any runs and only Reid-Foley allowing two hits. Jacob Barnes also threw a scoreless inning, although he did get himself into a pickle with Nolan Arenado getting on base and the heart of the lineup coming up. Barnes got himself out of it though, and all in all the Mets bullpen gave the team it’s best chance to win the game.
The Cardinals bullpen had also blanked the Mets lineup going into the top of the ninth inning. The Mets were tasked with facing the Cardinals closer Alex Reyes, who was sporting a 0.00 ERA going into the night. Jeff McNeil hit the first pitch he saw for a pop-up to Arenado. Francisco Lindor followed that with a four pitch walk, something Reyes has been extremely vulnerable to. Conforto flew out to Bader, and Alonso drew a walk (in a plate appearance briefly interrupted by a blackout in the stadium), putting the go-ahead run on base with two outs and Dominic Smith stepping up to the plate. Smith got to a full count before flying out to O’Neill, ending the game as a 6-5 Mets loss.
Shortly after the game it was announced that hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant hitting coach Tom Slater were dismissed, and that Hugh Quattlebaum and Kevin Howard would be filling those positions, respectively. Despite the Mets offense picking up over the past few days, they’ve still been lackluster for stretches, as tonight’s inability to score after the third inning showed. In addition, several key hitters are still struggling, including Dominic Smith and Francisco Lindor. Hopefully, this switch will help bring the results around to the offensive force this team could be, as tonight’s results could’ve very easily turned the other way and the Mets could be above .500 instead of below it.
The Mets will send the best pitcher on the planet to the mound, with Jacob deGrom taking on Johan Oviedo at 7:45pm.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +27.2% WPA
Big Mets loser: Joey Lucchesi, -58.0% WPA
Mets pitchers: -35.1 WPA
Mets hitters: -14.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Kevin Pillar’s two-run home run in the third, +12.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Nolan Arenado’s three-run home run in the third, -29.4% WPA