After building an early lead, the Mets suffered one of the more annoying losses of the season, falling 6-5 to the Diamondbacks in ten innings. The offense put in some work in the middle innings, but Marcus Stroman was probably left in a couple batters too long and the bullpen couldn’t hold up late. Add-on the Mets only managing a single run in extras and you have a recipe for a frustrating, extra-inning loss against a basement dweller.
In the early going, there wasn’t much to talk about in this one. Marcus Stroman danced around baserunners in the first four innings but never faced a serious threat, while Caleb Smith had faced the minimum through 3.2 innings with only one walk allowed. Pete Alonso finally broke through with a two-out hit in the fourth, and Dom Smith immediately followed with a mammoth two-run home run. It was Dom’s first home run since April 12, snapping a 138 at bat drought as he hopefully re-discovers the stroke that made him so effective in the shortened 2020 season.
The Mets threatened again in the fifth but were denied a run by a fantastic sliding grab in right field by Josh Reddick on a Mason Williams line drive. Stroman, meanwhile, recorded his first 1-2-3 inning of the game in the bottom half, and everything seemed calm as SNY cut to commercial. Off air, there was a bit of a brouhaha, however, as Marcus Stroman and Josh Rojas started jawing at each other as the Met pitcher walked out the fields. The benches and bullpens emptied and milled about the infield aimlessly for a couple minutes with no real further action, but the game took on a spicier tone from that point on.
With order restored, the Mets got back to work at the plate. A Francisco Lindor triple—his first as a Met—drove in Jonathan Villar with the third run of the game. Dom Smith drove in another two batters later with a high sacrifice fly to right that missed being a home run by about two feet. A double-play short circuited the threat before the Mets had a chance to really blow things open, but the lead seemed pretty safe with Stroman seemingly in cruise control.
Arizona had other plans. Stroman clearly didn’t have it in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a couple of hard hit balls to put two men on with nobody out. He seemed on his way to working out of it after striking out David Peralta, but then Pavin Smith hit an absolute monster of a three-run home run to cut the Met lead to one. That was all the Diamondbacks would get in the inning, but a game that seemed on track to be a ho-hum win over a bottom feeder was suddenly much tighter and more interesting.
Instead, we got a rather tepid affair for the next couple innings. Jeurys Familia worked around a two-base error and Aaron Loup tossed a clean frame, while the Mets didn’t put together a major threat in the final three innings. Edwin Diaz entered for the ninth looking to put the game away, but really didn’t have it. A one-out single and a bobble in the outfield put the tying run on second, and a run moved the game tying run to third. Fittingly, Josh Rojas came up to bat, and he pulled a single into right field to tie the game. Diaz limited the damage there despite giving up another single, but the four run lead was gone and the game headed to extras.
James McCann started extras off with a bang, inside-outing a ball for a run-scoring double leading off the top of the tenth. That was as good as things would get though. McCann was stranded at second and, predictably, the struggling Trevor May continued to struggle in the bottom of the tenth. After a hard ground out, a walk, a double, and a bad misplay in right field by Brando Drury allowed two runs to come around to score, giving the Diamondbacks the walkoff win.
No doubt this was a frustrating loss. Between the Mets’ recent history in June (horrific), the role Josh Rojas played in starting a “fight” and then tying the game, the continued mismanagement of the bullpen (why is Trevor May in the game instead of Seth Lugo?), and the relative importance of beating bad teams like the Diamondbacks with seven games against the powerhouse Padres coming up, you’d be justified if you went to bed angry. Still, the Mets are 26-21 and comfortably in first place despite the worst or second-worst slate of injuries in the league. They’ll most likely make the playoffs, and if they can just be healthy by that point, they’ll have a chance to go far.
More frustrating and important than any of those elements of the game were the racist comments made by one of the Diamondbacks announcers. I am in no way qualified to write a longer commentary on the underlying issues at play, but it should be immediately obvious to anyone paying attention that this sort of comment is completely unacceptable and should be called out.
It’ll be a matchup of lefties Wednesday afternoon with David Peterson up against Madison Bumgarner (who is far removed from the Bumgarner of old). That game will be on YouTube as the Mets finish up their series in the desert before heading out to San Diego.
*illar of the game
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Dominic Smith, +24.1% WPA
Big Mets loser: Trevor May, -55.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: -36.4% WPA
Mets hitters: -13.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Dominic Smith hits a two-run home run in the 4th, +23.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Josh Reddick doubles to drive in two in the tenth, -66.6% WPA