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Marcus Stroman and the defense struggle as Mets drop series finale to Phillies

This was not a well played game.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

After exiting early from his previous start with an injury, Marcus Stroman returned to the mound and was a combination of lucky, unlucky, and not good in the 4-2 loss to the Phillies. Stroman wasn’t sharp right from the beginning but both Michael Conforto and Kevin Pillar covered up his mistakes in the first with two incredible diving plays in the outfield.

That unfortunately is where the good defense ended. Errors by Jeff McNeil and Luis Guillorme led to two unearned runs. In the second, on a sacrifice bunt by Zack Wheeler, Stroman deftly fielded the ball and fired to first where McNeil was covering and he both literally and figuratively dropped the ball. That loaded the bases but Stroman almost wriggled out of trouble when Nick Maton was nearly out at third after he was too aggressive on a passed ball. After replay the call of out was overturned, and he eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Odubel Herrera.

The next inning is where the wheels came completely off for the entire team. Stroman put the first two runners on himself, and a groundout and a double brought them both home. The third run of the inning scored when Luis Guillorme threw wide of first for the Mets second error of the game.

That was it for Marcus Stroman who lasted just the three innings and gave up four runs, two of which were earned. Stroman had trouble putting away the Philadelphia hitters during his brief outing, with many prolonged at-bats against him. He was pitching with a heavy heart after the recent passing of his grandmother and our condolences are him and his family.

As for the Mets they were gifted a double in the first when Alec Bohm gave up on a ball that dropped fair for a double off the bat of Francisco Lindor. Pete Alonso got him to third with a hit but that was as far as the rally went when the Mets failed to capitalize on their opportunity.

Zack Wheeler was sharp and did not give the Mets many opportunities beyond that first inning. The offense stagnated again and the two runs they did score came against the woeful Phillies bullpen.

The Mets bullpen was outstanding and stopped the bleeding from the first three innings, but Luis Rojas had an opportunity to go for it in the fifth when Corey Oswalt stepped to the plate with runners on. Rojas opted for length from Oswalt instead of pinch-hitting Dominic Smith for him and the Mets failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

Overall, it was a sloppy game that the Mets probably could have won with a little sharper defense, considering the two unearned runs were the difference in the game. But the main culprit was the offense yet again, and yes facing Zack Wheeler is a challenge, but stumbling against the starting pitching was a theme for the entire series and the Mets were lucky to walk away with a series split.

Box scores

ESPN
MLB

Win Probability Added

Fangraphs.com

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso +9% WPA
Big Mets loser: Marcus Stroman -27% WPA
Mets pitchers: -20% WPA
Mets hitters: -30% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Kevin Pillar walk in fifth
Teh sux0rest play: Nick Maton double in third

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