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Mets Morning News: Mets suffer brutal loss but enjoy big draft win

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Your Monday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

The Mets closed out their pre-All Star break schedule with a demoralizing 6-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. New York teed off on Chase De Jong in the first, scoring five runs on a two-run home run from Francisco Lindor and a three-run shot from Michael Conforto. From there, New York’s offense vanished. Aaron Loup opened the game with two shutout innings, and Jerad Eickhoff was fine over two innings before serving up back-to-back homers to Rodolfo Castro and Michael Pérez in the fifth. Jeurys Familia got the final out of that frame, but he allowed a two-out, two-run homer to Castro in the sixth to make it a one-run contest. Miguel Castro pitched a scoreless seventh but ran into trouble in the eighth, putting the tying and go-ahead runs on base before Edwin Díaz escaped the jam. Díaz got two outs in the ninth, but gave up three straight hits as the Pirates grabbed the lead. The Mets went quietly in the ninth, resulting in their worst loss of the year.

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Prior to the game, the Mets selected the contract of Eickhoff and called him up while optioning Nick Tropeano to Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets also designated Stephen Tarpley for assignment.

With his first inning homer—the 121st of his career—Conforto surpassed Edgardo Alfonzo for tenth on the team’s all-time home run list. Next up: Kevin McReynolds, who is ninth at 122.

A young fan made a must-see grab on Conforto’s first-inning home run.

With the tenth pick in the MLB Draft, the Mets selected Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker.

Rocker believes he was made for pitching in New York, which he called “another animal”.

Tommy Tanous, Mets VP of Amateur and International Scouting, hopes to see Rocker have a long career with the organization.

In drafting Rocker tenth overall, the Mets ‘got a steal’. It seems that was a popular consensus.

Anthony DiComo went so far as to call this one of the most interesting picks in Mets draft history.

Tim Britton discussed the reaction to the Rocker pick, and how big of a win this is for the Mets.

Rocker could have a quick impact in New York.

Pete Alonso spoke about Donnie Stevenson’s philosophies and his goals for the Home Run Derby.

Dave Jauss will pitch to Alonso in tonight’s derby.

ESPN caught you up on everything you need to know for the Home Run Derby, and their experts offered predictions on who would win.

Trevor May has Alonso repeating as derby champion.

Marcus Stroman didn’t let yesterday’s loss get him down, as he dropped some positive vibes on his Twitter.

In yesterday’s MLB Futures Game, Francisco Álvarez hit a solo home run for the NL squad.

Luke Ritter of the Brooklyn Cyclones was diagnosed with a broken hamate bone in his left hand. Ritter was leading Brooklyn with 11 home runs.

Around the National League East

The Philadelphia Phillies held on to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4.

Prior to the game, the Phillies announced that Alec Bohm, Bailey Falter, Connor Brogdon, and the team’s Sunday starter, Aaron Nola, had been placed on the COVID-related IL.

The team had to get several players up to Fenway quickly for yesterday’s contest.

Jon Heyman pointed out that the Phillies are one of seven teams that have not reached the 85% vaccination threshold.

Despite their Sunday win, Philadelphia faces a continued competitive disadvantage due to vaccine resistance. (Paywall Alert)

The Miami Marlins salvaged their series finale against the Atlanta Braves with a 7-4 win.

In Miami’s victory, Pablo Lopez set a major league record by striking out the first nine batters of the game.

Ian Anderson, who started for Atlanta yesterday, is likely heading to the IL with shoulder soreness. The Braves are hoping it’s just fatigue, but he will have it examined on Tuesday to determine the full extent of the injury.

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals 3-1.

Around Major League Baseball

Ken Rosenthal pleaded with baseball fans to go easy on All Star absentees, specifically talking about the missing Houston Astros players. (Paywall Alert)

Joel Sherman wondered how often the fans will be disrespected with baseball players not caring about the Home Run Derby and All Star Game before they stop caring.

Rob Manfred could see a future in MLB where seven-inning doubleheaders are no longer a thing, perhaps as early as 2022. Now if only he would do away with the runner-on-second rule to start extra innings.

Jarred Kelenic, who got a taste of big league life earlier this season, was not happy to be back in Coors Field for the Futures Game yesterday.

The Boston Red Sox and Matt Barnes reached a two-year deal worth $18.75 million. The escalators could bring the deal up to $26.5 million over three years.

Joe Pepitone is suing the Baseball Hall of Fame over Mickey Mantle’s bat.

The Astros stormed all the way back from a five-run deficit in the ninth against the New York Yankees, as Jose Altuve’s walk-off homer gave them an improbable 8-7 victory.

Robbie Ray carried a no-hitter into the seventh before a Yandy Díaz one-out double broke it. He settled for seven one-hit innings with eleven strikeouts to help the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1.

The Chicago White Sox blew a two-run lead in the ninth, but recovered to top the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 in ten innings.

The Minnesota Twins outlasted the Detroit Tigers 12-9 in ten innings.

The Cincinnati Reds topped the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1.

The Oakland Athletics ended their first half with a 4-1 win over the Texas Rangers.

The Los Angeles Dodgers earned another win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, this time by a much more modest 7-4 score.

The Los Angeles Angels easily handled the Seattle Mariners 7-1.

The Colorado Rockies upset the San Diego Padres 3-1.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Lukas Vlahos wrote up the news on the team drafting Rocker with the tenth overall pick.

Steve Sypa provided an in-depth draft profile on Rocker.

I wrote about the team’s roster moves before their afternoon game.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 2015, the Mets closed out the first half with a 5-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. In the win, Kirk Nieuwenhuis became the first Met to hit three home runs in a game at Citi Field.