In a game that really crushed the momentum they seemed to be building earlier this week, the Mets lost badly to the Blue Jays by a score of 10-3. Taijuan Walker had his second straight awful outing (following up his defensive miscue in Pittsburgh), while the offense hit a bunch of singles that weren’t bunched together, which is never a productive offensive strategy. To cap it off, the flaws in the bullpen were re-exposed in the later innings too, just to add insult to injury.
Walker certainly started off better in this game than his last outing, but it didn’t last too long. George Springer, the former-future Met (and the guy who should currently be playing in center field if we’re being honest) took Walker deep leading off the inning to open the scoring. Four batters later, Teoscar Hernandez also went deep for a two-run shot, putting the Mets down 3-0.
On the offensive side, the Mets squandered multiple opportunities to score. A very, very bad send in the first led to Brandon Nimmo being thrown out at home as the third out. Luis Guillorme ground into an inning-ending double play in the second, and Jonathan Villar (who seems to be the slowest fast guy around) did the same in the fourth. The game was trending towards one of those all-too-familiar, frustrating Mets losses that could very well have been a win.
Things went from bad to worse in the fifth. After making a superhero-level catch in the previous frame, Springer again burned the Mets with a leadoff single. Worse yet, Walker seemed to injure something reaching for the ball as it whizzed past his head. Despite a visit from the trainer, he remained in the game, but the results quickly went downhill. Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit an absolute rocket (116 MPH off the bat) that hit the left field wall without getting more than 10 feet off the ground for a double, and Marcus Semien followed with a three-run home run. Walker departed with the Mets down and without recording an out in the fifth.
Concerns over Walker aside, the Mets got to work trying to get back into this game. They finally got to Ryu in the bottom half of the fifth, with five straight hits - capped off by RBI singles from Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, and Dominic Smith - that cut the Blue Jays lead in half and chased Toronto’s ace from the game. The Mets were primed to add more, with two on and only one out against Trevor Richards, but both J.D. Davis and James McCann struck out in a pair of ugly at bats to end the threat.
That was as close as the score would get. Drew Smith gave a run back in the seventh, and Anthony Banda gave up three more in the ninth. Meanwhile, the Mets managed only three baserunners in the final four frames. One of those was erased on a double play (the third of the game), and Jonathan Villar was robbed on a deep drive to right in the eighth. In total, the Mets had 14 hits, but twelve of those were singles. Combine that with some great defense by the Jays and some poor sequencing luck on the Mets’ part and you get a meager three runs. A frustrating turn of events, but also the sort of thing that does happen - the pitching performance was ultimately too poor for it to matter anyway.
The loss drops the Mets to 51-44, which still leaves them in first by 4.5 games in the NL East. On the injury front, Walker reportedly tweaked his left (non-throwing) shoulder on a swing in the third, then exacerbated the problem in the fifth. Hopefully that means he can avoid a stint on the IL. Newly acquired
Dick Mountain Rich Hill takes the mound against Ross Stripling Sunday afternoon in the series finale.
*illar of the game
Not a good game for either -illar, so no honors today.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Brandon Nimmo, +10.7% WPA
Big Mets loser: Taijuan Walker, -28.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: -29.8% WPA
Mets hitters: -20.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Teoscar Hernandez homers in the third, -19.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Dominic Smith hits an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, +7.8% WP