After last night’s comeback victory, the Mets were looking to create some momentum and win the rubber match against the Reds. All the signs pointed to that happening—Marcus Stroman was on the mound, the Reds’ starting pitcher was Vladimir Gutiérrez, who they tagged for six runs less than two weeks ago, and they had the electric Javy Báez in the line-up again. But just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean that it’s going to work out that way, especially for the Mets.
In the top of the first, Stroman got through the top of the Reds inning without any issue. He struck out Jonathan India, then got noted Mets villain Jesse Winker and Kyle Farmer to ground out, and got all three outs in just nine pitches. In the bottom of the first the Mets presented no issue to Gutiérrez, with Jeff McNeil striking out looking and Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith flying out to the outfield to go down in order.
In the second, Stroman had a little bit of trouble but nothing major. After getting Tyler Stephenson to fly out, Max Schrock hit a single to center. He got Eugenio Suárez to ground out, which advanced Schrock to second, but he got the third out courtesy of Tyler Naquin flying out to center, ending the inning before anything could happen. When the Mets came up to bat, Báez got things started with a ground out to Kyle Farmer. Conforto decided to try that out for himself, and also grounded out to Kyle Farmer. Brandon Drury walked and became the Mets first base runner of the day, but Kevin Pillar then grounded out (to who else but Kyle Farmer) and the inning was over.
In the third, Stroman started things off by getting Aristedes Aquino to fly out to center. He then got a quick ground out from Gutiérrez, but India got a pitch to hit and drove it out to center. After Pillar had trouble following it, it hit the wall and India ended up at second base. With the ever-dangerous Winker coming up to the plate, Stroman powered through and got him to strike out and strand India in scoring position. In the bottom half of the inning, Tomás Nido started out with a fly out to center. Stroman then hit a tapper he almost beat out, but he was beaten by a hair. McNeil then popped out to Suárez in foul ground, ending the inning and leaving the game scoreless through three.
In the top of the fourth, on Stroman’s first pitch Farmer hit a little fly out to shallow center that looked like it might fall for a hit, but McNeil turned on the jets and caught it for the first out. Stephenson then grounded out to Báez, but Schrock got the first run on the board with a home run to right field. Suárez then hit a ball to Báez but Báez just missed the catch and it rolled into left, allowing Suárez to reach first. Naquin then lined a ball to the gap in left-center, but Pillar picked up the ball, relayed it to Báez, who relayed it back to home in enough time for Nido to put the tag on Suárez to save the run and end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Alonso started things off with a long fly out to right field. Smith then grounded out to second in a seven pitch at-bat, and Báez ended the inning with a groundout to third.
In the fifth inning, Aquino grounded out to Drury for the first out. Stroman then struck Gutiérrez out for the second out of the inning, and got India to strike out for the third out to recover nicely from his problems the inning before. In the bottom half Conforto got things started with a three-pitch strikeout looking. Drury then decided to be a little more productive and struck out swinging. Pillar then got the Mets first hit of the game by hitting a ball just past Suárez into left field for a single. Nido then hit a line drive that was caught by Farmer on the leap, ending the inning.
In the sixth inning, Winker hit a ball past Alonso right over the bag and got to second for a double. Farmer then drilled a pitch past a diving Pillar into center, getting a triple and driving in Winker for the Reds’ second run of the day. Stephenson hit a sacrifice fly to right, driving in Farmer for another run. Schrock then hit a ball past a diving Drury for a single into left field. Suárez then flew out to left for the second out. After a walk to Naquin in which Schrock moved to third on a wild pitch, Stroman’s day was over and Miguel Castro was brought in. Castro started off with walking Aquino on five pitches, then walking Gutiérrez on four pitches and walking in yet another run. Castro then struck out India, but the Mets had a lot of ground to make up.
In the bottom of the inning, Gutiérrez got Brandon Nimmo (pinch hitting for Castro) to pop out, but McNeil got the Mets on the board with a first pitch home run to center field. Alonso then hit a long fly out to center field for the second out. Smith then hit a ball through the shift for a two out single. Javy Báez then popped out to shallow right field, ending the inning.
Yennsy Díaz came in to pitch in the top of the seventh, and he started his relief appearance with a leadoff walk to Winker. Farmer then popped out in foul ground to Alonso, who almost didn’t have it but made an over the shoulder basket case for the first out. Stephenson then flew out to Conforto in right for the second out. Schrock then hit a bloop single to center for his fourth hit of the day. Suárez then flew out to center—a long fly out to the warning track—and Díaz avoided the big inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Conforto started things out with a leadoff walk. Drury then grounded into a double play, to go from a runner on with no outs to bases empty with two outs for Pillar. Pillar struck out to end the inning.
Drew Smith came in to pitch in the top of the eighth in a double switch that saw Jonathon Villar come in to take over at third. Drew Smith gave up a leadoff walk to Naquin, then recovered to strike out Aquino. The Reds pinch hit Shogo Akiyama for Gutiérrez, who struck out, and then India popped out to Pete Alonso on one pitch, ending the inning. In the bottom of the inning the Mets provided very little resistance, hitting into three straight ground outs.
In the ninth the Mets brought in Geoff Hartlieb to pitch, and that went as expected. He walked Winker, then Farmer lined into a force out. Stephenson was then walked, and Max Schrock hit his fifth hit of the day, an RBI single that drove in Farmer. Suárez walked, the third of the inning, and Naquin doubled, driving in Stephenson and Schrock. Hartlieb then got two outs through an Aquino pop out to Alonso and pinch-hitter Mike Freeman flying out to Dom Smith. But the damage was more than done. In the bottom of the inning, Alonso flew out, Dom Smith struck out, and Javy Báez hit a long fly out to center to end the game.
The Mets ended the home stand with five wins and six losses, and most of the games saw very few runs scored by the Mets. The trade deadline came and went during the home stand and it saw the Mets add two pitchers (one of whom they immediately optioned) and Javy Báez, which anyone with more than two brain cells in their head could see wasn’t enough to get it done. They are also didn’t sign their first round draft pick Kumar Rocker before the deadline today at 5 PM. The Mets have to make a big push over the next week or so to attempt to save face, but today’s game was just another in a series of recent embarrassments for the team, both on and off the field.
-illar of the day
Neither — Kevin Pillar only notched one hit, Villar didn’t get any, and neither contributed enough to warrant -illar of the day status.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Yennsy Díaz, +1.7% WPA
Big Mets loser: Marcus Stroman, -10.1% WPA
Mets pitchers: -13.4% WPA
Mets hitters: -36.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil’s home run in the sixth, +5.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Max Schrock’s home run in the fourth, -14.3% WPA