The Mets were shut down by Yu Darvish for the second time this season, as he out-dueled Max Scherzer en route to a 4-1 Mets loss to open the second half of the season. The Mets managed just four hits off Darvish over his seven innings of work, two of them from Starling Marte. Darvish struck out nine batters and cruised his way to his ninth victory of the season.
Max Scherzer gave the Mets a very solid effort in his first start at Citi Field since May, striking out eight batters of his own and passing Bob Gibson to move to 15th on the all-time strikeout list. Scherzer expertly negotiated his way through some base runners that reached via defensive miscues early in the game, but Eric Hosmer snapped the scoreless tie in the fourth with a two-run homer. Sadly, even as the news of the acquisition of Daniel Vogelbach broke, the Mets’ offense looked as hapless as ever and was unable to uplift its ace.
After getting crossed up on a pitch in the second inning and getting struck in the wrist with the pitch, Tomás Nido came out of the game in the sixth inning after initially remaining in the game. Patrick Mazeika pinch hit for Nido to began the inning and caught the rest of the game. The Mets are calling Nido’s injury a left hand contusion and x-rays are negative.
The Padres added a couple of runs off the Mets bullpen in the seventh inning. Joely Rodríguez, appearing in a game for the first time in two weeks, thought he had Trent Grisham struck out to lead off the inning, but did not get the call from the home plate umpire. Predictably, Grisham launched the very next pitch over the wall for a solo homer to put the Padres up 3-0. Rodríguez’s struggles continued; after retiring the next hitter for the first out, he allowed a single and a walk, necessitating his removal from the game in favor of Seth Lugo to face Manny Machado. And then once again a situation that should have ended in an out did not and that came back to bite the Mets. Machado popped up in foul territory and Mazeika could not quite glove it, giving Machado another life. Machado ended up working out a walk to load the bases. Nomar Mazara then hit a potential double play ball to first and Pete Alonso made a nice grab and got the force out at home, but the return throw to first from Mazeika struck the base runner Mazara in the back and bounced away, allowing Cronenworth to cross the plate with the Padres’ fourth run.
The Mets’ only run in the game came in the bottom of the seventh when Jeff McNeil drew a one-out walk and Luis Guillorme drove him in with an RBI double. That marked the only run Yu Darvish has allowed against the Mets in 14 innings of work this season. Nick Martinez pitched a 1-2-3 eighth for the Padres and closer Taylor Rogers earned his 27th save of the season with a scoreless ninth, despite a hit by pitch and an error allowing the tying run to come to bat. Trevor Williams pitched the final two innings for the Mets and allowed one hit—a two-out triple to Jake Cronenworth in the ninth—walked a batter, and struck out a batter.
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Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Jeff McNeil, +2.0% WPA
Big Mets loser: Eduardo Escobar, -11.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: -9.8% WPA
Mets hitters: -40.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil reaches on an error by C.J. Abrams to bring the tying run to bat in the bottom of the ninth, +5.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Eric Hosmer’s two-run homer in the fourth inning, -20.7% WPA