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The Reds bloodied the Mets in the first inning, and they could never get back in the game.

New York Mets v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After a (too late, too short) comeback on Tuesday and a dominating pitching performance on Wednesday, the Mets looked to continue the good vibes against the team formerly known as the Red Legs in the series finale today in Cincinnati. But the Reds had other plans, and the Mets looked absolutely anemic at the plate, leading to a 5-0 Reds victory.

Things went poorly for the Mets from the bottom of the first. Jonathan India led off the game with a double, but it looked like Kodai Senga might get through the inning after getting two quick outs. Two singles, a double, a walk, and a single led to four runs against Senga.

While that line looks ugly, there really weren’t too many bad pitches from Senga. A few blown strike calls and balls that weren’t exactly hard-hit led to most of that damage. Senga would calm down considerably, giving up just one more run, a solo homer from Spencer Steer, over the next five innings. Senga struck out seven and walked just one over his day.

The Mets’ bats, which looked to be awakening from their slumber on Tuesday, were clearly napping this afternoon. With the opportunity to really put a hurt on the Reds, who were throwing a bullpen game in a notoriously offense friendly ballpark, the Mets just couldn’t get anything going.

Aside from the first inning, the Mets had a running on base in every inning but the first. Francisco Álvarez had two hits on the day, including an inside-outer the other way that went into the corner for a double in the seventh inning. A single by Francisco Lindor saw Álvarez try to score from second, but was thrown out by a few strides for the final out of the seventh.

It was that kind of day.

Tommy Hunter threw two very good innings of relief, but Buck Showalter tried to get a third inning out of him, and so Hunter left the game in the eighth with two on and only one out. New Met Dominic Leone came in and got a double-play ground ball to escape the inning, and give the Mets a chance to come back in their final at-bats.

It didn’t happen.

The Mets - who haven’t won back to back games since the first two games against the Giants - travel to Washington to play yet another second division team that has given them the fits this year in the Nationals. Let’s hope this is the series that finally wakes up the team, but who knows? Maybe this is really who this team is, and not just a prolonged slump.

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Mets vs Reds WPA Chart, 5/11/23

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: None
Big Mets loser: Kodai Senga, -24.1% WPA
Mets pitchers: -22.9% WPA
Mets hitters: -27.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo’s fifth inning walk, +3.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Kevin Newman’s two-RBI single in the first, -11.1% WPA