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Mets outclassed by Rays in Verlander’s Citi Field debut

Isaac Paredes’ two home runs pace Tampa Bay in dominant win over Mets.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Mets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander made his Citi Field debut in a Mets uniform Tuesday night, looking to provide the Mets with some starting rotation stability and a rare quality start. Unfortunately for Verlander and the slumping Mets, they ran into the buzzsaw that has been the 2023 Tampa Bay Rays.

The deep and powerful Rays’ lineup worked Verlander for the first couple of innings before breaking through in the third on a three-run home run by Isaac Paredes. The Mets went down meekly against Rays’ opener Jalen Beeks, managing only an infield single over the first two innings, and fared little better in the middle innings against long man Yonny Chirinos, with a Brett Baty home run—the Mets’ first in 56 innings—finally getting the Mets on the board after the team was already down 6-0.

After Josh Walker made his MLB debut for the Mets in the bottom of the seventh with a scoreless inning. Pete Alonso launched a two-run home run to cut the deficit to 7-3, and an Eduardo Escobar two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth would make the 8-5 final look closer than the game ever truly felt. With the win, the Rays extended their record to an MLB best 32-11, while New York fell to a disappointing 20-23. The teams will continue the interleague clash Wednesday evening.

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Box scores

Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Nobody
Big Mets loser: Justin Verlander, -29.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: -32.1% WPA
Mets hitters: -17.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Justin Verlander second inning strikeout of Jose Siri, 3.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Isaac Paredes three run home run in the top of the third inning, -30.5% WPA