The Mets came into this game in a precarious situation. They had to win the game to win the series against the Rockies. They had not won a series since they played the Dodgers in mid-April, splitting or outright losing every series since, to mostly below-average competition. They’ve had injury issues left and right, and underwhelming performance from all areas of their team. They were looking to Joey Lucchesi to make a good start coming off three short days of rest. It was not a recipe for success, but there was still hope. The Rockies weren’t setting the world on fire, and their starter, Ryan Feltner, has been good for the Rockies this season but didn’t have a track record of success.
Lucchesi started out the game with a strikeout of Jurickson Profar, looking like an auspicious beginning for the game. But Randal Grichuk added a speed bump with a home run, putting the Mets behind before they even stepped up to the plate. Kris Bryant flew out for the second out. C.J. Cron walked, with one of the balls being a pitch clock violation where Cron called for time, didn’t get it, but Lucchesi believed he did, so when he didn’t throw a pitch he got the violation, not Cron. Lucchesi got a groundout to end a weird inning. In the bottom of the inning, Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor both walked, setting up for a big inning. Jeff McNeil got a single, driving in Nimmo. Pete Alonso hit a ball softly to the pitcher, getting an out but moving Lindor and McNeil up. Brett Baty got a single, driving in both Lindor and McNeil and moving to second on an errant throw to the catcher. Daniel Vogelbach walked, and after a fly out from Mark Canha, Luis Guillorme singled, sending Baty around to score but the run didn’t count after Vogelbach was tagged out when he went too far past second and wasn’t able to get back. But the Mets ended the first inning up two runs, a sight for very sore eyes.
Lucchesi had a nice, quick second inning consisting of two strikeouts and a ground out, a nice turn around from the first. In the bottom of the inning, Francisco Álvarez got on with a walk, but a force out replaced him with Nimmo and then Lindor and McNeil hit into successive outs, making for a much quieter second inning for all.
Lucchesi had a tough go again in the third. A Brenton Doyle single that caused a slight collision and miscommunication, followed by a Profar double that drove Doyle in and put the Rockies back by a single run. Bryant singled Profar in to tie it, then some force outs ended the inning (with a walk thrown in for good measure), keeping the game tied but with Lucchesi looking shaky. In the bottom of the inning, Alonso led off with a walk but then three consecutive outs stranded him, keeping the game tied.
Lucchesi got through the fourth without difficulty, with a walk providing the only baserunner keeping the game tied. The bottom of the inning was quite eventful for the Mets. A Guillorme strikeout to start the inning didn’t seem like a great start, but an Álvarez double (that missed being a home run by feet) got a runner in scoring position with just one out. Nimmo followed by getting hit by a pitch, and Lindor walked, loading the bases. Brent Suter was brought in to replace Feltner, and McNeil hit a ball right to Alan Trejo. What looked at first like a possible double play turned into an infield single after Trejo bobbled the ball, allowing Álvarez to score and McNeil to reach first safely. Alonso was called out on a strike that no one other than home plate umpire Marvin Hudson thought was a strike, and Baty grounded out to end the inning.
Jimmy Yacabonis came in in the fifth inning to take over pitching from Lucchesi. Grichuk led off with a walk, and then Bryant hit a two run home run to put the Rockies up one run. Cron walked, then Ryan McMahon doubled, putting two runners in scoring position. Trejo popped up for the first out, but Ezequiel Tovar doubled to drive in two more runs. Then, in a move that seems to signal the moment of lost hope of late, Tommy Hunter was brought in to pitch. Austin Wynns singled to drive in Tovar, then Doyle homered to put the Rockies up by six runs. Hunter then struck out Profar and got Grichuk to ground out to end the inning, but the damage seemed insurmountable.
Suter started the bottom of the fifth by striking out Vogelbach, but Canha hit a ground rule double and Guillorme singled to drive him in, cutting the Rockies lead by a run. Álvarez struck out looking for the second out, and Nimmo grounded out to end the inning with the Mets still down by five runs.
Hunter was still pitching for the Mets to start the sixth. Bryant hit a ball right to Baty, but Baty dropped the ball. He still got the out, since Bryant stopped running, thinking it was a line out. Cron hit a ball gently along the first base line right to Alonso who picked it up and stepped right on the bag. Hunter struck out McMahon to end the inning. The Rockies replaced Suter with Nick Mears for the bottom of the inning. With the exception of a two-out walk from Alonso, the Mets went down quietly.
Hunter was still pitching in the seventh for the Mets. Trejo led off with a double, immediately giving the Rockies another runner in scoring position. A one-out ground out advanced Trejo to third, and Doyle hit a ball deep in the hole to LIndor, who couldn’t throw him out, which allowed Trejo to score and tack on another run to the Rockies lead. Doyle then stole second to put another runner in scoring position. Hunter walked Profar but finally got Grichuk out to end the inning. Daniel Bard replaced Mears in the bottom of the inning. Vogelbach led off the inning with a big home run to scratch back another run. But Bard came back to get three straight outs and end the inning with the Mets still down five runs.
The Mets brought out Jeff Brigham to pitch the eighth inning. He had the best inning of any Mets pitcher of the day, setting down the side in order. In the bottom of the inning, the Rockies turned to former Met Brad Hand. With the exception of a two-out Jeff McNeil single, the Mets came up empty, going into the ninth inning still down by five.
Recently signed Met Dominic Leone came in for the Mets in the ninth. Consecutive singles from Trejo and Tovar put a runner at third, and a Wynns sacrifice fly drove in Trejo to put the Rockies up six runs in the ninth. Doyle grounded into a double play to end the inning, but it actually wasn’t a double play, and Doyle was safe at first. Profar singled to put runners on the corner, and a Leone wild pitch sent Profar to second and brought Doyle in to put the Rockies up by seven runs. Grichuk popped up to put a merciful end to the inning. But the Mets headed into the bottom of the inning needing to make up seven runs with just three outs. Justin Lawrence came in for the Rockies to try and shut the door on the Mets. And after two groundouts from Baty and Vogelbach and a strike out from Canha, the door was closed and locked.
The Mets have lost 11 of their last 14. It’s just a miserable stretch for a team that, ostensibly, is supposed to be a big contender. They either can’t outscore their miserable pitching, or on the occasions they get some good innings from their pitching staff, they can’t hit the ball a lick. It’s a long, terrible road with no end in sight. Where the problem lies is difficult to discern, but Buck Showalter, his staff, and the front office run by Billy Eppler all have to be feeling the heat. As they should. For a team that won 101 games last year to look this bad is mystifying and rage-inducing. One can hope they pull themselves out of this hole soon, but everyone’s been hoping that for weeks, and the rope ladder has yet come.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Jeff McNeil, +19.5% WPA
Big Mets loser: Jimmy Yacabonis, -52.7% WPA
Mets pitchers: -77.9% WPA
Mets hitters: +27.9 WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brett Baty’s two-run single in the first inning, +12.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Kris Bryant’s two-run home run in the fifth, -25.8% WPA