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Home runs remain Scherzer’s Achilles heel

Max Scherzer gave up four bombs in tonight’s loss and the Mets put together a ninth-inning rally that ultimately fell short.

MLB: New York Mets at Boston Red Sox Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The long ball doomed Max Scherzer and the Mets tonight, as they fell 8-6 to the Red Sox in the second game of this three-game series in Boston.

Scherzer gave up lead off solo homers in both the first and second innings to Jarren Duran and Triston Casas respectively to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead. Meanwhile, James Paxton shut down the Mets early, keeping them hitless through the first three innings.

But the Mets were able to break through in the fourth. With one out, Francisco Lindor laced a single and Pete Alonso hit a ringing double to advance Lindor to third and put the tying run in scoring position with one out. Francisco Alvarez, who struck out three times in total on the evening, struck out on three pitches. But then Jeff McNeil knocked a single up the middle to score Lindor and Alonso and tie the game. As McNeil tried to advance to second on the throw home, Jorge Alfaro airmailed the throw to second. Because the center fielder was playing so shallow, the errant throw went all the way into the gap, allowing McNeil to score the go-ahead run all the way from second.

The excitement and the lead were short-lived, however. After recording all of his outs via the strikeout in the bottom of the fourth, Scherzer gave up a game-tying solo homer to Yu Chang to lead off the fifth inning. In the following inning came the decisive blow—a two-run homer by Casas, his second home run of the night and the fourth given up by Scherzer, which matches a career high. The Red Sox poured it on against Trevor Gott in the seventh, adding three runs punctuated by a two-run homer by Justin Turner. The five home runs in total surrendered by Mets pitching tonight match a season high.

Josh Walker came in and finished the seventh inning after Gott’s implosion and Drew Smith followed with a scoreless eighth inning. But, the damage had been done. Meanwhile, Josh Winckowski and Nick Pivetta each contributed a scoreless inning for the Red Sox.

The Mets put together a three-run ninth inning rally that ultimately fell short, which began with a leadoff triple by Pete Alonso off Justin Garza followed by a Francisco Alvarez RBI single. A wild pitch advanced Alvarez to second and he was driven in by Mark Vientos, who advanced into scoring position on a balk by Garza. This forced Alex Cora to use Kenley Jansen to keep the game from getting away, but Jansen dropped the ball on the mound before throwing his first pitch, advancing Vientos to third on the second balk of the inning. Brett Baty then singled to drive in Vientos and bring the tying run to the plate. But Jansen was able to get the pinch hitter Daniel Vogelbach to fly out to shallow left field where Masataka Yoshida was able to reach out and make the grab right up against the wall in foul territory to record the final out and even the series at one game apiece.

Carlos Carrasco will take the hill for the rubber game at Fenway tomorrow night.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Jeff McNeil, +24.1% WPA
Big Mets loser: Max Scherzer, -30.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: -40.3% WPA
Mets hitters: -19.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil’s game-tying RBI single in the fourth on which he came around to score the go-ahead run on Jorge Alfaro’s error, +28.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Triston Casas’ go-ahead homer against Scherzer in the sixth, -22.1% WPA