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Royal flush

The Mets looked like trash behind Kodai Senga.

New York Mets v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

On a night after the Mets lot on a walk-off balk - after trading away a number of key players - it would’ve been nice to have an easy Mets win. But, this is the 2023 Mets, and things just don’t tend to work out the way they should, and the Mets dropped the second game of the series 4-0 to the Royals.

Kodai Senga had a rough first and second inning, in part due to the clumping of the mound clay on Senga’s cleats, which required a visit from Jeremy Hefner and an extra tool to dig out the spikes. But the damage was done in the first, where Senga gave up back to back singles to start the game and, after a wild pitch, both runners came around to score on a Michael Masey double.

In the second, it seemed like it was going to be a long night for Senga when, again, he gave up two singles to start the inning. A run scored on a Bobby Witt Jr. single, putting the Royals up 3-0.

However, Senga settled down and pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning. Over six and two-thirds innings, Senga limited the damage to three runs on eleven hits, with two walks and six strikeouts.

However, the Mets’ bats must’ve felt bloated from all the BBQ, as they were sluggish and frustrating all night. They simply could not figure out Royals starter Cole Ragans, who went six inning, striking out eight, walking one, and giving up seven hits.

Three different times the Mets had two on and less than two outs, and failed to score each time. Their best scoring chance came in the sixth when newest Met Jonathan Arauz singled and Mark Vientos attempted to score from second base. Instead of scoring, however, he was thrown out by a country mile, and the Mets’ were out of luck again.

Phil Bickford made his Mets debut in the bottom of the eighth and, after striking out the first batter he faced, gave up a solo home run to Drew Watters, to put the Royals up 4-0.

The Mets showed one last sign of life in the ninth inning when, with two outs, pinch hitter DJ Stewart walked. Rafael Ortega followed with a walk of his own, and then pinch hitter Daniel Vogelbach singled to load the bases, bringing up Jeff McNeil as the potential tying run. However, a weak ground ball to the right side ended the game without scoring.

The Mets will attempt to avoid the sweep behind the arm of Carlos Carrasco tomorrow afternoon.

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Mets vs Royals WPA Chart, 8/2/23

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Jeff McNeil, +14.8% WPA
Big Mets loser: Francisco Lindor, -17.8% WPA
Mets pitchers: -10.3% WPA
Mets hitters: -39.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil’s 3rd inning single, +5.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Michael Massey’s two-run double, -16.3% WPA