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Cookie struggles once more, Mets lose to Angels 5-3

The bullpen shoved. It didn’t matter.

Los Angeles Angels v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The vibes surrounding the Angels have been utterly dreadful in recent weeks, but facing the 2023 New York Mets will solve a lot of ills. Following the series opening loss last night, the Mets once again fell to Los Angeles 5-3 tonight, making it four straight losses for the Amazins.

Carlos Carrasco took the mound for the Mets tonight. The 2023 version of Cookie facing off against Shohei Ohtani felt like as big a mismatch as one could possibly imagine. And, well, that quickly proved to be the case, as he quickly got things started for the Angels with a hard-hit double in the first, and he then came around to score on a Brandon Drury single. That would be the only run Carrasco gave up in the first, but the Angels would get on him again in a hurry in the top of the second. Former #1 overall draft pick Mickey Moniak led off the frame with a solo homer to right center field, and Cookie would ultimately give up four more hits—three of them for extra bases, one of them an RBI triple off the bat of Ohtani—to make it 5-0 Angels, at which point the bullpen came into the game. Even by the standards of the dreadful standards that Carrasco has set for himself in this season, this was a particularly short and particularly bad outing for him.

Sean Reid-Foley came on to replace Carrasco, and he and Phil Bickford combined to keep the Angels off the boards for the next couple of innings. Still, for a while it seemed like the Mets would be unable to get any offense going against starting pitcher Chase Silseth. They finally did in the fourth—though they way they finally scored their first run will take a little bit of effort to explain. Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil knocked back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second to lead off the frame. Then, with Daniel Vogelbach hitting with one out, McNeil broke for second—despite the fact that Lindor was staying put over there. It should have been an easy out for the Angels—except catcher Logan O’Hoppe, for unknown reasons, threw the ball to first instead of second. Lindor thus quickly broke for third, and first baseman Trey Cabbage fired the ball in that direction—only to hit Silseth in the head, with the resulting ricochet allowing Lindor to come around to score. The unusual play also resulted in Silseth leaving the game due to injury, with former Met Aaron Loup taking his place on the mound. After retiring Vogelbach, DJ Stewart blooped a ball to left field for an RBI opposite field double to make it 5-2. Thus, due to a strange confluence of circumstances, the Mets had almost halved the Angels lead.

The score would stay there for a few more innings, as the bullpens of both the Angels and the Mets held the opposing offenses in check. The Amazins would add an extra run in the bottom of the sixth against old friend Dominic Leone, as he surrendered a one-out solo homer to left center field off the bat of Daniel Vogelbach to make it 5-3. Otherwise, the rest of the game was largely uninteresting—with the one spark coming in the bottom of the eighth, when Pete Alonso led off the frame and was hit in the neck by a pitch from José Soriano which caused the slugger to leave the game after some light bench clearing

Otherwise, the rest of the game was rather boring. The Mets bullpen—consisting of Reid-Foley, Bickford, Drew Smith, Adam Kolarek, Adam Ottavino, and Brooks Raley—deserves its share of credit for holding the Angels scoreless for 7.1 innings. But the bats were not able to get enough offense going to make it count, and the team ultimately fell 5-3 for their fourth straight loss. They will try to avoid the sweep tomorrow.

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Win Probability Added


What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: DJ Stewart, +12.6% WPA
Big Mets loser: Carlos Carrasco, -35.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: -22.1% WPA
Mets hitters: -27.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Vogelbach solo homer in the sixth, +8.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mickey Moniak solo homer in the second, -10.2% WPA