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Bullpen blows quality Quintana start

Mark Vientos made it interesting in the ninth.

Texas Rangers v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Rangers came into Queens in free fall, but some spotty bullpen pitching has proven that bad pitching can cure even the most extreme losing streaks, as the Mets dropped the second game of the series, 2-1.

José Quintana tossed a quality start for the Mets, going six scoreless innings, striking out five, and allowing three walks and hits apiece. His control wasn’t quite there as the game went on, but Quintana was able to limit damage and get out of jams.

He was matched by Texas’s Andrew Heaney, who threw five and a third scoreless innings while fanning seven Mets. Both starters kept their teams in the games and their opponents from scoring. However, as should be expected at this point, the Mets’ bullpen proved a liability once again.

Drew Smith gave up a home run to Mitch Garver on his second pitch thrown in the seventh inning, putting the Rangers up 1-0. In the ninth, Phil Bickford walked Garver, allowed a single to old friend Travis Jankowski, threw a wild pitch to Ezequiel Duran, followed by a single by Duran to plate the game’s second run.

In the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Mark Vientos hit a solo home run to bring the Mets within a run, but Aroldis Chapman didn’t allow another run and the Rangers took a second one run game in a row from the Mets.

If we’re looking for bright spots, Quintana’s start may have be his best as a Met, and continues the trend of good starts from Mets’s starters not named Carlos Carrasco.

Tomorrow, Kodai Senga hopes to avoid the sweep when facing Dane Dunning.

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Mets vs Rangers WPA Chart, 8/29/23

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: José Quintana, +34.2% WPA
Big Mets loser: Francisco Álvarez, -15.8% WPA
Mets pitchers: +16.0% WPA
Mets hitters: -66.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Danny Mendick’s seventh inning single, +5.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mitch Garver’s home run off of Drew Smith, -20.7% WPA