After a perfect road trip where they swept 2 NL East opponents, the Mets enjoyed an off day yesterday.
They were back in action tonight as they opened up a home stand against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Mets were hoping to continue their white-hot play. They were also looking to get by, following the news that they would be without both of their catchers. (Travis d’ Arnaud for the season; Kevin Plawecki for 3-4 weeks.)
Steven Matz took the mound looking to build off an impressive start against the Nationals last Thursday.
The Mets scored runs in each of the first 2 innings. Asdrubal Cabrera continued his unbelievable start with a 1 out double into the right field corner. Yoenis Cespdes singled sharply to center, driving home Cabrera.
Todd Frazier has been an on base machine. He’s played excellent defense and has 4 doubles on the year. Fans were waiting for his first home run as a Met though. In the second inning, he delivered.
Through the first few innings, Steven Matz was pitching pretty well. It looked like he got squeezed on a few pitches, which is par for the course with the umpires this year. He didn’t allow a hit until the 4th inning. That hit came in the form of a Jesus Aguilar double. Matz then allowed a second Brewer hit. Unfortunately, that hit was a 2 run home run by Hernan Perez.
I should copy and paste the phrase “It seems like every time the opposing team scores, the Mets answer immediately.” It would definitely save time when writing these game recaps.
In the 2nd inning, Todd Frazier hit his 1st home run as a Met. He may have opened the floodgates. Frazier took a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall for his 2nd home run of the game. That solo shot gave the Mets a 3-2 lead.
Matz turned in a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 5th, and the Mets offense went to work in the bottom of the inning. Michael Conforto led off with a walk. Asdrubal Cabrera followed up with a single. Jay Bruce hit a double driving in Conforto. Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly driving in Asdrubal Cabrera. Jay Bruce scored on a wild pitch and the Mets had a comfortable 6-2 lead.
Well, it felt comfortable.
Steven Matz got Domingo Santana to hit a fly ball to right field to Jay Bruce to lead off the sixth inning. Jay Bruce took a strange route, approached the ball sideways, did a little jump and dropped the ball.
Does Steven Matz have a little Jon Niese in him? When an opposing player reaches base on Matz and they don’t necessarily belong on base…they score more often than not, right? I don’t have those stats, so maybe. Maybe not.
Anyways, Ryan Braun took the second pitch he saw over the wall for a 2 run home run. The second 2 run home run of the night off the Met starter. Matz struck Travis Shaw out on 3 pitches, and was then removed from the game. Let’s just say Steven did NOT look thrilled to be leaving.
Okay. 5 and 1/3 innings pitched. 3 hits. 2 walks. 5 strikeouts. 83 pitches. 3 earned runs. Pretty good outing. I think he deserved better.
Seth Lugo entered in relief of Steven Matz. He allowed singles to the first 2 hitters he faced, but got a double play ball to get out of the inning with the 2 run lead intact.
Lugo came back out for the 7th inning and retired the first 2 Brewers to face him. Lorenzo Cain singled. Domingo Santana followed up with a single of his own. Lorenzo Cain, for some reason, decided to go 1st to 3rd on the play. The problem is the ball was hit to Yoenis Cespedes. I’m sure you can guess how that turned out for the Brewers.
What a luxury it is to have Seth Lugo in the bullpen. Lugo trotted out of the dugout to begin the top of the 8th. He got Ryan Braun to fly out to Michael Conforto for the first out. Travis Shaw worked the count to 3-1 and then hit a bomb over the wall in right center to cut the lead to 6-5. Jesus Aguilar, who had a great night, smoked a ball to left field and Lugo’s night was done.
AJ Ramos entered and retired the only batter he saw. Jerry Blevins came in the game to face lefty Eric Sogard, but allowed a single. Robert Gsellman relieved Jerry Blevins and continued his dominant 2018. He induced a ground ball back to the mound and the inning was over. Threat neutralized.
I know that it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the Mets offense. That’s because after the 5th inning there was no offense to speak of. I should mention that in the bottom of the 8th, Todd Frazier smoked a ball to right center for a single. Very encouraging. Great night for Todd Frazier. That inning came to an end when catcher Jose Lobaton grounded into a double play. More on that later.
Jeurys Familia entered the game in the 9th inning and he was flat out dominant. Eric Thames grounded out to 1st. Lorenzo Cain grounded out to shortstop. Domingo Santana struck out swining.
Ball game. 9 straight wins!
Cespedes made a fine play tracking down a ball in the gap. He gunned down Lorenzo Cain at third base for the final out of the inning. He made another strong throw holding a runner at first base, on a play which is a double on virtually any other left fielder. He drove in the first run of the game. It was his defense which was on display tonight. Just a reminder of how many ways Cespedes can help you. He’s going to get hot at some point, and watch out.
2 home runs for Frazier. He continued his fantastic defensive play. Maybe the start of a hot streak for Todd? He’s been an on base machine all season, now the power has arrived. Good things.
Asdrubal Cabrera stays hot. He has played every day and is probably the MVP of the team so far. What an incredible start to the season.
Jose Lobaton made his first start for the Mets. You know things are going your way when Lobaton hits a triple in his first at bat. Back to reality after that though. His other at bats tonight were not so good. Start Nido.
I thought Matz pitched pretty well tonight. Kept the Mets in the game. You can tell he wasn’t satisfied with his performance tonight. Left a couple balls up in the zone and was punished for it. This is a tough lineup and Matz gets his first win of the season. I’m happy his pitch count was reasonable tonight. Something to build on.
Adding another chapter to what is probably the biggest story of the season so far, the bullpen was fantastic again. This was another night where Blevins was brought in to face one specific lefty and couldn’t get him. Gsellman made sure it was a non-factor, but just thought I’d mention it. Can’t say it enough. This bullpen has been downright tremendous. Another 1-2-3 outing by Familia. He was nasty tonight.
Again. The Brewers score and we answer right back. It feels like it’s inevitable at this point.
Great win. Our 9th in a row. 11-1. Best record in baseball. What else can you say? It’s fun to be a Mets fan right now.
Matt Harvey will take on Chase Anderson tommorrow night. Matt Harvey has not recorded an out in the 6th inning in his last 11 starts. Since the beginning of May last year, Chase Anderson is quietly the 3rd best pitcher in the Majors. Let’s hope we have some trend reversals tomorrow.