SMH -May 13, 2018-

The Mets had their biggest win of the season Friday.

After an awful stretch of baseball, the hope was that the Mets could carry over that momentum from Friday night and go on a nice run.

Apparently, any momentum the team had got washed away by the rain Saturday night.

The Mets decided to pitch Jacob deGrom on Sunday, even though Noah Syndergaard’s start Saturday was rained out. Syndergaard will now pitch Tuesday against Toronto.

The Good News?

Jacob deGrom did not give up a run in his return.

The Bad News?

Jacob deGrom pitched only one inning.

The game, which was delayed by an hour due to rain, got off to a promising start. Brandon Nimmo took advantage of the shift by laying down a bunt for a leadoff single. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a single of his own.

Aaron Nola, who as emerged as Philadelphia’s ace, struck out Yoenis Cespedes. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a walk, and the Mets had bases loaded with one out. Wilmer Flores, who got the start at 3rd again, struck out swinging. That brought up Michael Conforto, the hero from Friday night. He grounded out weakly, and the inning was over. Huge opportunity missed.

Jacob deGrom, just like Nola created some trouble for himself in the bottom of the inning.

It’s been ten days since deGrom has pitched, and the rust was evident. He walked Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr, and then Odubel Herrera to begin the game. Bases loaded no outs.

Rhys Hoskins was next and he struck out swinging. Carlos Santana grounded to deGrom who threw home for the force. Makiel Franco struck out swinging and deGrom was out of the inning. 0-0.

What a warrior. DeGrom worked himself out of big trouble. The problem is that he needed 45 pitches to do it, and Mickey Callaway decided to remove him from the game. Just like that, the Mets bullpen had 8 innings to get through. (Or maybe 7.)

In that first inning, deGrom threw 45 pitches. 5 of the 6 batters he faced worked the count full. Philadelphia hitters fouled off 20 pitched. No runs. Pretty remarkable.

Robert Gsellman was the first man out of the pen and he gave the Mets 3 scoreless innings. You don’t really love the 3 hits and 2 walks he allowed, but you definitely love the 3 zeroes he posted.

That brings us to the top of the 5th. Amed Rosario led off with a single to left field. Rosario then attempted to steal second and was thrown out by ten feet. Isn’t he the third fastest guy in the league? Doesn’t he have a mentor who was pretty good at stealing bases? Credit to the Mets by the way. How they got a good portion of the fan base to buy into that mentor nonsense, I’ll never know.

Paul Sewald came in to pitch the bottom of the 5th. He worked around a 2 out single by Odubel Herrera and kept the game scoreless.

Yoenis Cespedes led off the top of the 6th and put the Mets on the board with a solo shot to left. 1-0.

In what has become a recurring theme as of late, the Mets put 2 runners on base after the Cespedes blast, but could not bring them home. They would regret that.

The bottom of the 6th would be Paul Sewald’s second and final inning of work. It would also become the story of the game, and put the spotlight on another Mickey Callaway decision.

Carlos Santana led off with a double that nearly cleared the fence for a homerun. After Makiel Franco flew out, Scott Kingery drew a walk. Sewald then struck out the catcher Jorge Alfaro, creating a two on two out situation. That brought up the pitcher’s spot in the lineup, and Philly sent up a pinch hitter, lefty Nick Williams.

Jerry Blevins was warming up at the time, but Callaway decided to stay with Paul Sewald. Nick Williams took a slider to the second deck in right field, and the Phillies suddenly had a 3-1 lead.

Up to that point, the Mets had been thriving in those spots. Pinch hitters were only hitting 6-53 against New York this season. Make it 7-54.

The argument you’ll see floating around is that Sewald has been better against lefties than Blevins this year. Blevins has struggled this year, there is no doubt about it. That is still Blevins’ role though, and he was warming up.

With 2 outs in the top of the 7th, Brandon Nimmo singled to left. Asdrubal Cabrera was next and hit a ball to right. Off the bat I thought he had tied the game, but the ball hit off the top of the wall, and Cabrera settled for an RBI double. 3-2.

Yoenis Cespedes popped out to second and the inning was over.

AJ Ramos entered to pitch the 7th and fired a perfect inning. Jeurys Familia was brought in to pitch the 8th inning and he surrendered a homerun to Carlos Santana. He allowed another hit and a walk before he finally retired the side.

4-2 Philadelphia. The Mets had some minor threats in the 8th and 9th, but weren’t able to capitalize.

It’s now been more than a month since New York has won back-to-back games. In 9 of their last 11 games, the Mets have failed to score more than 3 runs. Their  11-1 start seems like a distant memory.

Yoenis Cespedes is playing hurt. He did a solo homerun today but you can see that the quad is bothering him.

The Mets return home to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. After an off day Monday, Noah Syndergaard will take on the team that originally drafted him.

After a blistering start, the Mets are in fourth place, one game over .500 on the season. The Braves look like the real deal, and the Phillies and Nationals are red-hot right now.

Congrats to Luis Guillorme who had his first major league hit after pinch hitting for Jacob deGrom in the 2nd. Dominic Smith was sent down after the game. Smith and Guillorme were brought up in the middle of the season and essentially lost a week’s worth of at bats. They both had just one at bat, and Guillorme was brought in once to run. Let the kids play a little bit at least. What sense does it make to have them go a week without playing baseball?

 

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