When it was announced the other day that Noah Syndergaard would be scratched from Sunday’s start, Seth Lugo was immediately penciled in as his replacement.
Lugo, who has been a revelation this year pitching out of the bullpen, would be making his second start of the season.
His first start came against the Chicago Cubs who he kept off the scoreboard. The issue isn’t Seth Lugo as a starting pitcher. The issue is removing him from the bullpen.
In his start against Chicago, he only pitched 4 innings, as he wasn’t completely stretched out. The prospect of this bullpen pitching multiple innings against the Yankee lineup was a scary one. Not to mention, Luis Severino was pitching for the Bombers.
Insert your favorite baseball clichè. “That’s why the play the games.” In this case, “that’s baseball Suzyn,” is probably more appropriate.
It didn’t take long for fans of the Mets to groan. In the bottom of the first, Asdrubal Cabrera stumbled coming out of the batter’s box, and it was apparent that he was injured. He remained in the game until the top of the 4th, and then was replaced by Jose Reyes.
In the bottom of the 5th, with two outs, Jose Reyes stepped up to the plate. He took the second pitch he saw through the right side of the infield for a base hit. Todd Frazier was next.
2-0 Mets! You could tell Frazier wanted this one. After singling in his first at-bat, Frazier stole second base. In his second at-bat, he puts the Mets in the lead. He did not want to be swept by the Yankees. Hey, gotta give credit where it’s due. Jose Reyes extended the inning to give Frazier the opportunity.
As for Seth Lugo, he was brilliant. He kept the potent Yankee lineup quiet, and was able to provide some much needed length.
Lugo pitched 6 innings, allowed only two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out 8. Truly remarkable performance.
Robert Gsellman was next and pitched a perfect 7th inning, retiring Bird, Sanchez and Gregorius in order. He came back out for the 8th, and that’s where it got interesting.
After striking out Aaron Hicks to begin the inning, Miguel Andujar singled. Aaron Judge, who was given the night off grabbed a bat and stepped to the plate in place of the pitcher, Adam Warren. Aaron Judge hit a tailor made double play ball to Rosario. Amed flipped the ball to Reyes at second, but Reyes’ throw to first sailed wildly and Judge was safe at first.
In addition to throwing the ball away, he never stepped on second base! So, now there were runners at first and second. Reyes was charged with two errors on the play. How typical would it have been for this inning to spiral out of control? Credit to Robert Gsellman. He got Gleyber Torres to pop out and Brett Gardner to fly out, and the inning was over.
Anthony Swarzak came on to pitch the ninth, seeking his first save of the season. He was shaky, but ultimately effective, and the Mets won. 2-0. Sweep avoided!
Same old story. The starting pitching was great, the offense was almost nonexistent. But, this time we got the W.
All in all, it was a great win. But the headline of the day materialized after the game. The Mets announced that they would be releasing Adrian Gonzalez and calling up Dominic Smith and Ty Kelly. They would also be releasing Jose Lobatòn (for the second time this season.)
I like it. Now, can we release Jose Reyes?
The Mets will now travel to Atlanta for a two-game set. Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom will pitch for the Mets. Asdrubal Cabrera was said to have a tight hamstring, and is considered day-to day. Jeff McNeil, anyone?