Wednesday, July 24, 2019

After Dream Night, Mets Get Reality Check

Thor vs. Tatis: Noah Syndergaard pitching to Fernando Tatis, Jr. Photo by Jason Schott.

If Tuesday night was a dream for the Mets, where they could have visions of making a miracle run, then Wednesday night was a major dose of reality as they lost to the Padres, 7-2.

Noah Syndergaard got the start for the Mets coming off two great outings since the All-Star Break, in Miami and San Francisco, but as has become typical for him this season, he couldn't keep it going against San Diego.

In the first, Manuel Margot walked with one out, followed by a single from Manny Machado. Eric Hosmer then lined one back to Syndergaard, who caught it and threw to first to double-off Machado for a double play to end the inning.

The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the first against Padres starter Dinelson Lamet when Jeff McNeil led off with a double, followed by an RBI single for Michael Conforto.

Pete Alonso walked, making it seem like they had the possibility of a big inning, but Robinson Cano (who hit three home runs Tuesday night) popped out to the catcher and Todd Frazier struck out looking before Dominic Smith got a two-out single to load the bases. Amed Rosario flew out to end the threat.

In the top of the second, Hunter Renfroe led off with a single, followed by a walk to Franmil Reyes. 
Once again, Syndergaard got a double play, this one from Luis Urias, but Austin Hedges followed with an RBI single to tie it at 1.

It unraveled for the Mets in the top of the third. Margot drew a one-out walk and then proceeded to steal both second and third base during Machado's at-bat, which ended in a walk.

Hosmer then hit a fly to shallow right field, and Margot took a chance since McNeil does not have a great arm, and the throw was up the line, so Margot scored easily to make it 2-1 San Diego.

Renfroe then singled to left field, and the ball went under Smith's glove to the fence, allowing Machado to score and Renfroe to get to second.

Reyes then hit one into the left field corner, and Smith uncorked a throw that really wasn't heading for anybody, with Amed Rosario running over to catch it, and it ricocheted off his glove, giving Smith his second error in as many plays. Renfroe came around to score and give San Diego a 4-1 lead, and Reyes reached third.

The Mets got a run back in the bottom of the third when Conforto doubled and scored on an RBI groundout by Cano to make it 4-2 Padres. They couldn't add to it as Frazier struck out, an at-bat that saw his bat sail out to the shortstop area on strike two and then have his helmet fall off as he whiffed at strike three.

In the top of the fourth, Smith's defensive woes continued as he charged a fly ball from Fernando Tatis, Jr. that went over his head for a double. Since there were two outs, Syndergaard then got Margot to ground out to end the threat.

From then on, it became a pitching battle, as Syndergaard retired San Diego in order in the fifth and sixth and worked trouble in the seventh when he allowed two singles and they loaded the bases with an intentional walk before Renfroe grounded out to end the threat.

That was the end of Syndergaard's night, and his final line read like this: 7 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 5 walks (1 intentional), 8 strikeouts.

Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said of Thor's outing, "I thought he was actually pretty good. 0-2 - two out RBI, 0-2 - RBI, 1-2, so three of the runs scored on counts that were in his favor, so he did the job of getting ahead; he just didn't execute. The other one was a little sac fly that was shallow right that we had a chance to throw the guy out. It wasn't as bad as the line, and I tell you what, any time someone goes seven, you've got to give them credit. I don't care how many runs you give up - if you go seven as a starting pitcher, you've done something.

This was the third straight time Syndergaard went seven innings, and it was the eighth time this season he pitched at least seven.

The Padres pitchers (Lamet in the fourth, Matt Strahm in the fifth and sixth, and Craig Stammen in the seventh) retired thirteen straight Mets before a Rosario double with one out in the seventh.

J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil followed with two-out walks to load the bases, but Conforto struck out.

Jeurys Familia came on for the Mets in the eighth, and he allowed a single to Reyes, who was lifted for a pinch-runner in Wil Myers, who got caught stealing when he overslid second base.

Urias followed with a single he scored on a double from Hedges to make it 5-2, and that was all for Familia.

Luis Avilan then allowed a single to the only batter he faced, Francisco Mejia, before Tyler Bashlor got Tatis, Jr. to pop one up down the left field line. You can guess what happened.

Smith slid to try to catch it, but it dunked in front of him for a single to score Hedges to give San Diego a 6-2 edge before Margot bounced into a double play to end the long inning.

Callaway said of Smith's many miscues in the field, "The groundball (fromRenfroe), I think he was just trying to throw the guy out, so he pulled his glove up just a little bit. The line drive that Tatis hit, 107 off the bat, that's just over head high. Those are difficult for anybody. The one that it (his mistake in Friday night's loss to San Francisco) might have affected him on was the last one where he had to come in. He chopped his steps a little bit, I saw a little hesitation there. You know, things that go bad do affect you sometimes, but we'll keep on working on it and see if we can make him more comfortable on that play. I can't say for sure it did affect him, but you did see a little hesitation there."

In the ninth, with Stephen Nogosek on for the Mets, Machado led off with a single, Hosmer doubled, and Renfroe hit a sacrifice fly to score Machado and make it 7-2.

It was a tough night for the Mets offense, as Cano went 0-for-4 with an RBI after his three home run, four-hit night; Frazier went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and Alonso went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and two walks.

The bright spots were McNeil (1-for-3, double, run scored, walk) and Conforto (2-4, double, RBI, run scored, two strikeouts).

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