Saturday, July 2, 2022

Texas Trounces Mets As Braves Keep Inching Closer In Division


Kole Calhoun approaching the plate on his second inning home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Texas Rangers beat the Mets, 7-3, on Saturday afternoon, as they got four home runs, including two from Kole Calhoun, and tremendous pitching from Martin Perez. The Mets fell to 48-30, and they saw their National League East lead decline to just 2 1/2 games as the Atlanta Braves improved to 46-33 with a 4-1 win in Cincinnati.

The Mets jumped out to an early lead against Perez, as Starling Marte hit a bomb to center field for a two-run home run in the first. It was the right fielder's eighth home run of the season, to go along with 38 RBI.

Texas came right back in the second inning against Mets starter Trevor Williams, who was making a spot start because David Peterson had to move up to start Friday night when that night's start Chris Bassitt came down with Covid.

Adolis Garcia led off with a walk, and then with one out, Mitch Garver doubled, and then Calhoun hit his first home run of the day, an absolute bomb to right field for a three-run shot. Jonah Heim made it back-to-back homers when he also hit one to right for a solo shot to make it 4-2 Texas. 

Calhoun got his second homer of the day in the fourth, his 10th of the season, and that made it 5-2. Heim then singled, and that was all for Williams' afternoon. He went 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (all earned) on five hits and walk, with three strikeouts, and his record fell to 1-5 with a 4.34 ERA.

The Mets got one of those runs back in the fourth when Eduardo Escobar got a solo home run, his eighth of the year, to make it 5-3 Texas. 

Other that that, Perez sailed into the seventh. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks, with four strikeouts to improve to 7-2 on the season, with his ERA ticking up to 2.34 (it was 2.22 entering the game).

Texas added to their lead in the eighth when Corey Seager got an RBI single off Tommy  Hunter. Garcia then doubled to make it second and third with one out, and then something very interesting happened.

Nathaniel Lowe popped one up in the infield, and second baseman Luis Guillorme and shortstop Francisco Lindor converged on it. Guillorme made the catch, and his arm made contact with Lindor as he hauled it in. Lindor then acted like he was falling to the ground, one would guess in an attempt to make light of what happened. The thing is though Guillorme was not laughing, which could be a sign that maybe this Mets team isn't as together as they seem, or at least not since the bliss of the first two months has faded away. 

This was a moment that was kind of emblematic of the tense afternoon at the ballpark, with a crowd that never really got into it, which has been rare this season. The attendance was 26,494, not great for a Saturday late afternoon game on a holiday weekend, and a considerable bit less than the 35,639 on hand for Firday night's game, which was driven by fireworks. 

Texas tacked on a run in the night when Leody Taveras hit a solo home run, his second of the season, to give them the extra point and make it 7-3.

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