Saturday, March 30, 2024

Mets Mauled By Milwaukee, & Heated Over Hoskins Again

Luis Severino pitching to William Contreras in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets lost another tough one one to the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6, on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field, their second loss in a row, and one that revolved around Rhys Hoskins, to open the season.

Luis Severino made the start for the Mets, his first game in their royal blue pinstripes after eight years with the Yankees. 

The right-hander began his Mets tenure with a strikeout of Sal Frelick, but then he looked a lot like the pitcher who suffered through a miserable 2023 in The Bronx.

William Contreras reached on a dribbler down the third base line, perhaps the softest-hit ball of the afternoon. Christian Yelick then laced a single to left field, and Willy Adames followed with a double down the left field line to bring in Contreras and make it 1-0.

After ex-Yankee Jake Bauers struck out, Mets nemesis Hoskins, who riled up Jeff McNeil on Friday with a rather tough slide into second base, took the first pitch from Severino and drilled it into left field and make it 3-0 Milwaukee.

In the bottom of the first, against Brewers starter DL Hall, whom they acquired for Corbin Burnes from Baltimore, the Mets rallied. Brandon Nimmo led off with a single, and then with one out, Pete Alonso got hit by a pitch, and Starling Marte drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Up came Jeff McNeil with a massive chance to match his combatant Hopkins, but he hit a lazy fly ball to center field to end the inning.

After Severino worked around two more hits in the second, the Mets got a run back when Francisco Alvarez laced his first home run of the season to left field to get the Mets on the board.

Milwaukee was right back at it in the third, as Willy Adames opened with a single. The, with one out, Hoskins was up again, and this time, he drilled another one to left, but this was a no-doubter into the seats in the corner for a two-run shot to make it 5-1 Brewers.

Rhys Hoskins approaches home plate after his dinger, ss Luis Severino looks on. Photos by Jason Schott.

Hoskins was greeted by Willy Adames when he touched home. 

Alvarez was at it again in the bottom half of the third, as he laced a single to bring home Marte, who drew another walk, and pull the Mets back within three.

Severino worked around a Contreras single in the fourth, but there was that man again in the fifth, as Hopkins ripped a one-out single to center field that dropped in front of Harrison Bader. 

This was the second one that the ex-Yankee - who is vaunted for his defense - should have snagged, and came after he hit one off the left field fence to open the fourth, but was thrown out by Christian Yelich by a few steps at second base.

Oliver Dunn then slammed one down the first base line off the bag itself, and it went into the air for long enough that Hoskins raced to third base.

With Brice Turing batting, Severino swiveled around on a pick-off move, and was called for a balk, forcing home Hoskins to make it 6-2 Brewers. 

Severino got Turang to fly out to left field and struck out Jackson Chourio to end the fifth and, ultimately, his long arduous afternoon.

The final line for Severino was: 5 innings, 12 hits, 6 runs (all earned), 0 walks, 6 strikeouts. 

Hoskins' next at-bat was in the seventh, and by this point, the Citi Field faithul, it's fair to say, had it, as they rained more boo's down on him. 

Yohan Ramirez was on for the Mets by this point, and he greeted Hopkins with a heater that just missed hitting him in the back, and flew straight to the backstop to emphasize how pointed this pitch was. 

Hopkins just stood there looking at Ramirez, who for some reason, made a beeline to Alvarez to grab a fresh ball, or possibly to bait Hopkins into a fight. Milwaukee Manager Pat Murphy immediately ran out to talk to the home plate umpire Lance Barrett. 

All four umpires convened, and decided to eject Ramirez from the game, and as Mets Manager Carlos Mendoza led him off the field, he was given a standing ovation.

Rhys Hoskins being led away from the plate, as Yohan Ramirez glares at him. Photo by Jason Schott.

Milwaukee Manager Pat Murphy talking to one of the umpires as Hoskins (12) stands by.

By this point, Ramirez was ejected, and by that point, Mets Manager Carlos Ramirez, in a blue and orange jacket, was out to argue.

Hoskins was eventually walked on four pitches by the next Mets reliever, Jorge Lopez, but Milwaukee was not able to add to their lead.

That would come in the eighth, when Yelich got an RBI single off Adam Ottavino.

The Mets responded in the bottom half of the frame when Brett Baty, who did not start with a lefty on the mound for Milwaukee, came off the bench and drilled a three-run homer to right-center field, and just like that, it was 7-5.

That provided a good template for the return of the trumpets in the ninth inning, as the Mets brought in Edwin Diaz to his first game since October 2022. He opened the inning by getting Hoskins to pop out to Baty, and worked around a Turang single, as he struck out Chourio to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, against Abner Uribe, the Mets pulled to within one, 7-6, when Pete Alonso drilled a one-out homer, his first of the season, to left center field. Uribe then struck out DJ Stewart, his second of the day after entering as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, and Starling Marte to end it.

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