The New York Mets defense failed to provide any help to their pitching staff in their 9-3 loss against the New York Yankees. Rick Porcello took the loss but was solid in his five-inning appearance, allowing three runs.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 18, 2020
Despite the score, the key Mets players did their jobs. It only took two hitters for the Yankees to take a quick 1-0 lead with a Gleyber Torres RBI single. Porcello made it an emphasis to incorporate his slider from that point.
The slider was a pitch he struggled with in 2019, but it helped him through his start. Porcello’s one bad slider came on a two-run Clint Frazier home run, putting it in the second deck, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Porcello threw an efficient 68 pitches and had to chuck another 20 in the bullpen to reach his goal for the day.
Offense Slowly Coming Alive
Yankees starter Michael King took advantage of an empty Citi Field to hold the Mets to one base runner through the first three innings. A Pete Alonso single and Michael Conforto walk set the stage for a J.D. Davis RBI double, which cut the Yankees lead down to two.
The fifth had an interesting caveat when the Yankees implemented their five-person infield defense against Tomas Nido. Three men on the left side and two on the right, but it did not affect Nido as he lined a single over them. Later on in the inning, Pete Alonso took a great sinker from Zack Britton and muscled it to center field to make it a 3-2 game.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 19, 2020
Encouraging Bullpen, Discouraging Defense
Jeurys Familia got the first call out of the bullpen. He worked around two Max Moroff errors to pitch 1.2 innings out of the bullpen allowing an unearned run and two strikeouts. Familia’s sinker and slider were sharp, and he brought back his splitter, which brought him success during his All-Star years.
Dellin Betances worked around his error to pitch a scoreless seventh inning. Edwin Diaz’s line does not offer optimism, but he looked sharp in his three batters. An error, bloop single, and strikeout were the outcomes.
Diaz showed good command locating his fastball, with high velocity. His short outing was an effort to get him ready to pitch in back to back days, so we will likely see him again on Sunday.
Negatives From the Loss
Hitters on both sides were at a slight disadvantage, but Yoenis Cespedes looked the slowest of all. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and couldn’t make it down the first baseline without dragging his legs. Luis Rojas expects him to play the outfield on Sunday, which is the biggest test Cespedes has to prove his legs are healthy.
Robinson Cano batted third, which was a surprise. He does not look like a fit to bat third in a potentially strong Mets lineup, but Luis Rojas is giving him a vote of confidence the same way Mickey Callaway did in 2019.
I’m not a huge baseball fan, but it’s great to see the Yankees and the Mets playing tonight in New York City, even with no fans in the stadium. If nothing else, it signals hope for the future.pic.twitter.com/h4zANcwUY0
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) July 18, 2020
Lastly, the “B” players looked like “D” players. Max Moroff and Luis Guillorme contributed three of the four errors on the night. Jarret Parker also looked uneasy in right field, getting late breaks on the ball. Daniel Zamora looked the worst of them all. The lefty specialist allowed three runs and hits to all four batters he faced. Thankfully these players likely should not make the roster, which quells some of the worries from the lost.
The biggest positive from the Mets is Pete Alonso’s performance. He spoke about becoming a gold glove caliber first baseman before the game and showcased his work from the offseason. Alonso’s glove saved Moroff from the third error, and Alonso used his arm to make a one-hop throw to third base, so help Betances.
The scene changes on Sunday when the Mets and Yankees face off at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Corey Oswalt faces Jordan Montgomery at 7:05 P.M. as the Mets try to split the Exhibition Subway Series. It will be the Mets’ final tune-up before the season begins.