Mets Blow The Game Twice in 6-5 Loss To The Arizona Diamondbacks

The New York Mets are known for their ugly June’s, and the trend is continuing in 2021. They wasted a 4-0 and 5-4 lead in extra innings to lose to the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak and was a rare off game from the Mets bullpen.

The 10th inning had as much action as any in the game. James McCann made a cameo as a pinch hitter and gave the Mets the lead with a leadoff RBI double. The Mets could not get the insurance run around to score, and it came back to haunt them. Trevor May was called into action for the save after struggling and throwing 26 pitches the previous night. May did not have his best stuff and ended up allowing a two-run double to Pavin Smith, which capped off a terrific night for him. Smith also had a monstrous 435-foot three-run home run earlier in the game.

Overuse?

Rojas had Trevor May, Drew Smith, and Seth Lugo to choose from for the 10th inning. Smith seemed like the option if the game remained tied or the Mets extended the lead. Lugo seemed like an afterthought due to Rojas hoping to open his season in a low leverage situation. May is in the middle of a pitching slump and has allowed runs in four of his last six outings. Despite getting five days off before Monday’s outing, it is clear that he has not been at his best as of late.

Either way, the loss should not have come down to extra innings. Marcus Stroman pitched five stellar innings before his confrontation with Josh Rojas after the fifth inning. Both benches and bullpens cleared, but no further conflict resulted from the gathering. Stroman struggled in the sixth inning by allowing Smith’s homer, moving the score to 4-3, and giving them new life.

Staying Alive

Rojas ended up getting his revenge against Edwin Diaz in the ninth. Nick Ahmed‘s single and error from Billy McKinney allowed him to get to second base to set the table for Rojas. With two-outs, Rojas found the hole between the first and second baseman to tie the game and give Diaz his first blown save of the season. Diaz gave up three hits in the inning, but none were hit particularly hard. The blown save was a case of Diaz getting unlucky with the defensive alignments behind him.

On Monday, Dominic Smith and Francisco Lindor showed signs of their power returning and did it once again tonight. Smith recorded a two-run homer and was robbed of a three-run homer, which resulted in a sacrifice fly. In the ninth, he walked and stole second base, the second of his career. Lindor had just one hit, but it turned out to be an RBI triple that ricocheted off the center-field fence. His average sits at .199 and has risen 16 points in the last five games.

The Mets cannot win every game, but this one is inexcusable to lose. They let the D’Backs hang around, gave them life after the bench-clearing issue, and failed to put the game away numerous times. Luckily the loss does not affect their division lead, which remains at 3.5 after the Atlanta Braves lost. At a 3:40 start on Wednesday, two lefties square off to finish the series. David Peterson takes the mound against veteran Madison Bumgarner.

Mets Game Preview: (6/1/21) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (19-36)

The New York Mets hope to continue their May momentum as they flip the calendar to June for the second game of their three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both teams come off two polar opposite months of May. Despite many injures, the Mets were 17-9 while the D’Backs went 9-21. Game two of the series is another 9:40 p.m. ET start from Chase Field.

The Mets come off a very convincing win in game one, which featured the return of Pete Alonso and Kevin Pillar. Alonso homered and recorded four RBIs, while Pillar recorded a hit in his only at-bat. Francisco Lindor is showing signs of his bat returning to full strength. Lindor is 5-for-13 (.385) over the last three games and is driving the ball to all fields. Dominic Smith had gone half a month without a double, but two to the opposite field also showed that his power stroke might be returning as well.

Seth Lugo did not pitch in Monday’s game, but we should expect to see him today. Trevor May, Jeuyrs Familia, and Miguel Castro all pitched in the win, leaving the door open for Edwin Diaz and Lugo tonight. Lugo cannot pitch in back-to-back days, and using him tonight allows the Mets to have him for multiple days against the San Diego Padres.

Pitching Matchup

Marcus Stroman makes his 11th start of the season after a terrific start against the Colorado Rockies. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits and recording 11 groundball outs. Stroman has been great all year and comes into tonight’s start with a 2.47 ERA.

Caleb Smith comes out of the bullpen to make just his second start of the year. His first outing of the season was his only start, where he allowed four runs (three earned) in only three innings. Smith has faired very well in his long relief role with a 2.70 ERA and a .214 average against. He can lose the strike zone occasionally, which could run up his pitch count early in his start.

Matchups To Lookout For

Marcus Stroman vs. Eduardo Escobar: 2-for-12 (.167), 2 Doubles, Walk, Strikeout

Caleb Smith vs. Pete Alonso: 1-for-9 (.111), 2 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

deGrom Dominates, Gets Plenty Of Support in Mets 6-2 Win

The New York Mets received reinforcements from the injured list against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it helped them support Jacob deGrom in their 6-2 win. deGrom came into his start with an ERA under one, which means all the Mets needed was one run to win. Pete Alonso‘s bat provided plenty of support to support the Mets ace in his first game back from injury.

deGrom may not contain the same power as Shohei Ohtani but makes up for it with his ability to shut down offenses. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out eight to lower his ERA to a spectacular 0.71 ERA. deGrom’s league-leading ERA is the lowest mark heading into June since 1964. Of course, he beat the D’backs with the bat by recording an RBI single to push his average to .450 on the season.

The Mets were once again cautious with deGrom, pulling him from the game after just 70 pitches. Trevor May faltered by allowing two runs and recording just two outs in the seventh inning. Miguel Castro (1.1) and Jeurys Familia (1) settled things down to get the pitching staff through the final 2.1 innings of the game.

Offensive Power Surge

The offense was terrific in their second game against Merrill Kelly this season. Alonso led the way with two hits, including a home run and four runs batted in. Francisco Lindor (single and double) and Dominic Smith (two doubles) showed promise in the power department by driving balls to the opposite field. Billy McKinney added a solo home run, his second straight game with a homer. Kevin Pillar made a triumphant return from his injury by recording a single in his only at-bat.

The Mets winnings streak is at five, and two more games in Arizona allow them to extend it to seven. Their lead in the NL East remains at 3.5 games after the Atlanta Braves defeated the Washington Nationals. On Tuesday, Marcus Stroman takes the ball for the Mets against Caleb Smith, who will make his second start of the season. The first pitch from Chase Field is another 9:40 p.m. ET start.

Mets Game Preview: (5/31/21) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (19-35)

The New York Mets are back on the road to begin a nine-game trip, starting with three against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets will welcome back some much-needed players against the team with the worst record in the National League.

The trio of Pete Alonso, Kevin Pillar, and Seth Lugo all return to the active roster to begin the road trip. Khalil Lee, Sean Reid-Foley, and Patrick Mazeika. All three players are a massive boost after so many Mets have landed on the IL. Alonso will bring much-needed power, and Pillar’s remarkable return gives the Mets an everyday center fielder. The Mets bullpen did not need much help, but Lugo’s talent makes the group even stronger.

The Diamondbacks will be happy to flip the calendar to June after winning just five games this month. Their win against the Cardinals on Sunday broke a 13 game losing streak, one short of their longest streak. D’Backs pitching has struggled with the third-worst ERA (4.93), allowed the third-most home runs (72) and highest batting average against (.263). This should help a Mets offense that is one of the worst in baseball but is coming off an 11 outburst on Saturday.

Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom takes his 0.80 ERA back to the mound after a stellar performance in his first outing off the injured list. deGrom worked five innings, allowing one run, striking out nine, and using just 63 pitches against the Colorado Rockies. In his start against the D’Backs earlier this season, he pitched five innings and allowed just a run. Uncharacteristically, deGrom walked three and only struck out six, which resulted in him leaving with an injury.

Merrill Kelly pitches for the D’Backs and looks to close out an excellent month of May. He struggled in April with a 6.63 ERA but pitched to a 3.52 ERA this month. Kelly walked five in 5.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) against the Mets earlier this month.

Matchup To Look Out For

Jacob deGrom vs. Nick Ahmed: 1-for-10 (.100), Double, 3 Strikeouts

Mets Escape Rain and Push Through deGrom’s Injury in 4-2 Win

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The final game between the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks felt like it would never come to an end. After Jacob deGrom left early with an injury, manager Luis Rojas found a way to piece together the final 12 outs and get the Mets a 4-2 win. The victory was the fifth in a row and gave them their first sweep of the 2021 season.

deGrom made his first start in 11 days and looked stellar by retiring the first 12 batters he faced in order. In the fifth inning, he had an uncharacteristic three walks and allowed a run. When deGrom returned to the mound for the sixth inning, he felt discomfort and removed himself from the game with right side tightness. The move was the right one as lat injuries can become dangerous and is an injury no one should try to push through. deGrom finished the day with five innings pitched, one hit allowed, three walks, and six strikeouts.

Miguel Castro took over for deGrom in the sixth and was the beginning of the Mets bullpen, making things interesting. Castro struggled with his command to start but reined himself in to survive a scoreless inning. Jacob Barnes pitched a 1-2-3 seventh but allowed a home run and double in the eighth, leaving with a 4-2 lead. Rojas turned to Edwin Diaz with the tying run on base with one out and induced a double play to keep the lead. Diaz worked around a dropped pop-up to strike out three and complete a terrific sweep.

Get The Ball Rolling

The Mets offense is not rolling on all cylinders, but it is starting to do enough to support their tremendous pitching. Francisco Lindor (sac fly), Michael Conforto (single), and Dominic Smith (single) all were responsible for driving in a run. Patrick Mazeika found another unique way to drive in a run with an RBI walk. In his three career plate appearances, Mazeika has two RBIs but is still searching for his first hit.

The big concern for the Mets is obviously deGrom, but the hope is that he is just dealing with soreness again. If deGrom tried to push through it, he could have had the same fate as Noah Syndergaard in 2017. Syndergaard pitched through a lat injury in 2017, and he ended up missing five months of the season. Hopefully, deGrom only needs extra rest again to get back to 100%.

This whole series was an example of how dangerous the Mets can become. They showed their bullpen is fully capable of picking up the slack with the starting pitching has a rare short outing. The offense is slowly coming back to life, and the defense even showed it is much improved from last season. The bullpen will get a much-needed rest before the Baltimore Orioles fly into town for a quick two-game series.

MLB: Biggest Problem With All Games in Arizona

New York Yankees

MLB is hopeful that they will be able to start the 2020 season as early as next month. Now, for a lot of us, this is more than welcome news. We love baseball and miss it. Just like we love and miss all the other sports that have been canceled. So while it’s great to be hopeful about this plan, there’s one GIANT problem.

Most COVID-19 Cases in Arizona are Centered in Maricopa County

The plan is to play games in the Phoenix metropolitan area to empty stadiums. Nonessential personnel would be sequestered in isolation at given hotels. Games would be played at Chase Field (home of the Diamondbacks), the 10 spring training complexes in the Phoenix area, as well as other ball fields in the area. So, finding the necessary 15 ball fields for all 30 teams to be playing regularly isn’t out of the question.

But what makes it difficult is that the county of Phoenix resides in, Maricopa County has the highest concentration of coronavirus cases. Which makes sense when you think about it. The most populated city in the state resides in Maricopa County.

Now, according to this data from an ABC affiliate, Arizona is still doing insanely well in comparison to other states. The peak of the virus is expected to come by April 25th. So, it makes some sense to see this state as the target state for restarting the baseball season. But that’s not to say that the people who work for the teams that are sequestered at the hotels aren’t at a lesser risk of contracting the disease, especially with no actual vaccine discovered yet.

All we can do is sit back and hope. The later in the year, the harder it becomes to justify playing games in Arizona, as only one of these stadiums will undoubtedly have a roof and climate control during the heat of mid-May through… September? But baseball can’t think of having their postseason starting mid-October/November. That’s why it seems like they’re rushing this.

Let’s just hope for the best and listen to our leaders about what we can do to flatten the curve.

New York Mets Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (6/14-6/17)

The New York Mets offense went quiet once again as they lost both games against the Atlanta Braves. They will start west coast trip in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. The last series the Mets won came against the D’Backs way back on May 18-20 at Citi Field. Both teams have gone in different directions since that series. The Mets are eight games under .500 and the D’Backs are in first place in the NL West.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(6/14, 9:40 PM) Jason Vargas (2-4, 7.71 ERA) vs. Matt Koch (4-3, 4.20 ERA)

(6/15, 9:40 PM) Seth Lugo (2-1, 1.77 ERA) vs. Zach Godley (6-5, 4.97 ERA)

(6/16, 10:10 PM) Steven Matz (2-4, 3.53 ERA vs. Patrick Corbin (6-2, 3.21 ERA)

(6/17, 4:10 PM) Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.98 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (1-1, 3.21 ERA)

Horrible Mets Offense

There are so many ways to describe how awful the Mets offense has been lately. There is no exaggeration when talking about how historically bad they have been over the last couple of weeks. Elias Sports Bureau compiled a stat saying “The Mets are the first team in the Modern Era (since 1900) to score 15 or fewer runs and compile fewer than 50 hits over an 11-game span.” It it amazing to think the Mets managed to squeeze one win out of those 11 games. Arizona is a hitter friendly environment, but the Mets are not capable of hitting mediocre pitching right now.

Seth Lugo and Jason Vargas will both make starts in the series even though both have been trending in different directions. Lugo has been the second best pitcher on the team, behind Jacob deGrom. He has taken the swingman role and ran with it, his 1.77 ERA is fourth among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched. On the other hand, Vargas has looked like an absolute disaster this season. He has struggled to the point where the Mets look to skip his starts whenever they can. His last two starts have been better but they need him to pitch like someone who belongs in the big leagues.

D’backs Have Flipped The Script

The D’backs started March/April on fire but had a dreadful 8-19 May. It seems like all they needed was the calendar to flip because they have a 9-3 record in June. They have relied on decent starting pitching and a killer bullpen that has a 2.55 ERA. Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger have created a lethal eighth and ninth inning combination in the back of their bullpen. The 34-year old rookie, Yoshihisa Hirano, has surprised many with his 1.55 ERA in 32 games.

Paul Goldschmidt disappointed many when he batted .144 throughout the month of May. Just like the rest of the team, it needed the calendar to turn from May to June. Since June started he is 22-48 (.457) with a 1.481 OPS and has already surpassed the amount of hits he had in May. It is not surprising to see a correlation between Goldy’s hot hitting and the D’backs winning ways.

Matchups to Lookout For

Jose Reyes vs. Patrick Corbin: 7-13 (.539) 3 Doubles, Walk, Strikeout

Alex Avila vs. Jason Vargas: 5-17 (.294) Double, 2 Home Runs, 3 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Jose Bautista vs. Clay Buchholz: 14-61 (.230) 3 Doubles, Home Run, 9 Walks, 13 Strikeouts

Paul Goldschmidt vs. Zack Wheeler: 3-12 (.250) Double, Walk, Strikeout

Interesting Stats

Brandon Nimmo in innings 7-9: 18-50 (.360) 4 Doubles, Triple, 2 Home Runs, 11 Walks, 13 Strikeouts

Paul Goldschmidt w/RISP: 9-51 (.176) 3 Doubles, 2 Triples, 2 Home Runs, 13 Walks, 17 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (5/18-5/20)

The New York Mets welcome in the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three game weekend series. The Mets split their second straight series on Wednesday, losing 12-1 on a rainy day against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Diamondbacks are in a similar position as the Mets, struggling after a red hot start. Unlike the Mets, they sit in first place in the NL West. The Diamondbacks owned the Mets last season, taking six out of the seven games against the Mets.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(5/18, 7:10 PM) Zack Godley (4-2, 4.08) vs. Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.83)

(5/19, 7:10 PM) Patrick Corbin (4-1, 2.53) vs. Steven Matz (1-3, 3.86)

(5/20, 1:10 PM) Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.46) vs. Noah Syndergaard (3-1, 3.14)

Can the Mets Get it Together?

Just when many feel that the Mets were starting to breakout again, they fall back down to Earth. Whether it was Michael Conforto’s big home run against the Phillies or the 12-run outburst against the Blue Jays, the team was not able to back it up in the next game. The unfortunate weather circumstances the next day derailed their momentum in both situations. The reality is this team has been extremely inconsistent and there is no way to hide the fact that they have not been able to win back to back games in over a month.

This is a very big series for the Mets because they have their three best pitchers facing the D’Backs three best pitchers. If the Mets can take this series, they will welcome in the Marlins before facing a tough schedule for the rest of May. The Mets also sit 4.5 games out of first place and cannot afford to dig themselves a larger hole. There is no telling if the Braves, Phillies and Nationals slow down their pace but the Mets could easily find themselves out of the four team race in the NL East.

Not So Hot in Arizona

The D’Backs started the season going 20-8 in April, but have played 5-10 baseball in May. They also have a struggling all-star in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy has only hit .208 with four home runs, 12 RBIs and is tied for the NL lead with 55 strikeouts. A.J. Pollock was picking up the slack in his place but just landed on the DL with a thumb fracture. Pollock leads the team with 11 homers and 33 RBIs, but will be out for at least a month.

The backbone of their success has been their pitching which leads the NL with a 3.31 ERA. Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin are putting together stellar seasons for the D’Backs. Corbin is seventh in the NL with a 2.53 ERA and second to Max Scherzer with 75 strikeouts. Closer Brad Boxberger has also found new life with them and is second in the NL with 12 saves. Their whole bullpen has been terrific though; six different relievers have ERAs under 2.50.

Matchups to Lookout For (Small Sample Sizes Incoming)

Daniel Descalso vs. Noah Syndergaard: 3-6 (.500)

Asdrubal Cabrera vs. Zack Greinke: 14-32 (.438) 2 Doubles, Triple, 4 Walks, 2 Strikeouts

Chris Owings vs. Noah Syndergaard: 1-9 (.111) Double, 5 Strikeouts

Jay Bruce vs. Zack Greinke: 7-40 (.175) Home Run, 2 Walks, 12 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Zack Greinke at Citi Field: 2-0, 2.16 ERA, 25 IP, 1 Home Run allowed

Adrian Gonzalez has 35 home runs in his career against the D’Backs (Most against any team)