The Cincinnati band box was just what the doctor ordered and the Mets ailing bats came to life in a 7-6 win over the Reds. Everything not hit on the ground seemed to sail over the wall at Great American Ball Park with the Mets out-slugging the Reds four home runs to three.
The Mets long balls came courtesy of Adrian Gonzalez (two), Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto (his first extra base hit in 47 at bats!). Yoenis Cespedes added a pair of doubles to the offensive barrage. And they needed every last run as rookie P.J. Conlon lasted just 3.2 innings before giving way to Paul Sewald and Robert Gsellman. In his first Major League start, the Ireland born Conlon had quite the cheering section as he seemingly flew in every living member of his family to Cincinnati. It may seem an odd decision by Mets management to start an unproven minor leaguer who tops out at 88 mph, but the thinking was that a soft-tossing lefty could keep the ball in the park. Conlon, who, mechanically, looks like a left-handed Kevin Appier, struggled to get some close strike calls from the home plate umpire. He gave up three runs on two walks and four hits, including a home run to the light hitting Billy Hamilton and got pulled in favor of Sewald with two outs in the fourth inning. Sewald surrendered two runs in 1.2 innings to keep the Reds in the game. Gsellman held the Reds to just a solo home run in 2.2 innings to earn his fourth win of the season.
With the Mets clinging to a one run lead in the top of the ninth, third base coach Glenn Sherlock nearly cost the Mets the game. Following a Cespedes double, Jose Reyes came in as a pinch runner and should have easily scored on a Jay Bruce single to right field, but Sherlock put up the stop sign. With no outs, perhaps he was being overly conservative, but Asdrubal Cabrera struck out and Todd Frazier hit into an inning ending double play to leave Reyes stranded on third base. Thankfully, Jeurys Familia brought his A game and locked down the save with a crisp 1-2-3 inning, including two strikeouts.
Ex-Reds Bruce and Frazier had mixed results in their respective returns to Cincinnati. Bruce went 2-for-3 with two walks and a home run, while Frazier went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. In fact, Frazier and Cabrera seem to be cooling off just as the rest of the lineup is waking up.
The Mets continue the series tomorrow evening with Jason Vargas looking to make his first decent start of the year.