The Mets lost yet another game they should have won tonight, falling 7-5 to the Phillies. The gist of it is that the Mets wasted scoring opportunities, stranding nine base runners, including seven in scoring position. Yes, the Mets surrendered seven runs, but that’s to be expected when injuries and a lack of pitching depth have left this team turning to pitchers who don’t belong in the majors.
In the off-season, while General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen used every available resource to beef up the lineup and bench with probably too much depth, he largely ignored the rotation and instead crossed his fingers that the rotation would remain intact all year. Thus far, it largely has, but every minor injury and missed start has been like a forfeit with the likes of Wilmer Font, Walker Lockett, and Chris Flexen filling in on the mound. All three of these AAAA righties took a turn tonight and the results weren’t pretty.
Lockett got the start and wasn’t bad for five innings, holding the Phillies to just two solo home runs, but Mickey Callaway pushed his luck and let Lockett start the 6th inning, which of course proved to be the fatal mistake. Lockett put two runners on before Callaway pulled him in favor of Wilmer Font. To be fair, Font has been very good in relief. Tonight however, it was his turn to join the batting practice troop. The Mets 5-2 lead quickly turned into a 5-7 deficit as Lockett allowed both inherited runners to score and then coughed up two home runs. Naturally, one of them was hit by Mets nemesis Maikel Franco who hits seemingly half his home runs against us (4 out of 11 this year and 17 of 97 for his career). Font then lost his cool and hit Scott Kingery with a fastball in the shoulder. Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler then lost his cool and got himself tossed out of the game.
Flexen and Robert Gsellman combined for a scoreless 2.1 innings to keep the Mets in it, but we wasted another prime scoring opportunity in the eighth inning. The Mets early lead came courtesy of a 4-hit night by Jeff McNeil (including what looked like a home run but was ruled a ground rule double on fan interference) and solo home runs from Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario. Robinson Cano awoke from his slumber to deliver two hits, but not when it mattered most and he made an error in the field. Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto had plenty of chances to drive in he big runs, but didn’t have it in them tonight.
The good news? No one got hurt or ejected and Callaway didn’t curse at anyone during the post-game report. The series continues tomorrow night with the resurgent Jason Vargas vs. the struggling Nick Pivetta. The Met now sit a season low six games under .500, in fourth place and 9.5 games behind the first place Braves. Good grief.
In other news, Noah Syndergaard pitched five innings in a rehab start in Brooklyn and should be ready to go on Sunday. At least there’s that.