Justin Verlander and Taijuan Walker engaged in a tremendous pitcher’s duel, combining for 15.1 scoreless innings. The Mets were too eager to go to their bullpen and the result was a 2-0 loss to the Astros, giving the Mets their first three-game losing streak of the season.

After getting out of the seventh inning, the tv cameras showed Buck Showatler and Jeremy Hefner talking to Walker, presumably asking if he had anything left in the tank. Walker went out to the mound in the eighth, retired the only batter he faced and then Showalter took him out, bringing in Edwin Diaz, apparently for a five-out performance.

But the bottom of the eighth inning took a long time, due to a collision in the outfield that saw two Astros players leave the game. When the ninth inning started, it was Drew Smith on the mound. And Smith served up a two-run homer and that was all she wrote.

Two times now, Showalter has used Diaz in the eighth inning and not brought him back for the ninth. And both times the reliever who replaced Diaz gave up runs. Not a great sample size, sure. But not great results, either.

Walker ended up throwing 93 pitches. Maybe removing him with the top of the order coming up for the fourth time was the right call. But maybe by the end of June on a warm summer day your veteran pitcher should be in shape to throw 110 pitches.

From a purely theoretical point of view – would you rather go to war with your starting pitcher with an elevated pitch count who’s cruising or your bullpen? Showalter chose the bullpen and the Mets lost.

6 comments on “Gut Reaction: Astros 2, Mets 0 (6/29/22)

  • MikeW

    I would rather stretch out the starter. Mets are now 13-12 in June, not good for a pennant contended. I just hope they can compete with the Yankees and especially the Braves.

    I think the Mets are a very good team, but not elite. They still have holes.

  • ChrisF

    30 Days ago I set a 13-12 record for June as my over-under. Given the giant amount of travel, historically poor performance out west, and the toughest month on the calendar, this record is what I imagined…I had hoped for 14-11, and dreamed about 15-10. The team survived the roughest month with a >.500 record. Aint many seasons go this way for June. Add that the rotation is bailing wire and duct tape and relievers are relievers, I see a lot to like. If you said at the ASG the team would pick up 2 legit ace SPs with 5 CYs, and the capacity to pick up some reliever help, who wouldn’t be excited?


  • Aging Bull

    I realize this will sound like sour grapes but I wonder if the Astros are stealing signs again or if the Mets are tipping pitches. The lead off single by Tucker in the 9th looked pretty suspicious to me. He waited on the curve like he knew it was coming. Now stealing signs is as old as the game so no issues if done the old school way. But would anyone be surprised is the Astros got busted again?
    Ah. Maybe it is just sour grapes…

  • Metsense

    Gut Reaction: this game was an old fashion pitchers dual with each pitcher going into the eighth inning. I should have stuck with Walker until had gave he had a runner in scoring position but I can’t fault Showalter either. Diaz did a fine with the meat of the Astro order. I want to have Diaz in that spot if the starter is being removed. Smith hung a pitch and a terrible hitter hit it out. It was shocking and disappointing.
    They survived June. Turn the page of the calendar ( or scroll the arrow on your app) and win 2 of 3 against the Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call of the Texas Rangers. LGM

  • BoomBoom

    This had the feeling of a previous season loss. How does a guy with a .330 OPS beat you like that?

  • joeco

    mets will need a cespedes like acquisition and bullpen help to compete with the big boys
    and please keep guillorme in the starting line up every day. He is too good not to play

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