Mets bullpen coughs up the lead, offense dries up in 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks
The Mets bullpen was up to it's usual tricks, allowing two runs in the eighth and ninth innings
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets blew a late lead and lost to the Diamondbacks 4-3 at Citi Field on Monday (Box)
José Quintana labored through five innings but managed to allow only two runs - he has thrown five or more innings in each of his first 10 starts as a Met and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of those starts
Trevor Gott let a 3-2 lead slip away in the eighth inning on a solo homer to Tommy Pham, and Drew Smith allowed a go-ahead RBI double to Alex Thomas which gave Arizona the lead for good
Jeff McNeil homered and singled twice to get his OPS to .700 for the first time since June 19
Ronny Mauricio slugged a two-run double in the fourth to give the Mets the 3-2 lead they would ultimately let get away
The Mets are now 51-7 when leading after six innings, 7-7 when tied after eight innings, 25-22 in series openers, 15-14 against the NL West, 13-52 when scoring three or fewer runs, 4-5 in September and 23-30 since the All-Star Game
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (65-78) vs. Diamondbacks (76-69)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starting pitchers: RHP José Buttó (0-2, 3.86 ERA) vs. RHP Ryne Nelson (7-7, 5.30 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Notes on José Quintana and an intangible for Ronny Mauricio… ✍️
All eyes were on East Rutherford, NJ last night and not so much in Flushing, but not for the greatest of reasons of course despite the Jets coming from behind to beat the Bills in what can only be viewed as an inspired win by the Jets after QB Aaron Rodgers went down after the third play in their first possession (Can’t make this shit up, by the way).
That’s when I flipped over to the Met game, because I just couldn’t deal with that after all of these years of the same old movie with that team. This after the Giants just didn’t show up on Sunday against the Cowboys, I should add.
Needless to say, that was perhaps the ugliest 24 hours of New York football I have seen, and there’s been a lot of ugliness.
A lot, a lot.
Anyway, onto the Mets, which of course was more of the same for them on Monday night. They got a gritty start from José Quintana who was not at his best out there but managed to give the Mets 15 outs as he fought through a young and athletic Arizona lineup.
I couldn’t tell if Quintana was just working the right side of the plate, was just missing out there or both, but as you can see below, he was routinely off the plate on that side, which led him to throwing a lot of pitches and to deal with a lot of traffic as a result.
Still, he battled and held his own but Mets manager Buck Showalter simply had to get him out of there after 90 pitches in five innings, much of which was under duress. There’s no reason at this point to try and get him through six under those conditions, even if it meant yet another game when he had to ask for at least 12 outs from a bad bullpen.
The funny (or not) part about the way the Mets ultimately blew this lead (some of it is on the offense, by the way), is that it came in the eighth inning, an inning which has been about as nightmarish as any for the Mets this season. And it came on a home run against Trevor Gott, who had allowed only three homers all year. The Mets have a -33 run differential in the eighth inning alone this season. So, if it wasn’t Gott, it would’ve been Drew Smith (oh wait, it was an inning later), or somebody else because that’s been their hole since day 1.
Having said that, my biggest takeaway from last night was Ronny Mauricio and his two-run double. He laced a double 108 mph to right field to plate two runs against Zach Davies, a clutch two-run double to give the Mets the lead as part of a three-run fourth inning.
But the impressive part about the double was that he took an off-speed pitch down and away from him and smoked it as if it was on the inner half of the plate.
Mauricio has a physical quality which serves as an intangible for him in that his arms are so long that he can cover the entire plate with the entire bat. It makes doubles like that on a pitchers pitch fading away from him possible for him which is impossible for most. Instead, other hitters would have to either spit on the pitch, foul it off or find a way to muscle it the other way.
It’s not the first time he’s done that in the big leagues, either. And he did a lot of that in the minors too. The question for him is how fast he can get to balls middle-in at this level because of that long reach and long swing as a result. But that plate coverage reminds me a little bit of the elder Vladimir Guerrero and how big his hitting zone was because of his size and reach.
That’s not to say at all that Mauricio will ever be Guerrero, but it’s just a reminder of what can result from a larger than average hitting zone (aside from raw skill and power and just everything great which was Guerrero).
I keep wondering if the Mets might’ve been better suited calling Mauricio up earlier. I know Billy Eppler kept saying they were looking for more from Mauricio, and perhaps there were some maturity issues there as well, but that doesn’t mean the organization was right to keep him in the minors for as long as they did, especially after the trade deadline when the organization punted the 2023 season. But maybe he could’ve given them a youthful, athletic and colorful jolt on a team that really lacked a lot of energy and flavor.
He’s certainly earning his stripes now - it’s just a matter of the sustainability factor with him, as it is with any prospect who comes up and shows flashes of what he can be in a small sample.
Around the League 🚩
Julio Rodriguez became the second Mariner ever to record a 30-30 season, but the Mariners fell four the fourth game in a row, this time to the Angels 8-5 in extra innings - Seattle is now 1/2 game out of the third wild card spot
The Giants extended their winning streak with a 5-4 extra-inning win against the Guardians - they have now won 4 in a row, are 74-70 and sit just 1.5 games out of the third wild card spot
The surging Brewers blew out the Marlins in Milwaukee 12-0 on another brilliant pitching performance, this time from Brandon Woodruff who threw a six-hitter for the complete game shutout. The Marlins are tied with the Giants, 1.5 games out of the third wild card spot
Matt Olson hit his 49th and 50th homers of the season on Monday in their doubleheader split with the Phillies
The Rangers pushed their way back into playoff position with a 10-4 win over the Blue Jays - Jonah Heim highlighted the Texas offense with a grand slam