The Mets lost in more ways than one in a 7-0 clunker in San Diego
The Mets lost two lineup stars early to injury on Tuesday night
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets were shutout for the second time on this road trip, this time by a score of 7-0 to the Padres at PetCo Park (Box)
Taijuan Walker sifted through six innings while allowing four runs and five hits
Colin Holderman had his first ineffective outing of the season - he allowed three runs in the seventh inning which put the game completely out of reach for the Mets
The Mets managed just two hits on the night - a single from Mark Canha in the sixth inning and a double from Eduardo Escobar in the seventh inning
The Mets were hit by three pitches from Padres starter Yu Darvish, one of which cost the Mets the presence of Pete Alonso in the second inning who left the game with a contusion in his right hand
Starling Marte (quad tightness) left the game early as well after sliding awkwardly into second base in the first inning
Mets manager Buck Showalter was not optimistic after the game either Marte or Alonso would be returning in the next couple of days
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (38-20) at Padres (34-22)
Where: Petco Park — San Diego, CA
Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (4-3, 3.74 ERA) vs LHP Sean Manaea (2-3, 3.77 ERA)
When: 9:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets lost in more ways than one on Tuesday…📝
Well, that wasn’t the outcome the Mets needed on Tuesday. And, I’m not even talking about the score.
Not only did the Mets lose 7-0 in a clunker in San Diego and the offense was all but completely absent Tuesday night, they took two sucker punches to the gut when they lost two position players to injuries.
It all started with Marte who slid a little awkwardly into second base in the first inning. He tried to hang in and took the field for the bottom of the first but could not continue beyond that. He left the game with quad tightness and is expected to receive imaging - presumably an MRI - to determine the extend of the injury.
It got worse from there, however.
In the second inning and the Mets already down 1-0, Pete Alonso became the second of three Mets batters to be hit by Padres RHP Yu Darvish, but this was an ugly one. Alonso was hit on the right hand by a fastball, sending him to the ground in serious pain. He appeared to struggle in the handshake test with Mets trainers and was immediately removed from the game to undergo x-rays. Fortunately for now anyway, those x-rays were negative but he will certainly need further examination considering the hand has so many small bones and structures.
No matter what, Mets manager Buck Showalter doesn’t expect either Marte or Alonso to return immediately, even in a best-case scenario.
“I love your optimism, but I don’t share it at this point,” Showalter said afterwards of the possibility of Marte and Alonso returning soon.
With the early departures of Alonso and Marte, Showalter was playing with one bench player from the second inning on and it was Tomás Nido, their backup catcher. Showalter said Mets GM Billy Eppler will be summoning players to potentially fill the Mets bench ahead of tonight’s series finale against the Padres, which could certainly mean one or both of Marte and Alonso are headed to the injured list.
“I look at it as somebody else’s time to shine as we have all year,” Showalter explained. “The front office has been ahead of the game keeping us equipped to compete, and we’ll continue to do that.”
Lost in the injury mess for the Mets on Tuesday was Taijuan Walker’s struggle on the mound. He fell behind immediately 1-0 but the big blow came on a two-run single by Jake Croenworth in the second as part of a three-run inning to put the Mets in a 4-0 bind.
That was all Darvish needed, who settled down and schooled the Mets with a bevy of breaking balls and well located fastballs all night long - the Mets weren’t touching him on this night.
“I just left a couple of pitches up,” Walker explained. “I got runners on and they hit some balls through the hole and after that I just settled down.”
For Walker, it’s worth noting he did settle down nicely after the second inning. The problem for Walker in large measure is when he gets into trouble, he walks a fine line between escaping major damage and well, allowing a crooked number like he did in the second inning. He pitches to so much contact now and doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, leaving his margin for error so thin in any high leverage sequence. In the case of Tuesday, as he said, too many pitches were left up in the zone with runners on, and with a consistent struggle to miss bats, it’s hard to keep the opposition off the board in run scoring situations.
Don’t get me wrong - Walker has had a nice season to-date and has unquestionably battled physical issues from the very beginning of spring training. But this is the kind of pitcher he is, so if his location is off and the Mets offense is being iced over, well, you know the story from there.
Of course, these kinds of games happen. Call it one of those that fall into that third of the season the Mets just weren’t going to win. Walker will be fine - he has found a way to navigate and again, he picked it up nicely after the second and at a minimum, provided the Mets length while saving the Mets bullpen in the process. For a team up eight games in the division, that’s the win on a lost night.
Of course, all eyes and ears will turn to Marte and Alonso and what’s next for them. The good news on Alonso, for now anyway, is the initial x-ray was negative. Though, even if the final opinion is that his hand is just bruised, it could take a while for that swelling and discomfort to go away. So, only time will be the answer for how this all ends up for him.
As for Marte, that could in fact be the dicier injury, assuming Alonso is ok. The stink of his injury is it’s soft tissue, so an MRI is the only way to determine the extent of the problem.
And, it’s Marte’s legs, a tool which defines his game.
And it’s these injuries which were the true losses on a lost night in San Diego.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Junior Tillen (SS, Single-A): 2-for-4, 2B, 4 RBI
Luis Moreno (RHP, High-A): 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 K
Box Scores: Triple-A (PPD) | Double-A (PPD) | High-A | Single-A
Around the League 🚩
Justin Verlander became the active strikeout leader with 12 strikeouts over seven innings in the Astros’ 4-1 over Seattle
The Yankees are the first team to 40 wins - they clubbed the Twins 10-4 at Target Field on Tuesday night
The Phillies extended their winning streak to five games thanks to two home runs against Brewers closer Josh Hader in the ninth
Marcus Semien hit three home runs in two games on Tuesday for the Rangers, but Texas split a doubleheader to the Guardians in Cleveland
The Angels fired manager Joe Maddon amidst the club’s 12-game losing streak - Phil Nevin took over as interim manager
Ronald Acuña Jr. hit two home runs as the Braves won for the sixth straight game
The ups and downs of a baseball season... IMO this is the true test of this team. Injuries happen all the time (especially to the Mets). You need to have skilled depth and the ability to stay competitive throughout the season. We can't replace Alonso or Marte but we need the right "next man up" to keep this team in the run. No excuses. LFGM