Things you should know about today's game...
1) Yoenis Cespedes limped off the field in the fourth inning after injuring the same hamstring that kept him out for three games recently.
2) Matt Harvey looked great in the first inning and looked like a mess thereafter, as his command vanished and his fastball velocity dipped as low as 90 MPH. He limited the damage until the fifth, when he was done in by a three-run homer by Kurt Suzuki that ended his day.
3) The Mets scored two runs in the ninth inning, but T.J. Rivera -- who was representing the tying run -- grounded out to end the game.
4) The Mets made a bunch of mental mistakes. Jose Reyes failed to record a force out at home in the second inning, third base coach Glenn Sherlock sent Jay Bruce home with no one out in the second inning, and Bruce was nailed at the plate. And Travis d'Arnaud flew out on 3-0 pitch with the bases empty and the Mets trailing 6-3 in the eighth inning.
Post-game reaction from Matt Citak...
Just when you think things can't get worse for the Mets, today happens. First Syndergaard is scratched a few hours before the game due to biceps and shoulder discomfort, and it's announced he will undergo an MRI. Not good. Then in the bottom of the fourth, Cespedes comes up limping after straining his left hamstring while legging out a double, and needs to be helped off the field. Really not good.
While the Mets hope Syndergaard will be able to return to the mound soon (potentially Sunday against Washington), Cespedes appears to be headed to the DL, and could be facing a lengthy stay there.
After getting the start on short notice, Harvey simply did not have his stuff today. Matt lasted only 4 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on five hits and walked a career-high five batters. I'm not sure which was more concerning between his lack of command and the significant decrease in his velocity, but both problems should raise some red flags.
The Mets, who have now lost 10 of the last 11 games, scored five runs for just the second time during that stretch. The offense still looks lost at the plate, and with Cespedes likely out for a while, I don't know how Sandy and Terry are going to address this issue.
While it's hard to consider anything that happened today as a positive, Josh Smoker provided one. After allowing runs in both of his appearances against the Nationals last weekend, Smoker was fantastic in relief of Harvey. Josh threw 2 2/3 innings and did not give up a hit while striking out four. Using his strong and effective change-up, he has proven to be a solid lefty option out of the bullpen.
The Mets will now travel to Washington in sole possession of last place in the NL East. As silly as it might sound saying in April, this team needs a serious wake-up call, and soon, if they want to have any chance at competing for a spot in the postseason >> To follow Matt on Twitter, click here.
News and notes...
The Mets, who have lost six straight games, did not lose more than four straight games all of last season.
Juan Lagares entered the game for Cespedes in the fourth inning, with Michael Conforto shifting to left field.
Addison Reed tossed a scoreless eighth inning.
Jeurys Familia loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning but limited the damage to one run.
The Mets are five games under .500 for the first time since 2014.
Highlights from the game...
The Mets (8-13) open a three-game series with the first place Nationals in Washington, D.C. on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
Jacob deGrom (2.55 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) gets the start for the Mets. The Nationals have not yet announced who will be starting.