In his first at-bat since 2009, White Sox reliever Matt Albers doubled leading off the 13th and scored the go-ahead run on Jose Abreu's sacrifice fly to hand the Mets a 2-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field. >> Read the full AP recap at SNY.TV.
In case you missed it…
- Logan Verrett's wild pitch allowed Albers to move to third with nobody out.
- New York's offense was the definition of inept on Wednesday despite accumulating 20 baserunners, including 13 walks. They grounded into three double plays in the first five innings and five in the game.
- Jacob deGrom pitched his best game of the year, allowing one run in seven innings for the second consecutive start while fanning a season-high 10. He allowed five hits and two walks and yielded Todd Frazier's game-tying solo home run in the top of the seventh. deGrom is winless in his last six starts (0-1), with five consecutive no-decisions.
- Mired in a 1-for-22 slump over his last six games, Yoenis Cespedes was held out of the starting lineup. He pinch hit in the ninth and struck out.
- Rene Rivera drove in the Mets' only run with a two-single in the bottom of the second.
- James Loney collected his first hit as a Met, singling with one out in the eighth.
- Michael Conforto went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts and grounded into a double play in the bottom of the 12th after Asdrubal Cabrera had led off the inning with a walk. He's batting just .157 (14-for-89) with 30 strikeouts in 25 games since May 1.
- Hansel Robles left the game after retiring one batter in the top of the 12th due to a sprained right ankle. He was replaced by Verrett who retired the final two batters
Brian Mangan: The Mets trotted out four backups/injury replacements in their lineup this afternoon and it showed, as they left a whopping 23 runners on base in their 13 inning loss to the White Sox on Dinosaur Education Day at Citi Field.
Relief pitcher Matt Albers scored his first-ever major league run in the top of the 13th after hitting a double (he is a lifetime .059 hitter) and advancing to third on a Logan Verrett wild pitch (Verrett hadn't thrown a wild pitch in over 70 innings). So, you know, a very normal baseball game was played today.
As a team, the Mets have hit just .211 over the last 14 days, their offensive output ranking 24th in MLB over that period. New addition James Loney has one hit in his first ten plate appearances as a Met, on the heels of a -1.3 WAR season for Tampa Bay last year. Ty Kelly is hitting .118/.211/.118 over his first 19 major league plate appearances. But it's not just the new guys who are to blame, as Conforto, who took the "golden sombrero" today and Cespedes (one for his last 22) have struggled mightily as of late.
Terry Collins acknowledged in his postgame presser that the three injured Mets - David Wright, Lucas Duda, and Travis d'Arnaud - might not be coming back soon and the team will just have to "fight through it." It feels like the Mets go through a period like this every year, where they end up using a lineup that bears no resemblance to the one they planned in the spring, so it will be interesting to see how the team handles things moving forward. Will they look inside the organization for help, calling up someone like Dilson Herrera (.287/.341/.565 in Triple-A in May) or outside to someone like Danny Valencia of the A's (hitting .299/.355/.542 in the last calendar year)?
In the good news department, the team received another great performance from Jacob deGrom, who continues to pitch well despite slightly reduced velocity, lowering his ERA to 2.62 on the year. DeGrom struck out ten, ending his day with a gutsy full-count curveball to strike out Alex Avila with two men on base on his 110th pitch. Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia and Jim Henderson (who touched 97 mph again) were all excellent in relief as well..>> To read more of Brian's work, check out The Read Zone.
News and notes...
- The Mets finished 2-4 for their first losing homestand since dropping four-of-six games during the opening homestand April 8-13.
- New York's streak of consecutive games with a home run ended at 11.
- After striking out 23 batters in his first six starts (35 innings), deGrom has whiffed 24 in his last three outings (19 innings).
- Although charged with the loss, the Mets' bullpen allowed just one run in six innings on two hits while striking out four.
- Collins on the Mets' offense: "We're not driving anybody in. … Every team talks about situational hitting. Every team talks about two-strike approaches. They're talked about. They're hammered, now they've got to be applied. … In baseball you've got to pick each other up. You've got to have somebody step up and somebody else hasn't. We'd been doing that for a lot but we didn't get it done this homestand. … We're not a small-ball team, we don't steal bases. We're not a big hit-and-run team. We're more of a get a good ball to hit and drive it team. … You've got to fight your way through it. Nobody feels sorry for you."
- Collins on deGrom: "He made some very good pitches. I thought he had better life on the ball today…This kid, he battles, he really battles."
- deGrom on his start: "I felt good out there today. I had command of all of my pitches...we kept them off balance for the most part, just that one mistake on that changeup to Fraizer. … I think there's still some work to do but I felt like I got more swing-and-misses on my fastball than earlier in the season and that's a good sign for me."
After a day off Thursday, the Mets (29-23) travel to South Florida to start a three-game series against the Marlins (27-25) at Marlins Park on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET on SNY. Noah Syndergaard (5-2, 1.84 ERA) takes the hill in the opener looking for his fourth straight win. Miami will counter with native New Yorker Tom Koehler (3-5, 4.50 ERA).