Things you should know about today's game...
1) Rafael Montero allowed three first-inning runs, balking home Shin-Soo Choo and yielding a two-run homer to Joey Gallo, and departed after three innings. He was charged with four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five. Montero needed 87 pitches to record nine outs -- 40 coming in the first alone.
2) New York was held hitless through four innings by Martin Perez, who had surrendered 15 runs and 18 hits in his last two starts. Wilmer Flores got the Mets into the hit column with an umpire-reviewed solo homer leading off the fifth, his 13th of the season. Amed Rosario and Jose Reyes notched the other two Mets hits.
3) Hansel Robles pitched three hitless innings in relief, walking two and striking out five.
Postgame reaction from Michael Avallone...
Well, Montero started for the Mets. Should I go on?
For the sake of this reaction, I will...only to say that how Montero has lasted this long with the Mets defies explanation. The case can be made at present that he's here simply due to the rash of injuries which have sucked every ounce of depth the Mets had away. But outside of a few average starts late in 2014, Montero has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball every time he steps on the mound, yet he somehow remains with the club.
He nibbles, obviously doesn't trust his stuff to get big league hitters out and is as painful to watch as anything in the sport. Today was no different, as he allowed three first-inning runs and needed 40 pitches to get through it. He allowed a double to Choo on a 1-2 count, and after looking as if he might get out of trouble with a pair of outs, he balked in a run. Not be outdone, Gallo -- who has 11 home runs in the second half and 32 for the year -- blasted a two-strike pitch into the upper deck. Why pitching around him with first base open wasn't done is beyond me. To be fair, that particular example doesn't fall entirely on Montero, either. Rene Rivera and Dan Warthen need to have some type of input here and have a feel for what's going on.
On the other side of the ball, the Mets looked flat and clueless against a pitcher who entered the game having allowed 15 runs in his last two starts. Just a boring and lackluster performance...again. >> To follow Michael on Twitter, click here.
News and notes...
New York has lost eight of their last 11 games and dropped to 10-23 during day games.
Rosario snapped an 0-for-13 skid with his eighth-inning single and is hitting .179 (5-for-28) with two triples and an RBI in his first eight Major League games.
Montero (1-8) is winless in his last six starts. He has surrendered 13 runs on 18 hits -- including four homers -- with nine walks in his last three outings spanning 13 1/3 innings (8.77 ERA).
Highlights from the game...
The Mets (50-61) head south to face the Phillies (41-69) for a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday at 7 p.m. on SNY.
Jacob deGrom (12-5, 3.36 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) looks to get back on the winning track after dropping two straight following eight consecutive win. The right-hander allowed three runs and struck out eight over five innings against the Dodgers last Friday in a 6-0 loss. DeGrom defeated the Phillies on June 30 and is 5-0 with a 2.34 ERA in his career against Philadelphia.
Vince Velasquez (2-6, 4.82 ERA 1.47 WHIP) aims for his first win since May 1, a span of nine starts which was interrupted with a stint on the disabled list. The right-hander has a 3.00 ERA in four starts since being activated off the DL. Velasquez surrendered eight runs, 10 hits and seven walks in back-to-back starts against the Mets on April 12 and 19.