Takeaways from the Mets 6-4 loss to the Red Sox on Friday…
The Mets dropped their series opener to the Red Sox by the score of 6-4 on Friday night at Citi Field. Here are my takeaways from the loss.
A missed opportunity.
It seemed like the Mets were in cruise control in this one, although they seemed a little flat from the beginning in this game. They had a 2-0 lead going into the seventh inning thanks to an RBI single from Travis d’Arnaud in the fourth inning and a single from Michael Cuddyer and an error by Rusney Castillo in the fifth inning to score David Wright.
The Mets really didn’t mount much offense against Eric Owens on Friday night, and the kept the Red Sox hanging around in this game as a result. That afforded Boston enough time to get past Matt Harvey and into the Mets bullpen, and they couldn’t have been happier to see Harvey exit as they mashed two home runs against Logan Verrett for a total of three runs and the lead, and another three runs against Carlos Torres in the tenth inning, who got absolutely mauled.
The Mets could not muster any offense in the eighth or ninth innings, and in the tenth, Blake Stewart led off with a home run against Torres, who was pitching for the second consecutive night. The Mets had no response to Stewart’s homer, and the Mets seven-game winning streak came to an end, and the Mets missed a chance to extend their lead in the division to 7 1/2 games, as the Nationals lost to the Marlins in Washington.
The bats were late to the party.
Surprisingly, the Mets just didn’t really hit on Friday night. Again, they seemed flat, which stood to reason considering they got back to New York at about 3:30 AM this morning. But they lacked a whole lot of energy and really didn’t work many quality at-bats against the rookie Owens.
They’re not going to pound out nine runs a game all year. They’re ultimately going to be known for the team they are when they’re not scoring copious amounts of runs. That team is one that’s built around starting pitching and an ability to score just enough runs to win games on a regular basis. For the most part, they’ve demonstrated that, whether just enough runs means four runs, nine runs, or 16 runs.
On Friday night, they came up a little bit short in that department. It happens, but the stink of it is their ace left with a lead, and when that happens, the team really should be able to win the game. Unfortunately, the Mets did not do that on Friday. They made it interesting in the bottom of the tenth, but it was too little too late.
A sluggish start, but a fantastic finish to #HarveyDay.
Harvey showed a little bit of rust after not pitching for 11 days over the first two innings of tonight’s performance, as he had a lot of trouble getting ahead of hitters early on, actually issuing a walk in the first inning.
But after the second inning, the Red Sox lost any chance they had against Harvey for the night, as he found his next gear in the third inning. The electricity on his fastball was back, he showed off a good curveball and slider, and was throwing everything for strikes at that point. He started to mow down the Red Sox hitters in signature Harvey fashion.
He had retired nine in a row from the point David Ortiz grounded into the inning-ending double play until Ortiz came to bat again in the fourth inning when he singled to right. He then retired the final seven he faced in rather uneventful fashion, completing a six inning masterpiece.
It’s too bad he didn’t get a win for his effort. It can be argued Harvey should have started the seventh inning, but he was already at 103 pitches through six and the Mets clearly aren’t pushing it with Harvey right now.
The decision might have cost him – and the team – a win, however.
The problematic bullpen.
The Mets bullpen continues to be a major concern outside of Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia. Verrett and Torres combined to allow all six runs in this game.
They really don’t have anyone remotely reliable at this point outside of Clippard and Familia, and it’s going to force Terry Collins to run them into the ground well in advance of the end of the season. In fact, it’s already happening, as Clippard was used unexpectedly earlier this week against the Phillies.
Fortunately, the Mets have reinforcements coming on September 1, but there’s nothing close to a sure thing on it’s way, either. And, it doesn’t appear as though they’re going to find anything of note on the trade front ahead of the August 31 waiver period expiring.
Other notes from Friday:
The Mets fell to 8-5 in extra-inning games and 53-9 when scoring four or more runs in a game in 2015.
This was the third time this season Harvey has thrown six or more innings and failed to win the game. He has allowed one run or less in 31 of his first 60 big league starts – he’s won only 14 of those 31 games.
Juan Lagares had a rough night at the plate, going 0-for-5 with five strikeouts.
Ruben Tejada broke an 0-for-11 at the plate with a 2-for-4 night at the plate.
With his fourth inning single, Travis d’Arnaud extended his hitting streak to six games.
With his scoreless eighth inning, Tyler Clippard has now allowed just one earned run in 16 1/3 innings since joining the Mets.